Sports

DC Breeze Sweeps Into District

Ultimate Frisbee Franchise Spawned by Ballou Grad

As Friday night, Sept. 2, ushered in a cool summer prelude to the Labor Day weekend here in the District, two teams met for a berth in the final four of the American Ultimate Disc League [AUDL]  playoffs at Audi Field.

One of the teams which hoped for frisbee tossing supremacy would be the DC Breeze – an open professional ultimate team based in the District which competes in the League’s Atlantic Division. The Breeze, founded in 2013, play their home games at Carlini Field on the campus of the Catholic University of America in Northeast, averaging crowds between 600 to 800 people.

Before going into details on the franchise’s journey, let’s explain the rules. There are seven players on each side, with the goal of trying to pass their disc from one end of a rectangular field to the other, much like in football or rugby.

AJ Merriman and Joe Richards jump for frisbee during D.C. Breeze loss to Raleigh Flyers 19 to 16 at Carlini Field, Washington D.C. (Abdullah Konte/The Washington Informer)
AJ Merriman and Joe Richards jump for frisbee during D.C. Breeze loss to Raleigh Flyers 19 to 16 at Carlini Field, Washington D.C. (Abdullah Konte/The Washington Informer)

The clock continues to run unless it’s the end of the quarter (there are four 12-minute quarters), halftime or a time out is taken. Each side has two timeouts to use per half. Players cannot advance the disc once catching it. They have to keep throwing and catching the disc until an offensive player completes a catch inside of the end zone.

For a successful catch in the end zone the team is awarded one point. A drop of the disc and the other team takes over possession and it becomes their chance to advance and score.

Now, back to Ultimate Frisbee’s origins: The league marks its beginnings in 2012 with team competition starting in 2013. Breeze founder Aaron Foreman, an African-American man from D.C., has always had a penchant for sports including his formative years at Ballou Senior High School in Southeast and later coaching youth football in Montgomery County.

Foreman says he saw not only an investment opportunity but recognized a sport whose popularity continued to increase which garnered rising support both locally and globally.

Rowan McDonnell throws to teammate during D.C. Breeze loss to Raleigh Flyers 19 to 16 at Carlini Field, Washington D.C. (Abdullah Konte/The Washington Informer)
Rowan McDonnell throws to teammate during D.C. Breeze loss to Raleigh Flyers 19 to 16 at Carlini Field, Washington D.C. (Abdullah Konte/The Washington Informer)

The team’s coach, Darryl Stanley, an African-American and native of Philadelphia, said players who succeed in the league often have speed, more than average height and a strong arm which they need for both catching and throwing the disc. Stanley highly-regarded in the pro frisbee world, has coached at both the national and international levels.

Unfortunately, the season ended for the Breeze on Friday in a playoff loss to the Raleigh Flyers, 19-16.

For more information about the team and Ultimate Frisbee download the DC Breeze mobile app, where you can buy tickets and merchandise and support the District’s fast-growing and exciting frisbee franchise.

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