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Discs will fly in Ultimate ‘Easterns’ tournament

By Steve Palisin

spalisin@thesunnews.com

Defense will come to play when discs will fly in the Ultimate “Easterns” tournament with college club teams, at 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, at S.C. 90 and Robert Edge Parkway, and free to see.
Defense will come to play when discs will fly in the Ultimate “Easterns” tournament with college club teams, at 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, at S.C. 90 and Robert Edge Parkway, and free to see. Courtesy photo

In this game. everybody plays quarterback, receiver and defender.

The public is welcome to watch discs fly in the Ultimate “Easterns” tournament, full of college teams – 20 with men, eight with women – from schools as far away as Colorado and Minnesota. The host is Wilmington Ultimate, a nonprofit group based in North Carolina’s Port City.

Games start at 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, with the latter two days going into late afternoon, all at the soccer/lacrosse complex in North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, at S.C. 90 and Robert Edge Parkway, and free to see.

Greg Vassar, president of Wilmington Ultimate, said it’s a small organization “in its infancy that will grow,” and he gives out scholarships and heads up events such as the tourney this weekend and Ultimate DIII (Division III) Easterns, April 1-3, at the same North Myrtle Beach site.

Question | How popular is Ultimate, a game so much more complex than just the flick of a wrist to throw a disc around, which we can see up close all weekend?

Answer | This is the highest level of competition in the college series. These are kings and queens in the college world. There are various levels in Ultimate: recreational, youth play, high school, college club, and also some city professional teams that compete. The event I’m running is for college. ...

It’s one of the most competitive events of the year, and very competitive to get invited to attend. We get requests from teams all over the country.

Q. | How long has Ultimate been on the fly across Wilmington?

A. | UItimate Wilmington was founded last year, and it’s just a way for me to be able to run events like this, at North Myrtle beach. There has been an Ultimate scene in Wilmington for 30 years. The University of North Carolina-Wilmington, with men and women’s teams, is a big part of the Ultimate community, where we have recreational leagues and club teams.

Q. | What attracted you to this sport?

A. | It’s very fun to play, with nothing else really like it, especially with the way the disc flies, and all the running and teamwork.

Q. | In a nutshell, how does a game go, with what type of field dimensions?

A. | Typically teams are made up of 20-25 players, and on the field a team plays seven at once, so it’s 7-on-7. The field’s about the size of a football field, but a little smaller in width. ...

Anybody who plays: You are a quarterback, a receiver, and you can turn into a defender at any time. You run, catch and throw to get it into the open. You play all the positions. ...

Q. | Is there a length or time limit to games?

A. | We play to a point total within a given round. The rounds at Easterns will be two hours long. Games last to 15 points, and halftime is after one team scores eight points.

Q. | What’s the peak season for play at this level?

A. | The regular season for colleges ends on the first weekend of April. After that, we start into postseason events, run in coordination with our governing body, USA Ultimate.

Q. | For anybody wanting to pick up a Frisbee or other flying disc, how easy is finding the fun in this pastime, maybe even with children?

A. | For anybody interested, there is the typical standard disc size, and smaller discs for smaller children are made. Just throw it. There are lots of ways to throw it, such as flat or far, and it only comes with practice. It’s just getting out there and throwing.

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 843-444-1764.

If you go

WHAT: Ultimate “Easterns” tournament, playing with flying discs

BY: Wilmington Ultimate, a nonprofit group from Wilmington, N.C., as host

WITH: College teams from –

▪ Men’s – Arizona State, Carleton, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Harvard, Illinois, James Madison, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Central Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Carolina-Wilmington, and Virginia Tech.

▪ Women – Clemson, Delaware, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina-Wilmington, N.C. State, South Carolina, and Virginia Commonwealth.

WHEN: Games start 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, with the latter two days going into late afternoon.

WHERE: At soccer/lacrosse complex in North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex, at S.C. 90 and Robert Edge Parkway (www.nmbpark.com).

HOW MUCH: Free to see.

ALSO: DIII (Division III) Easterns, April 1-3, in same place, with men’s and women’s teams.

INFORMATION: www.easterns.org and www.usaultimate.org

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