A Brief History of Ultimate Frisbee

How a barefoot sport laced up its cleats

1920s
Pie tins from William Russell Frisbie's Connecticut bakery entertain Yale undergrads after they've quelled their munchies.

1957
Wham-O produces the Pluto Platter, then renames it the Frisbee and goes on to sell more than 100 million of the flying discs.

1970
Joel Silver, 18, codifies the rules and forms the first team, "split between the better students and the half who smoked dope."

1972
Princeton and Rutgers play the first intercollegiate game in the same place as the first college football game, 103 years earlier.

1991
Kenny Dobyns makes "the Catch" at the world champion­ships. Suddenly, people realize that serious athletes play.

1999
Silver produces The Matrix, saves Keanu Reeves's career, and spawns his second quasi-religious cult following.

2007
There are four million U.S. players. UPA president Mike Payne thinks Ultimate can be "a peer with other second-tier sports."

2008
Ultimate is bigger than lacrosse and rugby. The college championships, in May, are broadcast by CBS Sports for the first time.

Filed To: Culture
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