COLUMBIA — Jason Rioux, a 15-year-old first time Ultimate Frisbee summer league player, sits on the ground while a teammate places a cold water bottle on his fast bruising foot. Rioux’s bare foot had been stepped on by an opposing player wearing cleats as both tried jumping for possession of the Frisbee.
“I’m not that worried about it,” said Rioux, who is more anxious about getting back into the fast-paced game than he is about his foot that begins changing to a dark purple hue.
Ultimate Frisbee kicked off its summer leagues Tuesday. Fresa Jacobs, the league coordinator, started the Ultimate Frisbee summer leagues in 2002 for those who were interested in organized play for the summer. This year, 96 people signed up.
The objective of Ultimate Frisbee is to get the Ultimate disc from one end zone of the field to the other end zone by passing it from player to player. Players cannot run with the disc and only have 10 seconds before they must throw it. Each team consists of seven players and all passes must be completed. If the disc is not caught and falls to the ground, the other team gains possession. The team who gets the disc into their opposite end zone collects a point. Scrimmage then starts again with teams switching end zones.
This summer’s league consists of six teams with names such as Giant Chicken and the Silly Goats that are created by the players. Teams include players of all skill levels ranging from years of experience to first timers.
Liz Lance, a master's degree student at MU, came to the Ultimate Frisbee summer league with no previous experience. That was no problem for teammates, though, everyone pitched in to help new players understand the rules and different strategies of the game.
Captain of both the summer league team, Legend-Dairy, and MU Women’s Ultimate, Whitney Martin took the lead to help her teammates feel comfortable with the game. She drew the line of scrimmage on her clipboard to explain plays and talked teammates through the game while on the field.
Knowing that the Ultimate Frisbee summer leagues are for all skill levels, everyone helps not only their teammates, but everyone in the league
“Everyone seems pretty friendly,” said Lance, “and that’s great for new people.”
Even with difference in experience of players, it doesn’t stop the pace of the game. With constant movement up and down the field, players come off the field panting.
“It’s an exhausting game,” said Moselle Starke, a first-year medical student at MU. “It has the aerobic activity of soccer because it’s so constant.”
As Rioux stands up to go back into the game, he realizes it has already been called because the Silly Goats won the last point needed to win.
“I would’ve liked to try and play on it. Gotta get a pair of cleats first,” Rioux says, laughing.