Ultimate Frisbee took a giant leap towards legitimacy in August 2015 when the International Olympic Committee recognized the World Flying Disc Federation, creating a path to possible IOC funding and inclusion in the Olympics. The World Flying Disc Federation governs Beach Ultimate and disc golf, but its most notable game is Ultimate, the now-shortened name for Ultimate Frisbee, a game (and now a sport) that began in the early 1970s on a high school field in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Ultimate combines the continual motion of soccer with the aerial aspect of football. It is played between two teams of seven players on a rectangular field measuring 120 yards by 40 yards (110 m by 37 m), including two end zones. The goal: score points by catching the disc in the opponent’s end zone. Running with the disc and intentional contact are not allowed. And, unusually, it’s self-refereed.
More about flying Frisbees:
- In 2015, roughly 7.5 million people played disc sports in more than 90 countries around the world.
- There are two semi-professional Ultimate leagues in the U.S. -- the American Ultimate Disc League and Major League Ultimate.
- The Wham-O toy company acquired the rights to a plastic toy called the Pluto Platter in 1957 and changed the disc's name to Frisbee. More than 200 million have been sold in the 58 years since.