Emily Mokler – Contributing Writer
UMF’s Ultimate Disc Club focused on recruitment this Fall by showing off the fun and competitive sides of the game.
Tim Pacini, a UMF senior and co-President of the club, credits the increase in new members to playing on the Mantor Green.
“One of our biggest and best recruitment tools is simply tossing a disc on the green,” Pacini said. “People come and hang out, think it’s fun, come to a practice and they’re hooked.”
Justin Davis, a recent sophomore transfer, joined the club a few weeks ago. “When I first joined, I wanted to find something that would keep me active and moving,” Davis said. “I got into Ultimate because I saw people playing on the green, and they invited me to play with them.”
Davis was at the club fair on September 13th and “a lot of people were saying things like ‘I don’t know I’m not really that good.’ To them I usually say, neither am I,” he admitted. “We encourage anyone to join no matter the skill.”
Ultimate is like a combination of soccer’s running and football’s passing and field. Tim Bullard, a Senior Community Health major and captain of the team, said, “the running is physically demanding. In a tournament, playing up to ten games in two days is hard on your body.”
Bullard praised the new members of the club. “The freshmen this year are excited about playing,” he said. “They’re really enthusiastic about the game.”
Recent freshman recruit Sylvie Fenderson said, “I played ultimate in high school and knew I wanted to continue in college, whether with the team or just playing pickup.”
The team practices 5 days a week, but members don’t have to attend every practice. It’s a reflection of the flexibility the club has to offer. Bullard attends practice three times per week, and there are causal members who practice once per week. “It’s a much different atmosphere than varsity sports, which I’ve done in the past,” Bullard said. “It’s still competitive, but we have fun too.”
Exercise, competition and schedule flexibility are not the only contributing factors for player retainment. Bullard said, “Over the past four years, I’ve made friends through Ultimate, some are my best friends.”
Blair Bailey, a senior and the treasurer of the club, shared this sentiment. “The people who recruited me last year made it sound so fun so I thought I would give it a try,” Bailey said. “Those people have now become my current teammates, but even better they have become some of my closest friends.”
The Ultimate Disc Club has been a club sport at UMF since 1997. They fundraise by hosting tournaments at UMF, where Ultimate teams from other colleges register to play. The team went to Orono for their first tournament of the semester.
Pacini encourages interested students to “come on out to a practice and try it out. Look up the club’s Facebook page and join it to see practice times or if there’s a pick-up game going on.”
Their page can be found by searching Facebook for “UMF Ultimate Disc Club.”