Ultimate is a combination of many sports, with elements of basketball, football and soccer. Dynamic with non-stop action, college ultimate attracts athletes that played a variety of sports in high school — the current State team has players with high school backgrounds in soccer, football, tennis, basketball, track, cross country, baseball, and of course, ultimate!
Often judged on its hippie-style foundation, ultimate has grown into a legitimate sport with its own national governing body, USA Ultimate.
Ultimate is not an NCAA sport, but with over 700 universities having traveling teams, college ultimate is super competitive. Similar to many other college sports, we have weekend tournaments, weeknight games against local teams (The Showcase), and then a series of sectional and regional championships that lead to a national championships over Memorial Day weekend.
The 2018 National Championships were in Milwaukee, WI and each year the semi-finals and finals are broadcast on ESPN. This year’s men’s champions were UNC-Chapel Hill — a team we play all-the-time and have a heated rivalry. UNC has won the National title in 2018 and 2014, but NC State won the title in 1999! In the early 90’s UNC-Wilmington and ECU also won titles — North Carolina, along with California, has probably the most competitive college ultimate in the country.
Ultimate demands fitness (lots of cross country players on the team), quickness and good hand-eye coordination. While similar to mainstream sports, ultimate stands alone in its use of “Spirit of the Game,” a principle of self-governing play that relies on the honesty and respect of the players.
The sport has exploded in size, both locally in the Triangle area, but also nationally and globally. Ultimate is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and there is a strong chance the sport will be included in the 2028 Summer Olympics to be held in Los Angeles.
NC State Ultimate competes with teams from around the US, including local rivals, UNC Darkside, UNCW Seamen, Duke Brimstone, and the ECU Irates. In addition to local teams, last season we played teams from all over the US, including UGA, UVA, Michigan, Iowa, Brown, Wisconsin, etc.
State travels to tournament locations during both the fall and spring semesters. Most of our tournament locations are local (Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Chapel Hill) but we’ve also traveled to tournaments in Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, etc.
Finally, the NC State team hosts the Atlantic Coast Showcase starting in late February. A series of men’s and women’s doubleheaders played Thursday and Friday nights at Method Road. Each of these games attracts several hundred local fans, youth players and alumni.
The club invites any student to try out and join one of our teams — over the team’s history, many of our best players had no prior experience before playing in college. With the help of our experienced coaching staff and veteran players, we’ll teach you the sport in no time! Tryouts are in the early Fall.
Highlights 2018 USA Ultimate College Championships: