It’s a weeknight at the Mahaney Dome and over one hundred students are getting ready for Ultimate Frisbee practice. When the word “frisbee” comes to mind, one may imagine a sunny day playing catch at the beach or the park. But ultimate frisbee is quickly becoming one of the most popular intramural sports on campus, drawing in new members every semester who are looking for a fun and exciting way to stay fit and make friends.
“I joined the club my freshman year. I was an athlete in high school but ultimate was something I always wanted to try, so when I came to college I took the opportunity to join and really fell in love with the sport,” Samantha Duff, a fourth-year parks, recreation, and tourism major, said.
Since the 1980s, the Ultimate Frisbee club has existed in some form or another at the University of Maine, but it wasn’t until 2005 and 2007 respectively that the men’s and women’s teams became recognized as official club sports. Ever since, the club has had an active presence on campus, holding practices and attending tournaments up and down the east coast.
“A typical week for us will include a few practices,” Duff said. “However a lot of us get together at unscheduled times throughout the week to either toss and run some drills or just hang out. Some weekends we will travel to tournaments around Maine or New England to play against other schools and clubs.”
The club has had a lot of great success on the field recently. Last year, they won the “Lobster Pot” tournament against UMaine arch-rival University of New Hampshire. They just recently placed third at “Uprising,” pulling victories against Ithaca College, Rochester University and Siena College. The club’s success isn’t just written in the scorecards, however, it also gives members a way to travel and keep fit, and provides a sense of community that teaches valuable life lessons.
“The best experience I have had with the team would probably be our spring break tournament. We spend a whole week playing the sport we all love while building a lot of camaraderie on and off the field. Plus we get to meet other teams from all around the country,” Duff said.
Members also credit the club for its community building and valuable lessons that come out of this relationship.
“This club has helped show me that great things can happen if you step out of your comfort zone. This sport’s community is like no other. They make you feel so welcome, at all skill levels. It’s a very energetic crowd of people who place an emphasis on sportsmanship and competitiveness,” current club president, James Flynn, a third-year secondary education major, said.
As the club continues to make tournament appearances and gain members, it has its sights set on a few goals for the immediate future and for years to come. Flynn and the rest of the club have their sights set on Nationals in particular.
For more information about UMaine Ultimate Frisbee, visit the club pages at https://umaine.edu/campusrecreation/program/sports-clubs/current-clubs/ultimate-frisbee/