What's ultimate? Isn't it only for dirty hippies?
While some of us at Dartmouth Ultimate certainly are dirty hippies, most of us are just plain dirty. Ultimate is a highly competitive sport which combines the fluidity of soccer, the high speed athleticism of basketball, and the physics of rotational motion, all while maintaining a unique outlook on the spirit of competitive sports. Ultimate is what sport should be: competitive, fun, fast-paced and exciting. Most of us had never played ultimate before we came to college and have fallen in love with it quickly.
For an idea of what the sport can look like, check this out. Keep an eye out at 3:02 -- that's former Pain Train-er Adam Sigelman '05 getting a layout Callahan (catching a goal on defense) at the 2005 Club National Championships.
So what is Dartmouth Ultimate? What are you all about?
We are a community of people who play the sport we love together (traveling all over the country to do it), hang out a ton together, and work hard together. We've been around for more than 30 years (founded in 1977) and are going strong. Dartmouth Ultimate has four teams -- men's A, men's B, women's A, and women's B. Also known as (respectively): the Pain Train, the Discomfort Trolley (or Disco Troll), Princess Layout, and Princess B-ride. There's a niche for everyone in the Dartmouth Ultimate family. For many of us, Dartmouth Ultimate is the most important and meaningful aspect of college. Many of us see Dartmouth Ultimate as our college family. Come see why.
What's the deal with the Pain Train?
Ah, the Pain Train, the Dartmouth Men's Ultimate A team. We're a collection of athletes (generally around 20-24 of us) who strive for excellence in ultimate. We practice, lift, and train four or five days a week during the school year. We play ten to twelve tournaments a year, traveling around New England and the country to do so -- for example in NH, ME, MA, CT, RI, NY, CA, NC, SC, DC, and GA. We spend a lot of time together and become close. For almost all of us, the Pain Train is the single most important thing to us outside of academics at Dartmouth.
Generally, we are among the best teams in New England. We have won Sectionals for the last decade. For nine of the last ten years we have played on Sunday at the New England Regional Championships. 2013 was our best year ever: we won on double game point to take second at Regionals, earning us a bid to Nationals, where we tied for 5th. In 2014, we made it back to Nationals, marking the first time that the Pain Train has ever attended Nationals in back-to-back years. Now, our goal is no longer just to attend Nationals, but to win it.
I've never played ultimate before, all I can do is a "backyard backhand," and I don't even know what that means. Can I still play with you guys?
Of course! Most of us never have played this sport before Dartmouth either. Members of Dartmouth Ultimate come from all sorts of sports -- soccer, basketball, football, lacrosse, swimming, cross country, and tennis, among others. Some hadn't even played a sport before Dartmouth. If you're looking to make Pain Train, the best thing you can do is get in the gym or out on the track and start working (and please feel free to contact us if you need workout advice). While having a solid ultimate skill base is great, we'd rather have athletes who are willing to work hard for their team than kids who can throw no-look lefty scoobers.
Hm. I like Frisbees and community, but I'm not certain that I want to play for the Train and/or I'm a little nervous that I may not make the Train. I guess I can't be a part of Dartmouth Ultimate. **Sigh**
No, no, no! Don't worry, there's a place for you. The Train isn't all there is to Dartmouth Ultimate. We've got a great B-team, the Discomfort Trolley (affectionately known as Disco Troll), that can be either a developmental opportunity or a more relaxed alternative to the commitment required to the Train. If you want to continue developing and playing without the Train's commitment level, check out the Trolley.
I'm a prospie who's thinking of coming to Dartmouth and would love to come to a practice and hang out with the team. Can I do that?
Of course! We'd love to meet you, have you come play at a practice, hang out, and show you around Hanover. We probably can even have a bed for you to crash on when you come. Blitz (email) one (or all) of our captains and we can figure something out.
I'm a Dartmouth student and this sport/team/flair/layouts look(s) sweet. I want in. How do I get involved?
Come join us at a practice! In the fall and spring, practices are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3-6 pm. We practice at Sachem fields a mile down Main St. Some players choose to run out there, but if you want a ride, meet in front of Dartmouth Hall at 2:50. We'll bring the cars. In the winter it gets a bit more snowy and a bit more complicated. The Train generally practices and does workouts four or five days a week, and the Trolley a bit less. The times are variable, so it's best to email los capitanes and ask them when we're practicing.
What's with the name? Did one of you get in an unfortunate locomotive accident?
We were inspired by the best that Madison Avenue can deliver (hint: 1:23):
"Pain Train"? "Discomfort Trolley"? Let me guess, your C-team (when you create one) is called the "Sore Caboose."
Um, wow. Yeah, that's what we call them. Oh, and our alums are known (affectionately) as the "Arthritic Carriage." (And sometimes "Dartmouth Die-nasty.")