It may seem impossible to combine three sports into one and play them at the same time, but one organization is giving players that opportunity this summer.
Oklahoma City Ultimate, an organization founded in part from OU's Ultimate Frisbee team, is starting its third annual Ultimate Summer League from June 6 to July 25 placing Ultimate Frisbee front and center.
“Ultimate Frisbee is similar to football, basketball and soccer is how I explain it to people,” said Taylor Stamps, an Oklahoma City Ultimate board member.
“Anyone can show up and anyone can play,” Stamps said.
Just bring cleats and bring water, he advised. The game can be played with a Frisbee or flying disc. Frisbee is a trademark of the Wham-O toy company.
Stamps, 23, has played Ultimate since he was in high school. He was a captain on his college team in Arkansas and continues to play the sport.
“I enjoy its competitiveness and athleticism,” he said.
Ultimate is played with two teams of seven players on the field. The objective of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent's end zone.
Players race across the field in an effort to catch a flying disc after it is thrown.
A player who catches the flying disc must stop running, until the flying disc is passed to another team member, at which point the opposite team attempts to intercept the disc.
Unlike soccer, basketball and football, Ultimate is unofficiated and largely depends on players to exhibit sportsmanship.
“It's a pretty open and relaxed sport,” said Ben Harris, an avid Ultimate player.
“It's enjoyable to play around people, because everyone has good sportsmanship.”
Harris, 28, has helped organize the Ultimate Summer League since it began three years ago.
“One of the things about Ultimate is it's easier to pick up,” he said.
“The rules are very simple, the positions are very simple.”
Ultimate is not a contact sport, so you can't hit another player, Stamps said.
Individuals who are interested in playing in the Ultimate Summer League must register.
A $30 registration fee is charged. About 160 players can be accommodated and drafted into 8 teams.
Players who register by May 23 will receive a jersey. Registration is open until June 6.
Six games will be played. The league will finish with a tournament between competing teams. The winning team will receive awards.
The Ultimate Summer League is a good opportunity to encourage individuals to try the sport, Harris said.
No experience is necessary. New players are welcome to join.
“We're always looking to encourage new players to come out,” Stamps said.
Diversity is also encouraged.
“This is a mixed league, so we do require a woman on the field at all times,” Harris said.
“We try to include every type of individual.”
Children as young as age 10 can play. Ultimate is a family friendly sport, Harris said.
Developing friendships and camaraderie has become a way of life for players.
“Ultimate has a really strong sense of community,” Stamps said.
“Teaching new players, developing players who have already learned the game, and getting out there competing with friends and making new friends in the process,” is part of what makes Ultimate fun and exciting, Stamps said.
For individuals who just want to try out Ultimate, pickup games are played at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at NE 10 and Stonewall by the OU health sciences complex.
“I really encourage people to come out and get connected to the community,” Stamps said.
A lack of skills will not be an issue.
“Don't be intimidated,” Stamps said.
“We've all started at the point to where we couldn't throw a Frisbee.”
More about Ultimate Frisbee
For more information or to register for the summer league, go online to www.OKCityultimate.com or email Ultimate.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ultimate's national website USAultimate.org can be accessed for additional resources.