Ultimate Frisbee group open to all
By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Ellington - posted Thu., Jul. 7, 2011
It’s game-on for the Ellington Ultimate Frisbee Group as they begin their new season, and they are now rolling out the red carpet for new members to join them.
Formed in 2007, the group meets every Monday and Friday at Windermere Elementary School on Abbott Road, typically meeting between 5:30 and 6 p.m., depending on when people get out of work.
“Ellington Ultimate is always looking for new players, both new to the game and experienced,” said Karl Neubecker, who started the group. “We’re always willing to teach others the sport. Not only is it a fun sport to play, but there’s also great camaraderie in the game, not to mention a good workout,” he said.
A lieutenant with the Ellington Fire Department, Neubecker said he used to play down in Fairfield in a pickup league similar to Ellington’s, but the long drive got to be too difficult, so he decided to start something more local.
“I worked with Bob Tedford, the Ellington Parks and Recreation director, to get us official sponsorship from the department, allowing us to play on town fields. People from other towns are allowed to play, however, and we have people not only from Ellington, but South Windsor, Tolland, East and West Hartford, Somers and elsewhere playing with us,” said Neubecker.
Ultimate Frisbee is similar to soccer, basketball, or even football, in that the object of the game is to advance the ball (or in this case, the Frisbee) by throwing it from one team player to another, said Neubecker, adding that intentional contact is not allowed.
“While in possession of the disc, one cannot run, only pivot to throw it to a running teammate. Once caught, that person must stop,” he said. “Once the Frisbee is caught by a teammate in the end zone, it is a score. If the Frisbee is dropped, thrown out of bounds or caught by a defender, possession switches to the other team.”
“It changes week to week, but we usually have 10 to 20 people,” said Bill Bourgoin, who is going on his third year of play. “If we can have a seven-on-seven game, that is ideal,” he said, adding that they will use a full-size field if they have a bigger group and a half field if there is a smaller turnout.
Bourgoin said he had never heard of Ultimate Frisbee until one of his neighbor’s children was playing. “I was kind of out of shape and he suggested I come try it out. After that, I was hooked,” he said. “We have players anywhere from 14- to 15-years-old up to their mid-50s. It’s good competition,” he said.
“There are actual leagues all over the state and a lot of the players play every day of the week,” said Bourgoin. “There are often a lot of new people learning and then some very experienced ones, too, so we get a good mix of people, and they are always willing to help you out,” he said.
“We play through summer into the fall and usually try to show up even in the rain,” said Neubecker. “Only thunderstorms stop us.”
For more information about the Ellington Ultimate Frisbee group, visit their website at http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/ellingtonultimate/