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The ultimate game of catch

Male student jumps to catch a Frisbee

"People think of Frisbee, and they think of a bunch of hippies out in a field throwing a disc," says Pioneers Ultimate Frisbee team co-captain Bruce Clark. "But this is a high energy sport." Photo: Wayne Armstrong

First, you “pull it” and when you do that, you really want to “huck it” deep. Then, “establish the force” as soon as possible so that your “mark” can stall the holder. But if they get the disc off, you absolutely must try for the “layout.”

If you know what that paragraph says, then you are an Ultimate Frisbee fan.

Ultimate Frisbee has been around for more than four decades, with peaks and valleys of popularity over the years. Today, it is again enjoying rapidly growing popularity.

DU Ultimate Frisbee club co-captain Bruce Clark describes the goals of the sport: “It’s kind of a cross between soccer and American football. You have two 25-yard end zones and a 70-yard field between that is 40 yards wide. Each team of seven people must throw down the field. As soon as you catch the disc, you must stop moving. You can only pivot and throw, and you must get rid of the disc within 10 seconds.”

Clark, a senior digital media studies major, says he often meets people who don’t know about the sport and think it’s Frisbee golf.

“People think of Frisbee, and they think of a bunch of hippies out in a field throwing a disc. But this is a high energy sport.”

Jason Wedekind (BFA ’94) co-founded the DU club team as an undergraduate in 1993 and recently returned as the club’s coach. As a senior graphic designer at the Denver-based Liquid design firm, Wedekind also completed work on the first documented history of the sport, Ultimate: The First Four Decades (Ultimate History Inc., 2005).

“In the mid-90s, high school students started picking their colleges on the strength of their Ultimate teams,” Wedekind says. “Now it seems a majority of college Ultimate players come in with much middle school and high school experience. The juniors division is thriving and fueling college divisions across the country.”

DU’s 20-member club recently started traveling to regional tournaments and beat Oklahoma State University and the University of Nebraska.

“It has been a real treat to see Ultimate grow in the past years,” Wedekind adds. “The college division is growing at an alarming rate. The fact that I can watch the college ch

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