I read with pleasure the article last week about local Whidbey youth Connor Ryan and teammates smashing all Junior Ultimate Frisbee competition from many countries, including the generally close rival Canada.
That is no mean feat, as young players these days, having grown up competitively playing Frisbee (especially in the frisbee capital of the world — Seattle), are incredibly athletic.
Anyone who thinks Frisbee is a laid back park and beach sport don’t have a clue.
This game, with its tight rules, is ferociously competitive, aerobic, aggressive, fun, surprising, highly skilled, fast-timed and strategic.
ESPN broadcasts Frisbee championships.
It’s no-contact like basketball, with thrown goals like football and field team action like soccer.
I can speak for it: I played it for 20 years on the island (even at times against the young boy Connor and his dad), set up a few workshops on it, and helped maintain the pickup game when, for a period, only a few showed up.
Now the Sunday game is mobbed with players.
Frankly, I feel that ultimate Frisbee is a far better team tournament sport for high schools to put their money behind than football.
Think about it: the field and equipment cost is miniscule, the injuries are scrapes, bruises and very rare sprains or broken bones, while it’s great for spectators and can inspire cheering squads.
Compare with football with its very real concussion and serious neck and knee injuries as well as very expensive uniforms and equipment.
I know football is iconic and I can of course appreciate Russell Wilson and co., but football is simply too dangerous and expensive to put youths (and adults) at risk with; and we have to face this hard fact “ultimately,” so why not start the phase-out right here on Whidbey.