If you’ve ever walked past the quad and witnessed a ragtag bunch of hooligans tossing plastic discs to each other, then you’ve already gotten a glimpse of what the Ruckus Bus is like. Yes, what looks like a disorganized cluster of bodies and frisbees is actually an organized sport. St. Lawrence’s Ultimate Frisbee team was founded in 2005, and has continued to run throughout the years. Every fall, we convene outside Kirk Douglass Hall to continue our wonderful tradition of “TDs and TOs.”
Ultimate Frisbee is played seven versus seven, on a field measuring 40 yards wide by 120 yards long. Games are typically played until one team reaches 15 points, or up to 70 minutes when “hard cap” is reached. There are three divisions of Ultimate teams: men’s, women’s, and mixed, which is a combination of men and women playing together. For me, this is part of what makes Ultimate so great – it’s one of the few sports where men and women can compete against each other at the exact same time in the exact same fashion.
Over the past few years, Ultimate has grown substantially in participation. According to USA Ultimate, participation has increased 8.2 percent since 2010, and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association has called Ultimate, “one of the fastest growing team sports in the country.” Ultimate continues to reach out to new communities and groups, hoping to attract even more people to the sport and widen its fan base.
Currently, the Ruckus Bus is preparing for one of our biggest tournaments to date. This weekend, we’ll be traveling five hours southwest to Northampton, Massachusetts to play in the first ever USA Ultimate Northeast Mixed Regionals tournament. There, we’ll take on teams from Brandeis, Brown, Keene State, and Skidmore, as well as some others. This is the first year in which USA Ultimate has sponsored an official tournament for mixed teams at the college level. There are several other tournaments like this going on throughout the country as well, with other regions playing in Wisconsin, California, Virginia, and Texas.
The Ruckus Bus is greatly looking forward to this weekend, as we hope to end our Fall season with a strong showing. After this, we’ll begin to shift towards preparing for our Spring season, which includes our Sectional tournament – the equivalent of playoffs in Ultimate. There, we’ll be playing with a men’s and a women’s team. We’re always open and looking for new players, so if you think you’d like to try out Ultimate, then stop by and “Get on the Bus” with us anytime!