The Ultimate (Frisbee) Summer

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A cross between football, and a game played on beaches, ultimate Frisbee – a.k.a. just “ultimate” – is rapidly becoming a top-tier sport in Westchester.

 

Mamaroneck High School Frisbee Club

And with summer looming, and several camps and leagues springing up locally, it’s a particularly good time to give the sport a shot.

“I honestly believe that it’s only a matter of time before Westchester is on the map as an ultimate Frisbee hotspot,” says Rob Hanley, co-founder of a new ultimate camp in Larchmont.

First played at a New Jersey high school in 1968, and long considered a hobby game, ultimate has grown over time to the point where, today, high schools in Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Harrison, White Plains, Yorktown and Byram Hills all have clubs.

Though the sport has been played locally for a while – New Rochelle High School hosted a countywide tournament back in the early 1980’s – it is now taking more seriously, with schools challenging each other to games, sparking rivalries.

Fast-paced, and requiring endurance, Ultimate Frisbee is a field game played by two seven-member teams who keep a plastic disc in play much like football players would a ball. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone.

As the popularity of ultimate skyrockets around the country – at the college level, ultimate is starting to look a lot like other NCAA sports – ultimate Frisbee camps and league are growing in Westchester, too.

WUDi runs a 100+ player league each summer at SUNY Purchase. In the Larchmont/Mamaroneck area, a new start-up, Layout Ultimate, is offering two programs this summer at Lorenzen Field: a general camp for middle and high school students, and an advanced camp to preparation participants for college-level play. Yorktown High School is also offering an ultimate clinic this spring.

— Submitted by Jonathan Morgenstern

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