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Ultimate Frisbee History
The ultimate frisbee history begins with Joel Silver, a graduate of Lafayette College, proposed a school Frisbee team on a whim in the fall of 1968. The following spring, a group of students got together to play what Silver claimed to be the "ultimate game experience," adapting the sport from a form of Frisbee football, likely learned from Jared Kass while attending a summer camp at Northfield Mount Hermon, Massachusetts where Kass was teaching. The students who played and codified the rules at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, were an eclectic group of students including leaders in academics, student politics, the student newspaper, and school dramatic productions. One member of the original ultimate team was Walter Sabo, who went on to be a major figure in the American radio business. The sport became identified as a counterculture activity. The first definitive history of the sport was published in December 2005, ULTIMATE: The First Four Decades.
While the rules governing movement and scoring of the disc have not changed through Frisbee History, the early Columbia High School games had sidelines that were defined by the parking lot of the school and team sizes based on the number of players that showed up. Gentlemanly behavior and gracefulness were held high. (A foul was defined as contact "sufficient to arouse the ire of the player fouled.") No referees were present, which still holds true today: all ultimate matches (even at high level events) are self-officiated. At higher levels of play 'observers' are often present. Observers only make calls when appealed to by one of the teams, at which point the result is binding.
College Ultimate Frisbee History
The first intercollegiate ultimate frisbee competition in history was held at Rutgers's New Brunswick campus between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1972, the 103rd anniversary of the first intercollegiate game of American football featuring the same schools competing in the same location.
By 1975, dozens of colleges had ultimate teams, and in April 1975, players organized the first ultimate tournament, an eight-team invitational called the "Intercollegiate Ultimate Frisbee Championships," to be played at Yale. Rutgers beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 26-23 in the finals.
By 1976, ultimate teams were organizing in areas outside the Northeast. A 16-team single elimination tournament was set up at Amherst, Massachusetts, to include 13 East Coast teams and 3 Midwest teams. Rutgers again took the title, beating Hampshire College in the finals. Penn State and Princeton were the other semi-finalists. While it was called the "National Ultimate Frisbee Championships", ultimate was starting to appear in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara area.
Penn State hosted the first five-region National Ultimate Championships in May 1979. There were five regional representatives: three college and two club teams. They were as follows: Cornell University-(Northeast), Glassboro State- (Middle Atlantic), Michigan State-(Central), Orlando Fling-(South), Santa Barbara Condors-(West). Each ultimate team played the other in a round robin format to produce a Glassboro-Condors final. The Condors had gone undefeated up to this point; however Glassboro prevailed 19-18 to become the 1979 national champions. They repeated as champions in 1980 as well.
The first College Nationals made up exclusively of college ultimate teams took place in 1984 in Somerville, MA. The event, hosted by the Tufts University E-Men crowned Stanford its winner, as they beat Glassboro State in the finals.
The Ultimate Frisbee History of Club and International Play
In California ultimate clubs were sprouting in the Los Angeles - Santa Barbara area, while in the east, where the sport developed at the high school and college level, the first college graduates were beginning to found club teams, such as the Philadelphia Frisbee Club, the Washington Area Frisbee Club, the Knights of Nee in New Jersey, the Hostages in Boston and so forth. Arkansas also has a few formidable teams located in the towns of Pocahontas, Newport, and Batesville.
In the same year, ultimate arrived in the United Kingdom, with the UK's first clubs forming at the University of Warwick and the University of Cambridge, and Purley high school, by the late 1970s and early 1980s there were also clubs at the University of Southampton, University of Leicester, and University of Bradford.
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