Meet a Student Group: Men’s Ultimate Frisbee
Questions answered by Captain Eric Felton
How competitive is your organization?
Ultimate Frisbee in college is a lot more competitive than people think. It involves a lot of running, conditioning, and skill in order to compete at a high level. Two out of the past three years we have made it to regionals, the step before nationals, and placed in the top 10 out of 20 teams both times. Our main competitive season is during the spring after we make our A and B teams. A team is the more competitive team of the two mainly because it has the more experienced players on it. B team consists of players with less experience that have an opportunity to improve their skills to compete for a spot on A team the next year.
Do you travel? What other schools do you compete against?
We travel to different colleges all over the east coast. The majority of the tournaments are in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia but last year we also went to tournaments in New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. We usually have 3-4 tournaments in the fall semester and 4-5 tournaments in the spring semester. Sports club funds most of this. The majority of our competition comes from teams in our conference. These teams include Maryland, Delaware, American, UMBC, Salisbury, Georgetown, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins. We do play other teams that are not in our conference. Theses teams are mostly from Virginia and North Carolina. The main reason we travel to tournaments further away is to play teams outside of our area. For example, last season in Georgia we played St. Olaf, Tennessee, Wisconsin Milwaukee, and South Florida. Last season we also played Michigan State, Ohio State, and South Carolina.
How does someone join your club?
In the beginning of each semester, we have a table at the involvement fair as well as a general interest meeting. If someone can’t make either of those then they can always go to the Sports Club Office room in Burdick hall and ask for an interest slip. Anyone can join our club, which is the best thing about it. The majority of people that start out, myself included, have never played organized ultimate.
Do you hold tryouts? How do you decide who gets playing time?
We do have tryouts but we do not have cuts. We try to limit the amount of guys on A team to 20-25 guys. We make this decision mid way through the fall after we have a chance to see who has the skills, potential, work ethic, and commitment. The decision of who makes A team is made by the captains and the coach. The players who do not make A team are put on B team. This team offers players more playing time and opportunities to improve as a player and learn the game more. The coach and captains usually decide playing time as well. We try and rotate guys in as many guys as we can to make sure everyone gets equal playing time.
Do you have a coach? What about officers?
We currently have a coach who used to play for Towson a couple years ago. He was a captain when he was on the team and is the captain of a successful club team in the area. He organizes practices and workouts for us as well as teaches us more about the game. Under the coach are the two captains, Alex Antolick and myself. When the coach can’t make it, we run the practices and provide the on the field leadership. Since Men’s Ultimate is a sports club, we are required to have officers. These officers include a president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. These guys are more behind the scene. They are responsible for filling out the necessary travel paperwork, rosters, as well as organizing community service and fundraising events. Anyone can be an officer and it is a great way to give back to the club.
Are there any other activities your group does outside of practices and games?
Team bonding is one thing that I really like about our team. Besides practices and tournaments, we do a lot of things together. I usually get around 3 texts a day asking if I want to just go throw around on a field. We also have team dinners before or sometimes after practice. We are required by sports club to complete community service, but half the time it feels more like I’m just hanging out with a group of friends. At the end of every tournament we do a cheer, “We’re not just a club, we’re friends, best friends.” This is one of my favorite cheers because yes, we are a competitive team that likes to win, but we are also just a group of guys trying to have some fun.
What is your favorite part about your organization?
My favorite part about the organization would have to be the people in the club. I can honestly say that I am good friends with everyone on the team. We have such a wide variety of people with different personalities, it makes the team a great thing to be apart of.