Ultimate Frisbee After an Ultimate Year at ACAD

Jami Cashin Winning the Summer 2021 Grand Masters National Championship

Kevin LeClaire, UltiPhotos

Jami Cashin Winning the Summer 2021 Grand Masters National Championship

Imana Adogu, Junior Editor

Imana Adogu: Hi, Mrs. Cashin!

Jami Cashin: Hello!

IA: So, it’s my understanding that you’re leaving Athens Academy after this year. Looking back, what led you to this decision, and what are your feelings about it?

JC: I am sad and happy at the same time — I’m really looking forward to what the future holds, but I will dearly miss all of my colleagues and students here so much. It is definitely with regret that I leave everybody, but I have plans in the future that I’m really looking forward to. I also didn’t want to leave an advisory in the middle of their high school career, so I’ve been waiting for my advisees to finish up so I could graduate with them. 

IA: Well, we’re definitely sad to see you go! What are those plans for the future that you mentioned?

JC: I have some travel plans in the future. My first one is travelling to Ireland to play in the World Masters Ultimate Frisbee Championship. 

IA: Wow! That’s amazing! How did you get into playing ultimate frisbee?

JC: So, I’ve been playing ultimate since I was in my early twenties. Now, both of my kids play, and my husband plays as well. It’s a great sport; I’d highly recommend it to everybody out there to find a summer league, wherever they are. There’s always summer leagues for all levels of play, and once you get to college, there are club teams at just about every college that you could go to. You can look them up, find them, and try out– they’re always taking new players, and it’s a great sport. 

IA: Are you currently on a team in Athens? How do you keep up with playing ultimate?

JC: I don’t have a team in Athens right now, but a few times per week, I do play a game called Goaltimate that’s similar to ultimate. You don’t need as many players, and it’s like the half-court basketball version of Ultimate Frisbee. It’s four on four as opposed to seven on seven. A lot of the players on the UGA women’s Ultimate team, which my daughter is on, will come to play. The UGA men’s team, called Jojah, has an A-team and a B-team, and a lot of the time, members of the B-team will join. Sometimes, people on the A-team, who recently made it on ESPN, come as well. We usually all play at Bishop Park or behind Clarke Middle, and it’s pretty fun.

IA: Yes, that sounds really fun! So, about this international opportunity, how did that come about?

JC: So, they technically have different levels depending on your age, although you can really play at whatever level you want. I could play in the Open Division if I wanted to, but they’re just all going to be 18 to 25 if I do so, which would be a little tough. 

IA: Right, that makes sense. 

JC: Right, so, there’s the college level, for which you have to be enrolled in college to play. You’ve got the open level, which is technically 18 and up although you can play it if you’re younger. That one sometimes has some 16-year-olds out there, but they’re stellar. Then, the age ranges are a little bit different for men and women because there are just more men playing. The next level is Masters, which is 30 and up for women, and, I believe, 35 and up for men. Then it’s Grand-Masters, which is 37 and up for women and 40 and up for men. Then there’s even Great-Grand-Masters, which is what my husband plays, and for men it’s 50 and up and 40 or 45 and up for women. This past summer, I went to Colorado and played in the Grand-Masters division, and I played with many women from an Atlanta team who I used to play with in the Open level in Atlanta many years ago. We won the national championship and were invited to Ireland. Unfortunately, you have to have at least six countries represented in a division for that division to play at the international level, and with Covid, they just couldn’t make that happen. For the men, there’s still Grand-Masters and Great-Grand-Masters, in which my husband is going to play internationally.

IA: Oh, wow!

JC: So, all of a sudden, I was without a team, and I definitely wasn’t just going to go watch my husband play! I reached out to the French national Masters level team because why not combine my love of French with my love of Frisbee?

IA: Naturally!

JC: Of course! They agreed to let me play with them and were very excited to play. It’s been great! They’re from all over France, so they really don’t get the opportunity to play all together regularly. They meet up for one practice per month, which I obviously can’t go to, but hopefully it’ll be fine. They do have Zoom meetings at least once a month that I’ve been participating in. I’ve actually pulled it up a few times at school to let my classes hear them jabbering away in French, which is really fun. We usually talk about training, logistics on the field, positions, and coaches that will work with us. Everyone’s been training separately but coming together to talk about strategy once a month. The division is 30 and older, so I’m a little old for it but bet I can still hang with them.

IA: Wow, this all sounds really cool. What’s next after Ireland?

JC: As far as Ultimate goes, I don’t know. I’ll continue to play in tournaments, and probably, at some point, I’ll end up coaching the UGA women. I was asked to coach the UGA men this past year, which would’ve been really fun, but they meet during our school hours and it would’ve been very time consuming. Hopefully, I’ll have the time to coach the college kids in my retirement and help out there and play in the Grand-Masters division from here on out.

IA: Right. 

JC: In the fall, I also have a bike trip planned with a friend who’s a travel writer in Croatia.

IA: That’s exciting!

JC: Yes, we’re taking a two-week bike trip along the Croatian coast. After that, I have no plans at the moment. 

IA: Well, that sounds like a really active summer, so it sounds like you can make plenty of time to relax afterward. 

JC: That’s true. I also play a lot of disc golf, and I’m actually playing in a disc golf tournament that’s coming up sometime in the middle of February because they just made a disc golf course at UGA’s golf course. 

IA: That’s super fun!

JC: I signed up to play in the Pro Division, but I usually play in the Advanced for disc golf. So, another thing I want to do in retirement is travel to find disc golf courses around the world. 

IA: That sounds like a really fun plan! Is there anything else you wanted to mention about Ultimate?

JC: I really do encourage everyone to look into the club team at the university they’ll attend because it’s a great, fun sport that you can play well into your fifties as I have. It’s a great way to meet a nice group of people.