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Ultimate Frisbee Club joins ASU

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 16:11

ultimate frisbee

Staci Vandagriff, Photo Editor

Ronnie Short, a senior accounting and finance major of Stuttgart, passes off the Frisbee to a teammate through the defense of Kyle Whybrew, a sophomore marketing major of Jonesboro, during an ultimate Frisbee practice game.

Three ASU students have recently formed a university-syndicated club for ultimate Frisbee.  While ultimate has been popular around campus for years, it was only within the last few weeks that Ronnie Short, Dylan Travis and Charles Tillman decided to take their game to the next level with the club status.

The club status will allow players to benefit from outside sponsorships as well as financial aid opportunities from the university. Most importantly, the new status will allow the team to compete against other college ultimate teams from around the country.  
Ronnie Short, a junior accounting and finance major of Stuttgart and club co-founder, was responsible for most of the legwork and paperwork associated with forming of club.

“This is my second year here, and I didn’t do anything last semester,” Short said.

Once he started playing ultimate, he soon discovered his passion for the game.

“We didn’t have a club, and I wanted to play against other schools,” Short said.

“We all love Frisbee; we love the game,” Charles Tillman, a sophomore nursing major of Little Rock, said.

Tillman has been playing ultimate since high school and began playing at college his first semester.

“My part in it is just a passion for Frisbee and a love for Frisbee,” Dylan Travis, a junior communication studies major of Jonesboro, said. Travis has been playing college ultimate since his first night on campus.

“I’ve been throwing a disc around for probably eight or nine years,” Travis said.

Club members will have the opportunity to compete as a team in tournaments around the Mid-South region. The newly formed club will have practices most weekday nights on the old track field, in conjunction with the pickup games usually played there.

The club is open to any student who wants to join. It already has over 20 members, although only 15 at a time can compete in tournaments. Once the club registers enough members, it can be split into two teams for tournament play, Short said.

Travis said the club is also looking to form a female team.

“We don’t have enough players yet, but once we have some more interest we’ll definitely do it.”

Travis also said a major concern for the club is funding.

“That’s how most college sports fizzle out. They don’t have enough money, so they just die. We’re not going to fizzle out.”

Besides receiving money from the ASU action fund, the club has also secured a sponsorship from Play It Again Sports, an athletic equipment retailer in Jonesboro. Play It Again has offered to give the club discounts on equipment such as uniforms and discs, helping the club save money for tournament fees and traveling expenses.   
Ultimate Frisbee has grown in popularity across the country since its beginning in the late 1960s. Currently over 12,000 players compete on more than 700 college teams nationwide, according to usaultimate.com.

“A lot of people don’t take it very seriously, but it’s actually a pretty intense sport.” Tillman said. “Games are certainly intense, yet the sport is kept officiated by ultimate’s self-regulating policy, or ‘spirit of the game.’”

The ‘spirit of the game’ doctrine dictates that the rules of the game are to be enforced by the players, in keeping with ultimate’s high ideals of sportsmanship, fair play and respect.

“Ultimate is supposed to be really competitive, but you never put the competition over the other players and the sportsmanship of the whole,” Short said.

Both Travis and Short confessed to having one particular goal in mind for the team.

“We want to beat University of Arkansas,” Short said. “They’re the only nationally ranked team in Arkansas, so we want to beat them.”

The team will play its first tournament next February at Hendrix College in Conway. Until then, the founders are planning on scheduling practices at least four nights a week during the spring semester.

Students interested in joining the club can contact Short, Tillman or Travis at ronnie.short@gmail.com, charles.tillman@smail.astate.edu, and dylan.travis@smail.astate.edu.


 

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