Big Frisbee Tournament Comes to Axton

Axton, VA-- Hundreds of college students braved the cold weather for about eight hours on Saturday at the Smith River Sports Complex in Axton. It was all for the Eastern's Qualifier Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.

There were 23 college men's ultimate frisbee teams from all over the East Coast. Some of the players said although ultimate frisbee hasn't been around as long as other major sports, it's popularity is definitely growing.

If you listened to the crowd, there was no mistaking you were at a sports game. Although new to the sports scene, many people are already catching ultimate frisbee fever.

"Really fired up to be here, said Mitch Schwartz and Daniel Rosenburg, players from Kenyon College. "So excited to play eight hours of ultimate today, eight hours of ultimate tomorrow and be with our team."

The tournament had teams from 12 states. The furthest came all the way from Alabama. Players said the fact that there were hundreds playing, shows that ultimate frisbee is growing fast.

"A couple years ago we barely had enough people to field the team, now we've got enough people to field two, three, four, full teams, "said Alex Kellems, player from University of Connecticut.

Ultimate frisbee is not that much different from other sports.

"It's probably best described as mix between soccer and basketball," said Greg Vassar, tournament director. "With basketball you have to establish a pivot foot, you cannot run with the disk, but like soccer, you have a lot of space to work with and you're looking to pass to open field areas where you're team mates are."

"People I've told I play ultimate, are like wait, that's a sport? Yes, yes, it is a sport, and it's a lot harder than people think," Kellems said.

In fact, players say you have to be just as competitive and athletic as in any other sport, although there is some extra room for horsing around.

"It's just as athletic as anything else I've ever played, unbelievable athleticism, you see how I stabilized there?" said Schwartz and Rosenburg.

There 23 teams were battling it out to fill in the one remaining open slot in the Eastern's Tournament that will be held later this month. They'll be playing the last round of games starting at 9 o'clock on Sunday morning. The tournament is free and open to the public. The winning team will be announced in the evening.