It was a special day at the Ow My Knee Ultimate Frisbee tournament, as players of ‘Til Death Do Us Party slipped on their wedding attire and took to the field to compete.
Now, it wasn’t their real wedding attire; rather members of the group had swung by a thrift shop and bought whatever dressy clothes they could find.
One player even went the extra mile of wearing a wedding dress. He wasn’t the groom or the bride.
Rather, he was a friend of tournament director Steven Calebrese, who tied the knot on Friday. He and wife Nicole Calebrese thought no better way to celebrate than with friends playing a game they love.
“We got engaged in November and we thought we we’re going to have to have this super tiny ceremony and not see anyone and a few months ago when restaurants started opening, bars started opening, people were allowed to do things we said ‘hey let’s invite all of our friends, let’s play some ultimate together, let’s make an entire weekend out of it,’” Steven Calebrese said.
The team also brought a pool and potato sacks to race each other in between games.
Calebrese’s team was just one of about 30 that took to the fields of Maalwyck Park in Glenville for the two-day event.
“This field is legendary in the tournament world in the Northeast,” said Ercan Hocalar, who is a former director of the tournament and played on Calebrese’s team.
Of the 36 years the tournament, Hocalar said they’ve been using the fields at Maalwyck for 20 or so years.
“We have a strong relationship with the town,” he said.
He also said over the years the tournament has sort of become less about who wins and more of getting together with old friends.
This year’s teams had players from all over the Northeast, including Connecticut, Maryland and Massachusetts. There was even a team from Canada.
But one of the teams, Blackout’s Back Alright!, was a mishmash of friends of friends, who only met that weekend. Captain R.J. Lamura said many of the people knew each other from past playing experiences. Lamura, who played in the tournament 10 years ago, said it was great being back.
“It’s nice because it’s a big mix of fun, shenanigans and competition,” he said. “You usually only get one or the other in tournaments”
Also in the tournament this year were defending champions Rum Springa. They had won the tournament in 2019, but because COVID canceled the tournament last year, they weren’t able to see who would take the number one spot.
Co-Captain Greg Esser said the team is made up of Millersville University alumni and people from Eastern Pennsylvania. As the team has aged, Esser said it’s become more about the group of people, noting while some might get together for weekend trips or dinners, they get together for weekend ultimate frisbee tournaments.
With 2019 National Champion Steven Rosso on their team, Esser said he thinks they stand a chance.
“I think we have pretty good odds,” he said about winning the tournament again.