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Ultimate Frisbee, Growing Club Sport at Bemidji State

By Cole Edgell

Sky high grabs, quick athleticism, and full body layouts. These exciting plays are all fixtures of one of the fastest growing sports in the United States—ultimate frisbee.

Beavers pose for a team photo along with members of their alumni team. Photo provided by Bemidji Ultimate.
Beavers pose for a team photo along with members of their alumni team.
Photo provided by Bemidji Ultimate.

All starting with the patent of the flying disc by Walter Frederick Morrison in 1958 and the inception of the game of Ultimate at Columbia High School in 1968, the sport has seen tremendous gains in participation. According to USA Ultimate, the governing body of Ultimate in the United States, the number of participants has grown from 36,508 annual memberships in 2012 to 48,914 in 2014.

Along with the intensified national growth, the sport has also become more popular in Bemidji, Minnesota. Formerly known as Bad News Beavers, Bemidji Ultimate has slowly, but surely, seen itself increase in size and skill. High school players are entering their freshman year with previous experience in the sport and athletes from other sport backgrounds are joining the team, which gives Co-Captain Zane Den Ouden, a junior at BSU, a positive outlook on the program.

“I think with our new freshmen coming on the team, we’ve definitely increased our competitiveness. I think that will definitely attribute to our success in tournaments,” said Den Ouden.

This past weekend the Beavers traveled to Winona State for their Halloween weekend tournament. The team competed in the spirit division and took 12th place.

Bemidji Ultimate is always interested in adding members of any gender or skill level. BSU Ultimate practices twice a week at the Gillett Recreation Center on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 10 PM until 12 AM.