Ultimate frisbee is one of the biggest club sports at Berkeley High School (BHS), with multiple teams consisting of both co-ed and single gender groups. The frisbee teams practice nightly, with schedules as rigorous as many of the official school sports. Dozens of students participate, and not just those from BHS. The sport itself is also quickly expanding, with new teams popping up every year, such as the Bay Area Girls’ Frisbee League.
Yet, at BHS, the ultimate frisbee club team is still just that, a club team. This status denotes that the team is not actually a part of the school and therefore does not receive funding for various necessities that other BHS teams do receive. Many players must take it upon themselves to figure out all of the organization that is required to run the program, including fees and fundraisers. However, as sophomore Sam Saxe-Taller explains, “Some of us are actually happier with it being a club sport.” Saxe-Taller goes on to describe how the club status comes with increased freedom for the players. “It’s a lot easier for us to expand; we have two freshmen boys teams this year, which would be much harder to make happen if it was a school-sponsored sport.” This is because regulations for school leagues and teams specify certain limitations for those organizations.
Overall, for such a fast growing sport, there are some definite benefits to being self-governed, but the one issue that seemed most significant is that of field priority. Saxe-Taller explains that “being a school-sponsored sport would give us priority for the fields, which we really want.” At the moment, the ultimate frisbee club is forced to practice at middle schools, parks, or very late at night at the Jacket Stadium, which is not convenient for the average student. However, it seems as though the flexibility within the club is benefitting ultimate frisbee, and until a league can be established, upgrading to a BHS team might not be the best thing for ultimate frisbee.