This weekend, I played in the intramural Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Well actually, I just ran around and congested the middle of the field with defenders who didn’t know I wasn’t actually going to touch the Frisbee.
I was asked to play only because, being a co-ed tournament, there was a requirement of at least two female players per team on the field at all times. Basically, all I was asked to do was show up with two x chromosomes.
And I think I did my job pretty well because my team ended up winning the tournament. Not only did I win a free T-shirt, but I also gained some insight from my observational participation.
For instance, life is more fun with fewer whistleblowers around.
There weren’t any referees with flags ready to throw or whistles around their neck. There was just one person with the job of keeping the score and time. No referee was necessary to hand the disc to the other team every time it was turned over or thrown out of bounds. Players just picked up and went.
It was simple and made me long for this “honor system” to be applied elsewhere. It made me wish the Chapel office just trust I go to Chapel 55 times a semester instead of monitoring my every card swipe.
I also learned it’s easy to see someone’s true character when they are put in a losing situation. While this is probably true for all sports, it’s especially evident when students who typically dominate the flag football field are thrown into an Ultimate tournament.
It should be obvious, but throwing a Frisbee is drastically different than throwing a football, meaning the strategy of the game changes, too. Opponent teams stacked with flag football stars got easily frustrated when they realized this was a different ball… er, disc game. Before I ever date a football player, I’ll probably ask him to play Ultimate against me.
But the real moral of the story here is: if you’re ever obliged to participate in an activity solely because of your gender, make sure you’re at least guaranteed a free T-shirt.