The Indy AlleyCats exploded onto the city's pro sports scene this year, clawing their way to the top of the newly formed, eight-team American Ultimate Disc League's western division.
Two of the AlleyCats' five wins so far this season were against the Bluegrass. Kentucky has one win against Indy.
Columbus, meanwhile, is more troublesome, beating Indy twice out of two matches played — both games held away in Ohio.
The first of those losses, which was the first game of the inaugural season, was a windy, rainy affair, said Michael Potter, the AlleyCats head coach, in a phone interview Friday.
The teams battled through double overtime and into second death in front of about 700 fans.
"The game was heavily scrutinized by the ultimate community around the world," Potter said.
The team has been restructuring its offense and defense and made a "large reduction in our unforced turnovers," the coach said, dropping to 14 against Buffalo last weekend from a season high of 29.
The sport is still dominated by traveling club teams, but Indy's managed to snag a load of talent, much of it homegrown from towns including Lafayette, Muncie and Bloomington.
Players also travel from five states and even Europe to fight for Indy. Player Marc Huber is an Austria-based pilot who manages to grab a flight to the U.S. every two weeks to give Indy a nice bit of international flavor.
Indy is responding well with the second-best attendance in the league hitting 1,027 spectators at one point, said team owner Tim Held in a phone interview earlier this week.
But the AlleyCats' home stadium, Roncalli High School Stadium at 3300 Prague Rd., holds four times as many people, so the team encourages people to come out and bring their friends for some ultimate action on a level most around these parts are not likely to have seen.
The AULD has tweaked the rules a bit to keep a lid on playing time, so some of the purists, who love ultimate for its grassroots, free-spirit athleticism, have groused a bit, unbound as they are by the trappings of traditional athletic programs — both at the community, college and traveling levels. But, ultimately, players are happy about new playing opportunities and the game is hot, Held said.
"It's amazing," he said. "It's fast paced at all times ... the layouts are incredible! (Indy) has been on ESPN Top 10 twice."
And the sport continues to grow among younger players, both coach and owner add.
More people are participating in ultimate than hockey, lacrosse and rugby combined, Held said.
"It's a really good value to come on a Saturday night or Sunday," Coach Potter said. A match offers the opportunity to enjoy "a very interesting sporting event for a reasonable cost of $9."
[A+E] Sports + Recreation, Local Business
[A+E] Sports + Recreation