Looking for something fun to do in the sun this summer?
I play Ultimate. Most people know it as Ultimate Frisbee. But we Ultimate players just call it Ultimate. And the thing we throw? It's a disc. Frisbee is a name trademarked by Whammo. Using the word "Frisbee" for discs is like calling all facial tissue Kleenex or all copy machines Xerox.
You may be surprised, if you know me at all, that I have reached Day 56 of the T-shirt blog without devoting any space to Ultimate, one of my great loves, and one of the things that has most significantly defined my life for the last 29 years. Yes, you read that right. TWENTY-NINE YEARS of playing Ultimate. I started playing the summer of 1984 and have played ever since.
In the weeks to come, I will be giving some love to some of my favorite teams and favorite Ultimate experiences. I have TONS of Ultimate T-shirts. We're going to see a lot of these T-shirts in the weeks to come on this blog (assuming you're following, and I hope you are).
I have not neglected Ultimate on this blog. I have been waiting with purpose and foresight to start my Ultimate blogging as our Kalamazoo league nears its annual draft day. Our draft will be held Saturday the 18th (two days from now), and on that day, we will draft teams for our EIGHTH annual Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League summer season. I am very proud to be a founding member of this great organization.
You can find Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League on Facebook in group of that name.
You can find us on the web at Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League (KUDL).
Links to registration can be found on both the web page and the Facebook page.
So… If you are a lady ultimate player (or want to be) please follow the link below.
We closed registration to men, though we maintain a wait list. We are in our final push to recruit women players as we are a co-ed league, and we always struggle to maintain a 5-2 or 4-3 gender ratio on the fields. If we increase our women players total to 40 women, we can expand to ten teams, a number of teams which we have only enjoyed once in our eight-year history.
Men who still want to register will want to write email@example.com to be placed on the wait list. OR we have a special deal in which we add a man if he is "baggaged" (our term for players who want to be on the same team) with a woman player.
WHAT IS ULTIMATE? It's the greatest sport ever invented.
Simply put, it's a team sport in which a disc is used to score goals. Teams of seven face off. The offense works the disc down the field in a series of passes until someone catches the disc in a 25 yard by 40 yard goal area. Total field size is 70 yards long, 40 yards wide, with two 25 yard long end zone at each end of the field, just to give you an idea of how much distance is traveled with all the running. Chasing discs, chasing other players, or running hard to break free and get open (what we call making a "cut") involves A LOT of running. For new players, disc skills are not important (though catching is usually a plus). If a player is willing to run, especially in playing defense, a player will find the sport challenging but a total blast.
Ultimate is a non-contact sport. There is no tackling. Players do not run with the disc. Dropped discs, discs that sail out of bounds, or blocked throws cause immediate turn overs, in which the other team takes possession and begins making passes toward their end zone. Because of this offensive scheme, Ultimate is a fast paced sport. It's not the disc golf game. It's the game with all the running.
It's funny. I started today's entry intending to share about a shirt from a team I was on years ago called Grey Area (not a KUDL team); however, when I started to write about Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League, I decided that the natural choice was to switch to a KUDL shirt. This is not even the most significant year of KUDL or my favorite shirt. The image actually has a small printing flaw (designed by my friend Ryan Walters). But I knew I had good action pictures of myself in this shirt from 2009 when my wife came to the field and took the shots.
Summer Ultimate season starts June 3rd.
Though some weird miracle of longevity, I am still playing after twenty-years though I am not sure we can call what I do "running."
I am blessed and excited to start another year of ULTIMATE.
If you are reading this and have never tried it, there's still time to register, especially if you're a woman player or know a woman player who will sign up with you.