History

Articles on the history of ultimate

Freestyle the “Ultimate” Edge

(A fast-freestyle playing exercise/guide for learning and practicing disc handling skills used in ultimate)

In the early days of Frisbee before disc sports, the original attraction was just to watch the Frisbee fly. At first, this was enough; the sheer joy in watching the Frisbee fly, not at all like a ball. Then, because it’s in our nature to compete, came the Frisbee games. If you enjoy playing one disc game, chances are you’ll enjoy all the disc games, because they all have that one common attraction: unlike the ball, the disc actually flies. Each game demands unique skills but also shares common skills used in other games. If you become skilled in one disc game, you’ll quickly excel and most likely enjoy participating in other disc games.

Ultimate Doesn’t Need a Name Change

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article arguing for why ultimate needed a name change. It generated a lot of discussion on twitter, reddit, facebook and on my website. However, I actually think that ultimate doesn’t need a name change for a few reasons.

1. There’s such a history and to change the name would be dishonouring the players and pioneers of our sport.

2. The amount of time, money and energy that has gone into promoting ultimate would be wasted if we were to change the name of the sport. It’s better to leave it.

Ultimate Needs a Name Change

Ultimate frisbee. Ultimate. Frisbee. For those of us who play the sport, we know what it’s all about. But for someone who has never heard of it, what will they think when we ask if they play “ultimate” or if they’ve ever watched “ultimate”. There’s no reason they should think anything but “the ultimate what”? The issue with ultimate is that it was named on how it made the inventor feel while he was playing it.

Poker Players Get Into Ultimate Frisbee

Get to know Leif Force and Phil Laak 

In an article published on Slate, it states there that 4.7 million Americans played Ultimate Frisbee at least once in 2010. It also revealed that more than 1.5 million people play this sport at least 13 times a year, and those devotees tend to spend money on Ultimate. Based on the statistics, it is not surprising if some of those frisbee aficionados happen to be well-known poker players. One person that was proud to admit that he was into frisbee was Leif Force, or also known as “Jungle Boy”, who is a WSOP gold bracelet winner.

This Is How It All Began

This is a word-for-word transcription done by Willie Herndon in July 2013, of an article entitled “This Is How It All Began” which appeared in “Ultimate News” Volume 23 No. 4, Winter 2003. An author’s note from July 2013, appears at the end of this transcription.

Willie Herndon interviews Jared Kass, the man who taught Joel Silver to play Ultimate and who gave the sport its name

In 1998 I interviewed Joel Silver in his office at Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles, California. He spoke of his role in creating the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. He mentioned, without adding any detail, that he had learned a Frisbee game from someone named Jared Kass while attending a summer camp at Mount Herman School, now the Northfield-Mount Herman School in Massachusetts.

UCPC 2013: Future of Ultimate Panel Discussion

It’s always interesting whenever some of the most well known players in our sport are brought together to talk about the future of ultimate.

It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future

So too is this statement true about ultimate. We’re still in our infancy in many ways but in other ways, we’ve come very far. Over the past few years, the popularity of ultimate has exploded online thanks to Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Sportscentre. Over that same period, there have been a National touring team, 2 professional leagues and hours and hours of full game footage posted online. It’s been an exciting time to be an ultimate player and so I found the panel discussion at the 2013 Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference (UCPC) quite interesting.

10 Questions with Ultimate Rob

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Ponder, a grade 8 student in Denver, Colorado, asking if I would answer some questions for his school project. I was more than happy to help out and I thought he came up with such good questions that I’d like to share them with you, along with my answers. Enjoy!

1) How have you been part of the frisbee community over the past years?

Since I started playing ultimate in the fall of 2001 I’ve been a member of numerous communities and developed partnerships through my work teaching others how to play ultimate better, running clinics and producing free online content, which I’ve listed below:

2012 Annual Report

WordPress has a neat tool called Annual Report which allows you to show your stats from the past year in a very visual, appealing format.

To check out my 2012 Annual Report, click on the link below. Here is a preview of how my 2012 went:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2012, there were 86 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 243 posts.

2012 Year in Review

I’d like to thank you for your support in 2012. I was busy between ultimaterob.com, competing in frisbee competitions and running throwing clinics.

Ultimaterob.com 2012 Highlights

2012 was the best year so far for ultimaterob.com.

The top 10 visited posts on my website were:

  1. 30 Quick Tips on my 30th Birthday
  2. Pull Diagonally and Have Better Pulls
  3. Frisbee Skills, Not Fitness, Wins Games
  4. Cold Weather Ultimate – Should I Wear Gloves?
  5. The Evolution of Disc Sports
  6. Ultimate Intelligence – The Good Mistakes
  7. Ultimate Intelligence – Sidelined
  8. Favourite Frisbee Quotes & Random Thoughts

Disc Sports is An Ageless Game

Dan “Stork” Roddick, who has been throwing a frisbee for 55 years, talks about what he likes about disc sports and why he still loves it so much.

The unique thing about flying disc is that there are so many areas that you can go into based on your physicality, your friends or your stage in life. You can literally play from the time you’re 2 until you’re 102. Ultimate frisbee, disc golf, guts, dog disc, ddc, distance, self caught flight, gollum, goaltimate, freestyle, accuracy, discathon and more.

Origins of Spirit of the Game

Dan “Stork” Roddick, who was a player in the first college ultimate game in 1972, talks about the origins of Spirit of the Game and how he came to write the words that we still use today to define spirit.

From USA Ultimate’s definition:

Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate adverse conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.

Mini Ultimate – 3 on 3

Mini is the most exciting and revolutionary change to disc sports since Columbia HS witnessed the invention of Ultimate over thirty years ago. Invented and trademarked by Brooklyn’s own Brion Winston and David Hollander, the sport has spread as far as Seattle, Japan, England, Australia, and Finland. An intensity that rises to a feverish pitch from the first pull and lasts to the last “D-to-win” or glorious goal-to-win, Mini is the modern urban answer to small field spaces and your wicked Ultimate jones. (It also cures constipation, reverses baldness, and has aphrodisiac properties on those who watch it.)

The Basics

Frisbee: Beyond Catch and Throw

by Craig Simon © 1982

Flat Flip Flies Straight. Tilted Flip Curves. Experiment!

These were the fabulously straightforward instructions that were molded onto every one of Wham-O Manufacturing Corporation’s earlier disc models. Ross Klongerbo, writing for “Frisbee disc World” pointed out that attention to just two words– SNAP and ANGLE–is all it really takes for a novice to throw a disc effectively. That said, I will now resume my usual verbosity.

The Ten Commandments of Frisbee

as told by Dan “Stork” Roddick

I
The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc straining to land under a car, just beyond reach. This force is technically called “car suck”.

II
The higher the quality of a catch or the comment it receives, the greater the probability of a crummy throw. (Good catch = bad throw.)

III
One must never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than, “Watch this!” (Keep ’em guessing.)

IV
The higher the costs of hitting any object, the greater the certainty it will be struck. (Remember: the disc is positive – both cops and old ladies are clearly negative).

Future of Disc Sports

In this video Dan “Stork” Roddick gives his thoughts on what the future of frisbee will look like. He doesn’t think that disc sports should be commercialized like other sports – pods that exists in all areas which allow people to play seem to be the best way.

Dan “Stork” Roddick is a long-time disc sport champion and organizer in both the U.S. and internationally.

Stork was an early star of the game of Ultimate with college champion Rutgers University (with a record of 45-1), where he was Irv Kalb’s favorite scoring target, and he was a winner of national and world championships in individual events including disc golf, freestyle and accuracy.

The Evolution of Disc Sports

Prior to 1968 there was no cohesive unified “Frisbee’ culture, and really no discs sports per se.  Regionally isolated pockets of Frisbee activity existed all over the country ranging from casual tossing and catching to relatively organized and structured games and contests.  But none of these occurrences of Frisbee activity knew about the existence of each other.

Favourite Frisbee Quotes

My favourite frisbee quotes both come from the same man, Stancil Johnson.

According to Wikipedia, Stancil Johnson is a psychiatrist and frisbee enthusiast, a member of the International Frisbee Hall of Fame and the Disc Golf Hall of Fame, and in 1975, he wrote Frisbee: Practitioner’s Manual and Definitive Treatise.

I own 2 copies of that book and it’s amazing how detailed the book is and how not much has changed in the 30+ years since he wrote it.

John “Friz Whiz” Kirkland

John “Friz Whiz” Kirkland

A tremendous all-around competitor, Kirkland was voted the disc athlete of the seventies. He won the men’s World Overall Championships in 1977 and finished second on three other occasions, as well as winning several individual world titles.

He is still very active in the scene and continues to inspire future world champions.