It is a sport saturated with athletes from a variety of backgrounds, from soccer players to triathletes.
That's why winning a championship in the Boise Spring Ultimate Frisbee League is considered no small achievement. This year, team White Snake (19-0) claimed the 2005 crown in a 15-11 win over Hammerfall (12-7) in the championship game played at Ann Morrison Park Sunday afternoon.
The effort was led by 2003 NNU graduate Jeff Stockett.
"Jeff did an amazing job of drafting players to fill rolls and then targeting their strengths and putting them into positions to win," said draft league coordinator Mark LaSalle. "It was quite a dominant demonstration."
Team Hammerfall finished the regular season in third place, went 3-1 in pool play, then broke seed to advance to the semi-finals, where they played Spinal Tap, a team laden with crafty veterans.
"Bradley Hem is Hammerfall's captain," LaSalle explained. "He is a young player as well, and coming into his own regarding leadership on the field and off. His team's height and demonstrated ability to really turn it on when necessary was too much for the Tap."
For those unfamiliar with ultimate Frisbee; it is a game that combines the disciplines of three different sports: football, soccer and hockey.
In a nutshell, the aim is to catch the Frisbee from a teammate in the end zone for a one-point score. The person throwing the Frisbee is commonly referred to as the quarterback. Once the Frisbee is caught, the catcher becomes the quarterback and must try to connect with another receiver who is being guarded by opposing players. Players have 10 seconds to complete a pass or possession is turned over to the other team.
The game was invented by a group of high school kids at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey in the late 1960s. There are now thousands who compete in leagues across the country and in Canada. Teams can qualify to attend national tournaments in conjunction with the Ultimate Players Association, the governing body for the sport. Three years ago, the college nationals were held in Boise, where Brown University won the college championship title. The event was such a success, LaSalle said Boise is putting in its bid for the 2007 tournament.
Boise Ultimate Spring League is made up of 10 coed teams that draft every year from a pool of about 160 players. It is part of the Southern Idaho Disc League (SIDL), which had its beginnings in Boise about 15 years ago. There are three leagues : spring, summer and fall. LaSalle, an engineer, founded the Spring league himself six years ago, hoping to attract new players to the sport while giving athletes another opportunity to play at a different time of year. It was also a way for the Boise transplant to meet new people.
"Boise is growing fast and the league offers those new to the area the opportunity to get out and make some friends," he said. "There is something really cool about this group of people. You have so many different personalities from so many different backgrounds. You have lawyers and writers, and people who work all kinds of jobs. It's like a family."
Depending on the what time of year you play, the league takes on varying levels of intensity. The fall league is the most competitive because it is during this league that teams can qualify for regional and national competition. Though still competitive, spring and summer leagues are more about having fun. LaSalle initiated an interesting way for teams to distinguish themselves by assigning each new season a different theme. This year's theme was, "butt rock."
"We assigned each team with a band name," LaSalle said. "My team is 'Cinderella.' There is also 'Poison,' and others."