The beginning of Ultimate at Bates is clouded in myth. Initially there was a game played by Bates students similar to Ultimate during the late '50s. Perhaps this was the true beginning of Ultimate? A few Bates students would toss around a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer tray as a Frisbee. Eventually rules and end zones were introduced to there new game (Bates Magazine 1999). However, Ultimate faded away and disappeared from the Bates campus.
Ultimate reemerged at Bates during the '80s with official recognition by the college of the Ultimate Frisbee club in 1981. The team was known as the Bates (Frisbee) Masters and was regarded as a counter-culture group by the athletic department. Practices were held on a field that was where the Olin Arts center is today. Another place they played was the "field" surrounded by Commons, the Library, the Grey Cage and the Bill. In the winter, the pickup players moved into the Grey Cage which had a dirt floor at the time. The spirit of Bates Ultimate was relaxed and fun. Occasionally they would play against Bowdoin and Colby.
Bates' "formal" Ultimate career began in 1992. The Crack Babies tentatively existed until 1995. In 1995 with few returning Crack Babies, Bates Ultimate decided to take on the new name Discoboles from the Greek statue of the Olympic discus thrower in his stance. That was also the year of the inaugural NESCRACK Invitational Tournament hosted by Bates College. In its first year there were only 4 teams, but NESCRACK developed and eventually played host to teams from all over Maine and New Hampshire. The changing facade of Bates Ultimate was not over yet. In 1996 the team changed its name to Big Fat Yak. The final name change occurred in 1998 to Orange Whip.
Today Orange Whip competes in college tournaments across the Northeast and strives to improve as a team. We hope to continue the light-hearted nature and camaraderie that was enjoyed by the Bates students before us. In 2008, Orange Whip became the men's ultimate frisbee team and Cold Front became the women's ultimate frisbee team.
In 2011, Bates was lucky to have Brian York join the team as volunteer Coach. Brian, a former player of the skilled club team Red Tide, has turned the men's ultimate team into a competitive program with more structure. Since adding Brian as coach, Bates has qualified for New England Regionals for three straight years, an accomplishment never before reached. The ultimate (punny?) goal in upcoming seasons is to qualify for nationals.
Bates ultimate has activities year-round which interest a wide variety of players. The fall season is generally more relaxed, with fun coed tournaments in places like Montreal. During the long Maine winter, we keep things hot by participating in a coed indoor frisbee league where games are played in Merrill Gym. The Spring is the competitive season during which the men's team practices and conditions 4-5 times a week, playing in weekend tournaments in locations around Boston to as far as Pennsylvania.
We're always welcoming new members on our team, so if you have any interest in trying ultimate, come and join us! We encourage interested players to contact a captain or show up to one of our practices. We welcome all levels of participation: from just occasional practice attendance to full time commitment.
Ultimate is a sport quickly gaining popularity across the country due to its fast pace and action-packed highlights. Combining different aspects of sports like soccer and football, ultimate challenges players to run faster, jump higher, and throw farther. Players often describe it as the most exciting sport they've ever played. See some highlight videos if you're still not convinced.
Cold Front is the women's ultimate team. More info coming soon..
Sean "T¥$0N" Murphy vividly remembers his dad lovingly instructing him how to throw a frisbee at the ripe age of 5. Ever since then, his life has been one never-ending pursuit of hovering, circular objects. His hobbies include drones, odd electronic music producers, and black hoodies. He is currently a senior at Bates College where he is studying English.
Peter has only played ultimate since his Sophomore year at Bates, but has loved every moment of it. A D-line handler, he has strong tendency to throw hammers during games when they shouldn't be thrown. Peter is a rising Senior Physics major who enjoys studying laser optics and eating ice cream sundaes.
Chris “future” Fox has played ultimate since his senior year in high school, when his older brother, who was playing for the Kansas State Huckstables, introduced him to the fantastic sport. Since then, Chris has worked on using the most ridiculous throws possible to improve his game. You can often see Chris break cups with a sexy-looking, no look, lefty-backhand. Chris is a rising senior Psychology major who likes piña coladas and long walks on the beach.
Section coming soon..
To see more pictures, check out the Bates Men's Ultimate Flickr here .
While Bates Ultimate receives annual funds from the student government committee, we face overwhelming expenses while trying to be a competitive team. In Spring 2014, Bates Men's Ultimate participated in six tournaments, traveling as far as Pennsylvania to play on fields not covered by snow. Please consider donating to the men's or women's ultimate team at the link below. Your gift will directly benefit our clubs by helping pay for travel expenses, equipment, and tournament fees.