SALISBURY, MD---During the weekend of March 8-9, some 2,000 players and fans are expected to descend on Salisbury for the East Coast’s largest ultimate Frisbee tournament. More than 56 co-ed teams and 40 women’s teams, including two from Salisbury University, come from across the nation to compete for top honors in the seventh annual “Huck of the Irish” tournament.
From its humble beginnings in the 1960s as a free-spirited “anti-sport,” the game of ultimate Frisbee has grown exponentially in recent yearsespecially at SU.
“There’s a lot of excitement about this event,” said tournament coordinator Jason Mokar, an SU graduate student. “We still have a huge waiting list and teams are coming from as far away as Texas and Wisconsin to play. We are looking forward to our biggest and best year yet.”
This year’s two-day double-elimination tournament is held in conjunction with the Central Maryland Ultimate Association (CMUA). Sanctioned by the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), the event replaces Salisbury’s former Atlantis Tournament.
The New York Times describes ultimate Frisbee as a “coach-free, referee-less, non-contact game” that combines the free form elements of Frisbee with strategy and athleticism. Guided by a ruling document called “The Spirit of the Game,” ultimate Frisbee fuses elements of football, soccer and basketball.
“Huck of the Irish” participants come from institutions such as Michigan State, Middlebury, University of Massachusetts, Michigan State, William & Mary and Yale. Some schools have teams in both divisions, including Columbia, Cornell, Penn State, Franklin & Marshall, Princeton and Boston University.
Regional schools are also heavily represented: University of Maryland College Park, Towson, Johns Hopkins, UMBC, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and University of Delaware (last year’s co-ed division winner) will all participate.
Games will be played at outdoor fields on the SU campus and eight community locations: Mardela High School, the old Salisbury Mall, Glen Avenue Elementary, Fruitland Park, Fruitland Primary, Bennett Middle School, the Crown Sports Center and the Holly Center. SU teams will play at the Crown Sports Center.
“Huck of the Irish” is sponsored in part by the UPA, VC Ultimate and Washington Area Frisbee Club. The SU Foundation also is providing equipment.
A tournament fee of $200 covers the use of fields, food and water. The games will be covered on CSTV’s CollegeSports.com and the UPA’s quarterly magazine, Ultimate News.