Usually known as Ultimate Frisbee, the sport of Ultimate remains relevant only to those who play it. It's a shame too, because Ultimate features some of the best athletes in the world. They can run like soccer forwards, jump like basketball guards and cut like football receivers.
However, Ultimate remains in the shadows and many have never heard of it. College teams often cram 10-15 people into small motel rooms so they can play at tournaments because they lack funding from their schools.
Here are three reasons why Ultimate is still in the dark.
Children play football, soccer and baseball. They don't play Ultimate. Only in Ultimate hot spots such as California even have leagues where young kids can play. Even at the high school level Ultimate is regarded as more of a gym class activity than a competitive sport.
For the sport of Ultimate to become more popular, more youth leagues have to sprout up and entice kids to play. If that happens, Ultimate could take off as it's a cheap, fun and simple team sport that teaches the same valuable lessons as big name sports.
Teams like Revolver, Double Wide and Ironside are elite and consist of the best players in Ultimate today. However, they play under the same Club Division with other less-competitive teams. For the sport of Ultimate to be taken seriously, there needs to be a designated pro league where only the best of the best take part.
The only way Ultimate will start getting mainstream media coverage is if there's a professional league that provides the best the sport has to offer. The public doesn't watch minor league baseball or the Developmental League for basketball. They watch the pros because they want to see the cream of the crop. The same will be true for Ultimate.
In Ultimate, players call their own fouls. The founding fathers of Ultimate wanted to promote "spirit of the game" by not having referees in the games. Instead, if an infraction occurs during a game, players are responsible to make calls themselves.
If Ultimate is to be taken seriously, there has to be impartial officiating. In the heat of games, its almost impossible to make judgment calls on rule violations. Many times, teams take advantage and call violations regularly to get the edge.