Bethel College has several traditions, but one that has surfaced over the last few years is Ultimate Frisbee on “The Green” every Sunday and Monday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectfully.
Ultimate Frisbee, or Ultimate for short, is a game that is simple to pick up. It is played between two teams whose players try to toss a Frisbee to one another until they cross the opponent’s goal. Possession changes hands when the Frisbee touches the ground, is intercepted or goes out of bounds. Also, once the Frisbee is caught, the player may not walk or run with it.
It is possible to throw a Frisbee four different ways. The most commonly used throws are the forehand and backhand, while advanced throws include the hammer throw and chicken wing.
“Practicing throwing outside of the game will help a lot,” said Tim Regier, sophomore from Newton, who can often be seen practicing on The Green, the open grassy space in the center of campus.
Kevin Neufeld, president of the Bethel Alumnus Council and North Newton resident, is the main man when it comes to organizing Ultimate on campus and is always up for a pickup game.
Neufeld can’t quite recall when he first started playing, but said, “I wasn’t good at normal sports, you know, football, basketball, baseball, etc., but it was easier to get into Ultimate Frisbee and become good at it.”
Neufeld remembers playing Ultimate on The Green for nearly ten years. “I kept on playing for so long because I like the people and still do.”
However, people tend to shy away from participating in unique activities, especially unfamiliar ones like Ultimate.
“Playing with the community guys can be kind of intimidating if you haven’t played before, but they’re pretty nice and they won’t get mad at you,” said Regier.
“They love having new people play. If you’re worried that you are not good enough, bring a friend who’s about the same skill level as you and play on opposite teams,” added Regier.
Andrew Ewy, sophomore from Parlier, Calif. and regular Ultimate member, said, “Saying that you are ‘bad at Frisbee’ isn’t an excuse, because playing is how you get better. Everyone is friendly and it’s a great atmosphere to play in.”
Above anything else, Regier claimed Ultimate “definitely has the best name.”
Ultimate always meets year round and will continue to meet on Sundays over winter.
“It is easier to keep the game going every week rather than restarting it,” said Neufeld.
Neufeld added that McPherson College hosts an Ultimate tournament each year, so anyone interested can form and enter their own Bethel team.
If you have questions about Ultimate, need access to more Ultimate times and locations, or just want to learn additional Ultimate rules or information, check out the Bethel Community Ultimate Facebook page or email Neufeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.