UVM’s club frisbee program grows with ‘development’ team


Mac Mansfield-Parisi

Members of the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team practice on an intramural field on campus, Oct. 10. Officially started in 1969 and begining at UVM in 1986, Ultimate Frisbee is often seen as a fun alternative to more official athletics, according to the women’s team’s website.

Maryann Makosiej, Staff Writer

UVM’s men’s Ultimate Frisbee program has added a third team to its roster, but the team has an uncertain future.

Ultimate Frisbee at UVM, is split between men and women. Sophomore Natalie Connor said the three women’s teams, collectively called “Ruckus,” are split into an A, B and C level.

For the men, there has traditionally been an A team and a B team but no C team. The collective men’s teams are known as “Team Chill.”

This year a new development, or D, team, meant for players who sit between an A and B-playing ability, was created to fill the void of no men’s C team.

Players are loosely placed into teams based on ability. The A team consists of the best frisbee players and has the most intense time commitment while the C team is meant for players to just have fun, according to their website.

Sophomore Sam Hare Steig, who played on the men’s A team last year, said the program is dedicated to creating a strong team but doesn’t know if the new men’s D team will succeed.

“They’re really serious about building a good team,” Hare Steig said. “I’m intrigued to see how it will play out.”

Officially started in New Jersey in 1969 and begun at UVM in 1986, the sport is often seen as a fun alternative to more official athletics, according to the women’s team website.

Connor has been playing since high school and joined the women’s B team during her first year.

“Ultimate Frisbee is different because it draws a certain kind of person who is generally weird and funny,” Connor said. “We aren’t super competitive people. It feels good to win, but it’s not what we do it for.”

Sophomore Liza Bryan said many aspects of the sport, especially the emphasis on well-rounded athleticism and use of a Frisbee, make it unique.

For example, the players have to be their own referees, she said.

“Frisbee has no official judges,” Bryan said.” As a player, you have to know what’s right or wrong on the field.”

Tournaments are governed by a basic philosophy called Spirit of the Game which relies on the individual responsibility of fair play, according to Ultimate USA, which is the national governing body for the sport.

At even the highest levels of play, there is no referee or official to settle contested moves–it’s up to the players to decide.

Though practice schedules vary for each of the six Frisbee teams, the average is two to three times a week.

The official competition season is in the spring with four serious tournaments. Most teams travel to a few tournaments in the fall for practice and community.

The next competition, the Lobster Pot, is Oct. 19-20 in South Portland, Maine.

Bryan joined off-handedly after playing Frisbee with an Ultimate player.

“The program is so big because of its welcoming nature,” Bryan said. “We take anyone and you feel like you don’t need to be good at Frisbee to be accepted.”

Hare Steig said the team becomes a family.

“People join for the exercise but they stay for the community,” he said.