Reynolds High School senior Dallas Shaw was introduced to the team sport known as Ultimate two years ago. The school had a new disc-sports coach—with a new strategy for getting participants.
“It was his first year here, teaching biology and he would give, like, extra credit to anyone who came out to play,” Shaw says. “So I came to one of the meetings and just kept coming out.”
Reynolds should be well represented at this year’s Mountain Sports Festival, along with Ultimate teams from high schools around the region. There will be matches for even younger players, too, as well as high-level games pitting the region’s Ultimate veterans against each other. Want to improve your game? MSF will also feature an Ultimate clinic, as well as pick-up games Sunday for the casual set.
Ultimate—the tag “Frisbee” was dropped years ago due to trademark concerns—is played on a regulation field 70 yards long by 40 yards wide with deep end zones. Combining the endless running of soccer with a football-style brand of passing, Ultimate is built on the twin foundations of endurance and finesse.
The game also relies on a form of self-governance and etiquette that players call the “Spirit of the Game.” True to Ultimate’s countercultural, 1960s roots (it uses a Frisbee, for crying out loud), games tend to be well-mannered and relaxed, even when the play gets intense.
“It gets pretty competitive, but it’s also pretty laid back,” Shaw says.
Needless to say, Shaw passed his biology course, and today plays Ultimate at least two nights a week. He recently finished a series of spring-league games with the Asheville Ultimate Club (www.ashevilleultimate.org) and should be in best form for MSF.
Although he came to play last year, bad weather during the festival weekend kept most of his fellow players away.
This year, he doesn’t anticipate the same disappointment.
“They’re expecting a lot more people this year,” Shaw says. “It’s going to be a bigger event.”
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Ultimate at MSF
Youth Elementary Tournament
Friday, May 30, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Friday, May 30, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
High School Youth Ultimate Tournament
Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 1, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Greenman Invite High-Level Ultimate
Saturday, May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 1, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.
Ultimate Pick-up—free and open to everyone
Sunday, June 1, 3 p.m. to …