Behind the Regnier Center on the east side of campus, lies a grass field that’s 20 yards wide and 60 yards long. The field is dotted with tall, orange flag poles which form sidelines and endzones. Here, it’s common to witness frisbees jet across the sky while college students zig and zag at a frenetic pace.
This space is where the Ultimate Frisbee Club meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12-2 pm. The club is finishing up its second full semester at the college.
What started out as small frisbee throwing sessions amongst a few friends on the Fountain Square grass last school year, has since developed into an engaging atmosphere for students on campus.
The person who’s in charge of it all is student and club president, Josh Sanders. After learning about the game as a first-year student in 2017, Sanders says he wanted to take that knowledge and apply it to students everywhere on campus.
“It was super spontaneous how everything came together,” Sanders said. “It was not planned. We did not plan any marketing tools, like posters, or anything. We started by playing outside and throwing [the frisbee] around, having fun. From there, people kept joining.
The club started with only a consistent 3-5 members in the 2018 fall semester but has expanded to 35 active members this spring. No matter the weather conditions, rain, sleet, or snow doesn’t negate Sanders and the rest of the club from slinging the frisbee around.
“[Our club] is built very much so that we can play no matter what the weather conditions are,” Sanders said. “If the temperature is under 20 degrees, like it was in January and February, then we play matches in the gym.”
Participation has skyrocketed lately because of the different activities the club offers: from pick-up games, to 10 regular season matches, playoffs, and so much more.
Just this semester, Sanders created four different teams for the club. The teams consist of 6-7 students and are color coordinated, with each color signifying a specific building on campus. Red signifies the Billington Library, black the Student Lounge, blue the Co Lab, and white the Student Center.
Similar to professional sports leagues such as the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), or Major League Baseball (MLB), Sanders has also incorporated a draft system, free agency pool, and trade market.
Sanders says he installed these methods to build a more competitive atmosphere during games.
“It’s all worked out really well,” Sanders said. “[All of the changes] have brought more competitiveness, more togetherness to games with different people interacting.”
Keith Acosta, a regular club member, believes the changes, such as forming teams, have made the club enjoyable for everyone.
“Instead of doing strictly pick-up games every single time we decided to be more competitive and branch out,” Acosta said. “[The new teams] make it fun and something to look forward to.”
In order for students to become more informed about the club’s events, Sanders created Instagram and Snapchat accounts dedicated to Ultimate Frisbee.
“I post videos of matches and games on the accounts. I try to post photos too so all JCCC students can see.”
Last week, Ultimate Frisbee was one of just a handful of clubs and organizations on campus to win the prestigious Clubees award, which is handed to the best clubs at the college. A total of 23 clubs were eligible for the award.
Sanders views the award as a big accomplish for the club. He hopes it can aid Ultimate Frisbee to reaching its long-term goals, which consists of acquiring new equipment, improve its marketing ability through posters and highlights videos on the campus TV screens, and creating built-in days for players run drills.
“I think an entire summer to look over things will be great,” Sanders said. “Kind’ve like how Bill Belichick (New England Patriots coach), Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs coach), and other NFL coaches do it. They are focused on what can they accomplish right now. We’re looking into the future, brainstorming future prospects, but over the summer we’ll look into it and find a way to make [the club] better.”
In the short-term, though, Sanders wants students who attend classes on the opposite end of campus to learn more about Ultimate Frisbee and become involved.
He said, “The dream is to develop a following from the students and eventually have more activity. It would be nice to gain more members too, this way we can have more teams. This can create a more friendly environment.”