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Ultimate Frisbee: Sisters of Oriza: A look inside women’s Ultimate

By Cameron Johnson, Multimedia editor

Through wind, sleet, snow and rain, the Sisters of Oriza fight on.

“What are we?”


“What is pain?”


“What is fatigue?”


“Are we gonna quit?”


The Sisters, armed with this cheer from “Remember the Titans,” were ready for battle.

The Sisters of Oriza are one of UNH’s ultimate frisbee club teams, and they hosted their largest tournament ever at the UNH recreation field on Sunday.

“This is the biggest home tournament we’ve had. We have 10 teams here total, including the three that UNH sent ourselves, and we also had a waitlist which is really awesome for us,” junior captain Alexandra Hiley said.

Other teams included Boston College, UMass Amherst, Dartmouth and Stonehill. Oriza eventually made it to the finals where they lost to Boston College.

The weather left little to be desired on Saturday, ranging from high winds to full on sleet, but the tournament continued despite the harsh conditions.

“We play a sport that’s so influenced by the slightest bit of wind. It is difficult to throw in this wind, but we adjust; we get better at it, we practice,” said captain Lauren Kraemer.

“It’s windy and cold, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s the weather that new people need to learn how to play in because it happens in the spring, so it’s a really good learning experience for all of the teams,” said captain Sarah Flaherty.

The Sisters

The Sisters of Oriza have been around for many years as an organization.

“We’ve been together for quite some time, but we’ve only [had club sport status] for five or six years, at least since I was a freshman,” Hiley said.

There are currently around 60 girls on the squad, and they have been consistently ranking around ninth out of 20 teams in the past few years. There is also a men’s team, UNH Ultimate, which is affiliated with the Sisters.

The origin of their name has a literary history.

“The Sisters of Oriza is part of a Stephen King novel called ‘The Dark Tower.’ It’s all about this badass woman in some sort of captivity story. Her name is Lady Oriza. [She] picks up a dinner plate, whips it across the table and decapitates this guy named Gray Dick. Apparently someone thought this was a great story,” Hiley said.

The Sisters practice as hard as any other sports team but sometimes struggle for acceptance as a sport.

“Really what we are looking for is to go out there and represent UNH and to basically just show the world that ‘Hey, we’re a real sport and we’re trying really hard to represent UNH.’ We want to be recognized, too. It’s also a huge battle with campus rec to having them recognize us as a real sport,” Hiley said.

Their practices consist of two main modes: drills and scrimmages. Drills improve on the skills that the players need to know, and scrimmages both show what skills need to be worked on and reinforce the skills that have already been taught.

What is Ultimate?

Ultimate Frisbee is a sport in which two teams try to throw a circular disk to the other teams end zone, attempt to catch it and score more points than the other team.

In order to play Ultimate, you need to know a few key things. First, that you score points by catching the frisbee in the end zone. Second, that after you catch the frisbee, you cannot take any steps and the only way to move it is to toss it to a teammate. And third, there is no physical contact with another player — no tackling, no tripping, no slapping hands. There is a full set of rules on the official USA Ultimate website under “11th edition rules.”

One major difference between Ultimate and almost any other sport is that there are no referees.

“This game is self officiated. We have zero refs, and basically it’s all about being honest. If you can’t be honest, then we don’t recommend that you come back,” Hiley said.

Ultimate is also a game rooted deeply in the spirit of sportsmanship.

“Of course every [sports] team is like, ‘Yeah I want to be sportsman-like,’ but let’s be honest, when I was a soccer player, it was all about what can you get away with,” Hiley said.

“I had a friend who played hockey who said, ‘It was a game against the refs as much as it was a game against each other,’” Hiley continued. “One thing we really like to let everyone know is that it’s about the spirit of the game … We welcome everybody; we are trying to build our program with [our] teams, and we really just want people to see how awesome [Ultimate] is and see how much of a real sport it is.”

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