PDS senior encourages community to play Ultimate Frisbee

John Gudgel, Contributing Writer

The OG Gank, The Fosby Frontal, The Over-the-Shoulder Sling, and even the elusive Sewer Shot. These once nonexistent terms have found new meaning in a flurry of Frisbee that has swept the halls of PDS, particularly with the Senior Class.

“I think, for some people, it’s a stress reliever. There’s just so much happening during senior fall; Frisbee helps blow off steam,” said senior Maya Jones.

It is no surprise that Frisbee is a common go-to for a stressed-out senior. With a proper toss, a Frisbee will gracefully cruise towards its target with surprising accuracy. Thanks to the Bernoulli Principle and gyroscopic stability, the Frisbee is easy to catch, as its flight path is predictable. This, combined with a lengthy flight time, gives the Frisbee social as well as athletic utility. Just as the knapping of stone into tools brought our Paleolithic ancestors together, so too does the Frisbee. Stress and pressure have always been highest in Senior Fall; it is only natural that the Senior Class should find a zeitgeist to ease their burden.

Of course, not all Frisbee is lilies and roses. USA Ultimate (USAU), the largest governing body of Ultimate in the world, holds over 400 registered teams. Moreover, nearly 700 colleges and universities are registered with USAU. Competitive Frisbee at these huge numbers would be impossible without USAU’s liberal guidelines for prospective teams. All that is needed are 10 valid team members, a $27 registration fee per member, annual waiver signings, and annual membership fees. It is a system that would be impossible without the use of the Internet, which teams and the USAU use to organize events, talk shop about the latest Ultimate news, and even set the official rules.The Internet has truly evolved Ultimate into an everyman’s game.

With so many teams, officiating every game would be impossible. To solve this problem, USA Ultimate has come up with a unique solution: no referees whatsoever. In every game, from cross-town rivals to the International Championship, players are responsible for calling their own fouls, and settling their own disputes. With this system, the USAU has ensured that Ultimate sticks to its spirit-of-the-game roots.

In our PDS community, the Frisbee’s history is muddled at best. The first flying discs were sold in 1948, and it took a further 20 years for Ultimate to be developed just an hour north, in Maplewood, New Jersey. Without a doubt, PDS had seen the Frisbee by that point, but a well-established Ultimate club has only existed since the time of Zachary Freedman ‘14. With posters, networking, and a liberal heaping of Monday announcements, Zach took the Frisbee from casual to competitive. After his graduation, Neil Kumar ‘15 stepped into the large shoes left by Freedman. An absence of announcements, a few too many frosty days, and classic senioritis slogged PDS Ultimate back into the realm of half-baked, advisor-less clubs. But now, captains John Gudgel ‘16 and James Fragale ‘16 plan to drag PDS Ultimate from the ashes back to its former glory. I implore students of all ages, genders, and religious creeds; come to the Colross lawn at 1:00 on Fridays, and have a toss.