To the surprise and delight of casual players everywhere, you can get paid to throw a frisbee, and New York’s own team—the aptly named Empire—want to show you how!
The Empire, members of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL)—one of two professional ultimate leagues in North America—will host a match this Sunday against the DC Breeze, 4:30pm at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5.
To entice local fans—or anyone who’s ever wondered what special so about ultimate frisbee—the match is completely open to the public. The Empire (8-3), in their second year of AUDL play, will take on the DC Breeze (7-2), a division rival that recently dealt the New Yorkers a 31-26 road loss.
A win Sunday by the Empire will not only remove some of the sting from their recent defeat to the Breeze, it will also help the squad rebound from a deflating 21-18 loss last Saturday in Toronto. Not only did the Empire fail to snap the Rush’s 29-match winning streak, including last year’s AUDL championship, the New Yorkers are now 0-5 all time against their bitterest rivals, including the semifinals of the 2013 AUDL playoffs
The Breeze, who now sit in second place in the AUDL’s Eastern Conference, will host the third-place Empire next Saturday in Maryland, with the winner of these two matches sure to qualify for the playoffs.
For those unfamiliar with ultimate, seven players a side play on roughly an American football-sized field for four 12-minute quarters. Much like football, teams field offense and defensive sides, though when there’s a turnover—known simply as a “D”—players immediately switch responsibilities, depending on who possess the “disc.”
The act of throwing a frisbee might not appear difficult, until you see some of the amazingly accurate, 50+ yard throws made by the pros.
The majority of the Empire’s 28-man roster is from the metropolitan area, including Mike and Ryan Drost—identical twins, New York natives and exceptional at ultimate.
Another player to watch is Justin Allen. A North Carolina native who wears #1, Allen is a superb two-way player, and seeing him “lay out”—a full body extension to snare a spinning frisbee—is worth the price of admission.
For more information about this or upcoming NY Empire matches, visit their website.
Photo: Justin Allen with a “pull” to get the action started in a recent NY Empire match.