An Insider Look at the High Tide Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
So I don’t know how the rest of Goucher students spent their spring break, but I was fortunate enough to spend my spring break in sunny South Carolina for the High Tide Ultimate Tournament with two ultimate frisbee teams from Goucher.
The Goucher men’s team, “Gophbusters”, and the Goucher women’s team, “All You Can Eat” are both part of the Ultimate Frisbee Club here at Goucher, but play as separate teams for the men’s and women’s brackets of the High Tide Tournament.
High Tide is a series of college ultimate frisbee tournaments divided across four weeks and taking place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Each of the week long tournaments draw in frisbee teams from colleges all across the East Coast and Midwest. As a result, my team and I had the opportunity to face off against a wide variety of opponents, each with unique strengths, weaknesses, and strategies to bring to the field.
Some teams showed better sportsmanship than others, but I personally never felt disrespected or degraded by any of the teams we played against. There was plenty of spirit to go around both on the frisbee field and off of it. Players on both sides swapped stories and jokes on the sidelines while chanting an endless supply of cheers to their teammates. After games you would often find teams congratulating opposing players on their accomplishments and successful plays during the game. When the Goucher men’s team had bye games we would go watch the Goucher women’s team to cheer them on and provide encouragement, and vice versa. The overall vibe of the High Tide Tournament seemed much more friendly and supportive compared to tournaments I’ve played in for other sports such as basketball and baseball.
At the end of the week, when I asked my teammate Brian Barger, ‘21, what his favorite part about High Tide 2018 was, he quickly told me that while he really enjoyed all the time spent playing frisbee, “the community bonding was huge.” Both Brian and I have been part of the ultimate frisbee team since the beginning of the school year, attending numerous practices for two to three days a week for months on end, but spending a week together in a house with the team showed me sides of my teammates that I never saw during practices or games. The senior members of the team did a great job of taking care of the rookies and the rest of the team by helping them stay healthy and well rested in preparation for the rapid barrage of frisbee games we played each day of the tournament. Each ultimate frisbee game at High Tide is 70 minutes long, and teams play between one to four games each day, often back to back unless teams are lucky enough to get a bye game somewhere in between the cluster of matches. Ultimate frisbee involves a huge amount of running up and down the field and the pace of the game is very quick with constant movement and few timeouts. Captains were constantly encouraging teammates to drink plenty of water, gatorade, and even pickle juice for electrolytes to help with muscle cramps and fatigue. When I would finally come back to the house with the rest of the team after each long day of frisbee, both the men’s and women’s team would come together and cook meals for everyone and participate in a variety of bonding activities such as watching movies and making crafts. Captains would then tell us to get to sleep early each night in preparation for the next day of frisbee. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better spring break and High Tide had a lot to do with that.