The Wellesley Whiptails are one of the college’s most prized treasures. With a team that promotes inclusivity and allows anyone to join, the Whiptails are a source of pride for the campus. Chaucer Langbert ’23 says that, “Having played on an all-boys team in the past, excluding myself, the supportive community here at Wellesley is a much appreciated change. I also really appreciate the work the captains and coach put in to sharing their knowledge.” Listed as one of Wellesley’s 100, the ultimate frisbee team has improved in quality and attracted several new members throughout the years.
The Whiptails originally started off as a group in 1996. A few students on campus wanted to play frisbee together for fun. Over the years, their bondings and team spirit allowed the group to become a proper club on campus; they were officially recognized as a club sport in 2003. Since then, the Whiptails have been participating in weekend tournaments. According to their website, by 2006, the group was big enough to split into an A team and a B team, providing all of their members with the ability to get better at their own speeds.
Although the joining the team means participating in a club sport, Whiptails practices are quite intense. In the fall, the team practices four times a week for two hours each time. However, in the winter, they practice three times a week. The team has three major tournaments: the Wellesley Ultimate Tournament (WUT), No Man’s Land, and MillyFest. Teams from several different colleges participate; WUT is meant for the Boston area, while MillyFest includes Dartmouth, Northeastern, and Williams as well.
For first year students, joining the Whiptails could potentially provide the loving and supportive community that makes the transition to college smoother. Langbert ’23 believes that, “The team is definitely inclusive of everybody. You don’t even need to have thrown a frisbee before to join the team; you just need to have a good attitude and be ready to learn a lot.” The team has a longstanding tradition about referring to their new players as “cookies”, or “cute rookies”, in order to make them feel more welcome on the team. Their long-standing tradition of nicknaming their teammates is one of the most popular parts amongst the team members. Every player looks forward to receiving their nickname, which is almost a sign of honor. They receive sweatshirts with their nicknames on them.
Overall, the Whiptails live up to their reputation as one of the most integral parts of Wellesley’s campus. They act as an embodiment of the love and team support that Wellesley promotes. Langbert ‘23 says, “The Whiptails are an incredible group and I couldn’t amp them up enough. The support and the love are overwhelming.”