About Machine

Chicago Machine is an ultimate frisbee team that competes in the USAU Men's Club Division. Machine has appeared at the USAU Club Championships 16 times since its inception in 2001, including fourteen consecutive trips from 2006 to the present.

2015 marked Machine's highest finish at the USAU Club Championships, making semi-finals and finishing 3rd overall. Machine has finished first in the Men's Nationals Team Spirit Award three times since 2010. In qualifying for Nationals in 2019, Machine has finished first in the Great Lakes Regional Championships every year but once since its inception in 2012.

Coached by Andy Neilsen, and captained by Walden Nelson, Pawel Janas, Jack Shanahan, and Nate Goff in 2019, Machine is looking to win its first ever National title as the club championships return to San Diego, CA. 

Machine traditionally practices Saturday and Sunday mornings at Washington Park in Chicago, and trains two nights a week in smaller pods at various locations around the city. In 2019, as part of the Triple Crown Tour, Machine will attend three USAU sponsored tournaments prior to the start of the USAU club series.

Machine aligns closely with Chicago's elite women's team; Nemesis. Often attending the same tournaments, the two teams support each other on the field, overlap in training, and regularly meet off the field to build camaraderie between the programs. For more information on Chicago Nemesis: www.chicago-nemesis.com


As described by the United State's ultimate governing body (USA Ultimate): Ultimate was developed in 1968 by a group of students at Columbia H.S. in Maplewood, NJ. Although Ultimate resembles many traditional sports in its athletic requirements, it is unlike most sports due to its focus on self-officiating, even at the highest levels of competition. This concept, called Spirit of the Game, is integrated into the basic philosophy of the sport, written into the rules, and practiced at all levels of the game from local leagues to the World Games.

Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, a game of Ultimate is played by two teams with a flying disc or Frisbee™ on a field with end zones, similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field.  Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees. Ultimate is played in more than 80 countries by an estimated 7 million of men and women, girls and boys.  The international governing body, WFDF, represents 59 member associations in 56 countries. 


For more information on ultimate and USAU, visit the USAU Home Page


Machine supports growing the sport of ultimate in Chicago. Each season Machine partners with area men's club teams to promote a city wide tryout tournament for players of all skill-level. Current and former Machine leadership are active in coaching at the youth level for the Illinois YCC team. Additionally, several players volunteer as coaches for area camps, high school teams, and college teams. Machine has plans to build upon a developmental guest coaching program, through Great Lake's Ultimate Events, focused on opportunities for youth girls, high school girls, and college women's players.

If you are interested in information about playing ultimate at the youth, college, club, league, or pick-up level in Chicago, we encourage you to visit www.ultimatechicago.org. Ultimate Chicago was incorporated with the mission to “promote and grow the sport of Ultimate among players of all skill levels; to be a resource for Chicago-area players and teams; and to recognize and encourage play according to the Spirit of the Game.” Their website contains a wealth of information and resources for getting involved in the Chicago Ultimate community.