Although it has its origins in the year 1968 by a couple of students from Columbia High School, Ultimate Frisbee seems to only recently become popular–at least in sport’s news. However, with its rise in popularity, more teams have been developed, allowing the sport to be played on the National level. Tampa Bay is among the latest to receive their very own Ultimate Frisbee team. Called the Tampa Bay Cannons, the team plays in the American Ultimate Disc League.
It began in 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida, but in a desire to increase their audience, they decided to move to Tampa Bay. The Cannons play in the South Division of the American Ultimate Disc League and have their first game against the Raleigh Flyers on March 31st. They also open at home against the same team on April 7th.
Ultimate Frisbee is easy to understand in its most basic concept. The goal is to pass the frisbee, or disc, to a teammate located in the end zone. Those who are passing the disc cannot move whilst they are holding it. Interceptions, incomplete passes, and passes that end up out of bounds are automatically turned over to the other team. Within reason, the game is sometimes played during inclement weather, giving another edge of a challenge to players when they have to deal with variables such as rain or high winds.
Unlike other sports, and promoting itself as a counterculture game, there is no referee to keep track of the rules. Instead, Ultimate Frisbee relies on the players and good sportsmanship to ensure that the game is being played fairly. In clubs, however, there are sometimes game advisors available in the event of a penalty dispute.
The United States has a long history of wins in this particular sport. In 2014, they won four out of five divisions. They were able to win all divisions between national teams in 2016 and nearly did the same in 2017, except for the women’s team which lost to Russia.
With the rise in interest in the game, it may not be long until the Cannons are saturated with possible new recruits. With luck and skill, the Cannons will bring pride and a plethora of wins to the Tampa Bay area.