By Katie Scaff ‘13
Ultimate Frisbee combines the athletic endurance of soccer and the aerial passing skills of football, but despite its resemblance to many traditional sports it receives significantly less funding.
Football and soccer are NCAA recognized varsity intercollegiate sports at Pacific Lutheran University and receive significant funding from the university while men’s Ultimate is recognized as a Club sport.
In 2000, a group of students started the Ultimate team, Reign, and it has since remained a club sport at PLU.
As a club sport, the team receives $1,500 each year to cover the cost of tournament dues, travel and food expenses, and uniforms.
Each tournament has a buy in of about $200, and they usually play in six each season, so little is left to cover their other expenses.
“We have to pay for our own jerseys; we have to pay for our tournament dues. Each player has to contribute money,” said junior chemistry major Jack Rubenkonig, “and that’s anywhere from $200 to $400 a season, that includes tournament bids, and also our uniforms and transportation costs to get to the tournament.”
But paying to play isn’t easy for the men who are trying to juggle school, work, and Ultimate.
The team has found several ways of reducing the burden of these costs.
“We do fundraisers like working security at UW football games and sell frisbees to try to raise some more money to help out with dues,” said junior computer science major Tim Hurd.
If sponsored, the men would receive a number of free pairs of shorts and hats, and discounts on other Five Ultimate apparel.
“It would also help some of the people who struggle with money issues and miss out on tournaments or don’t play because of it,” said Hurd.
Sponsorship from Five Ultimate would also allow the team to participate in more tournaments each season because of the money saved.
“It gives us more exposure, more playing time,” said Rubenkonig. “If we are able to afford going to an extra tournament that would really help us improve our skills as ultimate players. The sponsorship would be good in order to get the huge group of raw recruits extra playing time.”
The team has to submit a video and letter to Five Ultimate explaining why they should be chosen for the sponsorship. One winner will be chosen among all the collegiate teams that apply.
“We would be good role models for the Five Ultimate brand,” said Rubenkonig. “As a Frisbee team we believe in bonding. We believe in a lot of teamwork and really developing our relationships on and off the field. Getting along with your teammates is just as important as being able to throw a really good huck.”
To contribute or learn more about men’s Ultimate at PLU, contact team captain Ryan “Beanz” Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.