Men’s ultimate Frisbee opens door to fun, competitive atmosphere

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The K-State ultimate Frisbee club hosted their "Manhattan Project" tournament and faced off against the alumni team on Saturday. (File Photo by John Benfer | The Collegian)

Members of the Kansas State men’s ultimate Frisbee club team are looking for anyone of any skill level who wants to be a part of a competitive and fun sport to join the club.

“Basically anyone can play this sport,” Ryan Irvin, graduate student in hospitality and a captain of the team, said. “You do learn some things along the way like how to make yourself a better player, but you can be pretty unathletic and still play.”

Irvin said ultimate Frisbee has seven men on the field at once, and is similar to football, basketball and soccer.

Irvin said the main objective is to get the Frisbee into the end zone like football, you can only pivot on one foot once you catch the Frisbee like in basketball and you can throw the disc forward or backward similar to soccer.

Cole Muse, sophomore in finance, first tried the sport once he reached college, and he said he does not regret the decision.

“In my high school it wasn’t a sport, it wasn’t really even known of,” Muse said. “My buddies and I saw a game of pickup going on at the Rec and we joined in and realized it was a real sport, and we liked it a lot.”

Other members, like Irvin, started playing the sport at a young age but did not know how competitive it would actually be.

“One of my friends that was on the team got me to play during a summer league, so I showed up just expecting to toss the disc around,” Irvin said. “I saw it was really competitive and the games were structured, and I just fell in love with it.”

John Wildman, senior in information systems, said ultimate Frisbee is unique because it has different mechanics that you don’t see in other sports.

“When you play and the disc floats, it’s going to sit out there longer than anything in any other sport,” Wildman said. “It really allows you to make a variety of plays on the disc.”

Irvin said ultimate Frisbee is also unique because every game is self-officiated.

“The players on the field are making their own calls,” Irvin said. “It does go by spirit of the game, people will make correct calls and if a foul happens all play stops and you talk about what happened.”

Wildman said you do not need to know any strategy coming into the sport, but you will learn some as you go.

“You wanna know how to read the disc and how you wanna defend your man,” Wildman said. “That is all stuff you learn as you go and there’s not really any type of science you need to have.”

Muse agreed that you learn a lot as you go, and said as you play a lot you learn many aspects of the game.

“You really understand the spacing of the sport and how it spreads out a whole field,” Muse said. “Set plays are a pretty big deal as well because it gets the other team off their feet and once you are able to run that play it’s a lot easier.”

Wildman said the team hosts an annual tournament called the “Manhattan Project” at the beginning of October, where 25 to 30 teams participate. He also said the team travels to about four tournaments per semester, mostly in the Midwest.

Irvin said the club also hosts a summer league called the “Manhattan Ultimate Summer League,” where it encourages anyone who wants to have something fun to do over the summer to join, and part of the funds go toward supporting the team.

Wildman said the ultimate Frisbee team has been one of the biggest impacts on his life during his time in college.

“Almost all of my best friends are on the team,” Wildman said. “I could disagree with everything one of them says but in the end they’re a teammate and one of my brothers.”

Muse said he has enjoyed the club because of the great people he has met.

“Going to college, you don’t see a lot of people you know,” Muse said. “It’s nice to see a friendly face around and also have people to hang out with.”

Irvin said he has had a great time being a part of the club because of all the events and social activities the team does together.

“We do so many events together like having watch parties for games, social get togethers, fantasy football, things like that,” Irvin said. “It’s nice being a part of a group that has the same goals and interests as you.”

The team encourages anyone who is interested to visit their website at www.kstateultimate.com for more information.

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