Ultimate Frisbee’s Growth Steadily Climbs

Mike Berg

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By Doug Hay

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In 1978, Bill Wright, owner of the Wright Life, was a student at CSU with a serious addiction to all things disc. So much so, that he formed the first ultimate frisbee club team on campus called Grateful Disc, a tip of the cap to the ultimate jam band the Grateful Dead. Some other teams sprouted up with such names as Instant Karma and ultimate frisbee was off and running on campus. Once again, CSU found itself on the cutting edge of a new movement. Ultimate frisbee would take off not only here locally but all around the world.

Wright describes the local ultimate frisbee community as “an incredible family” that now includes Fort Collins Ultimate, boasting 4 leagues throughout the year, including one indoor league and a youth program. The league is supported by local businesses including Wright Life, Illegal Pete’s, Akinz and La Luz.

The simplicity of the rules of the game and the self-officiating aspect make it an easy “pick up” game that tends to draw athletes from the other major sports looking for a challenge.

 

Rules of Ultimate Frisbee

“Ultimate Frisbee is a fast paced sport played on a field similar in size to football and soccer. Players pass the frisbee to each other, scoring by passing a catch in the end zone. Any pass that goes out of bounds, hits the ground or is intercepted by the other team results in a turnover, with play now going towards the other end zone. Ultimate is unique in its self-officiating and what we call the “Spirit of the Game” -competition is important, but never over a spirit of fair play and sportsmanship.” –http://fcultimate.com/youth-ultimate

 

Ultimate frisbee has not only gained a foothold locally but internationally as well.  It was added to the World Games in 2001 and continues as a sport in those games today.  Currently, Ultimate is played by an estimated 100,000+ players in over 30 countries. The Ultimate Players Association (USA) reports an overall membership of 13,000+ dues-paying members. With the recognition of the World Flying Disc Federation by the the International Olympic Committee in 2015 and the addition of co-ed events at recent Olympics, ultimate frisbee fans are more hopeful than ever that their sport will be given demonstration sports status soon.

In the meantime, ultimate frisbee remains alive and well in Northern Colorado and continues to grow.