CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Davenport University added men and women’s Ultimate Frisbee programs to their athletic department, with the teams’ inaugural seasons set for fall of 2023.
Mike Zaagman, who started ZigZag Ultimate in 2012, has been named as the school’s first head coach for the sport.
“We get to offer scholarships to all qualified athletes,” he said. “So we have two teams, a men’s team and a women’s team, with everything paid for the athlete athletically and then scholarships as well.”
Zaagman said Davenport is the first university to offer a fully funded frisbee program, which will allow the sport to be more accessible.
“There are plenty of other universities that do have programs,” he said. “We’re not trying to knock any of their programs … however, every other team that we will play against are student organization teams. They just have to pay their own way.”
Ultimate Frisbee has slowly gained popularity across West Michigan over the past decade. There are now 15 middle schools and three high school teams competing. The increase in young athletes’ interests is one of the main reasons Davenport decided to add Ultimate Frisbee to its athletic program.
“We’re recruiting and even if someone … hasn’t played Ultimate Frisbee before, we’re looking to convert athletes,” Zaagman said.
Ultimate Frisbee is often confused with disc golf but there are no nets or chain baskets involved.
In Ultimate Frisbee, seven players from each team compete to move a disc down a football-like field and into the end zone. Zaagman said one of the most interesting parts of Ultimate Frisbee is that it’s self-officiated: “There’s no refs in Ultimate.”
He said it’s a novel idea that people can play a sport with integrity and fess up to out-of-bounds throws and fouls. The school is also looking for a women’s head coach.