Secret Sports


By Wendy Soderburg '82

Published Jan 1, 2007 8:00 AM

Veteran BLU team member Holly Schwartz, aka "Stretch," performs a perfect layout. On defense is teammate Cheryl "Kix" Prideaux.

Ultimate Site

Find photos, tournament info, contacts and more for Women's Ultimate Frisbee.

Fair Flight

Originally called "Ultimate Frisbee," this lively sport is now known simply as "Ultimate." (Frisbees — trademarked discs by Wham-O — are rarely used in competition anymore.) The game is a fast-moving, noncontact version of football, and the object is to score points by passing the disc into the opposing end zone.

What makes Ultimate unique, however, is "Spirit of the Game," a code of fair play and sportsmanship revered by all players. Because "Spirit of the Game" works so well, Ultimate is played without referees. Anna "Maddog" Nazarov, senior co-captain of Bruin Ladies Ultimate (BLU), explains the code: "You play as hard as you can without crossing the line, disrespecting the opposing team or your own teammates. You call fouls when you think they happen, and you don't contest it when other people call fouls on you and you know you committed them. You don't purposely foul anybody."

BLU was formed in fall 2003 with the recruiting help of Smaug, the men's Ultimate team. A second team, Midas, was formed in 2004 when interest in BLU exploded.

Throw it!

Watch the UCLA BLU play a game of ultimate in this 2006 video.

"At UCLA we have a huge student body, so many of these girls who were athletes in high school are now looking at club sports as a way to continue their athletics," says Midas Coach Jamie Nuwer, a fourth-year UCLA medical student.

"The cool thing about Ultimate is, it brings together a lot of people I wouldn't expect myself to be hanging out with, and we're all best friends," says BLU senior co-captain Lisa "Clyde" Vampola.

BLU Coach Alex Korb, currently a UCLA doctoral student in neuroscience, has high hopes for his team after the women surpassed all expectations and finished second to Stanford at Nationals last May. "BLU is, in my opinion, the preseason favorite to win it all," he claims. "Their best is better than that of any other college team out there."