Ultimate Frisbee cahoot ends season with tourney

Posted: Sunday, July 01, 2001

Blessed with beautiful Juneau summer weather, Polar Insanity beat WHO 12-10 as Ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts ended their inaugural season with a tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park on Saturday.

The four teams from the the Ultimate Players of Southeast Alaska, or UPSEA, began playing double-elimination games early in the morning until just two teams remained for the afternoon championship.

In the first-round games, Polar Insanity defeated the Rain Dogs 10-4 and WHO beat the Mad Cows 10-8. The Rain Dogs knocked the Mad Cows out of the tournament with a 9-7 win in the first round of consolation play.

Polar Insanity edged WHO 9-8 in the second round, but WHO came back in the consolation round to eliminate the Rain Dogs 11-8 and set up a possible championship game between Polar Insanity and WHO. Polar Insanity had the chance to wrap up the tournament without a loss, but had to forfeit the game due to lack of players.

That set up a final winner-take-all game where Polar Insanity claimed the inaugural league championship.

"It really went smoothly," organizer Peter van Tamelen said. "It sure was a joy for me to watch it today. I kept on reflecting back to beginning of season when we were just getting started and a lot of people didn't know what they were doing. They looked great today."

Ultimate Frisbee is a relatively new and unique co-ed sport that is played much like soccer. The game is played informally without the use of referees or umpires and players are expected to play in the 'spirit of the game.'

Played on a shortened football field with seven players on each team, the object of the game is to pass a Frisbee from teammate to teammate down the field to the end zone. No running is allowed with the Frisbee and passes must be caught, or else a turnover results.

The UPSEA began its season on May 1 and played regular season games every Tuesday and Thursday nights at Adair-Kennedy. According to van Tamelen, more than 100 people showed interest and about 80 signed up and are full members of the association.

"Basically our goal was to get as many people as we could playing and teach to as many people as we could," van Tamelen said. "It's pretty excited we got a full league going in Juneau. When I came here in 1992 my goal was to bring ultimate here."

"The first time I ever played ultimate was this year," WHO teammate Ami Reifenstein said. "I had a great time. It was very beginner friendly."

Jeff Kasper can be reached at jkasper@juneauempire.com.

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