BRETT RITCHEY'S BLOG
so this week i was talking about my favorite pasttime Ultimate Frisbee, and Justin here at the station was giving me a hard time saying that maybe everyone listening doesn't know what Ultimate Frisbee is! well my friends, to quiet Justin's jabs, i feel that i must share with you how my favorite sport of all time is not only played, but how it has changed my life.
a little background first: i've played sports all my life. soccer, basketball, baseball...you name it, i've probably been in a league for it or taken classes in it (except for volleyball, never really had the legs to play that). my only involvement with Ultimate Frisbee up until my freshman year of college was the crazy twenty-on-twenty, take-three-steps-after-you-catch-the-disc, church-youth-group frisbee-playing that had done nothing for me but lead to 10 stitches above my right eye. the first week of my freshman year at UTC though, a couple of my friends i had just met invited me out to play some Ultimate Frisbee at the far end of UTC's campus. Upon arrival at Challenger field, the guy in charge had us run a lap to warm up, and it was then that my friends left ('whoever heard of running laps just to play frisbee?' they said) and my life was forever changed.
the ultimate that i grew to learn on Challenger and Chamberlain fields over the next few years is played 7 against 7, with endzones like in football. the frisbee disc is advanced around the field by throwing to your teammates since you can't run with the disc, but must slow to stop to throw after catching it. you have ten seconds to throw the disc to a teammate when someone on defense is guarding you, and not throwing it to a teammate in that time, having the disc intercepted when you throw it or making a bad throw and having the frisbee touch the ground all result in a turnover and the defense becomes the offense and vice versa.
my favorite part about the game of Ultimate Frisbee though is it's style of self-refereeing. i believe this does keep the game from growing to an ESPN style sport, but it's also why i love the game so much. unlike most sports you see, in Ultimate Frisbee, players call their own fouls, turnovers and the like. this self-governing of fouls is employed from Sunday afternoon leagues, all the way up to national competitions held each year for college, men's, women's and mixed teams. yes, there are ways for teams to take advantage of certain situations with this self-refereeing, but the majority of teams are out there to compete at their highest possible level, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules or the basic joy of play.
THAT is why this sport appeals so much to me. sure it may be a sport invented by a bunch of hippies, but keeping this spirit of the game alive in my competitive play is something i see as an awesome challenge to me as a Christian. people should be able to tell that there is something different about me when i'm out there on the Ultimate Frisbee field. sure, i can still disagree with other people's calls, but it's how i handle the situation that will truly show my character. don't i want people to see 'the Jesus Difference' in me?
so that in a large nutshell is a little bit about Ultimate Frisbee and why i love it so much. not to mention that i met my beautiful girlfriend of almost four years (this december) on the ultimate frisbee field as well as my three roommates i'm currently living with (and will be a groomsman in one of their weddings this coming March). if you have any questions on Ultimate Frisbee, mountain dew or just life in general, always feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. i would love to hear from you and seewhat things you're passionate about and how God uses you through those things to bring glory to Him.
till next time, keep it clean.