Imagine running down a green field toward the end zone, dodging seven players from another team and catching a white plastic disc as it rotates in mid-air.
That is Ultimate Frisbee. The game has been played for decades at Cal Poly and the men’s and women’s teams are ready for upcoming tournaments.
“Ultimate Frisbee is an intercollegiate club sport,” said Tyler Bacon, a SLO Core team co-captain and construction management senior. “It’s a combination of football and soccer. Players are constantly in motion, and in order to score you have to catch a Frisbee in the end zone.”
SLO Core is the official men’s Ultimate Frisbee team of Cal Poly. Founded in 1978, it has represented the school in local and national competition with men’s and women’s teams, according to the team’s Web site.
On the other hand, the women’s team, SLO Motion, is only a few years old, but Danielle Shaw, the team co-captain and a wine and viticulture junior believes the team is more than ready for the tournaments in November.
“We’re looking forward to playing in the tournaments,” Shaw said. “Tournaments are at different colleges. We travel up and down the coast and play in their athletic fields.”
The first tournament is at UCLA on Nov. 3 and 4. Bacon said there are about 40 to 50 members on the men’s team and about 25 members on the women’s team, but only seven players of each squad will play in the tournament.
The teams practice at least twice every week at the lower Sports Complex on campus. SLO Core practices from 8 to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
SLO Motion practices from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Many players participated in team sports in high school but did not continue playing in college. Ultimate Frisbee is a way for them to remain active and make new friends, Shaw said.
“It’s a nice break from homework,” said the women’s recruiting member Mailie Fanning. The senior animal science major said she joined the club because she loves the travel and activity. Bacon was involved in track field sports in high school, and both Shaw and co-captain Courtney McLaughlan, an animal science senior, played soccer.
During a game of Ultimate Frisbee, which is a non-contact sport, two seven-player squads play on a field similar to a football field. The game’s objective is to catch a pass in the opponent’s end zone, Shaw said.
Players cannot run with the disc in their hand but must instead pass to any other receiver on the field.
SLO Core is trying to hold a tournament at Cal Poly during winter quarter.
“Anybody can join. There is no experience necessary and no athletic ability necessary,” Shaw said.