Midday Ultimate at the University of Maryland

Midday Ultimate at UMCP

Casual Ultimate Frisbee game played at noon on weekdays

Welcome to our web page. This page exists to give visitors basic information about our group and how we gather to play Ultimate Frisbee during lunchtime on the campus of the University of Maryland College Park.

The Basics

Who Can Play

Anyone who wants to play is welcome to play: young or old, male or female, complete beginner or experienced competitor. You do not have to be affilated with the University of Maryland to play. We play for the fun and the exercise, and try to arrange the teams to balance players' strengths and weaknesses.

When We Play

We start gathering at the game site at noon, with the games starting soon after. We try to get in at least 3 games to 10 and are usually done playing by 1:30pm at the latest. With our current band of players, Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the favorite days to play, but if there is enough interest folks will play on Wednesdays and Fridays as well.

Where We Play

Our preferred playing location is the field in front of the Epply Recreation Center, highlighted in red on the map and labeled as "LaPlata Beach". When the weather is unfit for playing or if the field is in use, we'll play in the volleyball gym on the 3rd floor of the School of Public Health building, highlighted in yellow.

To get to the volleyball gym inside the building, find the parking pay station on Valley Drive in front of the building. Use the stairs and walkway behind the pay station to enter the building, and as soon as you step inside enter the stairwell on the left. Go up one floor, exit the stairwell and turn left, and the volleyball gym is right there.

Parking locations are highlighted in blue on the map. The parking spots along Valley Drive and Farm Drive are closest but you might not find an open spot. The highlighted garages will let you park for a fee (not all garages on campus do).

How It Works

We use a mailing list to organize our games. Someone will start things off by sending an email to the e-mail reflector, saying they want to play (and, perhaps, their indoor or outdoor preference). Then other folks who want to play chime in; folks who can't play don't need to do anything. Generally the minimum number of players need to play is 6, but sometimes players will state a preference for at least 8 in order to play. If there is some debate about whether to play indoors or outdoors, it's generally determined by majority rule.

11:15am is generally the "soft" deadline for getting enough players: if we have enough, someone declares "game on." Other folks are welcome to play even if they neglect to sign-in; the sign-in process merely ensures we have an agreed-upon minimum.

So the best way to play with us is to join the mailing list, which you can do by simply mailing the list and asking to join. Being on the list doesn't commit you to playing: you can play as frequently or infrequently as you want. And if you need to leave this list for any reason, just ask to be removed.

More Details

Gameplay Rules

For the most part, we follow the official rules (and the spirit) of Ultimate Frisbee. But we do a couple of things differently, so there are a few things worth noting:

  • The biggest difference is that the only kickoff occurs at the start of the game. There is no kickoff after a point is scored: play resumes with the team that was on defense advancing the frisbee from out of the front of their own end zone. This makes the games go quicker.
  • If you have one foot in-bounds/in the end zone, that's generally considered in-bounds/a score even if they second foot may have landed out simultaneously. Close calls are discussed.
  • A strip that occurs in the end zone is considered a score. A foul in the end zone is replayed.
  • Sometimes one team will have a one-player advantage (5 vs. 4, 4 vs. 3, etc.). That team is not allowed to stall count the other team.
  • We take a short break after the end of every game. At that time, players may be switched around to create more balanced teams. Teams also switch ends of the field for the next game.

More on Outdoor Play

The outdoor field is smaller than an official Ultimate field but is the larger of our two playing venues. Our normal playing area is about 70 paces long and 30 paces wide, and we set up the end zones to be 10 paces deep. The field itself is an artifical grass surface: thin plastic grass with small rubber beads for cushioning. While it's abrasive to slide/dive on, it's not as rough as standard astroturf, and it holds up well under wet conditions with almost no loss of traction.

There is another group of people who play soccer on part of the field until 11:45am every weekday, so don't be concerned by their presence if you happen to arrive at the field that early.

Although there is a water fountain in the lobby of the nearby Epply Recreation Center, you're better off bringing your own water to drink between games.

More on Indoor Play

The volleyball gym is a standard hardwood floor gym surface large enough to support two full basketball courts. When we play, we use the full length of the gym and mark off our sidelines with cones at a width that makes sense given the number of players. The end zones are only about 3 paces deep and end in a wall. Because of that, we have the rule that you can catch the frisbee off of a wall bounce as long as the catch is completed in-bounds. Sometimes we will set up the field to include one of the side walls as well, and bounces off of that wall are allowed as well. Due to the smaller field, stall counts start at 5 rather than 1 (assuming the teams are even and you are allowed to stall count at all).

The gym is locked when not in use. A few of our players have card key access to the gym: if you arrive early for an indoor game and the doors are locked, simply wait for a few minutes until someone with access can open it. There is a water fountain in the hallway outside of the gym, and bathrooms / locker rooms on the two floors below.

Last updated: June 2016