For students who have yet to watch a college ultimate Frisbee game, this weekend they will finally have their chance.
On Saturday and Sunday both the men's and women's ultimate Frisbee teams will compete against a variety of Boston area club frisbee teams in the Clambake Tournament.
Ultimate Frisbee is sometimes assumed to be less intense than regular sports, but the players strongly disagree.
"The most common misinterpretation about ultimate is that it is not a 'real sport,' and that it is only played by hippies," said men's tri-captain Sam Dinning '09. "Almost everyone who plays ultimate at Bowdoin played at least one varsity sport in high school, and this intensity definitely carries over."
Though players may be throwing a frisbee around, there's much more to the game than that.
"Ultimate will always have an element that likes to be laid back and played barefoot," said men's co-captain Ben Stormo '08, "but it also has an element that trains year-round, and flies all over the country to participate in tournaments."
"Ultimate can be incredibly competitive," said Alexa Lindauer '09, co-captain of the women's team "Games usually run about an hour, and players are sprinting for most of the time they're on the field... For those who don't consider it a 'real sport,' I'd tell them to try playing a full game with no subs."
In addition, ultimate Frisbee games are played with no referees, so calls are negotiated on an honor code by players on the field.
"This honors system is a really nice component of the game, although arguments can get hairy," said Lindauer, adding that the number of plays and formations makes it much more complicated than "the ultimate Frisbee most people played in gym in middle school."
This self-sufficiency is extended to the team's management. The team operates without a coach, which requires players to motivate each other and help each other improve.
Though the game is complex and intense, players stress that is also has a relaxed element to it as well. The team at Bowdoin generally practices four to five times a week, but team members are encouraged to come whenever they can, even if they can't attend all of the practices.
"If someone wants to come to practice once a week and throw on the sideline, that's cool," said Lindauer.
Most team members agree that ultimate Frisbee will play a part in their lives after Bowdoin, especially since there are now major leagues in many large cities, as well as smaller club teams everywhere.
"There are ways to get involved at any level of experience or competition so I'll be playing somewhere," said Dinning.
Best of all, ultimate Frisbee is a sport for all ages.
"You'll see women with their babies in strollers on the sidelines," said Julia Bond '09, co-captain of the women's team. "It's a life thing." She added that "Frisbee accommodates everyone," and that those who have never played before should consider starting.
"Anyone can learn how to throw a disc. If you learn how to throw a disc, you can play ultimate," she said. "Once you get it down, you can always pick up a disc and huck it."
The Clambake tournament will take place at the Farley Fields beginning at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday and continue through Sunday.