Banshee encourages sportsmanship and community

Banshee encourages sportsmanship and community

November 29, 2018

One of the great things about Brandeis’ campus is the opportunity to play a sport without the commitment of an NCAA team. One of the featured clubs on campus is our women’s frisbee team, Banshee. Started in 2002, with two girls who wanted to enjoy the nice weather on an August day, Banshee has tradition of camaraderie, family, support and competitiveness. Having three practices a week, with competitions in the spring, the team has continued to foster community, humility and sportsmanship. And everyone gets nicknames!

Playing a club sport is very different from playing a varsity or intramural sport, but it comes with many perks. Maddie Marx ’19, who has been a member of the team for two years, told The Brandeis Hoot that the best part of being part of the team is “the people by far. Everyone is extremely kind and supportive and funny.” Ultimate is played with two teams of seven players per team on the field at a time and played with a plastic disk. The field has two end zones and the objective of the game is to get your teammates into the end zone with the frisbee. There are no referees, so fouls are completely based on the calls by the players, instilling a sense of sportsmanship and honesty.

The club atmosphere is a great balance between varsity and intramural sports for those who do not want the commitment of a varsity sport but want something more serious and that lasts longer than intramural. Marx says, “Everyone has a say in those decisions if they want. Anyone can join, so seeing people grow and learn from not having played before at all is very rewarding. Because Banshee fosters a supportive team atmosphere, everyone who joins is welcomed with open arms and quickly becomes comfortable in their own skin which is important in a new environment.”

The team practices three times a week all year, but members can decide how involved they will be with the team. Banshee practices about six to seven hours a week and conditions for about an hour and half. They also have scrimmages with the men’s frisbee team once a week for about two hours. Each member of the team is committed to the sport and improving their skills each week. It is a self-officiated sport, allowing players to develop accountability and develop their integrity. They follow the rules from the USA Ultimate 11th edition of “Spirit of the Game,” which says the “spirit of sportsmanship that places responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play.” Another member of the team, Grace Barredo ’19, who is one of the captains of the team, says, “I believe that ‘Spirit of the Game’ can be applied to everyday life off the field. It requires honest effort and treating others as you would want to be treated.” This development of not just players, but people, makes this club sport especially unique.

Barredo recalls one of her favorite memories being a part of the team. It was during her first year. In September, she participated in one of the first tournaments, allowing her to gain experience from the very start and providing a learning opportunity for the first-timers. She recalls, “I hurt myself at that tournament (not the good part of this memory). One of the members of leadership that year offered to drive me to urgent care. She then sat with me for many hours until I was able to be seen, and she even continued to borrow a car to drive me to all of my follow-up appointments and to get my medication. That really left an impression on me about how well this team supports each other. She didn’t have to take me anywhere, and yet she spent her time bringing me places and even came late to practice because of it, when it was her responsibility to be present at all practices.”

For anyone who is looking to join Banshee, Marx says she “has met some of her closest friends” by joining the team. “Everyone is so welcome, you don’t have to know how to play frisbee to join and that everyone generally starts at the same level. It is a super fun way to meet people and stay active and there is no mandatory commitment.” Members of the team continue to attest to how fun the sport is, while also requiring participants to learn different skills. It is a community that is always looking for members.

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