Junior represents Philly in Ultimate Frisbee Championships

By Laura Van De Pette
March 11, 2005

Courtesy of Read DeSabato

Junior Read DeSabato was thrilled to leave his RA duties on Cabrini’s snow- covered campus and gladly accepted his team captain’s invitation to be one of seven players to represent Philadelphia in the “Adios Diablo National Ultimate Frisbee Tournament” in sunny Tempe, Ariz. from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30, 2005.

A typical game is played to 15 points and will last about an hour and a half. No physical contact is allowed between players. A foul occurs when contact is made. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone. DeSabato said, “The game is supposed to be non-physical but sometimes things happen. I broke my collar bone three seasons ago in a freak accident but it is rather common to see older players break legs and arms.”

DeSabato has been playing ultimate Frisbee in the PADA league for five years and was invited to his first national tournament four weeks ago. All the members of the team had played at one time in PADA but never all togther until the tournament. DeSabato said, “My captain called me and the rest of the team. He knew all of us and thought we were the best players and would make the best team for the tournament, but he knew he was taking a risk because we had never played as a team before.”

DeSabato’s team, “Philadelphia Revolution,” placed 11th out of 36 teams nationwide. DeSabato said, “To go out and play teams that have been practicing together for years and place in the top third of the competition is amazing. We played the number two team and were able to score nine points out of a possible 15 points. I was really proud.”

The Diablo fields in Tempe, Ariz. have been the only host of the national ultimate Frisbee tournament but will give up their location next year. The Arizona Diamondbacks are buying the land and the tournament will be held in a different location next year for the first time in ultimate Frisbee history. The tournament was appropriately named, “Adios Diablo.”

The first day of competition is played in a series of rounds followed by the second day which is played in elimination rounds. “During the second day of the tournament we were losing 14-9 and had pretty much considered ourselves eliminated and then we some how came back to win 16-14. It was surprsing,” DeSabato said.

In general most players are 25 to 40 years of age so DeSabato, at age 20, was one of the youngest players competing in Arizona this year. “Many of the players on my team are big names in the Frisbee community and it was such an honor to play with them in a national tournament,” DeSabato said.

About 100,000 people play ultimate Frisbee throughout the world, half of them from the United States. The Frisbee community is always yearning to grow and a major milestone in this effort occurred in 2001 when ultimate Frisbee was included in the World Games for the first time as a full medal sport.

With so many Frisbee fans playing the sport and loving every minute of it, DeSabato was disappointed to find that Cabrini does not have an ultimate Frisbee team. “I would love to have a Cabrini ultimate Frisbee team. There is one at Eastern University and several other local colleges but we still unfortunately do not have an organized team. If anyone ever wants to play, even just to toss a Frisbee around, I’m always looking to play. Ultimately, I would love to see ultimate Frisbee as a Spring Intramural sport at Cabrini. Whether it becomes an organized sport at Cabrini or not, I am always ready to play.”

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Laura Van De Pette

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