Georgia College is one of 16 schools in the country that will take part in the Division III Ultimate National Championships later this month in Appleton, Wis.
That was my response, as well. I have covered sports most of my life, but this was new to me.
I learned that what was once called Ultimate Frisbee was shortened to Ultimate because Frisbee is a registered trademark for a line of discs made by Wham-O. Although I am familiar with the Frisbee, I dont know a lot about the sport. But, at Georgia College, its a big deal.
Ultimate was started at Georgia College as a club sport in 2003 by Bennett Williams. They receive some funding from the university, but the majority of their resources come from member dues and fund-raising activities.
This years team finished the regular season ranked 19th in the nation with a 38-9 record, including wins over Auburn, Mississippi State, Mississippi, Appalachian State and Furman. They qualified for the national tournament by placing first at the USAU Southeast Division III College Regional tournament that they hosted, defeating Samford, Armstrong Atlantic State, Florida Tech and Southern Tech.
This is just the third year for the national tournament, with Georgia College making the field for the second year in a row.
Division III is made up of small colleges and universities with fewer than 7,500 students. Some of the schools they will be competing against in Wisconsin are Rice, Kenyon, Puget Sound, Lewis and Clark, St. Johns, Carleton College and North Park.
Games are started in a way thats similar to a kickoff in football: One team (seven players from each team on the field at once) is lined up on one of the goal lines and throws it to the opposing team, stationed on the other goal line. Once the disc is caught or picked up, players cannot move while handling the disc.
Once a member of the opposing team is within 10 feet of the player holding the disc, they can start stall counting, leaving the offense 10 seconds to throw to another player before forcing a turnover. Turnovers also occur if the disc is thrown out of bounds, hits the ground or is caught by the other team.
Zone and man defenses are used. Offensive plays are called more often close to the end zone.
A regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards with end zones 25 yards deep. A point is scored when a team catches the disc inside the end zone. Games are usually played to 13 points during pool play and 15 during championship rounds but are subject to change depending on the hosting team director.
No physical contact is allowed between players, with players calling their own fouls.
Ultimate is a growing activity with more than 5 million people playing in the United States. There are more than 12,000 students on more than 700 college campus who compete. Georgia College has a roster of 15 players making the trip to Wisconsin. While not yet an Olympic or NCAA sanctioned sport, it is included in the World Games.
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