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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UC Davis’ Women’s Rogue Ultimate Frisbee Club reaching end of busy season

The return to play this year has brought back competition and community in the Rogue Ultimate Frisbee Club

 

By KATHERIN RAYGOZA — sports@theaggie.org 

In fall quarter 2021, UC Davis Women’s Rogue Ultimate Frisbee teams finally began their season of sectionals in Roseville, CA and were more than determined to compete their best in hopes of achieving nationals.  

According to USA Ultimate, the sport of Ultimate Frisbee continues to grow in popularity has expanded all throughout the U.S. and in 42 other countries. It is known for its friendly nature, while also still being competitive. 

Kylie Crisostomo-Rickman, a fourth-year English and plant biology major and B-team captain, decided to join the Rogue Ultimate Frisbee club because of its unique, friendly environment.

“We play in a way that is still competitive, but there isn’t as much anxiety, like being cut from the team,” Crisostomo-Rickman said. “Since a lot of people don’t have a background in Ultimate, we’re all learning together. So playing isn’t as intimidating as other sports.”  

Even at a high level, the players adhere to something called ‘The Spirit of the Game’,”  said Emily Goodman, a fourth-year human development major and A-team captain. 

“It’s this mutual understanding that we’re all going to make the game as competitive as possible but also just uphold spirit and the rules. And you’re still able to compete at a high level,” Goodman said.

There are no referees to enforce strict rules, which is why “The Spirit of the Game” is significant for all levels of competition. Competitiveness is always encouraged among the Ultimate community.

As the sport’s community continues to grow and gain popularity, mindful behavior is enforced to all players all throughout the season. The community feeling alongside competing as a team is what attracts many players to this club sport.

“What drew me to the sport was the community. It’s a smaller sport, so you’re able to get to know people a lot better,” Goodman said. “If you hear someone’s name who plays Ultimate Frisbee, you also get this bond [with them] that they play this really niche sport. Through traveling over the past years, I was able to meet people all over the country.” 

Goodman and Crisostomo-Rickman are both captains for each team and guide and prepare their teams to have a chance at victory. They are also presidents of the team, which means they take on two roles. As presidents, they figure out fundraising and travel all by themselves. 

They emphasized that they don’t have a specific person to coordinate their finances or their travel situations. Which is why it is important for them to have several officer positions and for everyone on the team to help out. 

“It makes everyone’s job easy because everyone is on board to help,” Goodman said.

As captains, they work with coaches in terms of the trajectory of the season and what they would like that to look like. They also lead warm ups, team meetings and they are the point of contact between the coaches and players. 

“We’re a very fun team and all about learning,” Crisostomo-Rickman said. “We have a good time, and people seem excited to take a break from school, especially for those who have busy schedules.”

COVID-19 also impacted the team, which caused them to stop practicing for a few months. They would meet for Zoom practices and have team bonding exercises, such craft night, online trivia or Jack Box games. Although some people on the teams said they had a tough time adjusting to not meeting in-person, they also had to accommodate their schedules for their 2021-22 season and made up for the lost games during another COVID-19 stoppage.

“This year we have played two seasons in one because we’re making up for the season that was supposed to happen during COVID,” Goodman said. “Having nationals in the fall was really unique, but it’s usually in the spring, like May. So we’re having to do two full seasons in one school year.”

Besides COVID-19 being a challenge, one other challenge Rogue Ultimate Frisbee faces is that many people do not have a proper conception of the sport. According to Goodman and Crisostomo-Rickman, many people assume that Ultimate causes the same levels of anxiety as sports, or people believe that Ultimate is not a real sport just because it lacks the same popularity as other sports in the world. If people were to actually play Ultimate, they would say otherwise, the captions said. 

“When I tell people that I play Ultimate Frisbee, they don’t know that it’s a ‘real sport’, but we’re practicing a lot,” Goodman said. “We put in a lot of time, and it’s competitive, on top of running the team ourselves.”

For some college students, it is a sport that involves unique sportsmanship and offers a sense of camaraderie. Although Ultimate Frisbee may seem like something you would do as a recreational activity, Crisostomo-Rickman and Goodman say that the competition can be intense and the club provides a good opportunity to participate in that kind of sport. 

 

Written by: Katherin Raygoza — sports@theaggie.org

 

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