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Ultimate rises in popularity at Marvelwood

KENT — The Marvelwood School started its ultimate team seven years ago, and Athletic Director Glenn Sanchez says that the team is “one of the best things I’ve ever added.” The game, which was invented in the 1960s using a Frisbee disc, only started to rise in popularity recently. In the past, the sport (which is called simply “ultimate” due to trademarks) was almost entirely restricted to informal play on the campuses of high schools and colleges, in intramural or club leagues. Now, it is not uncommon to see official ultimate teams at many high schools and colleges. The game is designed to be co-ed, making it one of the only field sports that men and women can play together. The rules of play are a combination of soccer, basketball and football, using a flying disc rather than a ball. The field used is similar to a soccer field, with seven players from each team on the field at once. Players may not run with the disc, but they may pivot to make a pass, as in basketball. Like football, a point is made when a player passes the disc to another player in the opposite team’s end zone. A game of ultimate is not timed. Instead, the teams play to a score of 15 with a two-point margin over the opponent. If there is no two-point margin, the game is played to a score of 17. “It’s a sport that a lot of people can play,” Sanchez said. “It’s definitely a cult sport, and a lot of people are getting really into it.” The Marvelwood School’s ultimate team is coached by Tim Baker, who played the sport in college at Ohio State. The team is part of the Hudson Valley Athletic League. The sport is becoming more and more popular, Sanchez said. Soon, there may even be a JV ultimate program, too.

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