Winter Season Doesn’t Stop RIT’s Ultimate Frisbee Club

Snow continues to fall, temperatures are consistently below freezing and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Club Ultimate Frisbee team is still practicing.

Of course they are practicing and training inside, but they are still participating in tournaments indoors throughout the winter quarter.

“We have three (tournaments) before spring quarter,” said the club’s vice-president and assistant captain, Sam Hosig. “Last year we went to about five (tournaments).”

The club – also known as the “Spudheads” – will send two teams of about 10-12 players each to Ithaca College on Jan. 30 in hopes to win another indoor tournament.

“We’ve only lost one indoor tournament in the past two years,” said Hosig, a third-year computer engineering major.

Because of the restrictions of court sizes, teams only play five players at a given time while indoors. Games also must have two girls playing at a time. The Spudheads have seven girls who consistently show up to winter practices, according to Hosig.

It costs $175 for each team to sign-up to play at Ithaca, which is taken out of the team’s budget provided by RIT. According to the club’s president, Eric Dixon, the Spudheads received a budget of $2,300 this school year, which covers tournament fees and housing (if applicable). Tournament hosts typically house guest teams, however the Spudheads have had to stay at cheap hotels in the past, which was funded by their annual budget. Transportation costs are not funded by the budget.

The team’s attractive and creative blue jersey’s, however, are not funded by their annual budget, but paid for by the players. According to Willie Trinker, a third-year computer science major, two jerseys and a pair of shorts cost about $120.

The Spudheads practice everyday from 4-6 p.m. in the Student Life Center (SLC), however the practices are not mandatory because club members may have class or other commitments.

“(Indoor) practices focus more on fundamentals,” said club president and third-year electrical engineering major Eric Dixon. “There’s less laying-out but throws are more precise.”

According to Hosig, on average, 15 players are at practice daily. The team goes through drills for the first half-hour of the practice, but breaks into scrimmage for the rest of practice.

With 40 players on the team – 20 of which show up regularly according to Willie Johnson, a third-year mechanical engineering student – people are recruited onto the team during the freshmen orientation week, the fall club fair and with flyers throughout the residence halls.

“We put up dates, times, locations and a bad-a** picture of an alumni jumping over four defenders for a disc.” said Dean Culver, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student and resident hall advisor who puts up the flyers. “Ultimate’s all about the high-light reel.“

The Spudheads will go to Clarkson University in Feb. and will travel down to Louisiana during spring break for a tournament, which will come out of their budget.

With daily practices and recent success in indoor tournaments, the team welcomes new players to practices during the winter, but will play those who the team believes provides the best opportunity of winning at upcoming tournaments.

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