The Ultimate Sport

Amelia Klemme, Staff Writer

For a sport invented a little over fifty years ago, Ultimate has grown exponentially. Starting as a series of similar yet unrelated games involving hurling projectiles, then as a single joke team at Columbia High School, it grew into a sport with over 600 teams across the country. It only continues to grow, especially after the International World Games Association claimed it as a world sport. 

The Minnetonka Ultimate team has done the same. Sofi Chartrand, coach of both JV and the recently formed middle school team, says that “the most amount of people are getting excited about Ultimate this year. Our JV and our Varsity combined is the biggest team we’ve had in years.” Varsity athlete Via Carney, ‘25, got to see the expansion first hand, and says “I’m excited to see how our team is going to grow.”

Even as the team expands, they remember to stick to the first of their fundamentals: sportsmanship. Ultimate is viewed as the pinnacle of sportsmanship, as it is what Carney calls a “spirit sport.” Rather than referees, it generally relies solely on players’ judgment to call their own fouls and follow the rules. 

Chartrand praises the Minnetonka team in particular and the fact that they are well known for being a great spirited team. “Teams from all over the state want to play us and they’ll move around their schedules to play us,” she explains. They’re a team that is “going to cheer on not just Minnetonka, but the other team as well.” 

“Everyone is talking to each other constantly on the field,” Carney agrees, “and it’s full of community.”

As they grow, the team continues to push the limits of another fundamental aspect of the sport: the competition itself. Though not an Olympic sport, Ultimate demands the same level of athleticism and strategy as most contact sports. Even the name demonstrates this, because after dropping the second word, “frisbee,” in the name, it represents the ultimate experience of the game.

Despite its difficulties, both Carney and Chartrand encourage more people to join. “Ultimate’s a super nice way to get active whether you have sports experience or not,” Carney says. 

“We play Thursday nights,” Chartrand says, speaking to the growing population of student Ultimate fans. “Everyone should come and cheer on whoever’s home that week.”