Offbeat Sports Part 4: USM Ultimate Players Defy Misconceptions - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Offbeat Sports Part 4: USM Ultimate Players Defy Misconceptions

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According to http://www.usaultimate.org/archives/default.aspx, the sport of ultimate Frisbee was unofficially created in 1968 by a group of students experimenting with the rules at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ.

11 years later, the Ultimate Players Association (UPA) was formed to govern the sport in the United States.

Ultimate has grown exponentially since then, making it one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

The UPA is now known as USA Ultimate, where it boasted 35,000 members by the end of 2012.

The Pine Belt is no exception to this increasingly popular sport.

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Southern Miss players like Gary Lee bring legitimacy to the sport of ultimate.

"It probably seems goofy when you hear the words ultimate Frisbee," says Lee. "You're probably thinking, 'Oh, these are some hippie kids going around tossing a disc,' but there's a lot more to it."

For a sport that has become wildly popular in recent years, it only makes sense that ultimate closely resembles several other well-known sports.

"It probably relates most to soccer, I would say just with the amount of running," says Southern Miss ultimate Frisbee team president Daniel Beck.

"And then it has some similar rules to basketball, where you get picks and stuff like that," says Lee.

"But obviously with the scoring system being most similar to football with the two end zones and the number of players," says Beck.

With those comparisons in mind, now it is time to actually learn how to play.

Two teams of seven typically play games to thirteen. 

Catching the disc in the opponent's end zone earns one point.

Handlers often control possession, while the more athletic cutters make the highlight reel catches.

Despite incorporating the skill sets of other popular sports into their own, Southern Miss players from the men's and women's teams still struggle to defy misconceptions about their sport.

"The level of athleticism is a heck of a lot higher than people give it credit for," says Beck.

"Like they were saying, it's a mix between soccer and football and basketball so it does have the athletic components that all those other sports have, so it's not just to get out and throw the disc around - it's to go out there, and learn a sport and be good at it," says Southern Miss ultimate Frisbee player Katie Evans.

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For more information about the Southern Miss ultimate teams, click here: http://www.usm.edu/rec-sports/ultimate-frisbee-0

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