Major League Ultimate, or MLU, is establishing one of its eight professional ultimate Frisbee teams in the Bay Area. The San Francisco Dogfish will be part of the Western Conference with Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.
"We're excited to be presenting ultimate in a way people might not have seen before and we're hoping we can get everyone out to see it and have a good time and enjoy our games," said Chris Sherwood, the Dogfish general manager.
The Bay Area is a hot bed for ultimate club teams, winning several national and world titles. Beau Kittredge is considered one of the premier players in the world and was the team's first player signed. He thinks alternative sports have a niche in this market.
"I think once you kind of start a culture of taking something seriously and showing a passion for it, people are drawn to that and want to be a part of it," said Kittredge.
The Dogfish had two tryouts last week with 70 players showing off their skills trying to make the 25-man roster.
"Everybody has to be a quarterback, so everybody has to be able to throw and catch, so you're looking for a combination of both disc skills and athleticism," said Justin Safdie, a head coach.
"Competition will definitely be good. The Bay Area has a tremendous amount of very good players," said Ashlin Joye of San Francisco.
"Just seeing it grow and become a powerhouse in the ultimate scene is really cool and being able to put that on a professional stage is really great," said Ryo Kawaoka of Berkeley.
Each team has seven men on the field and the points usually last from 30 seconds to two minutes before a shift change. The sport combines the skills of football, basketball and soccer.
"You can do everything on one point, end up playing defense, you could be the quarterback, you could be the running back, you can be everything," said Kittredge.
The 10-week season starts April 20th, ending with two playoff matches and a championship game. The Dogfish will play at Kezar and Boxer stadiums and will be a very family friendly experience.
"Being able to be part of it moving forward and starting something new like this is really special," said Safdie.
A Dogfish is a shark species whose members work together to hunt their prey.