I have always enjoyed participating in the more obscure sports. You know, the ones that are undoubtedly beyond the backyard game level of cornhole but have not yet achieved the recognition and prestige that sports like basketball and baseball enjoy.
I wish that I could say that I choose the more casual games out of protest for the grossly and disproportionately high amount of money involved in the business of professional sports (ah, America, where our wide receivers make 30 times as much as our educators), but it’s not true.
The injustice bothers me, but not enough to avoid playing the games altogether. I prefer the misfit sports because they’re just as fun, but fewer people play, providing my skinny, rather slow, body with a higher probability of success
I’ve run into many enjoyable hidden sports over the years. Handball and badminton were a great time in gym class, as were the various versions of dodgeball.
My grandpa, a Senior Olympic champion table tennis player, introduced me to his sport a few years ago, and I latched onto that for a fairly long time, eventually becoming “captain” of my school’s ping pong club. I liked many of these games, but after much experimentation, I discovered my favorite: Ultimate Frisbee.
Ultimate Frisbee, officially called Ultimate, is a combination of all of the greatest parts of the major sports. It has the dramatic diving touchdowns of football, the continuous aerobic movement of soccer, and the lack of physical contact of tennis, all joined together with a 175 gram flying disc, more interesting and more versatile than any ball.
Ultimate requires almost no equipment or setup, and is easy enough for a child to learn fairly quickly, while still keeping complex strategy as an option for advanced players.
In short, I love Ultimate. And for me, it is more than a pastime … it’s preparation. Binge drinking, loud music, and casual sex are part of the landscape at many colleges. In my eyes, the party life is like a boomerang – fun to throw and initially feels rewarding, but it’s hard to control and it could come flying back to the partier at dangerous speeds. The consequences of such a lifestyle are potentially devastating.
Rather than a boomerang, a weapon disguised as a toy, we should be looking for our metaphorical Frisbee for a good time – just as initially rewarding to throw, but much less risky. I have decided that my metaphorical Frisbee, my replacement for constant partying in college, will be a literal Frisbee.
After touring many schools, one of the aspects of living in a university that intrigued me most was club sports. A bunch of mediocre athletes, traveling and playing Ultimate against other schools every weekend? Heaven. I have set my eyes on becoming proficient enough at the sport now so that I can dive into this opportunity as soon as I start school. Frisbee beats out beer pong any day.
I continue to prepare, anxiously waiting for the snow to melt so that I can continue increase my arsenal of throwing methods with my growing collection of Frisbees. Despite my solidified passion for Frisbee, I will stay alert for any other obscure sports that I could try.
For example, one school I visited boasted having an inner tube water polo intramural league. Yes, intramural inner tube water polo. Look out Ultimate, we have a competitor.
(Jacob, a Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay, senior is the eldest of the four Scobey-Polacheck children.)