It’s Ultimate

The Rum Runners pose for a picture after capturing the title at their home tournament, photo courtesy of Lamar Seger
The Rum Runners pose for a picture after capturing the title at their home tournament, photo courtesy of Lamar Seger

Callahans, flicks and hammers all grouped together have no apparent connection, however ask an ultimate frisbee player and you will get a very different response. Ultimate frisbee is one of the fastest growing sports on college campuses all across America. Though a majority of the teams are club or intramural that do not discourage people from playing the game.

Bloomsburg University’s Ultimate frisbee team or The Rum Runners as they are known, are led by three junior captains: Tim McConnell, Lamar Seger and Jon Palumbo. The team holds a 1-1 tournament record this season after winning their home tournament and taking second at the East Stroudsburg tournament, earlier in the season.

At the home tournament, The Rum Runners went 6-0 defeating all of their opponents in pool play and earning a victory over Wilkes University in the championship game 15-2. Proud of his team’s accomplishment was Palumbo stating, “This was the first tournament where we won every single game.”  Seger agreed with Palumbo stating that the team “played amazing, the chemistry was good, and I was very happy with the team.”  At East Stroudsburg, the Rum Runners advanced to the championship game, but fell to a New Jersey team by a score of 13-4. “The other team was really, really good,” said Seger, “but we still played hard.”

As stated earlier, ultimate frisbee is growing in popularity on college campuses. According to Palumbo, “The object of the game is to score more points than the other team by getting the disk into the end-zone which you are attacking; it’s a lot like football.”  The players who generally throw the disk are known as handlers while the receivers catch the frisbee, but there are no real set positions in frisbee. For the most part, everyone plays the same positions and has the same responsibilities. There are seven players from each team on the field at one time and two out of the seven players should be girls. Ultimate frisbee is co-ed, therefore encouraging participation by all.

The prime seasons for frisbee are the fall and the spring. The fall season runs from the end of September through the beginning of November, while the spring season runs from the end of March to the beginning of May. The Rum Runners are a club team here at Bloomsburg, they “take it (ultimate frisbee) seriously, but not to the point where people don’t enjoy it,” according to Seger.  Both Palumbo and Seger agree, “the best way to learn how to play frisbee is by playing the game and practice, lots and lots of practice.” The first three weeks of the season are designed for learning the basics to the game. Gradually the practices become more technical and advanced, incorporating drills designed to improve: throwing, catching, offense, defense and speed.

Kyle Hanley makes a diving catch for the disk, photo courtesy of Lamar Seger
Kyle Hanley makes a diving catch for the disk, photo courtesy of Lamar Seger

What made the Rum Runners captains Seger and Palumbo want to join frisbee their freshman year? Both played frisbee in high school gym class or with friends at home for fun. When they got to BU they wanted to find a more competitive way to play. Off the field both captains see the team as sort of a family. “We eat meals together, have pasta dinners to prep before tournaments, go out to eat and play games whether they be pick-up games, kickball or capture the flag on the weekends,” said Palumbo and Seger.

The Rum Runners, (1-1) tournament record, will see action again two weeks from now as they travel to Wilkes University on November 7 for a tournament. For questions about the Rum Runners or to learn more, please contact the team email: bloomultimate@gmail.com or check out the team website: http://organizations.bloomu.edu/ultimatefrisbee/.

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