Headline Picture

A layout block by Kiran. All credit of this picture goes to Ultiphotos and the person who took the picture.

What is Ultimate Frisbee?

“What is Ultimate Frisbee? Isn’t that a game you play with your dog?” First off, no. Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport you play with other humans. To put it simply, the sport combines some of the best aspects of soccer, basketball, and football to create the, no pun intended, ultimate sport. The goal of the sport is to complete a pass into the opposite end zone just like in football. Unlike football, you are not allowed to run with the Frisbee. While you’re holding the Frisbee, you’re only allowed to pivot like in basketball. If the Frisbee touches the ground, then the opposing team gets possession of the Frisbee. At first, Ultimate may seem like a very relaxing and easy sport, which in certain cases is true. The pace of the game tends to pick up at higher levels of competition, which leads to some pretty cool things. 

So now that we know what Ultimate Frisbee is really like, you might be wondering what it’s like at NYU. Ultimate Frisbee at NYU is a club sport that competes in the United States of America Ultimate (USAU) College Division I League. The men’s team is called Purple Haze (yes, like the song). Since I’m on Haze, I’ll be mostly speaking about the men’s team, but NYU also has a women’s team called the Violet Femmes. Both teams follow a similar schedule, so most of what I’m sharing stays true for the Femmes as well.

Ultimate Frisbee at NYU

So imagine it’s the start of school in the fall and everyone is super excited to play Ultimate. Every year, we start off the fall season by inviting potential rookies and returners to a session of casual throwing (just tossing a Frisbee around) in Washington Square Park. Then tryouts begin for potential rookies, which doubles as practice for returners. After cuts are made, the final fall team is selected and the team moves onto discussing strategy and team cohesion. Every fall, the team attends two to three out-of-state tournaments to prepare for the spring season.


In the spring, the team goes to another two to three tournaments to warm up for the USAU College Nationals series. After these tournaments the team competes within our section (Metro NY), then region (Metroeast), and if we place well enough, nationals. Going to College Nationals became a dream of mine the moment I heard about it. Simply put, being able to represent all the teams in your region is something that I want to do.

The Family Aspect

A picture of the NYU Violet Femmes team. (2018-2019)
A picture of the NYU Violet Femmes team (2018–2019).
A picture of the NYU Purple Haze team (2018-2019)
A picture of the NYU Purple Haze Team (2018–2019).

Playing Ultimate is only half of the story. The other half is the social aspect, the family aspect, if you will. We use the phrase “Haze love” on the team, which basically means we love each other, in a family sort of way; I see every person on the team as my brother. They’re willing to host board game nights, to study together, and to give advice whether it is about careers or just school. This social aspect isn’t limited to Haze members. In fact, many events are planned to include both Haze and Femmes players. Of course, since my predecessors on the NYU team are imaginative geniuses, they birthed the term “Faze love,” which is what you get when you put “Haze” and “Femmes” together. Don’t ask me why, I just go along with it. But it also means that Femmes players are also my family and that we’ll help each other out when we need it. 

Final Thoughts

Over the summer, I played Ultimate on a non-NYU team. To be completely honest, playing with that team just felt different. There wasn’t as strong as a family aspect compared to NYU Ultimate Frisbee and nothing for me to grasp onto. Come August, I was itching to see and play Ultimate with my NYU teammates again. Oddly enough, I wanted school to start just so I could play again. The fall season just started and I cannot put into words how excited I am for this year. I hope reading this got you interested in playing Ultimate Frisbee and I’ll see you on the fields!