They're ready to take Winnipeg by storm. The University of Calgary's Ultimate Frisbee men's team is off to nationals this weekend for only the second time ever and they're preparing for fierce competition and grueling games. Oh yeah, and camaraderie, fun and experience.
"That's the one thing about Ultimate," said Todd Penney, student and team member. "They heavily stress the spirit of the game--you are encouraged to come up with a cheer for the other team."
That's not all that makes the quickly growing sport unique. Ultimate Frisbee is also the only game played without any officials even at the highest levels of competition.
"There's no referee," said Penney. "[We] rely on the players' discretion. The game is as demanding as soccer in my opinion and for us to have the games we do and not have any referee, that's significant."
The U of C team is composed of members from the student run Ultimate Club. Although a men's team was sent to nationals in 1999, this is only their second official year of operation. Last year a women's team competed at nationals and placed third but this time numbers were low and only a men's team will compete.
"There was an invitation for players who wanted to go to nationals to just sign up," said Penney. "The practices haven't been too official but we have been practicing once or twice a week since the first week of school. We just hope to do the best we can."
After nationals it will be back to Calgary for a season of indoor playing and recruiting. With any luck, the club will continue to grow in popularity and next year there might even be tryouts.
"We want to try to get as many people involved in the U of C club as possible this year to leave a legacy," said Penney.
For more information about the team or the U of C Ultimate Club, visit www.uofcultimate.com.