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University of Missouri

Frisbee Happy

Mizzou club relishes ultimate Frisbee experience.

Mizzou Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is popular in CoMo, and the Mizzou Mutants, MU’s club team, is nationally competitive.

Stroll through Francis Quadrangle on a typical spring day and you’re bound to pass beneath the shadow of a disk gently wafting across the Mizzou skyline.

But beware airborne gladiators colliding midleap as they pursue the plastic prize with sweat-soaked zeal. This is ultimate Frisbee, baby, and it’s one of Mizzou’s most popular niche team sports.

Mizzou ultimate frisbee

The Mizzou Mutants play teams at other major universities, including Minnesota, Kansas and Notre Dame.

“People are surprised at how intense and competitive it can be,” says Alex McNamara, president of MU’s ultimate Frisbee club, the Mizzou Mutants. “We have a lot of guys who used to play varsity sports in high school.”

Similar to football in that an end-zone reception tallies a score, teams are composed of seven players with “handlers” (quarterbacks) and “cutters” (receivers). Play is continuous, like soccer, and when a team drops the disk, the opposition gains possession.

Acrobatic one-handed diving catches are not uncommon, and at the highest levels, play can get chippy.

“I once saw a guy choke-slam another player,” says McNamara, a senior finance major from Kirkwood, Mo. “But if someone’s acting up on a team, his own teammates will usually break it up.”

The club travels as far as Atlanta for tournaments featuring up to 40 teams, and the Mutants host an annual tournament at Cosmo Park to foot the season’s travel bill.

Although Mizzou has not yet qualified for the national tournament in Mason, Ohio, recent wins over strong opponents including Minnesota and Notre Dame give the team hope.

“I’ve been playing since my freshman year, and my teammates are all my best friends now,” McNamara says. “We’re all roommates on East Campus, and we even have a holiday party every year. It’s like our own fraternity.”