Ultimate Frisbee team is URI’s best kept secret

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 3, 2000 — It has the endzones of football, the plays of basketball, the movements of soccer, and is one of the collegiate world’s best kept secrets. Ultimate Frisbee, one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, is now the sport of choice on many college campuses, including the University of Rhode Island. URI’s club team, called RIUT (Rhode Island Ultimate Team), is now in its fourth year of play. “It’s a great sport to play. It is a competitive game that involves agility and speed, but there is a lot of camaraderie on the field. In the past I’ve played field hockey, track and field and I rowed for the crew team. Now I just want to play Ultimate,” said junior Amanda Dauphinee, of Burrillville. Rhode Islanders will have a chance to catch a piece of the action in their own backyard, as URI hosts a regional tournament on November 11- 12, called “Brisk Winds.” Club teams from all over New England will compete on the URI Intramural Athletic Fields. Games begin at 9:15 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Ultimate Frisbee is played with seven players for each team on a football-sized field, and plays are made by throwing the disc among teammates. The goal is to catch the Frisbee while standing in the 25-yard endzone. However, once the Frisbee is caught, the player cannot run with it. The fast-paced game is peppered with extravagant dives, leaps, throws, and catches that make it a very spectator-friendly game. There are two seasons for Ultimate, one in the fall and one in the spring. In the fall, RIUT competes against other club teams of varying ages and abilities from all over New England. In the spring, it is strictly college teams, such as Bowdoin, Yale, and Brown, who compete for a chance to go to the Nationals. “We’ve gotten steadily better every year. The first year we didn’t win any games, but we had a lot of fun. The second year we played more tournaments, but still didn’t win. The third year, we finished with a winning record in the fall and we made it to the regionals in the spring,” said Evan Pearce, a senior, of Warwick. This fall the team has a winning record. But, the spring is where the team really expects to shine, according to team captain, Joe Tuazon, of Livingston, N.J. “In the fall we like our new players to gain experience and we just like to have fun. The spring is when we expect to make regionals and possibly the nationals. We have a decent shot at making it,” said Tuazon, a senior. Part of what has made the URI team so competitive is the strong chemistry between the players. Most of the players have worked together for four years, and said they know when one is going to make a cut for the disc, who can get to the long throw, and where the open person will run. “Our team is like a family. They’re not only my teammates, they are also my close friends,” said Tuazon. This sportsmanship extends to other teams, a unique characteristic of Ultimate Frisbee. Players referee themselves, socialize between games, and teams make and perform a cheer for the other team at the end of the game. “One of the best parts of Ultimate Frisbee is the people you meet. You want to win, but at the same time, meeting new people and them having fun is just as important,” said Pearce. “I encourage everyone to come watch a game. It can be very exciting because it is so competitive and the spirit of the game is so engaging. It is really something to see,” said Dauphinee. For Information: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-2116