Ultimate Frisbee is one of those sports that every university has but not many people know about. It’s much more than a background activity played by a couple kids with a disc. It’s a fast-growing national and international sport.
The game is referred to officially as “ultimate” due to copyright issues with Wham-O, the toy company that makes Frisbee. In fact Wham-O is a taboo brand in ultimate circles. Players wouldn’t dare bring one of their discs to a practice.
Ultimate is a recognized as a Division I sport at many schools, including the University of Pittsburgh and Ohio State. On top of that, there are two recently created pro leagues – Major League Ultimate (MLU) and the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). The AUDL expanded their reach to Pittsburgh and Ontario just last summer.
In 2013, the International Olympic Committee formally recognized the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), the governing body overseeing all flying disc sports and events. WFDF covers 55 countries and is present in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America and the Caribbean. This recognition is the first step toward inclusion as an Olympic sport, although it could be years or even decades before the sport actually earns a spot in the Olympics.
Still, ultimate often gets dismissed as “not a real sport.” To disprove this point, one needs only to take to YouTube. There are hundreds upon hundreds of videos of mind-bending highlights from college and professional games. For those looking for viral videos, professional player Brodie Smith (actual name) has plenty of trick shot videos.
Not only will those videos prove ultimate is a sport, they will prove that it is a sport for anyone. It’s doesn’t require anything but an official 175-gram disc and a willingness to learn the game.