Still, the basic rules applied. Series started with one team throwing the disc to the other team, which was stationed at midfield. Teams advanced by completing passes to each other. Any dropped, trapped or batted-down discs resulted in a turnover. A point was scored for every touchdown, and the game was played till one team reached 15 points.
"The pace of the game is pretty fast, and you have to use some strategy," said Saratoga player Travis Frey.
Frey played soccer at Saratoga in the fall, but he's one of the few exceptions of high school ultimate frisbee players.
"A lot of these people have played football and basketball, but they don't play on (school) teams," said Nieh. "So, we can get together and play on Mondays and Fridays."
"We have people who don't play any other sports competitively that come to play for us," said McGrath.
The level of competition is higher beyond high school. Bethlehem Central High School graduate Seth Reinhardt is captain of Cornell University's nationally-ranked A team, and he said the sport is taken more seriously than back in the days when he played for Bethlehem's club, Guild of Disc.
"It's not happy-go-lucky. It gets pretty intense at the highest levels," said Reinhardt. "But at the end of the day, there is that sense of friendship that brings people to the sport."
To that end, Reinhardt and his Cornell teammates train like any other varsity sport at the Ivy League school. He said the team practices three hours a day five days a week and participates in weekend tournaments.
"There's drills and plays, and different offensive and defensive sets," Reinhardt said. "But the difference between a good ultimate player and a great ultimate player is mental. You know how in football a quarterback has to make good decisions for the team? In ultimate, 20 guys have to all make good decisions for the team to succeed."