Club Sports: Ultimate Frisbee preps for new season
Monday and Wednesday nights, the field next to the Science II building at Fresno State is taken over by flying discs.
But they aren’t UFOs; the Ultimate Frisbee club practices together before the spring season begins.
The club is in its second year on campus, but the group is growing.
Robbie Vallone, the club’s co-captain and treasurer, said that the organization fundraises to help the group compete.
Vallone said that the club hosted a tournament with 60 people from the community to raise money to help send the team to competitions and purchase uniforms to better represent Fresno State.
“We just had like a full day of playing Frisbee. It was just a lot of fun,” he said.
The club is not part of the NCAA, but instead follows the United States of America Ultimate (USAU), which keeps track of records of teams – collegiate or otherwise.
Vallone said that after the first year, the experience helped moving forward.
“We learned a lot last year,” he said. “We probably had 10 people go to tournaments at any given time, and, with seven people in the game at a time, it gives you three substitutes. We were going against teams with 23 people ready to play. We struggled at the beginning, but we ended up having a positive record toward the end of the season, so we learned a lot.”
The sport of Ultimate Frisbee has collegiate teams all over the nation. At Fresno State, there are around 20 members.
Volunteer coach Jason Wood doesn’t go to school at Fresno State, but has played Frisbee for three to four years including international play in Asia.
He said he wants to help members become more structured ultimate players.
“There are people here that have never played or have only played a little bit, and then there are other people who have played for a few years as well,” Wood said. “There are people here that are far more athletic than me at the sport, but basically I can bring real structure to the team when it comes to playing Ultimate Frisbee.
“Not just coming out and playing around, but actually running drills and teaching the actual rules.”
The USAU represents teams from junior high to senior leagues, besides the collegiate and professional levels.
The club is coed so both men and women can join.
Jamie Dewey, a junior majoring in mathematics, is a newcomer to the club this semester.
She said that she already sees improvement and looks forward to competing with the club.
“Going to other schools to play sounds like a lot of fun, and I actually get to travel,” Dewey said. “I’ve never really been much of anywhere before. The tournaments sound really exciting.”
Teams for Ultimate Frisbee are made up of seven players on each side, including two handlers, who play similarly to quarterback in football. The six players who don’t have possession of the disc act as receivers and attempt to take it down the field to the end zone.
“We are definitely accepting for anyone who wants to come out and play,” Vallone said. “We don’t discriminate, and we don’t have tryouts or anything like that.
“So if you’ve ever thrown a Frisbee before, or even if you haven’t, we’ll help you learn, and we would love to have people come out.”
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