History of Ultimate

The sport of Ultimate originated in the fall of 1968 when a student at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey named Joel Silver (now a prominent Hollywood Movie Producer) proposed his idea of a new sport to the student council.  Silver had learned about the sport from an instructor, Jared Kass, at Mt. Hermon summer school earlier that year.  The next year, the first game was played between students and the sport quickly took off from there.

Within a few short years, the first collegiate game took place in 1972 between Rutgers and Princeton.  Coincidentally, the two schools played the first game of Ultimate on the same ground that the first collegiate football game was played on exactly 103 years prior, with the result being the same - a two point victory for Rutgers.

Not far removed from the invention of the game in the late 1960's, several Americans came to Toronto in the early 1970's and began introducing disc sports to Canadians. Toronto became the hub of Frisbee activity in Canada. But it was not until the late 1970's that Ken Westerfield discovered Ultimate Frisbee specifically and introduced it north of the 49th parallel. Until then, people played all types of Frisbee sports including disc golf, freestyle, guts, double disc court, maximum time aloft, and others. Ultimate Frisbee was originally just one option out of many and no more important than any other.

Ultimate soon found its popularity internationally and in 1981, the European Flying Disc Federation (EFDF) was formed.  EFDF went on to form the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) to be the international governing body for disc sports. In 2001, Ultimate was included as a medal sport for the first time at the World Games in Japan.

The sport of Ultimate has consistently been among the fastest growing sports in the World over the past couple decades.  In just over 40 years, the sport now boasts over five million North Americans who play the sport at least once per year.  That growth has set the stage for the next step for Ultimate, the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).  The AUDL started its inaugural season on the East coast, where the sport's roots started and the focus is having the AUDL play a major role in the continued growth and excitement for the sport we love, Ultimate.

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