The Greatest Sport in the World Is Not What You’re Thinking

You can find them in places like Wildwood, New Jersey, where thousands of Ultimate players take over this beach town for an entire weekend. First of all, frisbees are cheap. No, we aren’t all stoners. It can fit under your car seat or in a desk, open a beer or decorate your room. The ultimate winners? Well, they were all winners.” – Howard Cossell

… well, that’s really it. Just check out this Callahan (college MVP who demonstrates the highest level of integrity) video from Lisa Picaithley.

9) The off the field stuff is great, but…

5) Party Tournaments

On the contrary, the athletes that are playing Ultimate get better every year and the sport is increasing its exposure each and every day. Other classics include MARS in Pittsburgh, Sandblast in Chicago, Lei Out in California and Potlatch in Seattle. In youth, college and club Ultimate the sport is entirely self-officiated. A refreshing reminder of what sport was meant to be. We don’t play with a dog and it isn’t just a rec league activity. Co-ed divisions and leagues make up the most prominent form of Ultimate, and the women’s game has continued to grow and push the sport forward. The community in the sport is all about reaching out, spreading the game, and building relationships outside the lines.

For years, American sports have been dominated by the “big four”: football, basketball, hockey and — of course — baseball.

1) It’s played with a frisbee.

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Soccer dominates just about every other corner of the earth. And here is why:

3) Ridiculous highlight reels

“A sport no school ever dropped, no scandal ever tainted… Even though the sport is still predominantly white, it is not a competition reserved for the Caucasian middle class, either.

Want to play a pickup game of Ultimate? All you need is some open space, a frisbee and… At the most competitive events, there are referee-like observers on hand that make final rulings only when two players can’t come to an agreement. The standard 175-gram plastic discs shouldn’t run you more than 10 dollars. A frisbee can skip, bounce, fly, hover, flip, spin, roll — and even hold your dinner.

Perhaps one of the greatest thrills of Ultimate is traveling with your best friends to go play in some faraway city.

4) Things like this happen

Update (April 22, 2014): One major aspect of the sport that was overlooked in a previous version of this post was gender equity. They are not involved in the game unless a player asks them to be. Plays happen in the air like basketball and football, players endure grueling amounts of running like soccer, receivers leave their feet to make spectacular catches like baseball outfielders, and much of the sport is played in tournament format (multiple games per day, meaning an abundance of opportunities for Sports Center-like plays). All of my Ultimate friends can attest to the fact that the people they met through this sport helped propel them in new directions both with their careers and their social lives.

2) Spirit Of The Game

I know what you’re thinking, and so does every other Ultimate player. If that isn’t enough, add to the list that they can’t break car windows and they’re kid-safe, too.

Looking for a solid group of friends when you get to college? How about a good way to meet some new people outside of work? Ultimate is perfect. Even at the professional level, where the sport is reffed, there is a clause in the rulebook that allows players to overturn a referee’s call if they get it wrong (this happens more than you’d think). Whether you’re an elite level player or just a beginner, these tournaments are enjoyed by all. The difference here is that in Ultimate, annual tournaments are actually designed for the party. And the ultimate reward for their time, money and effort? Nothing. Ultimate players are generally well connected, too. Perhaps none are more significant than Ultimate Peace, a summer camp that brings together Israelis and Palestinians on the Ultimate fields throughout Israel.

You know, just the greatest instrument of play ever invented.

Ultimate is a unique combination of several sports that makes it entirely its own. at the end of the day, the things that happen on the field in Ultimate stand completely on their own. And, on rare occasions, can still be. When thrown properly, they can leave the field of play and then return into a receiver’s hands. After those five, sports like golf, cricket and rugby are played and enjoyed globally, but there is one magnificent sport that — despite flying under the radar — is about to come out of the shadows: Ultimate Frisbee. Nothing; save the joy of competition. There is an old saying that when a ball dreams it dreams of being a frisbee; and the reasons go on forever.

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8) It’s way better than book clubs or fraternities. You can consult the rulebook if you’d like, but the basic tenets go something like this: score in the other team’s end zone, avoid contact, don’t run with the Frisbee and play with integrity.

7) It’s cheap and fairly simple.

The sport of Ultimate is built on an honor system that penetrates the game at every level.

6) Ultimate is working for peace in the Middle East.. It can be thrown upside down or with your toes. Anytime you’re feeling like you need a break from competitive Ultimate, these tournaments will do the trick.

ultimate peace

With a large emphasis on community, Ultimate is frequently found at the forefront of movements and community-based programs

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