Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


June 27, 2013

The spirit for Ultimate: Frisbee soaring as a team sport


And while the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association doesn’t recognize Ultimate Frisbee as a varsity sport, the International Olympic Committee recently took the first step toward making it an Olympic sport by granting its governing body — the World Flying Disc Federation — provisional recognition.

Olympic Games status would provide recognition of the sport’s growing popularity. According to the Disc Federation, there are currently 7.5 million participants around the globe actively involved in some sort of flying disc sport, the most popular being Ultimate Frisbee.

In Massachusetts, 79 high schools field teams, according to Westgate, with 28 participating in Vermont, 22 in Maine, 40 in Connecticut, four in New Hampshire and one in Rhode Island.

Locally, in addition to Andover High School, Phillips Andover has a team, as does Merrimack College in North Andover. Last year, in fact, the Merrimack College team was listed as the club sport of the year at the school.

Give it a spin

Here are some Ultimate Frisbee facts and figures:

There are seven players to a team.

Games are 90 minutes long.

The field is roughly the size of a soccer field.

Teams score when players make a catch in the end zone, worth 1 point.

Players can take about three steps after making a catch, and must then throw it to a teammate in 10 seconds or less.

If the disc is dropped, it goes to the other team.

Fouls are called by the person who gets fouled.

Contested fouls result in do-overs.

Uncontested fouls result in turnovers.

There are no referees.

Games go to 15 points, and teams must win by two points.

The sport is played in 56 countries by 7.5 million players.

Summer League

Andover Youth Services runs a summer league on Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 starting July 10 through Aug. 14 at Wood Hill Middle School. This is a learning league and no experience is necessary. Everyone is welcome, even those who have never touched a Frisbee.

Visit for details and online registration.

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