An “ultimate” alternative

Ultimate frisbee's rise from the park to being a bona-fide spring sport

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The frisbee.

It conjures memories of playing fetch with your dog or having a toss in the park. To many, however, this national pastime is now a serious high school sport—Ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate isn’t a “new” sport, but it has seen a rise in popularity as students look for spring sports beyond just baseball or lacrosse.

Gabe Cohn ‘15, a seasoned Ultimate veteran, shed some light on the specific rules and positions behind the sport. “The goal of ultimate frisbee is to pass the disc down the field and score as many touchdowns as possible,” he said. The frisbee is continuously play so there aren’t any lags in the action.

Cohn continues, “There are two different types of positions in Ultimate Frisbee, the Handlers and the Cutters.” There are typically three “handlers” on the field at a time and they are “almost like the quarterbacks of the team” as they hang back and pass the disc for the most part. There are typically four cutters at a time and they are the players who run around the most and do the “dirty work.”

The fact that pads, which could restrict motion or slow a player down, are not required seems to be a draw to prospective “Ultimaters.” For instance, Jacob Kranendonk ‘16 said Ultimate Frisbee “seemed like a good choice for a sport because you don’t have to have pads.” Kranendonk is one of many new athletes to join the squad. With a total 34 players this season, Ultimate Frisbee will field both a Varsity and a Junior Varsity team.

Although Ultimate has seen a spike in popularity, the team’s overall development is still overshadowed by Ultimate Frisbee powerhouses such as Hopkins, who already have a highly developed (and nationally ranked) program. While many would consider the school to be an underdog, Max Lang ‘17 said, “It’s really fun to play against the big schools with notoriously great programs because for me personally, I love the competition.”

Despite a competitive disadvantage to other larger, more established programs, the school’s Ultimate team has already found considerable success through its ability to attract new talent and provide a fun and competitive alternative for traditional spring sports. The base has been formed for a successful program, and all that’s left to do is sit back and watch the frisbee fly.