When you think of Frisbee, you might think of beaches, backyards and barbeques. But some BYU students are taking frisbee to an ultimate level.
Few people may know about the official, unofficial ultimate Frisbee team from BYU. The team consists of forty to sixty players, equipped with cleats, uniforms, and even a head coach. For them, this is more than just a barefoot hobby.
“There’s 500 schools nationally that play in the USA Ultimate College Series, so we’re playing fourteen of them this weekend.” Says head coach Bryce Merrill. Merrill says the problem is, no one knows about it.
“If people would just be exposed to it, people would love the sport,” says Merrill. “And just because of our unique situation here at BYU we don’t have a relationship with the university it is so underground and unknown and it breaks my heart.”
But ultimate frisbee is starting to catch on at BYU.
“I’ve never seen a turnout like this in the year or two that I’ve been playing,” says Ultimate player Brad McKeen, “This is pretty amazing”.
Despite the rise in interest, ultimate Frisbee is not an official extramural sport at BYU.
“There’s a lot of factors,” explains Assistant Dean of Students Jim Slaughter, “There’s liability and there’s also financial factors. Then the other thing is facilities. There’s a limited number of facilities; we have intramurals, extramurals, athletics and P.E. classes all competing for similar space.”
However, the love of the game keeps their Frisbees flying.
“I mean I love it enough that I’m willing to pay out of my own pocket to play.” Says McKeen, “I still feel that I get the opportunity to represent my University because people know that I’m from BYU whether I’m officially wearing a BYU logo or not.”
For now this group of anonymous athletes are content with being BYU’s official, unofficial Ultimate Frisbee team.