Attention to ultimate frisbee less than ultimate

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Photo submitted by Ella Grace

Junior Bijou Acers goes in for the catch in last year's Girls Ultimate Frisbee team game against Eden Praire. Because the season has not yet started the photo is from last year.

Mylana Nederloe, Business Editor

The ultimate frisbee team does not receive the attention that many other sports teams receive, even though the team puts in the same amount of hard work. Ultimate is unlike other sports due to its focus on self-officiating, even at the highest levels of competition. This concept is called the spirit of the game. Ultimate frisbee is played by two teams with a flying disc on a field with end zones, similar to football.

Ultimate frisbee is a sport unlike many others. While most sports have referees, ultimate frisbee does not. Instead, the sport is played with the players calling fouls. This means the athletes playing have to know the rules of the game to play. With this, it may create difficulties among opposing teams on the field. 

The players have to know the game well. “If you know maybe someone’s a new player and they’re not super familiar with the rules, or one side is more than the other but it tends to be pretty collaborative, and that it just gets worked out with the kids,” boys coach Bjorn Hagstrom explained. 

The structure of the game creates well-rounded athletes. They gain many new skills that they can apply to their life. They work things out on the field and learn to call their own mistakes. These skills easily translate into other aspects of life. 

The sportsmanship is high without referees, “which I think ends up being a pretty great tool and helps kids learn those skills,” Hagstrom said. “This is better than other sports where that’s all kind of on the shoulders of the referee.” 

Both the boys and girls teams practice at the same time, but they play separate games. The two teams are all super close to each other. Overall, it is a positive environment because the teams are supportive of each other.

“The boys have games on Thursday nights, so we encourage the girls’ team to come and watch it. There’s usually like a handful of friends and then a lot of family members,” Hagstrom said. 

The team is really small and has a lot of competition to get people to join with sports like track and field and lacrosse being spring sports also. With the teams being so small there is only one senior on the girls team, Libby Tuttle. 

Lots of new people join every year, but as of now no other senior is on the girl team, Tuttle explained. It is more of an offseason sport and something played for fun, unlike track. 

Ultimate frisbee is one of the few sports which requires little to no skill nor equipment to join. The simplicity of the gear makes it easier for people to join. 

“For ultimate you just need cleats that don’t have to be like metal spikes like soccer cleats… then a disc or frisbees,” junior Ella Grace said. 

Throughout the years the team has made improvements and has grown. In the first couple of years, they only had about 10 kids. In the sixth or seventh year of the team, they had around 40 kids. It is now growing slowly over time, not only with numbers but with skill. 

Last year we did better in the state tournament. We actually won the Spirit Award, which is another unique aspect of ultimate… you get rated on your spirit… we won that award at state,”

— Ella Grace

“Last year we did better in the state tournament. We actually won the Spirit Award, which is another unique aspect of ultimate… you get rated on your spirit… we won that award at state,” Grace added.

*UPDATED:  The season was to start on March 16, but due to COVID-19 the team’s season has not yet started.