Penguins off to regionals

Regional Frisbee tournament held at Olivet

Olivet Nazarene University’s Ultimate Frisbee team The Black Penguins are at the tail end of their season, going 2-2 this past weekend at their sectional tournament held on the Olivet Intermural Fields.

The Lady Penguins also played this weekend, finishing their season with a record of 1-3, forfeiting their last game due to injury. “I enjoy the people, and tournaments are fun,” junior Brooke Smith said. “Everyone is tired and hungry afterwards, but each weekend is always memorable.”

The Black Penguins are now working towards regionals held in Indiana April 30 to May 1. If they place first there, they will go on to Nationals, which would be their second time going in three years.

Although not an official Olivet team, the Black Penguins and Lady Penguins bear the Olivet name in all their tournaments. “The team is fully self-funded from the tournaments we host,” junior Lady Penguin team member Esther Paek said. “Even if Olivet doesn’t recognize us, people recognize Olivet when we play. I think the school is missing out on an opportunity.”


Both of the Frisbee teams will be kicking off next school year with a Combine that will showcase the team to potential players. Paek said it will be like a field day with food and games so people can learn about Frisbee but also know that it’s a commitment.

“What most players find attractive about ultimate Frisbee is that it has enough structure of an organized sport but without all the time constraints,” junior Mitch Brummel said, one the of the captains for the Black Penguins.

The team travels for tournaments three to five weekends in a semester and practice six hours a week. This allows team members the opportunity to stay active while still having plenty of free time and a flexible schedule, and prevents participation from creating a stressful schedule situation.

There is no fear when joining the team because “everyone starts out at the same level with ultimate Frisbee; no one played it in high school,” senior captain Scott Fischer said.

When first joining the team, most people start out at a very basic level. The Black Penguins invite anyone interested to join, with no experience or expertise required.

“It’s a very easy sport to pick up,” Fischer continued, “After a few weeks of practice, people usually get the hang of it.”

Members are required to pay a small fee to participate and purchase a jersey. Other than that, the proceeds from home tournaments and service projects cover travel expenses for tournaments. There are currently 26 players on the men’s team and 13 for the women.

“Our team has become more than a team, we’re like a brotherhood,” senior captain Nick Schoon said.

This is true, as members of the Black Penguins see a lot of each other outside of scheduled practice times and competitions. The team has formed a Bible study, small groups, and do service projects together.

“We want to make it a community of faith first, live Christlike and maintain our character, wherever we are,” Schoon added.

Basic Rules of Frisbee

  • Seven players on the field at one time
  • Score points by catching the Frisbee in the opposing team’s endzone.
  • Players cannot move when holding the disc, having to pass it up the field. If the disc hits the ground, then the other team takes possession.
  • Non-contact sport
  • Games are almost entirely self- officiated. Referees are called “observers,” and only declare the disc out of bounds, or settle disputes in foul calls.
  • Fouls are called for inordinate contact, and the opposing player can either acknowledge it, allowing the person fouled to have possession of the disc where it would have been caught, or the call can be disputed, and the disc is returned to the original thrower, essentially a redo.
  • Games are completed when one team has scored a predetermined number of goals, typically 13 or 15, or until a time limit of 110 minutes has been reached.

Connor Pestka, staff writer

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