Frisbee becomes official at Centre
RELEASED: May 4, 2006
—by Rachel Parsons '06
DANVILLE, KY—While the swish of a Frisbee flying through the air has long been a common sound on the Centre College campus, it's only been a couple of years—since the spring of 2003 to be exact—since Ultimate Frisbee has been an official club sport.
As a mark of how far the team has come in a short time, this year, when the Ultimate Frisbee team took the field in tournaments at Berea and Lexington, it did so in snazzy new Centre College uniforms.
According to club president Chris Leach, who was a freshman when the club was first formed, the group was loosely organized in the fall of 2002. "My freshman year was the first year there were a lot people interested. We met on the baseball field at four p.m. every day and anyone who wanted to could come and play," says Leach, currently a senior.
After the group competed in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament at Berea College, some of the players began to think about becoming an official campus organization. Many of the other schools represented at Berea had official Ultimate Frisbee clubs, complete with uniforms. For Leach and the other Centre Frisbee players, the official support of the College seemed to give these schools an advantage that the Centre did not have.
"We realized that the [other schools' teams] had a lot of things going for them as a club. We got on the track to becoming a club and were approved in the spring of 2003," says Leach.
Since becoming an official organization, the Ultimate Frisbee Club has grown both in membership and ability. Approximately 25 athletes attended the annual fall tournament at Berea.
"We've had times where we've had a lot fewer than that, but this has been a really good year for us," says Leach, who also noted that the size of the tournament is growing as more schools become interested in the sport.
"Berea's tournament is growing and I've seen as many as 30 teams there. Teams come from as far away as Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech." According to Leach, Case Western is the largest school that Centre has been able to defeat. "We normally can compete with just about anyone that comes to the tournament," says Leach.
The club normally attends three tournaments each year. Berea hosts a tournament in the spring and the fall each year and there is a winter tournament in Lexington.
This year, with new uniforms, will be a turning point for the team—at least sartorially. "We've normally looked somewhat scraggly compared to other teams until recently," says Leach.
When asked about a downside to the sport, Leach mentions occasionally having to play in bad weather and the risk of injury. Freshman Daniel Holder hurt his ankle during a game at the Berea tournament.
Overall, though, most players would agree that the fun they have with Ultimate Frisbee far outweighs and negatives.
"I love the competition. It's not cutthroat and there's a strong sense of respect and love of the game. I can't think of a time when peoples' pride or self-gain was the heart of anycontroversy," noted freshman Joe Griggs.
This is a sentiment echoed by Leach, who also enjoys the ability Ultimate Frisbee gives him so spend time with a lot of different people."Ultimate Frisbee gives you a way to keep in contact with a large circle of friends. It's a really fun activity."
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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