Ultimate Frisbee growing in popularity

Amherst’s team started in 2019 and is participating in more tournaments than ever before

Ultimate Frisbee growing in popularity

Alex Martin

A sport that once started out in only major cities has now started to pop up all around the US, even in Amherst!

The Amherst High School ultimate frisbee team’s participation in games and tournaments has grown exponetially since the team started in 2019.  TRASH Ultimate, as the Amherst team is known, even hosts a tournament at Amherst called Trashing Pumpkins during late October! 

Educator Steven Swan, the head coach of TRASH Ultimate, who has been playing frisbee for 11 years, said during an interview that the team’s participation in tournaments and games has really aided the involvement of players on the team, and has helped the team grow. 

Frisbee has not only been growing in Amherst, but worldwide as well! It’s currently one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide with great potential in the future. Since 2003, Ultimate Frisbee memberships have increased by 168 percent (Tsui, 2009, para 8)! Ultimate Frisbee, a contact free sport which began in the year 1968 at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, started out as just a random game started up by a group of high school students, and in 54 years turned into a worldwide, popular sport played in 80 different countries (USA Ultimate, 2022, para 1-2). 

What makes this sport so unique is how unlike any other sport, sportsmanship is built into the rules. As assistant coach Patrick Peplisnki noted, the most important part of Ultimate Frisbee is sportsmanship, because Ultimate Frisbee doesn’t have referees or officials like every other sport does, so all conflicts and fouls have to be addressed when they arise on the field. You have to rely on every player’s sportsmanship to make the right calls and be honest with one another. A tradition created in the sport is called “the spirit player of the game”; this is where after the game a player is recognized for their sportsmanship and encouragement to their opponent, team, and bringing others up when they make a mistake. Jason Martin, a player on the TRASH Ultimate Frisbee said, “The best part about Ultimate Frisbee is the atmosphere, and the teammates I am with.”

Ultimate Frisbee is not just a sport where you kick the ball and try to score like soccer, or attempt to complete a pass to score a touchdown like football. Instead, it embodies a completely different concept. While staying stationary, you are trying to throw the frisbee to your teammates allowing them to make the catch. Opponents are attempting to block the throw, and possibly intercept the throw, just like football! The end goal is to catch the frisbee in the endzone, which is called a point. Anyone can play this unique sport, and it works your entire body, meaning you use all of your muscles. You could consider it a workout! 

Ultimate Frsibee could be identified as a sport that improves your mental, physical, and emotional health as well! Mental health because all teams in the sport are sportsmanlike and encouraging, so players won’t get down on themselves if they miss a catch, or let their opponent score a point. Physical health because it’s healthy to stay active, burn calories, and run. And emotional health because it boosts your mood/attitude when you are working together as a team, and getting to know others you’ve never talked to or seen before. Even on the opposing team (“The Health Benefits of Playing Ultimate Frisbee,” 2014, p. 1)! But most of all, due to the way the game is played, Ultimate Frsibee is always fun, and you always build new relationships with others!

Nobody knows for sure the future of Ultimate Frisbee; however, many Ultimate players predict that in the future, the sport will grow, and expand to many more schools than it’s at right now! Ultimate frisbee builds character, is a healthy sport to play, has countless benefits, and anyone can play it! Who knows, maybe one day Ultimate Frisbee will become as popular as the NFL, MLB, or NBA, or become an Olympic sport (Stillman, 2014, para. 22)!


Stillman, Gordy. “Ultimate – Frisbee, That Is – Soars with Growth and Olympic Potential.” Medill 

News Service, 29 July 2014, https://dc.medill.northwestern.edu/blog/2014/07/29/ultimate-frisbee-that-is-soars-with-growth-and-olympic-potential/#sthash.9avGIaiL.dpbs. 

“The Health Benefits of Playing Ultimate Frisbee.” Health Fitness Revolution, 14 Mar. 2014, 


Tsui, Bonnie. Ultimate Frisbee Takes Off. The New York Times, 29 Apr. 2009, 

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/fashion/30fitness.html#:~:text=In%20the%20last%   2010%20years,in%20more%20than%2042%20countries. 

“USA Ultimate.” About Ultimate, USA Ultimate, 2022,