Getting looked off

Ultimate1 is unusual among intense sports for its co-ed teams even at very high levels of play. The only reason I play this sport myself is because of its legendary inclusiveness. (I was an awful athlete when I started. My presence was good-naturedly tolerated by most of the people I played with for the first couple years. At least.)

Despite the inclusiveness, it’s often a struggle to keep women interested in the sport and attending games, because it’s way too common for them to get “looked off,” ignored by the thrower, not given the disc even when they are in a good position, because the male thrower wants to try a longer, more exciting, and usually more reckless throw to another dude farther downfield (who may not even be open).

Getting looked off makes the sport boring and irritating. What’s ultimate without getting to touch the disc? Pretty much just sprinting!

The ladies (and dudes) of one of my regular teams, Afternoon Delight.


  1. Ultimate is a Frisbee team sport, co-ed and self-refereed, with soccer-like intensity and usually the mood of a good party, and two new professional leagues (AUDL, MLU). Players tend to be jock-nerd hybrids: lots of engineers and scientists. Hippies invented the sport, but have mostly been displaced. I’ve been playing since 1997.