If you have ever walked past the grassy field between Davis Science Center and Diamond between 4 and 6 p.m. on a weekday, you have likely seen a horde of students running, throwing frisbees, joking around, and generally having a good time. If you could not tell, you are witnessing Ultimate frisbee, one of the College’s biggest clubs and one that is unequivocally worth joining.
Ultimate’s gameplay is simple: there are two seven-person teams on the field at once, trying to get the disc into the opposing end zone and to stop their opponents from doing the same. In the most basic terms, Ultimate is very similar to football (with a few exceptions, but you’ll learn those when you join).
Joe Grassi `25, an ultimate captain, explained to The Colby Echo why he joined Colby Ultimate.
“For me, Ultimate is a big community of really cool people who come together for the shared purpose of having a lot of fun and also getting to play some frisbee. It gets you connected with people from different bubbles because frisbee brings together a very diverse, awesome crowd all doing something together, which is really great,” Grassi said.
Grassi continued, explaining that he, like most people, first started playing at the College.
“I never played before Colby, and I would say that over half the team had never played before starting here,” he said. “Everyone learns really fast. It’s one of the easiest, if not the easiest, sport at Colby to start from scratch. You don’t have to know anything going in.”
Ultimate is a year-long sport with two distinct seasons, the fall and the spring, Grassi said. The fall season involves a mixed-gender team, where men and women play together. Fall is also the more relaxed season, so while there are practices every weekday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., people only need to go when they have time.
“The fall is a great time to learn because it’s really low-key. Just show up, meet a bunch of people, hang out, and you slowly grow over time. It’s a really fun and chill way to learn a new sport you might never have had the chance to learn before,” Grassi said.
Nanne Nicholas `23 always tries to go to part of Ultimate practice, even if she has other commitments.
“Sometimes I’ll have things [to do] until five and can’t get to practice until 5:20, so I’ll only be there for forty minutes,” she said.
In the spring, Ultimate shifts to a more competitive mindset. They try to have three teams: a men’s team, women’s team, and a B-team. The men’s team and women’s team are more competitive and require commitment, but if you are just looking for the relaxed vibe of the fall season, you can find that on the B-team.
More than just a sport, Ultimate is a community where all are welcome. Nicholas joined in the beginning of her freshman year and has not looked back since.
“I joined to meet some new people and try something new. It was a really welcoming community right away,” she said. “I remember my first practice was the first time that I felt at home at Colby. We go straight from practice to dinner, and we are all together, so everyone feels like they’re part of something.”
Nicholas went on, “All the upperclassmen would say hi to me in the hallways and at meals, which was so nice. I would say my experience was the first time I felt like I was a part of the Colby community, and I’ve been on the team ever since.”
As Nicholas spoke to The Colby Echo, another Ultimate player walking by shouted hello.
Julia Cantor `23 explained how, along with being a great community, Ultimate also provides a much needed study break.
“Colby is so much work, and taking a break from academics and forcing yourself to go outside and be goofy and silly for two hours a day is huge,” she said.
Like most, Cantor never played Ultimate before she joined Colby Ultimate. “It’s a very non-judgemental group. I was very insecure about my frisbee skills for the first three years that I played, but literally nobody cares. Everyone is there to have fun, and everyone is super willing to help out and teach. It’s a great way to be social on campus,” she said.
An integral part of Ultimate at the College is getting a nickname, which you will earn at some point in your frisbee career.
Grassi, nicknamed “BFG,” described the Ultimate vibe as “immaculate.”
“We welcome all people,” Grassi said. “We love to have people play frisbee. It’s all about working together and having fun.”
Nicholas, who received the nickname “Luma,” explained that it is never too late to join frisbee.
“Some of my favorite seniors my freshmen year joined that year and they were huge parts of the team. Join any time!”
For everyone thinking about joining, first-year or not, Julia “Ziploc” Cantor has some advice for you.
“Frisbee is a great way to be social on campus, so give it a shot!”
—Mairead Levitt ’25