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  Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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Ultimate Frisbee Showcase at Moakley Park
By Kevin Devlin


The Cambridge team, coached by                                                The Boston squad, coached by

Jeff Brown, pictured with Ultimate                                               Ted Munter, pictured with

Frisbee Organizer Erik Sebesta.                                                   Event Organizer Erik Sebasta.

     On Sunday, July 23, the Ultimate Showcase was held at Joe Moakley Park showcasing Ultimate Frisbee players from Cambridge and Boston. Ultimate Frisbee’s roots go back to the late 1960’s and today, more than 100,000 people partake of this sport. Many young athletes are leaning towards this sport, interest is growing at the high school level, and there are now over 500 college club teams competing throughout the nation.

     Ultimate Frisbee has ten basic rules (and I will note them verbatim):

     1) The field is a rectangular shape with end zones at each end. A regulation field is 70 yards long by 40 yards wide with end zones 25 yards deep. 

     2) To initiate play, each point begins with both teams lined up on their respective end zone goal line. The defense throws (pulls) the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.

     3) Scoring. Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense’s end zone, the offense scores a point. Play is initiated after each score.

     4) Movement of the Frisbee (aka disc). The disc may be advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc (“thrower”) has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower (“marker”) counts out the ‘stall count.’

     5) Change of possession. When a pass is not completed (e.g. out of bounds, dropped on the ground, blocked or intercepted) the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.

     6) Substitutions. Players not in the game may replace players in the game after a score and during an injury timeout.

     7) Non-Contact. No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.

     8) Fouls. When a player initiates contact on another player a foul occurs. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone.

     9) Self-Officiating. Players are responsible for their own foul, violation and out of bounds calls. Players resolve tier own disputes.

     10) Spirit of the Game. Ultimate Frisbee stresses sportsmanship and fair play. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.

     Ultimate Frisbee seems like a pretty cool and demanding sport. The games are usually two-hours long, and Ultimate Frisbee Event Organizer Erik Sebesta told me that the players sometimes play four games on Saturdays and Sundays, that’s 16 hours of running and sweating.

     The first team that scores 17 points wins and a goal is scored “when a player catches the disc in an opponent’s end zone.” Teams advance the disc by passing the disc “from player to another.” The player with the disc must stop running but can “pivot in any direction.”  Ultimate Frisbee “combines the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football.”      

     Ultimate Frisbee utilizing their key rule, “Spirit of the Game” has traditionally “relied on the spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the players themselves (I like that).

     Respect between players is the key, and although highly competitive play is always encouraged, it is not done so at the “expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.” Taunting, dangerous aggressive play or intentionally fouling another player or that “win at all costs” mentality is not tolerated in this sport.  

     (Writer’s note: For more information about Ultimate Frisbee, go to www.UPA.org>10th Edition Rules, or contact Erik Sebesta @) erik@ihuck.com

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  After a hard-fought match, played strictly in accordance with the concept of "Spirit of the Game", the Boston Ultimate Tema beat the Cambridge Ultimate Team by a score of 17 - 13.  The "Ultimate Showcase" game was played on Moakley Field last Sunday.

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