Fourth of July Ultimate Frisbee tournament returns to Breckenridge
Special to the Daily
Lungbuster Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
What: The 34th running of a regional Ultimate Frisbee tournament, drawing teams from across Colorado and neighboring states
Where: Kingdom Park, 880 Airport Rd. in Breckenridge
When: Saturday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $30 for individual players in the hat tournament
What to Bring: Lawn chair, sunscreen and water if you’re watching team tournament. All that, plus cleats if you’re playing in the open “hat tournament.”
Team registration is already full, but the hat tournament is open until Sunday. Entry is free for spectators. For more info, contact High Country Ultimate at email@example.com or 303-548-7954.
To fris’ or not to fris’ — that is the question.
This Fourth of July weekend, the answer should be obvious, as the local club High Country Ultimate Frisbee is hosting the 34th annual Lungbuster Ultimate Frisbee Tournament at Kingdom Park in Breckenridge. The event features competition between five to six premier-level Ultimate teams from across the state, along with a separate tournament for drop-in players.
“The Lungbuster is starting to be one of the destination events in Colorado, with teams from Boulder, Steamboat and other mountain areas coming out,” High Country team manager and event organizer Kyle Brochu said.
Day one of the tournament on Saturday features head-to-head pool play between the teams. The two teams with the best records after pool play will meet in the championship at 4 p.m. An after-party will be held at Ollie’s Pub & Grub in Breckenridge following the championship. An official schedule has not yet been released, but games will kick off around 10 a.m.
High Country had a mixed performance at last year’s Lungbuster in Steamboat, and the team hopes to defend its home turf now that the event is back in Breckenridge. That said, though, the tournament has always been fairly relaxed.
“The atmosphere is that of a fun tournament,” Brochu said. “It’s obviously competitive, and our goal is to win the tournament; but, it’s all about the spirit of Ultimate and, most importantly, having a good time.”
For the past 34 years, the tournament has been a can’t-miss event for teams from across the state.
“It’s really cool getting to play teams from far away, and it’s just really well put together,” High Country team member Connor Noyes, of Breckenridge, said. “There’s a high level of spirit at it from the Ultimate community coming together.”
The ‘hat tournament’
On day two, individuals will be able to get involved by playing in the hat tournament. In these tournaments, player’s names are drawn out of a hat. The random drawing is used to create new teams, giving players a chance to join up with brand-new teammates.
“Hat tournaments are just a fun opportunity to meet new people,” Brochu said. “They’re ‘backyard style,’ so it’s a really good way for people to network in the Frisbee community.”
Anyone who’s interested is welcome to come out for the this tournament. However, individuals must bring cleats, be over the age of 14 and have Ultimate playing experience to participate. Less experienced or younger players are encouraged to come out for High Country Ultimate’s pick-up games every Wednesday night at Kingdom Park.
“It’s an unbelievable environment at these pick-up games,” Noyes said. “Players of all levels are all out there together … experienced teach the younger ones, and there’s still some competitive play.”
An Ultimate community
High Country has been around for more than 20 years and is the only Ultimate team for players in Summit County and surrounding communities. The team players come from as far as Vail and Avon.
“We’re the only outlet for people to come play up here,” Brochu explained. “There’s a community of former players up here (who) just don’t know this is going on, so the Lungbuster is just part of us getting the word out to them and making this a top tournament in Colorado.”
For Noyes, the tournament is an extension of the Ultimate community he found with the team, even if he still wants to win.
“I’ve made a lot of good friends from these tournaments and being involved in the team,” he said. “When we all got back together this spring, it felt like we hadn’t missed a beat.”
Brochu has played Ultimate for 11 years, and, over the last couple years, he has helped Lungbuster and High Country Ultimate grow substantially after a slow decline in previous years. High Country now regularly sees 20 to 30 people at its pickup games, and he expects at least 60 to 70 players to attend the Lungburner this Saturday. The growth stemmed from a balance of fun and competition in the organization.
“My goal is for everyone to have fun while competing,” he said. “From that, everything falls into a domino effect: Team chemistry improves, personal goals are met and your overall knowledge of the sport grows. That’s what’s made me love this game because fun comes first.”
The Lungbuster is a not-for-profit tournament, and High Country is accepting food and water donations for the event. The games will be held in the outfield of the Kingdom Park softball fields, located adjacent to Breckenridge Recreation Center.
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