, 2023-04-26 18:34:40,
If you’ve seen college kids running around on a football or soccer field tossing around a frisbee and yelling phrases like “chilly,” “up,” and “no swing,” you’ve likely seen a game of ultimate frisbee. But the difference between these pick-up games and the professional version is akin to the jump between youth football camp and a college or NFL game.
In its rise to popularity and commonality, ultimate frisbee has been mistaken as many other disc-related sports. “We’ve come a long way from the days of the general public mistaking our sport for ‘the one with the baskets’ or ‘the one with the dogs,’” says Brandon Matis, captain and defensive cutter on Minnesota’s professional ultimate team, Wind Chill, and content strategist for a local cybersecurity company by day. “People are craving fast-paced alternative sports that have strong values and are more inclusive. … That’s allowed our sport to shine.”
One of the fastest-growing team sports in North America and countries like China, India, and Latin America, ultimate takes bits of soccer and football to the air with seven players on each team throwing a disc (aka a frisbee—but don’t call it that in the game!) in zigs and zags down a field to get to an endzone, in which the disc must be caught to constitute a point. Unlike football, there’s little physical contact in ultimate. For those reasons, the sport is widely accessible and has gained popularity among middle and high schoolers. “Minnesota has one of the largest populations of youth ultimate players in the entire country with more than 80 teams participating in the state tournament each year and a rapidly expanding middle school division,” says Ben Feldman, Wind Chill co-owner. (Wind Chill’s majority owner is Omar Ansari, a house name in Minnesota for his pioneering moves at the helm of Surly Brewing Co.)
Let the Countdown Begin
Each year, four professional teams (the best in their respective regional divisions) compete in the “Final Four” of ultimate frisbee: the AUDL Championship Weekend. For the first time ever, Minnesota will host the AUDL Championship on August 25 and 26 at TCO Stadium in Eagan. “To host an event like this is both a testament to and a celebration of the ultimate community here in the Twin Cities,” Matis says. “Also, much like the Super Bowl and Final Four, it’s a way for us to display how amazing and underrated the Twin Cities are as sports cities and as a…
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