Ultimate Frisbee club continues to grow

Members of last years Ultimate Frisbee club play a frisbee match during their fall season. The club continue to grows each new season.
Members of last years Ultimate Frisbee club play a frisbee match during their fall season. The club continue to grows each new season by alarming amounts.

By Whitney Kiepura

The Ultimate Frisbee club doesn’t completely meet the definition of a boys-only club. There are only boys involved, yet they are open to female members. In 2003, when ultimate Frisbee sponsor John Camardella and two students started the club, there were only 24 students involved. Eight years later, the club boasts 170 members – and is still growing.
At the upcoming September 1st meeting, everyone is welcome to attend. Teams are student organized, with a minimum of 7 players. The first game will be later that week on September 3rd. The newly formed teams can then choose a name, but in order to be officially part of the club, Camardella explained, he must approve the name.
Student creativity reigns when t-shirts come in. Each team comes up with their own design, again approved by Camardella, and then is printed on a t-shirt. Each team picks their own colors, in order of seniority.

Despite the physical challenges ultimate Frisbee poses, it is not a recognized yet by the IHSA as a sport.
“It’s a combination of soccer and football with a Frisbee. Soccer because the Frisbee is treated much like a soccer ball, it’s in play until someone scores. And it’s like football because it’s played on a football-like field,” Camardella explained.
“We’ve never given a prize other than bragging rights,” Camardella said. “We haven’t had to put anything out there for the kids to be excited to play or for anyone to show up. They’re there because the sport is fun and they’re with friends. The fact that it’s student directed appeals to the kids.”
Camardella sets up the schedules for the teams, but all reffing calls and field set up are done by the students. Because the club only plays on Fridays right after school, the only other team that practices outside is freshmen football. Frisbee stays in circle drive, far away on the sidelines so they never run into any issues.
As the games continue on into the fall, the boys are not the only ones at circle drive. The club actually has fans. With a mostly female fan-base, “It feels like a basketball or football game. Cheerleaders on the sidelines and guys playing…But Frisbee was never meant to be gender-specific,” Camardella said. In college many girls play on co-ed teams. However, this high school is still waiting for females to break onto this high flying male scene.