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Disc players fill Pine Nursery Park in Bend

By Joe Burns
Published On: Apr 14 2013 11:29:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 10:36:08 PM CDT

One of the largest Frisbee festivals of the year in Central Oregon was held this weekend.

BEND, Ore. -

You could call it the biggest Frisbee festival of the year for Central Oregon, as an estimated 500 disc players took over Pine Nursery Community Park in Bend this weekend.

More than 200 players competed in the Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

The sport is like combining soccer and football together. Seven players fill a team.

The players score by catching a disc in the end zone and they advance the disc by throwing it.

Once a player catches it, they stop -- because they can't move with the disc.

"It's a great way to meet people," Ryan Bello, the tournament director, said Sunday. "I met my wife playing Ultimate, and I know some others have, too. You meet a lot of friends, you meet people from all over the area, so it's a good social thing, too."

The sport is all about running, throwing and catching.

And one unique thing about it: the games are all self-officiated. 

Sixteen teams from around the Northwest came to participate, just for fun. 

Meanwhile, more than 100 disc golfers were also at Pine Nursery Sunday, competing in a separate tournament.

Bend just recently got a nine-hole course at the park, but this tournament set up 18 temporary holes to make it a 27 hole layout. 

Disc golf is played just like golf -- but players don't need to tee up or have expensive equipment. In fact, their bodies are the "clubs."

Players throw a Frisbee into a basket above ground that catches the final shot. 

You count the strokes, and the low score wins.

"I love the flight of the disc -- it's just this whole camaraderie of the sport," said Ryan Lane, the tournament director. "You know (someone) three states away in some small town and the first guy I meet with a disc in his hand, we are like, 'What's up? Let's play some golf!'"

Players have to navigate through a variety of factors, including trees and wind. 

Both the Ultimate and disc golf tournaments were part of a jam-packed weekend of disc-related activities, including a party Saturday night.

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