The Types of People You Meet At An Ultimate Pick Up Game

by | September 11, 2017, 7:30am 7

As I’ve written about here and here, I started playing ultimate in 1989.

After close to 30 years of experiences playing across Canada, the US and in many other countries in the world, the same type of people keep showing up at pick-up games again and again and again.

Here are the people you will meet at your next pick-up ultimate game.

You will meet the…

Masters Player

  • Wears a well-worn jersey from the early 90s and a salt-stained visor
  • Takes forever getting ready as he covers every joint with athletic tape, puts on his ankle, knee, and elbow braces and downs a handful of ibuprofen
  • Looks visibly hurt as he goes for the slowest warm up jog anyone has ever witnessed
  • Does 15-45 minutes of dynamics loudly groaning the whole time
  • Name drops players he played with and against in the “good old days” that no one under 35 has heard of
  • Constantly calls for everyone to dump the even when the disc is 20 yards upfield and he is lagging way behind the play
  • After getting scored on, will remind his team of his laundry-list of injuries he’s currently dealing with and how he would have definitely stopped that guy 10 years ago

“The Rules Police”

  • Initially comes off as relaxed and cool, but is actually one of the more intensely, condescending and passive-aggressive people there
  • Knows. Every. Single. Rule. Period.
  • Can quote the exact rule complete with page number and edition the rule first was added and carries at least one paper copy of the rules in his bag
  • Will state “No, that isn’t rule 10.5.1a, that’s rule 10.5.1b!” while shaking his head with frustration followed by muttering “idiot”
  • Impossible to discuss/debate/argue with as they are 100% right and have never been wrong about anything which partially explains their asking everyone if they need a guy for their league team

Young Couple in Love

  • Shows up late heavily alluding to last night’s bedtime escapades with slightly too much detail
  • Excessive and disgusting amount of hugging, kissing and touching during warm-up, while on the sideline, on the line awaiting the pull and during any stoppages in play
  • Loudly calling out “sweetie”, “honey”, “sweetheart” and other pet names almost to make everyone else feel worse about the current state of their own love life
  • Constantly looking to throw to each other regardless of how open the other is or how wide open anyone else is
  • Each point scored via the lovers connecting on a pass elicits a mandatory “awwwww” or else you risk coming across as bitter and unhappy

Dude Who Doesn’t Talk

  • This guy just doesn’t talk…to anyone…at all

“A Little too Amped up on D” Person

  • Will get at least one Callahan often on a beginner and will completely taco the disc in his aggressively intense celebration
  • Will bark at and mercilessly berate teammates who aren’t giving 110% the entire time
  • Consumes between 3-5 energy drinks during the game attempting to crush them against his head after drinking each one even when they are in plastic or glass bottles
  • In timeouts will use words such as “relentless”, “smothering” and “suffocating” causing everyone to be slightly concerned and afraid to not play better defense
  • Others will worry that he will incidentally break their hand in an exuberant on-field celebration
  • At least one person will say “chill dude” followed by “what are you on?” followed by “are you bleeding?”

Guy Looking to Score in Every Sense of the Term

  • From the moment he arrives, he will constantly flirt moving from female to female as if a bee looking to pollinate flowers
  • Will use as many risqué double-entendres, juvenile spoonerisms and sexual euphemisms as he can while maintaining his dual focus of playing ultimate and hooking up
  • Offers up-close-and-personal hands-on help for all women with their grips, how to pivot and how to use your hips and shoulders when throwing for distance
  • No endzone celebration is complete without his hugging each woman on his team for slightly longer and tighter than is socially acceptable

College All Star

  • Does wind sprints and core workout during warmup while all others are chatting
  • Literally does not stop running the entire time even when off the field
  • Breaks the mark with impossibly low, precise throws as if that is her sole mission
  • Scores literally every single point causing other team to change their entire defense to attempt to contain her, which they can’t
  • Will D most of the guys on the opposing team repeatedly until they wonder if they somehow offended her or start to cry for their mommies or both
  • Would come across as a robot if not so smiley and cute

Spirit “Cheerleader”

  • Plays with such an extreme level of unbridled enthusiasm that everyone keeps their distance and is slightly worried about her mental health
  • Wants to high five everyone on both teams after every point even going as far as gleefully chasing after someone who “isn’t in the mood”
  • Will call at least 3 spirit timeouts that include spirit games, sitting cross-legged in a circle and literally suggesting singing Kumbaya and a teary-eyed story about “where has all the spirit gone?”
  • Is “all about spirit”, something she will mention somewhere between 35-60 times during the game
  • After the game, she insists that the team perform a detailed, politically correct and overly-rehearsed song parody to the tune of American Pie, I Will Survive or Fight For Your Right (to Party)

“Cares too Much About Winning” Guy

  • Hyper-aware of the score the entire time
  • Glares for an uncomfortably long time at anyone who doesn’t seem like they totally care about winning
  • Talks about all of the results of previous pick-up games from weeks and years past swearing about “the utterly depressing” losses
  • Celebrates scoring or throwing for a point so much so that it is awkwardly embarrassing for all
  • Takes far too much credit if his team wins and doles out the blame on all of the newbies who “should have been looked off no matter how open they were” if his team loses

Guy who Wandered in off the Beach

  • Long, sun-bleached graying hair in a ponytail – will be wearing a bandana
  • Wears ripped jean cutoffs and tank top and may play barefoot
  • Weathered, bronze skin and appears that he may have slept at the field overnight
  • Smells “interesting”
  • Throws beach throws, has zero field awareness including where the endzone is and what defense means
  • Consumes somewhere between 3-6 cans of beer during the game and somehow his play will improve
  • Will launch into some long, rambling story loosely involving a Frisbee from the 70s that will have no point or conclusion

Tanned Muscles Guy

  • Shows up in the smallest tank top and short shorts so as to show off his impressive collection of well-oiled muscles causing at least one person to ask “are those real?”
  • Speaks monosyllabically and possibly with a hard-to-place accent when not flexing
  • Will find multiple, mostly nonsensical reasons throughout the game to remove his shirt displaying a six-pack that others will find both impressive and infuriating
  • Plays the entire game wearing sunglasses causing teammates to wonder “what is he looking at?”, “what is he thinking?” and “is he thinking?”

Lower Division League “Star”

  • Shows up in brand-new cleats and decked out in elite club team gear
  • When doing a team name circle, inserts a non-ironic “The” before his name before dusting off his shoulders
  • Exudes tons and tons of confidence complete with an annoying laugh and complicated high five routine
  • Loudly lets everyone know of his team’s incredible record this season conveniently never addressing the question of what division he actually plays in
  • After throw aways or being burned on D will come up with excuse after excuse as to why he “didn’t bring his A game”
  • At the end, when reality has finally set in, he will be the last to leave the field as he stares vacantly off into the distance as a single tear slowly rolls down his cheek

Uber-Athlete

  • This woman biked here straight from the gym where she just completed “only 90 minutes” of weights after she either did an early-morning 20 mile run and/or a triathlon “just for fun”
  • Drinks a water bottle full of what can only be described as brownish-greenish sludge
  • Complains that the points are too short and the time between points are too long and that if this keeps up she won’t get her 50000 daily steps in
  • Regardless of what anyone else mentions, she will trump any exercise story with her own athletic feat that no one will doubt the veracity of

Club Team Buddies

  • A gasp will escape the lips of others as these two “famous” players show up
  • Will only throw to each other regardless of how open anyone else is or how well covered either of them will be
  • Throws will be hucks or give and go passes where no one else on the team even comes close to touching the disc
  • Will only play on the same team even when splitting up would make the teams more fair
  • Won’t run at all when not involved in the play
  • Don’t play any defense at all and instead race back to the line for the next point so they never have to come off the field

“The Lower-level Older High School Coach”

  • Wears glasses, a whistle and knee-high socks
  • Shakes his head repeatedly at the “amateurish” offensive strategy being utilized by “kids these days”
  • Calls timeouts and, using his clipboard, insists on diagramming overly-detailed-completely-confusing plays involving no-fewer than 9 cuts
  • Constantly offers advice to everyone on their throws, their grip and their form for catching despite his inability to do any of these himself

Super-Fast Youth

  • Totally and completely unguardable
  • Barely breaks a sweat, breathes hard or looks like they are putting in a full effort as they ease around the field repeatedly getting open by huge amounts
  • Will make all defenders feel older, slower and depressed while maintaining a youthful joie de vivre and obliviousness
  • Doesn’t stretch, drink water, wear sunscreen or look up from their phone when not playing

Yoga Instructor/Student

  • Arrives wearing the newest and trendiest yoga wear
  • Drinking a non-fat, almond milk, kale smoothie or kombucha and eating a Greek yogurt, chia seed, acai berry bowl
  • Stretches before the game demonstrating unreal flexibility that makes all others either gape with jealousy, drool uncontrollably or both
  • Will demonstrate so many yoga poses while at the game while constantly dropping the name of her studio that others will rightfully wonder if she was here to play ultimate or just recruit new yoga students

Total Newbie

  • Has been dragged out by their friend/love interest, something they will repeat ad nauseum
  • Has never touched a disc before and is visibly scared when thrown to
  • Regardless of what positions are called, will pick the disc up on turnovers every time and promptly throw the disc away
  • Somehow throws the disc with zero spin regardless of any pointers anyone gives
  • Will spend much of the game standing in one spot often waving their arms in the air or slightly keeled over with hands on hips saying “I thought this only involved throwing to dogs”

Which one(s) are you? If I missed one, let me know.

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  • Ahmed Ali

    This is was actually funny and relatable. I am the “cares too much about winning” and “dude who doesn’t talk guy”.

    • Tommy Paley

      Thanks Ahmed! Glad you enjoyed and related to it!

  • Pr0ducer

    You missed the “Casual B-League Player.” This person (yeah, this is me) is middle-aged, and out to get in his daily workout whilst trying to socialize with people who are generally speaking, pretty damn cool.

    • Tommy Paley

      Thanks!

  • Starsfan6878

    You forgot Fat / Old Guy Just Looking to do his Two Hours of (Almost) Cardio for the Week. =)

    • Tommy Paley

      Oh yeah! That guy!

      • Starsfan6878

        I resemble that remark! ;-)