Under the shining lights of the intramural field, students toss the disc around and play Ultimate Frisbee late into the night. Come rain, shine, sleet or snow these men and women are more dedicated to Ultimate Frisbee than the postal service is to delivering mail.
Ultimate Cru was chartered five years ago, and the current captain is junior biology and chemistry major Quy Nguyen.
There are roughly 40 members of the Frisbee club, Ultimate Cru, but Nguyen said only 20 are actually committed players.
The club hosts practices, which are pick-up games, at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Sundays. Practices are open to anyone who has an interest in Frisbee.
This year Ultimate Cru participated in two tournaments. Their goal is to become certified by the Ultimate Players Association so they can be ranked and compete regularly.
Before coming to UMHB, Nguyen had never played Ultimate. He was drawn to the spirit of the game.
“I actually hadn’t touched a Frisbee until I came here. I started out playing during Welcome Week. I liked it, so I kept playing. I played twice a week or more for the last two years.”
The most recent tournament for Ultimate Cru was in mid-October in Houston at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. Different teams from around Texas participated, including Texas A&M, the University of Texas and Rice University — to name a few.
At the tournament, Ultimate Cru’s record was 1-5. The only team they beat was Rice. Despite their lone victory, Nguyen was proud of the team.
“The tournament was super fun. It was a great learning experience for those who came and a great time spent with other people who just love Ultimate. We had a lot of rookies — about half of the team,” he said
Freshman nursing major Nick Cruz said, “Once you start playing, it is like a drug. You love it, especially when people start encouraging you. When you get encouraged,with Frisbee, you want to get better so you can get that same encouragement because it feels good to get good at something.”
Nguyen thinks Ultimate Cru is still in its beginning stage.
In order to increase the team’s level of competition, he plans to start running drills during some practices. His goal is to be UPA certified by the spring semester.
“We are going to start practicing. Most of the team decided we want to start practicing and get better, especially if we want to actually be ranked as one of the top schools in our division,” he said.
Ultimate is a unique sport because it has neither officials nor referees to call the game. Instead, players must have integrity and call their own fouls.
Ultimate Cru co-captain and junior computer graphics design major Gary Scott said, “The spirit of the game is so crucial. There are no refs in Ultimate. Players ref themselves. People playing in the spirit of the game is what makes Ultimate ultimate.”
Though team members may not have the experience or even the skill level of larger schools, they are optimistic and hopeful.
Senior business and marketing major Matthew Peterson said, “One of our biggest strengths is that we do have that integrity, and we have the right spirit about the game.”
Ultimate Frisbee is an important part of Nguyen’s life, but simply winning Frisbee games is not his top priority.
He said, “I want us to be known as a great Ultimate team, but also as great people.”