In the late spring of 2017, Tsunami held elections to choose the executive members that will help keep our collegiate team on track and successful. One question that became apparent was who was to lead the team. We held nominations and to my surprise, I was nominated for the important role of Captain. Being a senior, I always thought about running for the captain position, but was nervous due to the overwhelming tasks and decisions that need to be made for the good of the team. Another thing I would need to work on is being a leader. Captains lead practice and tournaments, they call lines in intense and important games, and of course, I need to make sure I am one of the hardest working people on the field at all times in order to lead as a role model.
This post is about my experience thus far, but it is only fall, so what I say now may change over the course of the entire season. But so far, so good! There of course have been some hard decisions and self-discovery moments along the way, but one can expect that when given this role. I am not the only captain of Tsunami, there are two other captains who are both Juniors, Bud and Posh (Nicknames to keep anonymity) and a coach Willie. We have to work together and meet once a week for hours at a time in order to plan and organize the team. This way, we have a checks and balance kind of system to keep this team with an equal leadership.
Things to keep in mind:
If you’re considering becoming a captain, I recommend it! It may be a hard task that will challenge your leadership skills, but it is truly rewarding when you see a rookie throw a perfect flick that you taught them. One thing to keep in mind, or some advice from a new captain, is to reach out to your teammates individually. You want to make sure that all your teammates feel comfortable enough to talk to you if there is a problem. And one way to do that is to initiate that platform and approach them first. We sent out a survey to our team that asked for complete honest feedback thus far, and it has truly helped our captain-ship evolve to the people our teammates need to be successful.
I would like to apologize for the lateness of this post. I had a family emergency and needed to travel back home to STL in order to be with my family. The post for tomorrow will not be late, and you can expect it by the usual time, 6 pm.
The Impact of Alumni
Tsunami has quite the alumni base that are all supportive and continue to reach out to the current active players throughout each season. On our social media pages and website, our PR representative updates our fans on our successes at tournaments. There have also been many times where our team has been able to travel far across the nation and able to stay with alumni who have homes.
Not only do Alumni have an impact on Tsunami, but Tsunami has a prominent impact on people! At first as a joke, but turned into something real, a friend and I reached out to all alumni in Fall 2015 to see how many alumni had a wave tattoo due to the impact of Tsunami. After an overwhelming amount of responses, we found that 44% of Tsunami graduates get a wave tattoo in order to commemoration the amount of fun they had throughout their college Ultimate Frisbee experience. And since, many more graduates have done the same, therefore, I would not be surprised to see that percentage rise.
Here is a photo from my freshman year where everyone in this photo, except myself and one other girl, has graduated.
This post is not only about Tsunami though, Tsunami is only a college level team, and to many of our players, its the first Ultimate Frisbee team that we play on. Many of our players, either during their college years or after graduation, join club ultimate teams. Club is typically more competitive and have players who have been playing for years. Ultimate is one of those sports where after you join, you do not want to stop playing due to the community and friendships that you make. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true! You get to meet people from across the nation in a familiar setting and bond over the sport that we love. 🙂
Ultimate Frisbee today follows the 11th edition of rules. The rules are simple and not too complex, but they are the utmost important in order for the game to run smoothly. Here is a list of the most important rules:
- The field is a rectangle shape with dimensions of 70 X 40 yards with end zones 25 yards deep.
- To begin, each team has seven people on the end zone line and the defense pulls the Frisbee across the field as far as they can throw it.
- To score, similar to football, the team must cross the end zone of the other team. The end zones alternate each point however; offense stays.
- To move the Frisbee, the offense must throw the disc from player to player. The player in possession of the Frisbee cannot move without throwing it, otherwise it is a travel.
- When the Frisbee is dropped or thrown out of bounds, there is a change in possession. When one team has possession, the defense will have someone on the Frisbee holders side, and count up to ten. This is called a “stall.”
- To get fresh players in the game, you can substitute your players. But there must always be seven players on each team on the field. Substitution occurs in between points, or if there is an injury.
- Ultimate is a non-contact sport, meaning that you can not touch another player on the field aggressively.
- When contact does occur, because it happens, there is a foul call. When foul is called, the defense can either “contest” or “non-contest” the call, this determines what the stall count will be.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that Ultimate is usually self-officiated. The only time ultimate is not self-officiated is when the games are high-staked at regionals or nationals.
- Lastly, but most importantly, ultimate differs from other sports due to Spirit of the Game. (SOTG) Sotg is essentially high sportsmanship. The Ultimate community is a very calm and chill community where players all respect each other in impressive manners. Basically all players express the joy of the game rather than being too competitively.
At Truman State University there is only one Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team called Tsunami. Tsunami was originally founded in 2004 and has been growing ever since! Tsunami started as a small but mighty team and traveled to tournaments across the nation, including one to New Orleans. Since 2004, Tsunami has gone to nationals the past five consecutive years placing either 3rd, 5th, or 7th.
To further explain Ultimate, I thought it would be beneficial to discuss the two different positions that you can play as a player. There are seven people on each team that play at once, and usually four of the seven are called cutters. A cutter’s job is to run a strategic pattern with their fellow cutters up-field. Their job consists of running away from their defenders and catching the Frisbee from the handlers. Handlers are the other position and are typically played by the other three players on the field. Handlers move the disc from side to side of the field in order to find the best open looks at the cutters. Handlers are usually the players who hold the disc the most and who have the best throws. Even though this is only the basic understanding of the positions to Ultimate, Ultimate is a pretty simple game and does not get too complex beyond this; next week I will be talking more about the rules and expectations as a player.
If you were to type this question into the google search engine, you would find the first result saying “No, but is included in the World Games, and also recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).” Meaning that since August 2nd, 2015, the IOC has claimed Ultimate Frisbee as a sport with international impact and is now in consideration for being integrated in the official summer Olympics!
If you were to ask any Ultimate Frisbee player this question, they would say “of course!” Ultimate Frisbee is a physically demanding sport and involves a lot of strategy and accuracy in order to beat your opponents. Ultimate Frisbee is played with two teams, seven people per team on the field at once, who have a common goal of scoring the disc in their respective end zones. One reason that Ultimate is a controversial topic on whether or not it is a sport is because it is a non-contact sport. This means that players cannot come in contact with each other. Contact sport examples include football and basketball. In ultimate, the disc is moved up field by throwing the disc to your teammates in a clean, spirited, and strategic manner.
As I progress through this blog over the next semester, I hope to gauge your interest in Ultimate Frisbee and explain why ultimate has a big impact on my life, as well as many others in the ultimate community. Ultimate is more than a sport, its a lifestyle.
At the top right of this post, there is a “leave a comment” link. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, post them there, or in the contact tab of my blog.
Attached is a link to some extremely intense highlights from past years to help defeat the stereotype that Ultimate Frisbee is not a sport… Enjoy!