Spotlight: Portland Ultimate Frisbee

Weekend on the Cheap:

Portland Art Museum free admission this Friday from 5:00pm – 8:00pm as part of ‘Fourth Fridays.’

Energy Trust Better Living Home, Garden and Lifestyle Show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Portland Expo Center. Free admission, though parking is $7 per space.

Children’s consignment sale this Friday, Saturday and Sunday located in Vancouver’s Centennial Center at the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay. Many items will be half-price on Sunday. The sale is free admission and is open to the public.

– “Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice about the Meat We Eat),” book reading at Powell’s City of Books at 4:00pm, featuring musician Moby. Free.

– Next Adventure 7th Annual Spring Warehouse Clearance Sale this Saturday and Sunday, save 20%-80% off camping gear, kayaks, apparel, snow sports equipment, footwear and more.

– NBC reality show the Biggest Loser is holding an open casting call for new contestants this Sunday, March 28th at the Oregon Convention Center from 10:00am – 6:00pm.

– For a complete rundown of free activities and events this weekend, please visit Aroundthesunblog. gift certificates at 80% off now until March 31st: buy a $25 gift certificate for $2, must use the promo code ‘COOK’ at checkout. Weekly Promo Offer 125 X 125


This week’s Spotlight is on a growing team sport that is super-cheap, super-fun and super-good for you: Ultimate Frisbee!

We were first introduced to this sport in spring 2004 when we responded to an ad on Craigslist for a pick-up beginner’s game at Laurelhurst Park. Before we knew it, our Sundays were all about playing Ultimate Frisbee and hanging out with the people afterward.

The game is pretty simple: 7 players to a team on the field (with subs). The objective is to advance the Frisbee across the field to the opposing side’s goal area. Points are scored when a member of the team catches the Frisbee inside of that area (the end zone). The first team to 15 points, wins. Of course, there are other points to know about playing this game, but once you get started the rules and etiquette of the game will come easily.

We love this sport for a variety of reasons:
– Cheap: the only equipment you’ll need is a Frisbee (and those flimsy freebies with company logos on it? not recommended); official discs cost around $15-$25

– Play just about anywhere and anytime, preferably in a big, level field. A sandy beach would be perfect.

– Exercise: running around a field is very tiring, but fortunately each team has subs. Just call for one whenever you need a breather. If you aren’t in shape when you start, you sure will be after a few sessions!

– It’s for everyone and anyone: old and young, male and female, super athletes and casual athletes. On the competitive circuit, there are co-ed teams and single-sex teams with levels ranging from beginner to advanced.

– Camaraderie: people love this sport and there is a true sense of players wanting others to enjoy it. Come more than once and soon enough you’ll find that someone will take you under his or her wing to help a newcomer out with the nuances of the game.

– “Spirit of the Game:” Ultimate emphasizes fair play and sportsmanship. You won’t find any refs, as players call their own fouls. It’s a game of respect and having fun.

Wanna get started?

First stop, visit the official Portland Ultimate Frisbee Federation web site, PUFF. You’ll find information about Ultimate basics, message boards, leagues, pick-up games and resources.

– If you have a Yahoo account, you can sign up for the Yahoo group PDX Ultimate Frisbee group, which has over 300 members and frequent postings on the message board for scheduled and impromptu pick-up games.

– The community section of Portland Craigslist sometimes has postings for people recruiting newbies and experienced players for an upcoming pick-up game. Just type in “Frisbee” in the search box to see what comes up.

– A listing of weekly pick-up games can be found at PUFF and includes information such as skill level, duration and location. We recommend the Tuesday 6 o’clock-ish session at Gabriel Park in SW Portland or the Sunday 2:00pm afternoon game at Franklin High School in SE Portland. Just show up and let em’ know that you are a beginner and you’ll be well taken care of! And don’t forget to bring and light and dark-colored shirt for team divisions.

– Sign up for the PUFF Start Skillz League. At just $70 per person, the Z-league is a fun beginner league that starts in April. Participants learn throws and strategy and gradually play more and more games in the league. The fee includes league play, a Rec League t-shirt, a Portland Ultimate Frisbee Federation disc, and a barbecue during the Rec League tournament at the end of the season.

– Can’t commit to a season or still a little hesitant? Then try a Beginner Clinic through PUFF. Choose either April 17th or April 24th, runs from 8:00am – 12:00pm at only $10 per adult or $7 per student/youth. This is for women only (sorry fellas!).

Finally, check out the Wikipedia entry for Ultimate Frisbee or this short write up for these 10 simple rules.

That’s all for this week, thanks for visiting and hopefully we’ll see you out there on the field!

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