Anyone who knew me prior to 2000, knew me as a fanatic Ultimate Frisbee player. I was (mostly) all about chasing a plastic disc on lush green fields. Ultimate Frisbee, which took my attention and soul my first year of college, commanded my attention, time, and body for years. The New York Times just ran a nice short piece piece about Ultimate Frisbee, which apparently has skyrocketed in popularity since 2003. One section of the article caught my attention:
It may be a non-contact sport according to its rules, but Ultimate is hardly free of injuries. The quick cutting and sprinting have made anterior cruciate ligament tears among women players especially common. JOY CHEN, a 33-year-old software developer in Alameda, Calif., considers herself lucky that herniated disks, a rotator cuff tear and ankle sprains have been the extent of her Ultimate injuries. We hit each other and the ground pretty hard, said Ms. Chen, who discovered Ultimate in college after years as a soccer and tennis player. She played with Stanford University s Superfly, which went on a three-year run as undefeated women s national collegiate champions.Injury goes with the sport as hand and glove and young players tend to wear these injuries as a badge of pride. As much as I adore the sport and there are days I get pretty bummed that I no longer play I think that the UPA and older players should seriously skool the younger generation on the danger of injuries. It is an extreme sport that requires extreme care. Tournaments are usually composed of 4-7 games over the course of 2 days. If that is not demanding enough, the body gets pretty intimate with the the ground while laying out and then there are there all those sprained ankles and broken bones and ligaments from collisions. Today I suffer from bouts of knarly neck pain, for example, which is due in part from playing without taking proper precautions. One of my best friends, who was a stellar player in college, also suffers from pretty devastating back pain. It is an extreme sport that requires extreme care. I say toss out the pride in pain/injuries and in place, instill a healthy sense of fear of the injuries so that people get proper long term and sustained care for their injuries so that they can keep on playing the world s best sport. PS For those that don t know, UF also revolves around an ethical philosophy Spirit of the Game, which unfortunately the article makes no mention of, despite its centrality to the sport.