Archive for January, 2009

Columbus Ultimate Disc Association

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Do you know of a sport that combines the best features from basketball, football, and soccer, and is played with a “disc”? If you’re looking to play a sport that has exciting aspects from all of these activities, then the Columbus Ultimate Disc Association (CUDA) is for you.

The CUDA is a non-profit organization that was created in 2000 to help promote the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. CUDA organizes and offers Ultimate Frisbee co-ed leagues in the spring, summer, and fall for players between the ages of 20 to 30.

Ultimate Frisbee is a sport played with two teams of 7 players on the field. The object of the game is to score points by receiving a teammate’s pass in the opponent’s end zone. The attacking team attempts to pass the frisbee across the field and tries to score in the opposing team’s end zone. A team’s possession is over when a person drops the frisbee, the frisbee is intercepted, or the thrower misses his target and the frisbee hits the ground. The team that wins the game is first determined by a set number of points before the match begins.

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The CUDA Summer League offers two types of leagues: a Recreational League and a Competitive League. Both leagues play their games at the Park of Roses (Whetstone Park) from the end of May through the beginning of August with over 300 participants. The Summer League is the peak time and most popular of the three leagues. The Summer League is a draft league where players sign up and describe their playing ability. Team captains then go through a structured process of drafting players.

“In other sports, women get marginalized,” remarks CUDA Summer League coordinator Jamie Lynch. “One of the best things about co-ed is that there is not a disadvantage having women on a team.”

Players can sign up for one or even both leagues if they opt to. Sign-ups for the two Summer Leagues are from late March through early May. If someone signs up early, it is only $15 for Monday Night Recreational League and only $30 for the Wednesday Night Competitive League. If you sign up late in May, the price is $40 for Monday Night Recreational League and $55 for Wednesday Night League. The fee to play gives you a full season worth of Ultimate Frisbee, as well as a disc and a t-shirt.

The Monday Night League is more developmental play and a relaxed league for both new and experienced Ultimate Frisbee players. The Monday Night League games start at 6 pm starting every Monday from early June to the end of July with the finals played in August.

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The 2008 Monday Night League tournament concluded earlier in August with the Bronx Cheer crowned as the champion. Bronx Cheer finished the regular season with a 3-6 record before entering the tournament where they defeated number 1 seeded Kelly (8-1 regular season record) and number 2 seeded Mac N D’s (6-3 regular season record) on their way to a championship.

The Wednesday Night League is for more competitive players that participated in college or have previously played in competitive tournaments. The league consists of 14 teams and the games are played at 6:00 pm every Wednesday in June and July. The 2008 competitive tournament ended in August with Star in Stripes winning the tournament.

Nineteen year old Andy Ball from Monroeville, Ohio, who plays on the Club team for Ohio University, came for the first time to the event because some of his Ohio University buddies told him about the event and he thought it was a good cause. “It is a laid back sport, competitive, great spirit and a great feel,” said Ball. On anything he disliked about Ultimate Frisbee, Ball remarks, “Once you start getting into higher levels, I don’t really like the self-officiating.”

The Fall League is close to starting up. The games are on Sunday’s beginning at 12:30 pm beginning September 7th through October 19th at the Park of Roses. The league is co-ed and is open to all levels of experience. CUDA expects that 6 to 8 teams will participate. The cost is only $5 to play. Unlike the Summer League, there is no tournament because of NFL Football on Sundays.

CUDA held its 10th Annual Andrew Starinchak Memorial 24 Hour Ultimate Charity Event on August 15th and 16th at Fred Beekman Park. The event is named after Andrew Starinchak, a former Ultimate Frisbee player who was hit by a car, while riding his bicycle. There were almost 300 Ultimate Frisbee players from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee that came to the event and played one big game of Ultimate Frisbee. Food and drink was provided all night, and all proceeds from the event went to the Boys & Girls Club. Jamie Lynch noted, “This is a fantastic event, unique, a lot of fun, and builds a lot of camaraderie.”

If you want to try Ultimate Frisbee in a low-pressure scenario, there are pickup games for any skill level every Sunday from 3:30 to 6:00 pm at Whetstone Park.