Ultimate Frisbee

Mar 282006
Authors: Stacey Zynen

Club sports often get overlooked at CSU, yet they compete at every level. Many of the club teams are ranked nationally. So to honor some of the clubs, the Collegian has decided to feature one team every week. This week it’s Ultimate Frisbee.

For these Rams, throwing a Frisbee isn’t a leisurely activity on a Sunday afternoon.

Fundraisers, letters and hard-earned money keep the Frisbee flying for the CSU men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. With little school funding and a large passion to play the sport they love, these men find ways to travel all over the nation no matter what it takes.

“We travel from the East Coast to the West Coast and we have to fund ourselves. We do fundraisers like the Casino Night with a silent auction so people can play games and bid on things. We also write family and friend financial letters. The rest comes out of our pocket,” said senior captain Tim Kefalas.

For these guys, all of the hard work is worth every penny. CSU is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation according to the UPA Top 25 poll (a club sport ranking). Going 7-0 in the Rocky Mountain Invitational (RMI) last weekend and taking first place for the second year in a row, the team currently holds a 26-6 record for the season.

The RMI brought 10 teams from across the nation to the CSU campus over the weekend. Saturday lacked competition for the Rams as they dominated all but one team by at least seven points, ending the day 4-0. Sunday forced CSU to show their true athleticism and skill as they played in the finals with winds blowing 30 to 40 mph. The Rams met Utah in the final game of the tournament and took first after a 15-5 victory.

“Playing in the wind changes everything. You have to throw low and fast and it takes away the long throw altogether,” Kefalas said. “It’s just a lot more challenging; you have to put a lot of spin on it.”

Along with two other captains, Adam Zwickl and Chad Pearson, Kefalas heads the team and takes on the responsibilities of updating the Web site, overseeing practice and offering leadership. The Web site offers dates of tournaments, current results, photos, news and a place to contact the team. The Rams hold practice three times a week, structured and run by the team themselves.

Although Ultimate Frisbee is not considered a collegiate NCAA sanctioned sport, the team sees the advantages of keeping it at a club sport level.

“We get to travel and play but we don’t have to dedicate our whole lives to it like some people do,” Kefalas said.

There is also a higher chance that a person with any level of experience to join, according to the captain.

“We have tryouts in the fall which can be a learning and practicing time for those people with or without very much experience.”

The Rams will travel to Lawrence, Kan., this weekend for their first ever Fools Fest. The team can be contacted under the club sports page in campus recreation on the CSU Web site.

Other fun facts and rules about Ultimate Frisbee:

– There are more than a dozen ways to throw the Frisbee which take skill and practice to perfect.

– As many steps can be taken as needed to stop momentum of a run or jump after the Frisbee is caught.

– There is a 10 second time limit to holding the Frisbee.

– They play man-to-man or zone defense just like in several other sports.

– Endurance and skills of movement and strategy make it a combination of soccer and football.

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