Girls’ Ultimate Frisbee

Megan Talghader, head artist

“I play ultimate because of the community. Everyone is so welcoming and the captains try to make this one of the most inclusive sports in Edina… Plus I’ve made friends with many girls around the metro area and also some from Texas, Pittsburg, and Boston,” said senior Melissa Bernstein, member of the Girls’ Ultimate Frisbee team. It’s not just Bernstein that believes ultimate is all-encompassing – many other members agree. In fact, any girl can sign up for ultimate without any prior experience. “Everyone who signs up is able to play. Two years ago we had two teams: JV and varsity. Last year, even though we had more players, we decided to only have a varsity team to foster a better community,” said Bernstein.

The team gives girls the opportunity to meet new friends and learn how to play a sport that has skyrocketed in popularity since its development in 1968. Despite its growing following, many kids grow up unaware of its existence. This allows for every Edina girl to have a completely fresh and untainted view on the sport before joining. “In most sports there’s always the people that have been playing since they were three, but everyone starts fresh with ultimate. And the sport brings in a lot of different people,” said senior Michelle Walkup, captain of the Girls’ Ultimate Frisbee team.

What’s strange about this new and rising game is that there aren’t any referees supervising the game. The girls rely on the integrity of the other players in order to build a trusting foundation. “There is this concept called Spirit of the Game which means everyone plays with exceptional sportsmanship, and works well with us all being referees,” said Bernstein. According to the rules, each girl is responsible for calling out fouls, out-of-bound throws, and other penalties. This brings the players up to a higher level of responsibility and trust for the other team.

Even though the sport differs referee-wise, it is viewed by many as a hybrid of several other sports. The game ends when a team gets a set number of points, which is a similar scoring system to volleyball. Also, the end zones are similar to that of football and the game is played on soccer sized fields. “It’s really just a sport that encompasses the rules of all other games out there,” said Bernstein.