Yes, I Throw Plastic Around.
Brett Ritchey

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, 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

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 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.