Fieldston students chase the Ultimate high
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By Raphael Sugarman
“You can’t move with the disc, so you have to always rely on all the other players on your team to get open,” said Penn.
Though the person with the disc (thrower) is closely guarded, there is no physical contact allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. These fouls result in the disc being turned over to the opposing team. Turnovers also occur when a pass is not completed, lands out of bounds, or is intercepted.
In the league in which the Eagles compete, the team that reaches 13 points first is the winner, with a halftime occurring when one team reaches 7 points. Other leagues play games to 11 or 15 points.
Though the sport was initially called Ultimate Frisbee, the name was shortened due to trademark issues with the toy’s inventor. The discs used in Ultimate are larger (nearly 11 inches) and heavier than the toys.
Skilled high school and college players are not only able to throw these discs long distances, but can flick a pass with their palms facing in or out. They can fire a pass from shoulder or ankle height or even from above their heads, depending on the situation.
All of these formidable flicks were on display by players from both the Eagles and the Beacon School at their match on May 16.
While many on Fieldston’s team recalled casually tossing around a toy Frisbee as a kid, virtually none started playing Ultimate until high school.
“I tried it out and I was pretty good at it, so I decided to keep it up,” said Riverdale resident Danny Siegel, who is in his third year of playing Ultimate. “When there is a disc in the air and I am chasing it, I run much faster than I do at any other time.”
Eagles’ head coach Darren Meyers also didn’t take up Ultimate until he was in high school and said that many athletes don’t discover the game until college.
Meyers said that while the game is a lot of fun to play, it sometimes doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
“Most people think that it’s just Frisbee, something you do on the beach,” he said. “If you watch a game, you’ll see that it requires a high level of athletic ability.”