Ultimate Frisbee History

What is the history of Ultimate Frisbee? What are its origins? Where did Ultimate Frisbee come from? Who invented it? Here is the history of Ultimate Frisbee.

Ultimate Frisbee History

What are the basic rules of Ultimate Frisbee?

Ultimate Frisbee is a sport played between two teams of seven players. The objective is to score 15 goals before your opponent. Games can also end if 90 minutes of play time go by without 15 goals being scored. If this happens, the team with the most goals wins.

Play begins with a pull, which is similar to a kickoff in football. The difference is players throw the frisbee instead of kicking it. Pulls also occur after every goal.

To advance up the field, players throw the frisbee to a teammate. Players may not run with the frisbee. If a player catches the frisbee in the opposing end zone, a goal is scored.

Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact game. If a player makes contact with another player, a foul is called. The punishment for a foul is typically possession given at the spot of the foul to the team that was contacted unfairly. There is no such thing as an unintentional foul in Ultimate Frisbee.

Which Country Started Ultimate Frisbee?

Ultimate Frisbee was invented in the United States of America. Specifically, the sport was invented at Columbia High School by the student council, in Maplewood, New Jersey. 

Ultimate Frisbee is also played in many other countries. The United States of America are typically the best at Ultimate Frisbee. Canada is not far behind the United States. Trailing the big two are Germany, Great Britain, and Australia. There are 44 countries who are ranked on a global scale in Ultimate Frisbee.

Who Invented Ultimate Frisbee?

Joel Silver is credited with inventing Ultimate Frisbee in 1968. He presented his idea for the sport to the Maplewood High School Student Council in New Jersey. The council approved of his idea, and helped Silver get his sport legitimized.

In the early days of the sport, students from Maplewood played in a parking lot. At first, the rules of the game were very simple. There were only two imaginary lines for goal lines. The game has come a long way from high schoolers in a parking lot!

When was Ultimate Frisbee Established?

Ultimate Frisbee was invented in 1968. However, it was not established as a sport right away. The first set of rules were invented in 1970, and were revised soon after. November 7th of the same year, the first ever interscholastic game was played. 

In 1972, the first ever college Ultimate Frisbee game was played. The two teams which kicked off college Ultimate Frisbee were Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers won a nailbiter, 29-27. Interestingly enough, these two teams played the first ever intercollegiate football game in the same place 103 years earlier. Additionally, Rutgers also won that game by two points.

The first organized tournament was in April of 1975. Rutgers came out victorious, and also won the next intercollegiate tournament a year later.

In 2010 the American Ultimate Disc League was established, which now serves as the major professional league.

Ultimate Frisbee did not take long to become popular. It helps that all you need to play is a frisbee and a field, or any open space. In the 1970’s, the first college tournaments helped grow the game.

Throughout the late 1900’s the game grew to different audiences, including the youth and professionals. Once kids started playing, the game became very popular and a common fixture in pickup sports.

  • United States of America
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • France
  • Columbia
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Finland
  • Switzerland

Ultimate Frisbee History Key Facts and Timeline

  • 1968 - Idea of Ultimate Frisbee Pitched
  • 1969 - First team and games played
  • 1972 - First intercollegiate game
  • 1975 - First organized tournament played
  • 2010 - AUDL created (pro league)