There was a spirit of competiveness and camaraderie as people gathered on a field at Riverview Park to play a pick-up game of ultimate on a recent Sunday afternoon.
“There’s a sense of community,” said Max Williams, president of CSRA Ultimate which plays hosts to the pick-up games. “I like being able to play a competitive sport and at the end of the day, hang out with these folks.”
CSRA Ultimate organizes pick-up games at the park on Wednesdays and Sundays and recently finished its summer league games. The group also plays hosts to tournaments.
“Ultimate is a field sport,” he said. “It’s kind of like combining the best parts of soccer and basketball because you got the cutting and moving like soccer and then you have the passing skills of basketball.”
In a game, there are seven members of each team on the field. During pick-up games, the teams usually play to seven points. In a tournament, teams may play to 13 or 15 points, he said.
It’s a fun sport to bring friends together and to make new ones, said Stephen Trello.
Trello and Johnathan Kulovitz both recently began participating in the games at Riverview Park after being invited by one of their friends.
They were interested since they have played the game occasionally with friends.
“It turned out that we enjoy coming out every week,” said Trello.
Gordon Jones, who has played the sport for about 20 years and has been throwing the disc for about 40, said that he enjoys sharing what he’s learned about the game with other players.
“It’s a great group,” he said. “Since I am older, I get to teach so I like that aspect.”
The athleticism is a draw to the game, said Kulovitz.
“Ultimate is really great because it’s a lot of exercise and takes elements of our popular sports and combines them into a sport,” he said.
The game also requires players to have integrity.
“There’s a mutual respect... It’s all self-officiated. Players make their own calls,” said Williams. “A lot of it is based on trusting that your opponent will do the right thing.”
CSRA Ultimate will have its fifth annual The Big Payback Regional Tournament on Aug. 24-25 at the soccer complex at Riverview Park.
Up to 16 teams from throughout the southeast will gather to play.
The tournament is free for spectators.
“We use it as a break,” said Williams, adding that many of the tournament players also play competitively on travel teams.
“This is an opportunity to play in a more relaxed tournament…The focus is really on playing hard, being competitive but also having fun.”
Visit www.csra-ultimate.org for more information about CSRA Ultimate, pick-up games and the tournament.