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Return of the Frisbee

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We live in an age of competition. Children play competitive sports, graduates compete to get into the best school, and they graduate into a work force that is, well, competitive. Given that, it can be hard to understand a sport as elastic as ultimate Frisbee. There are only 10 rules, and the sport can be as laid-back or competitive as you want it to be. It should not come as a surprise, then, that Queen City Ultimate is taking to the field for its second year.

 Josh Kearns, the lead organizer for Bangor's summer league, says that Bangor Parks and Recreation started a league in the early 2000s, but it was disbanded in 2008. In December 2011, Kearns and Dan Bullard, a native of Bangor, founded Queen City Ultimate, making that summer the inaugural year. 

'It really was just an opportunity for those of us actively playing ultimate, whether at school or club, to have an extra game to play each week,' Kearns said. 'We also wanted to help build the sport and support growth of the fastest growing sport in the country. So far it has helped in creating more of an ultimate community and bringing different level of players together in promoting the sport, and bringing people out of their houses onto the field.' 

This year, Queen City Ultimate is back. According to Kearns, Coespace and Saco Design are sponsoring the games this year.

Becca Pelletier, who has been playing ultimate Frisbee for over five years, says the game has taught her many things.

'I think the game itself teaches really valuable lessons in cooperation and interdependence,' Pelletier said.  'Unlike games like hockey or soccer, you can't have one person constantly hogging the disc. It's impossible to do that if you're actually playing, because the game is structured so you have to pass to your teammates.' The athlete says that the game is governed by a principle called 'spirit of the game.' Pelletier explains that players should be honest, sportsmanlike, and not let the competitiveness get beyond the fellowship of the game.

'Spirit of the game demands that you advocate for yourself and for your team,' Pelletier said. 'There are no referees in the game, so if you think there was a foul against you, you have to call it yourself. If the foul doesn't hurt the play at all, you can also choose to let it slide. It's the same in real life. You have to stand your own ground, but you learn to recognize when it's actually valuable to do so.'

While spirit of the game is taken seriously in Queen City Ultimate, team names have slid more into a play on words. 

'The team names for the summer league are kind of funny,' Pelletier said. She explains that every team was assigned a color, but wanted something a little more intimidating. 

'I think the red team has settled on Redrum,' and yellow is Yellow Snow.' Very scary names, obviously. I'm on green, and I think we're changing our name every week. Last week we were Avocado.' This week it was really wet out, so we became Algae.''

If you would like to check out a game of ultimate Frisbee, Queen City Ultimate games are held on the Union Street Athletic Complex every Wednesday. Games start at 6:30 p.m. You can still sign up to play for the rest of the summer, but registration is in the late stages. A playoff game is scheduled for July 31. For more information, you can view their website at queencityultimate.devhub.com.

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