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Brief History of the Sport

Ultimate Frisbee has come a long way from its early days of using pie tins to being played by over 7 million players in more than 80 countries today. Being a part of the Ultimate community means being a part of something significant and contributing to its history with every move on the field. Even showing support or talking about the sport can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the game.

Important Events in Ultimate’s History

< 1940

The Frisbie Pie Company supplied pies to students at Yale, who discovered that the empty pie tins could be thrown to each other for entertainment since they had an unexpected aerodynamic quality.


After conducting research on how to improve the flight of a flat object, Fred Morrison developed the first patent for a flying disc toy, which could fly straighter and cover more distance.


The first mass-produced disc toy, called the Pluto Platter, was sold.


Wham-O obtained the manufacturing and marketing rights to the Pluto Platter


Following the closure of Frisbie Pie's, Yale students continued to refer to the iconic pie-tins as "Frisbies,"  the name became so popular that Whamo eventually adopted it for their flying disc toy, renaming it "Frisbee."


At Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, Joel Silver and a group of students proposed a Frisbee-based game to the student council for the first time.


The first team had been formed. They practiced on the high schools parking lot.


The inaugural edition of rules for the Frisbee-based game was created by Joel Silver, Buzzy Hellring, and Jon Hines. The first interscholastic game was held between Columbia High and Millburn High, with Columbia emerging victorious by a score of 43-10.


The first intercollegiate game between Rutgers and Princeton took place at Rutgers University, on the same site where the two teams had contested the first American Football game exactly 103 years earlier. Rutgers won both sports by a narrow two-point margin.


The first organized tournament, which attracted eight teams, was held at Yale University, and once again, Rutgers emerged as the victors.


 Ultimate Players Association (UPA) was founded, now called USA Ultimate.


The First World Ultimate Championship which was located in Gothenburg, Sweden.


The World Flying Disc Federation, which serves as the global governing body for all disc sports, was established.


Ultimate was shown as an exhibition sport during the world games in Akita, Japan.


Ultimate became an officially recognized medal sport at the World Games held in Japan.


More than 100,000 players participating in Ultimate Frisbee worldwide.


An estimated 7 million men, women, girls, and boys play Ultimate in over 80 countries. The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), the international governing body for the sport, represents 59 member associations in 56 countries.

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