Ultimate Frisbee is a PSAL Sport


Jerson Yang

The score is 12-11 at McCarren Park Field. Baruch Ultimate is up by one in their game against Brooklyn Technical Support B. One goal scored by Brooklyn Tech means a tied game, leading to overtime. One goal scored by Baruch means they go home with their first win of the season.

Brooklyn Tech drops the disc. Matthew Kestin picks up the disc and passes it to team captain Evan Vaishville. Vaishville directs traffic and passes it to Leo Jahmurataj. Jahmurataj holds onto the disc and passes it back to Kestin. Kestin throws a long pass to a cutting Jackson McDonald who scores and gives Baruch their first win of the season!

The game is over! Coach Lance Levitt puts his arms up while the team runs to tackle Jackson and applauds. Both teams line up to shake hands and say “good game!” Evan, Matthew, Copper, Sean, and Jackson run to the live streaming camera as they celebrate their win! Brooklyn Tech collectively shouts “GOOD GAME BARUCH!” as they end their huddle, showcasing one of the most important parts of Ultimate Frisbee, “spirit of the game.” According to USA Ultimate, the Spirit of the game is the “mutual respect and trust between opponents; communication and conflict resolution skills; and self-confidence – both on and off the field of play.”

Unlike any other sport, Ultimate Frisbee does not have referees. The players make their calls, focusing on fair play, mutual respect, and communication. Each team has seven players on the field. The objective of the sport is to pass the disc around until a disc is caught in the endzone. Players are not allowed to hold onto the disc for more than 10 seconds and can not move while having the disc. A turnover happens if the disc drops to the ground or is intercepted.

Ultimate Frisbee requires players to be able to throw the frisbee, such as the backhand or forehand. In addition, players have to play through weather conditions, such as wind, even a little bit of wind can affect the game. Ultimate Frisbee, however, is not considered a Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) sport.

This brings a lot of advantages and disadvantages to the sport. Because Ultimate Frisbee is not a PSAL sport, it allows more flexibility in what the team can do. Yet, like any other sport, Ultimate Frisbee requires time and energy to set up. Without an athletic director, the team usually relies on the person that is most passionate and dedicated enough to spend countless hours making the team a reality.

Our Coach does not receive any compensation as he is a “chaperone” for the team. Any team that pays its coaches is through their own money or the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). It is unfair to have a team where its coach does not receive pay. This does not include background checks and training. If PSAL adds Ultimate Frisbee as a sport, it will pay its coaches and people that make the sport a reality.

PSAL’s mission is to “provide opportunities for educating students in physical fitness, character development, and socialization skills through an athletic program that fosters teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship.” Ultimate Frisbee matches all aspects of the mission. Cooper Bach, Leo Jahmurataj, Jackson McDonald, and Arsim Novaj have all been on the school’s soccer team. Leo Jahmurataj has also been part of the school’s wrestling team. Evan Vaishville and Arsim Novaj have been on the school’s basketball team. These athletes have shown their commitment to the game and a part in fostering teamwork through “discipline and sportsmanship.” Furthermore, the Middle School Athletic League (MSAL) includes Ultimate Frisbee as one of their 12 offered sports, which shows one of the reasons why it is an established sport.

PSAL will receive many benefits in adding Ultimate Frisbee as an official sport. The sport does not require referees (fostering independence and commitment to “fair play”), low cost to maintain (as the only equipment necessary is a frisbee and cones), and is as intense as any other sport. The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) is a professional Ultimate Frisbee League that consists of 25 teams across the United States, including two teams from Canada.

Receiving PSAL recognition will take a leap in reducing hesitancy and will inspire other school leagues to follow suit. Ultimate Frisbee is already well-established due to the impressive work done by DiscNY, “a nonprofit organization uniting, investing, assisting, and providing equitable access to ultimate and disc sports.” This season, DiscNY helped oversee a total of 28 NYC schools. NYC public schools include Bard High School Early College, Beacon High School, Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Latin High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, Columbia Secondary School, Stuyvesant High School, West End Secondary School, and our very own: Baruch College Campus High School.

Added into the PSAL or not, Ultimate Frisbee will remain one of the most competitive sports the world has to offer and will continue to develop compassionate, competitive, and passionate athletes.

Baruch Ultimate finishes the season 2-4. The team would not have been possible without their seniors! Brandon Quizeno and Sean Patrick Estrera will be going to City College of New York next year. Caleb Horowitz will be going to George Washington University. Cooper Bach will be going to Villanova University. David Kalika will be going to Binghamton University. Evan Vaishville and Arsim Novaj will be going to Baruch College. Jackson McDonald will be going to the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Leo Jahmurataj will be going to University of Buffalo. Luis Ayala will be going to Guttman Community College. Matthew Kestin will be going to Indiana University. Lastly, Morgan Gochberg is going to Roger Williams University.

Most of those seniors helped create Baruch Ultimate during their freshman year in 2019, led by Coach Aaron Sparrow. Baruch Ultimate will not be the same without them next year. We thank them for their contributions to the game and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.