Ultimate frisbee, also known as just “ultimate,” is a fast-paced and exciting sport that combines elements of soccer, basketball, and American football. It is played with a flying disc and involves two teams of seven players each, trying to score points by passing the disc to their teammates and catching it in the opposing team’s end zone. Ultimate frisbee has gained popularity in recent years, with over 7 million players worldwide and over 100 countries participating in the sport.
With the growing popularity of ultimate frisbee, many players wonder if they can get a scholarship to play at the collegiate level. In this article, we will explore the possibilities of getting a scholarship for ultimate frisbee and provide valuable insights for aspiring players.
The State of Ultimate Frisbee Scholarships
Ultimate frisbee is not currently recognized as an official NCAA sport, which means that there are no official scholarships offered by the NCAA for ultimate frisbee players. However, there are still opportunities for players to receive financial aid for playing ultimate frisbee at the collegiate level.
According to a survey conducted by USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States, 60% of college ultimate teams offer some form of financial aid to their players. This aid can come in the form of scholarships, grants, or other financial assistance.Read:Does nccaa offer athletic scholarships?
Additionally, there are also non-NCAA organizations that offer scholarships for ultimate frisbee players. These organizations include the Ultimate Players Association (UPA) and the National Collegiate Ultimate Frisbee Association (NCUFA). These organizations offer scholarships to players who demonstrate exceptional skills and dedication to the sport.
How to Get a Scholarship for Ultimate Frisbee
Now that we know there are opportunities for ultimate frisbee players to receive financial aid, let’s explore the steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a scholarship for ultimate frisbee.
1. Develop Your Skills
The first and most crucial step to getting a scholarship for ultimate frisbee is to develop your skills as a player. This means practicing regularly, attending camps and clinics, and playing in competitive leagues and tournaments.
One way to showcase your skills is by participating in the USA Ultimate High School National Invite, a tournament that brings together the top high school ultimate teams from across the country. This tournament is a great opportunity to catch the eye of college coaches and increase your chances of receiving a scholarship.
2. Research Colleges and Their Ultimate Frisbee Programs
Once you have developed your skills, it’s essential to research colleges and their ultimate frisbee programs. Look for colleges that have a strong ultimate frisbee team and a history of offering financial aid to their players.Read:Can a good gmat score get me a scholarship?
Some colleges, such as Carleton College and the University of Oregon, have well-established ultimate frisbee programs and offer scholarships to their players. It’s also worth considering smaller colleges and universities that may not have as well-known ultimate frisbee programs but still offer financial aid to their players.
3. Reach Out to Coaches
After researching colleges, reach out to the coaches of their ultimate frisbee teams. Introduce yourself, share your skills and achievements, and express your interest in playing for their team. Coaches are always looking for talented players to join their team, and reaching out to them can help you stand out from other applicants.
It’s also a good idea to attend college ultimate frisbee showcases and tournaments, where you can meet and network with coaches from different colleges.
4. Maintain Good Academic Standing
While ultimate frisbee may not be an official NCAA sport, many colleges still require their players to maintain good academic standing to receive financial aid. This means maintaining a high GPA and meeting any other academic requirements set by the college.
Having good grades and a strong academic record can also make you a more attractive candidate to college coaches, as they want players who are not only skilled on the field but also dedicated to their studies.Read:Examining the Legitimacy of Niche Scholarships
5. Apply for Scholarships
In addition to reaching out to coaches and networking, it’s essential to apply for scholarships offered by organizations such as the UPA and NCUFA. These scholarships are highly competitive, so make sure to submit a strong application that highlights your skills, achievements, and dedication to the sport.
It’s also worth checking with your college’s financial aid office to see if they offer any scholarships specifically for ultimate frisbee players.
While ultimate frisbee may not have the same level of recognition and funding as other collegiate sports, there have been success stories of players receiving scholarships for ultimate frisbee.
One such success story is that of Jesse Shofner, who received a full scholarship to play ultimate frisbee at the University of Oregon. Shofner was a standout player in high school and caught the attention of the University of Oregon’s ultimate frisbee coach, who offered her a scholarship to play for their team.
Another success story is that of Ben Jagt, who received a full scholarship to play ultimate frisbee at Carleton College. Jagt was a top player in high school and was recruited by Carleton College’s ultimate frisbee coach, who offered him a scholarship to play for their team.
While ultimate frisbee may not have the same level of recognition and funding as other collegiate sports, there are still opportunities for players to receive financial aid for playing at the collegiate level. By developing your skills, researching colleges and their ultimate frisbee programs, reaching out to coaches, maintaining good academic standing, and applying for scholarships, you can increase your chances of receiving a scholarship for ultimate frisbee.
It’s also essential to remember that receiving a scholarship for ultimate frisbee is highly competitive, and not all players will be successful. However, with dedication, hard work, and a bit of luck, it is possible to turn your passion for ultimate frisbee into a scholarship opportunity.
So, if you’re an aspiring ultimate frisbee player, don’t let the lack of official NCAA recognition discourage you. Keep working hard, and who knows, you may be the next success story in the world of ultimate frisbee scholarships.