UM-Flint soars to new heights with launch of ultimate club

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An action shot of people playing Ultimate Frisbee
Recreational Services has added a new club sport with ultimate, a non-contact team game played with a flying disc.

Students at the University of Michigan-Flint aren't content to simply "float" by – they demand more from their college experience than simply going to class and going home. UM-Flint students are looking for a challenge – not just in the classroom, but in the field of competitive play as well. 

Ryan Blackwood

One such member of the UM-Flint community is Ryan Blackwood, a first-year English major from Linden and president of the newly formed UM-Flint Ultimate Frisbee Club. Blackwood came to UM-Flint with the goal of continuing to participate in competitive sports after running cross country and track and field in high school, and "ultimate" – the colloquial name for the non-contact disc sport – proved to be the best avenue for him to achieve that. In the game, points are scored by passing the flying disc to team members in the opposing end zone. Players cannot take a step while in possession of the disc, and incomplete passes, interceptions and throws out of bounds result in a turnover. 

Although the university did not have a club for the sport when Blackwood enrolled, he promptly connected with several students eager to form a team.

"Ultimate is renowned for its rich team culture, which is one of the reasons I believe it's an asset to have on our campus. Sports are a great way to relax and bond over a shared activity, especially one that's fun," said Blackwood.

The club roster includes novice and experienced players, with the sport considered beginner-friendly and inexpensive. Individuals of all experience levels are encouraged to join, and training will be provided for newcomers. 

Current members have already initiated outdoor practice sessions on the First Street Residence Hall lawn and will transition to an indoor location this winter in preparation for participation in the USA Ultimate College league next spring. The competitive season takes place January through March, with conference championships occurring April through May. When they're not in competition season, the UM-Flint Ultimate Frisbee Club will remain active in the fall and winter semesters by practicing and scrimmaging outdoors on or near campus.  For students interested in learning more about ultimate, contact the club leadership at [email protected]. For additional information about forming a new club sport or joining an existing one, visit the club sports webpage.

Cecilia Warchol is the communications assistant for UM-Flint Recreational Services. She can be reached at [email protected].