By Yuki Klotz-Burwell
This year, seniors Victor Kao and Lucas Munro set up the Gunn Ultimate Frisbee club with the goal of instilling a sense of community among players. “There wasn’t a set club on campus, so we just got together and decided to start a club because we all like frisbee and it’s something that connects us,” Kao said.
The club meetings take place every other Tuesday and focus on discussing logistics of tournaments and strategies rather than practicing. Members plan games and organize teams. “During the meetings, we talk about the tournaments and playing competitively,” Kao said. “We haven’t really done that much in the meetings; it’s mostly organizational and planning strategy.”
The members hope to improve their skills and advance into higher-level competitions. “Our goal is to make a real team to get to nationals this summer and just train, work out and have fun,” junior Ken Noh said. According to Noh, the team is comprised of new players who are hard-working and strive to do the best for the club.
Outside of the club, some members participate in pickup games that allow them to gain experience and improve their teamwork. The games started this summer and have increased in frequency and team size. Anyone is free to join both the games and the club, as there are both ambitious and recreational aspects. “None of us really have cleats or anything. We just play for fun,” Noh said. “Now we’re transitioning to become competitive. If you’re just looking to have fun and not compete, we have that option, too.”
Although many players are new to ultimate frisbee, practicing has often helped them move forward to play in the official games, such as the Fogburn Youth Tournament (FYT), a frisbee tournament held in San Francisco by the Bay Area Disc Association. In FYT, Gunn Frisbee placed fifth out of 10 and had 13 participants. “It was a really new experience for all of us,” Noh said. “The first game was really nerve-wracking, and we were all really nervous, but the more we played as a team, it got much more competitive and intense.”
However, the players recognize that the main part about ultimate is the camaraderie, not the competition. “Sportsmanship is definitely the biggest part of frisbee,” Kao said. “There are no refs during the game, so it’s all self-reffed, which is a huge part. It’s all about calling your own fouls and doing everything yourself, which is what I like a lot.”
According to Kao, the club aims to spread awareness and experience of frisbee at school. “Gunn Ultimate Frisbee brought us together, so we could play at a more competitive level,” Kao said. “That was our goal: make one group of frisbee enthusiasts and spread frisbee to the rest of the school.”
Noh hopes prospective players find the Gunn Ultimate Frisbee Facebook page and view the posted information. “It’s a public group, so feel free to join,” Noh said. “We post when the meetings are and when the practices are.” No prior ultimate knowledge or skills are required, so beginners and people with advanced skill levels can attend both the practices and club meetings. “It may sound really official, but just come out and see what we’re doing,” Noh said. “We’re all really new, so you shouldn’t feel left out.”