Ultimate flying-disc tournament in Burnet benefitting local nonprofits

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

BURNET — While Chad Nelson has never played a game of Ultimate, he didn’t let that stop him from organizing a tournament.

“Yeah, it looks like it’s pretty tough for somebody my age,” said Nelson, who is in his 40s. “But the kids, they love it. They go out two or three times a week (to Haley-Nelson Park) and play it.”

Vertical Sports and Recreation Ministry teamed up with Mad Dawg Fitness in Burnet to host the flying disc tournament June 29 starting at 11 a.m. at Haley-Nelson Park, located on Garden Trails Drive off Texas 29. Nelson, who once worked as a church youth leader and then served in the capacity as a volunteer, thought an Ultimate tournament would be a great way to get people of all ages out on the fields for a day and also raise money for local mission projects.

“All the proceeds are going to benefit several mission projects here in the community,” he said. Some of the organizations the ministry supports includes the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes and LaCare. “We’ve also adopted neighborhoods in the community and just went out and helped them.”

Ultimate, or Ultimate Frisbee, as it’s sometimes called, is a team sport in which competitors try to score on the opposing squad by catching the flying disc in the end zone. The players move down the field by passing the disc to open teammates. Once a person catches the disc, he or she must stop (though pivoting and turning is allowed) and throw it in less than 10 seconds.

The game has a national association, USA Ultimate, and an international organization, the World Flying Disc Federation. In May, the International Olympic Committee granted the WFDF provisional IOC recognition. Though the sport is far from being an Olympic event, the recognition gives it a boost in further national and international development.

But none of that really matters for the June 29 tournament. It’s about having fun.

“We’re hoping to have 11 to 12 teams,” he said. “Regardless, we’re guaranteeing four games for each team.”

If somebody is interested in playing or a few friends want to join up but don’t have enough for a complete squad, Nelson said not to worry.

“We’ll put you on a team,” he said. “We want as many people as possible to come out and have a good time.”

The event is open to players ages 14 and older. The cost is $100 per team or $10 per player.

The Ultimate tournament is one of the events Vertical Sports and Recreation Ministry is holding this summer. Basketball and cheerleading clinics will be July 11-12 at R.J. Richey Elementary School in Burnet.

For more information, contact Nelson at (325) 207-8076 or chad@chadnelsononline.com or go to www.thewhatnowshow.com/vertical.

daniel@thepicayune.com