Ken Westerfield

Ken Westerfield (born May 23, 1947) is a pioneering Frisbee disc player.

In the 1960s, as numbers of young people became alienated from social norms, they resisted and looked for alternatives. They formed what became known as the counterculture. The forms of escape and resistance manifest in many ways including social activism, alternative lifestyles, experimental living through foods, dress, music and alternative recreational activities, including that of throwing a Frisbee.[1][2] Organized disc sports, began in the 1970s, with promotional efforts from Wham-O and Irwin Toy, a few tournaments and professionals using Frisbee show tours to perform at universities, fairs and sporting events. Disc sports such as freestyle, double disc court, guts, ultimate and disc golf became this sports first events.[3][4] Two sports, the team sport of disc ultimate and disc golf are popular worldwide and are now being played semi-professionally.[5][6] The World Flying Disc Federation, Professional Disc Golf Association, and the Freestyle Players Association are the official rules and sanctioning organizations for flying disc sports worldwide. Major League Ultimate (MLU) and the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) are the first semi-professional disc ultimate leagues.

Ken Westerfield is a Frisbee (disc) player from the 1960s. A Hall of Fame inductee in freestyle, ultimate and disc golf, also voted top men's player, 1970-75 Decade Awards.[7] Westerfield produced numerous tournaments, world records, many competitive wins in freestyle, ultimate, disc golf, distance and other individual events in over-all tournaments in the 1970s.[8] He invented freestyle moves, including "body-rolls" and presented early disc sports, including freestyle, disc golf and ultimate competitions at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships (1972-1985), Toronto, Ontario and the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974-1977), Vancouver, BC.[9] In 1979, Westerfield started the first ultimate league in Canada, the Toronto Ultimate Club (TUC). He also co-produced the Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic, Santa Cruz, California (1978), the Labatt's World Guts Championships, Toronto, (1985) and the World PDGA Disc Golf Championships, Toronto, (1987).[10] Westerfield was one of the original freestylers from the 1960s and used his expertise in several company sponsored touring promotional Frisbee shows in the U.S. and Canada for Irwin Toy, (Frisbee distributor in Canada, 1972–76), Molson Frisbee Team (1974–77), Adidas Canada (1974-1979), Goodtimes Professional Frisbee Show (1978–82), Orange Crush Frisbee Team (1977–78), Air Canada Frisbee Team (1978–79), Lee Jeans Frisbee Team (1979–80) and the Labatts Schooner Frisbee Team (1983–85).[8]

Ken Westerfield
Ken Westerfield, 1977
Ken Westerfield, Santa Cruz, California, 1970s
Personal information
Full nameKenneth Ray Westerfield
BornMay 23, 1947 (age 71)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Years active1963–1988
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight184 lb (83 kg)
CountryCanada and the United States
SportDisc sports (Frisbee)
Event(s)Freestyle, ultimate, disc golf, double disc court, distance and overall events (TRC, MTA, and accuracy)

Early life

Kenneth Ray Westerfield was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Margaret Marion (née Beach) a clerical administrator for the public school system and his father Gene C. Westerfield, a trade school trained refrigeration contractor in a family owned business of refrigeration and air conditioning. In the late fifties, the family moved from Detroit to Livonia, Michigan, now twelve years old, he lived with his parents and younger sister Kathy, who graduated from Winston Churchill High School in 1972 and has made a career in special education. Born into a close, middle class, conservative household, Westerfield attended area public schools and was active in many sports. His father, whose father Cleo Conn Westerfield played baseball for the Detroit Street Railway League in the 1920s, was very active in sports himself. This contributed to Westerfield's early sporting interest. Sports in the order of interest, along with all disc sports, were baseball, hockey, motorcycles, golf and basketball in which he competed in several city leagues.[11]

Early Frisbee and pre-disc sports history

It was at age thirteen, in 1960, that Westerfield became best friends with Hall of Fame and Discraft founder Jim Kenner.[12] They began playing Frisbee in high school. Daily they would experiment with new ways of throwing and catching the Frisbee, this would later be called "playing freestyle".[13] In the sixties, when the Frisbee was still considered a toy used just for recreation, there wasn't a reason to become proficient at throwing a Frisbee, no Frisbee professionals to emulate or disc sports tournaments to compete in. The only reason they became as good as they were was because of their shared anti-establishment attitude and lifestyle (that also included the rejection of traditional sports in general). This would result in a proficiency at playing Frisbee that had never been seen before. They would later invent disc sport competitive formats during the early years of Frisbee competitions.[11]

Graduating in 1965 from Franklin High School (Livonia, Michigan), and living the counterculture lifestyle, Westerfield and Kenner spent their summer days on Cass and Silver Lake beaches, as well as at music and rock festivals, displaying their freestyling Frisbee skills. One day, noticing an event ad in a local alternative newspaper, they took their Frisbees and a VW Bug and went to a music festival near Bethel, NY, called Woodstock, that later became the music event of the century. While at the festival they would throw the Frisbee over and just out of reach of the crowd, who while sitting on the ground watching the bands would keep reaching for it as it flew by, probably not even knowing what it was. Westerfield later stated, "it was an interesting crowd to play for".[14]

In 1970, Westerfield and Kenner moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, setting up their disc playing headquarters in Queen's Park. Playing Frisbee freestyle and object disc golf became a daily event at the park.[15][16] In 1971, with a hundred dollars each, bedrolls and a Frisbee, they set out to hitchhike across Canada, stopping to do Frisbee street performances to crowds in cities and at popular annual events, the Klondike Days in Edmonton and the Calgary Stampede in Alberta. Concluding their cross country hitchhiking tour in Vancouver, British Columbia, they made their summer home in the Yippie (Youth International Party) founded "All Seasons Park" (tent city). A protest against the Four Seasons company plans to build a complex on two blocks adjacent to Stanley Park, inspired and modeled after People's Park (Berkeley), that was formed two years prior.[17][18] Westerfield and Kenner, although not politically affiliated with the Yippies, still made the protested park their home. They would make a minimal income, by selling alternative newspapers, the Georgia Straight, on the city streets by day and performing nightly Frisbee shows in the historic Gastown area, in front of a railroad car turn restaurant, oddly enough called Frisby's. Because of the urban settings, free-styling with a Frisbee at night in front of crowds in the streets was very surreal. They would bounce the disc off the buildings, throw around statues, skip the Frisbee through traffic and throw over mobs of interested spectators. One night, while performing at Frisby's, they unwittingly became involved in the Yippie organized Gastown Smoke-in, a demonstration for the legalization of marijuana. The subsequent smoking of it in the town square, quickly turned the peaceful but illegal demonstration into the now famous Gastown Riots, the police also began regular raids of All Seasons Park.[19][20]

In the fall of 1971, Westerfield and Kenner wanted to return to Toronto but needed travel money. Continuing to perform at Frisby's, they decided they would try to collect money like street musicians, it was a success. Returning to Toronto, they lived in the notorious counter-cultural Rochdale College while performing Frisbee shows on the Yonge Street Mall.[21] Nightly, thousands of tourists and Torontonians would enjoy displays of their Frisbee expertise, while attractive accomplices (girlfriends) would use a Frisbee to collect donations.[22] Wanting to add professional legitimacy to their Frisbee show, they approached Ed Hurst, promotions manager for Irwin Toy, the distributor of Frisbee's in Canada and proposed their show to promote the Frisbee.[23] Their first professional performance was a basketball half-time show at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontario. The students loved it; Westerfield and Kenner were only paid twenty dollars each for the show, but more importantly, they had proven that their show would be beneficial in helping the company to promote the Frisbee. In 1972, they were retained by Irwin Toy to perform at special community and sporting events across Canada.[23][24] Westerfield and Kenner became the world's first full-time professional touring Frisbee players.[25][26]

The Canadian Open Frisbee Championships and the beginning of flying disc sports

Ken Westerfield 1977
Westerfield helped to popularize Frisbee as an alternative disc sport in the 1960s and 70s. Delaveaga Park, Santa Cruz, CA.

There were a few guts and distance competitions in the 1960s but disc sports really began in the early 1970s. The IFT guts Frisbee competitions in Northern Michigan, the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto, ON (1972), the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships, Vancouver, BC (1974), the Octad, New Brunswick, NJ (1974), the American Flying Disc Open (AFDO), Rochester, NY (1974) and the WFC, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA (1974), were the earliest Frisbee competitions to introduce the Frisbee as a new disc sport, up until these tournaments, the Frisbee was used as recreation and generally considered to be a toy. Westerfield and Kenner teamed up with Humber College professor Andrew Davidson, early Canadian disc sport promoter and Jeff Otis, event coordinator for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), to produce the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships (1972-1985). This international competition began with disc guts and distance, then added disc golf, freestyle, ultimate and individual field events at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), then in 1975, the tournament was moved to Toronto Islands.[22] Westerfield and Kenner also created the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974-1977).[27] Before playing Frisbee was considered a sport, Ken Westerfield and Jim Kenner were, by comparison to other professional sports, the athletic equivalent of what would be considered a professional Frisbee athlete.[28][29] Some of today's techniques as well as competitive formats came from these pioneers.[28][30] The Canadian Open Frisbee Championships and the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships introduced Frisbee as a disc sport, including the first competitive freestyle events.[31][32]

Freestyle is an event where teams of two or three players perform a routine that consists of a series of creative throwing and catching techniques set to music. The routine is judged on the basis of difficulty, execution and presentation. The team with the best total score is declared the winner. Freestyle play prior to 1975, before the invention of the nail-delay, was a fast moving and flowing routine of many throwing variations with spinning and leaping stylized catches off the throw. Early freestyle play was intense and commonly compared to martial arts and dance.[33] In 1973, Westerfield and Kenner, wanting to see if there were other players that could freestyle with a Frisbee decided to add their idea of a Frisbee freestyle competition to the 2nd Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, but due to a lack of competitors, the freestyle event was canceled. Unknown to them at the time, there was the beginning of a growing Frisbee freestyle swell in the United States, Berkeley, New York, Ann Arbor, New Jersey and Chicago. Next year newly energized freestylers assembled in Toronto, to compete in this new freestyle event. In 1974, at the 3rd annual Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Westerfield and Kenner would introduce this event called freestyle and they won it.[11][23][28][34]

The Decade Awards 1970-75 Top Freestyle Routine: Ken Westerfield/Jim Kenner Canadian Open 1974:[30]

Considered the greatest speedflow game of all time. Ken and Jim put on a clinic to cap off a blistering hot final by all of the teams. They featured a rhythmic and dynamic style with concise catch and throw combinations. These two gentlemen are credited with creating formal disc freestyle competition. The 1973 Canadian Open did not have freestyle as an event, the end result made history.

Among the competing freestyle pairing were such Frisbee notable's as Doug Corea/Jim Palmeri, John Kirkland/Jose Montalvo, Irv Kalb/Dave "Buddha" Meyers, Dan "Stork" Roddick /Bruce Koger, Tom Cleworth/John Connelly.[35] This was the first freestyle competition. Westerfield and Kenner having won, as the world's first Freestyle Frisbee Champions, that same year hosted the second freestyle competition, along with other Frisbee events, at their Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships, Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia.[36] This is where Bill King, Jim Brown and John Anthony of early freestyle fame, made their first competitive appearance.[28][37] A year later, the American Flying Disc Open (AFDO) in Rochester, New York, the Octad, in New Brunswick, New Jersey and the 1975 World Frisbee Championships, held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, adopted Westerfield and Kenner's freestyle competition format as one of their new events.[38] Today that same freestyle event is one of the premier events in flying disc tournaments worldwide. Jim Kenner and Ken Westerfield were inducted into the Inaugural Pioneer Class of the FPA Freestyle Disc Hall of Fame:[39]

Their play, innovation and influence began in the formative years prior to competition, and was critical to the origin of the competitive sport of Freestyle

Professional Model Frisbee Canadian Open 1972
The first Frisbee ever designed with a disc sport tournament identification. The 1972 Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto. Canada. Sponsored by Irwin (Canadian Frisbee distributor) and held at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).

In 1974, Westerfield and Kenner approached Molson Breweries with the idea of performing Frisbee shows at basketball halftimes in Canadian universities as the Molson Frisbee Team.[8] Always looking for unique ways to get into the university market, they accepted their proposal and were more than impressed with the results. The next year, Molson's up the promotional fee and used their show exclusively to introduce a new brand of beer called Molson Diamond.

In 1975, with Molson's sponsorship, Westerfield and Kenner moved the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships,[28] from the Canadian National Exhibition to Toronto Islands.[23] Molson's would continue to sponsor their Frisbee shows and events for several years. Along with promoting Molson products, this would help Westerfield and Kenner to promote their new sport everywhere.

Competitive years in disc sports, 1974-79

Goodtimes Frisbee Show
A poster from the Good Times Professional Frisbee Show, performing Frisbee shows with Women's Freestyle Champion Mary Kathron, 1978-1982.

Frisbee (disc) tournaments were beginning to attract excellent disc competitors from everywhere. What was once a top selling toy from Wham-O, was becoming a serious competitive sport.[23] Being 27 years old in 1974 (the first year of disc freestyle and over-all competitions) Westerfield's competitive participation only spanned five years, but in that short time had wins in every disc sport. What attracted Westerfield to playing with a Frisbee and developing his freestyle play in the sixties, is that he found that it didn't have to be competitive to be athletically challenging. Westerfield co-created and won the first freestyle competition and between 1976 and 1978 competing in North American Series (NAS) competitions to qualify for competing in the annual World Frisbee Championships (WFC), won six U.S. national freestyle titles including both 1976 Eastern and Western national freestyle titles and appeared in fifteen additional freestyle finals. When other sports like disc golf, ultimate, double disc court and over-all events were introduced to the Frisbee scene in the early 1970s, Westerfield quickly excelled in these new events because many of the skills involved in these new disc sports were skills that would transfer from his freestyle play.[40][41] Westerfield having a dual Canadian/U.S. legal living status, considering Toronto to be his home, always competed for Canada at U.S. and World competitions.

In 1975, at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships in Toronto, Westerfield set the MTA (maximum time aloft) world record with a sidearm throw of 15 seconds,[42] using a Super Pro Model Frisbee, beating the old record of 11 seconds.[8] Also in 1975, Westerfield invented a new freestyle move called "body-roll",[10] (rolling the disc across outstretched arms and chest, or back), then presented the move in a freestyle event at a national tournament in Rochester, NY called the AFDO, (American Flying Disc Open).[28] The hottest move of the day was called the, "Canadian mind blower".[10] Westerfield would roll the Frisbee across outstretched arms and chest, to outstretched arms across the back (front to back-roll). Today body-rolls (rolls) are an integral part of every freestyle routine. In 1974, Wham-O sponsored the first World Frisbee Championships (WFC) that included the North American Series (NAS) Frisbee tournaments held across the U.S. and Canada. These competitions were held for the purpose of qualifying competitors to compete annually in the WFC at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Winning numerous North American Series (NAS) freestyle and individual events, Westerfield was chosen as the "Best Player of the Decade" in the 1970s,

The Decade Awards: Best Men's Player 1970-1975:[43]

Ken Westerfield Big, Strong and Athletically gifted. Known for his overall skills as well. His forehand power throw, in particular, is probably still unmatched for sheer power. His freestyle skills did not take a back seat. He was adept at intricate moves, especially in the speed flow game. He was also an innovator. It is believed that he was the first person to do a body roll. The hottest move of the day was called the "Canadian Mind blower" which was a front roll to a foot tip to a backroll.

At a North American Series (NAS) Frisbee tournament in Dallas Texas, Westerfield became a member of the "400 club" with a prelim distance sidearm throw (also known as forehand), and won the event with a throw of 378 feet,[8] using a 119-gram World Class Model Frisbee. Only two competitors have officially ever thrown over 400 feet in competition with a 119-gram Frisbee (Lightweight disc by today's standard).

Ken Westerfield Sidearm throw
Ken Westerfield sidearm distance throwing record 552' Boulder, Colorado. 1978.

In 1978, Boulder, Colorado, while doing a distance throwing demonstration at a North American Series (NAS) event, Westerfield threw a 119-gram World Class Model Frisbee, 552 feet, using his characteristic sidearm throw, beating the official world distance record of 412 feet.[8][44]

This is how Kevin (Skippy) Givens, World Freestyle Champion, remembers it:[45]

Someone paced off the distance to a building at around 500 feet. Dave Johnson,(former distance world record holder) and others we're trying to hit it. Finally, Dave hits the building and the crowd goes wild. Ken Westerfield was sitting and watching. After Dave hit the building the crowd started to yell for Ken to throw. At first Ken was dismissive, not interested. Finally Ken stood up, went to the line, sized up the task then let it fly. It landed in the parking lot past the building on his first throw with no warm up. The crowd went crazy. It was the most incredible throw I'd ever seen.[46]

Tournament officials marked and measured the throw at 552 feet and until 2014, was the longest distance toss for a sidearm (forehand) throw. Since new manufacturers have introduced heavyweight, beveled edge golf disc and new record attempts are in the high desert winds of Primm, NV, the world distance record is now just over 600 feet for the forehand (sidearm) throw.[47] Westerfield's 552 foot throw is still the longest measured distance toss for a Wham-O brand Frisbee disc.[8]

In 1977, Kenner moved to London, Ontario, and created a disc manufacturing and distributing company called Discraft.[48] Westerfield went to Santa Cruz, California, teaming up with Tom Schot,[49] to help produce Frisbee events in Northern California, including the Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic and played in one of the first organized ultimate leagues in the U.S. called the Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League (NCUFL, 1977-1979), that included teams from over a dozen cities in Northern California.[50] Westerfield also created a Frisbee Show called Good Times Professional Frisbee Show that featured freestyle champion Mary Kathron,[51] and later World Freestyle Champion Brian McElwain.[52] Westerfield and his touring team performed shows at universities, fairs, music festivals and professional sporting events throughout the US and Canada for some of America's largest companies, Labatt Brewing Company, Air Canada, Lee Jeans, Orange Crush and Adidas.[53]

Disc golf history

As of 2017, there are over 7000 disc golf courses. Before 1975 and the invention of the disc golf target called the Disc Pole Hole, there were only a few mapped disc golf "object" courses in the U.S. and Canada. In 1970, you could count the number of designed courses, using the Frisbee to play golf and designated objects as holes, on one hand, Rochester, NY, Berkeley, CA and Toronto, ON, were disc golf's first designed courses, all completely unaware of the others existence.[54][55] In Canada, beginning in 1970, before even the idea of disc sports and the DGA, Ken Westerfield and Jim Kenner, played Frisbee golf daily on an 18 object hole course they designed at Queen's Park in downtown Toronto. They also added disc golf to their other tournament events at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships on Toronto Islands and the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships, Vancouver, BC. These were the first disc golf tournaments in Canada, beginning with using objects as holes and then permanently placed disc pole holes.[56] In 1987, Ken Westerfield as Tournament Director produced the PDGA World Championships on Toronto Islands. This was the only time this annual championship has been held outside of the United States.[57] Ken Westerfield was inducted into the PDGA Disc Golf Hall of Fame with the following:[58]

Ken Westerfield is an icon of disc golf and one of the strongest overall competitors in flying disc sports of all time. His powerful and accurate sidearm throw is widely acknowledged as one of the best the sport has ever seen. He was one of the top players at the emergence of organized disc golf competition. He pioneered the growth of disc golf across Canada. Many Canadian players trace their introduction to disc golf to being mentored by Ken. His contributions are a huge part of the foundation of our sport.

In the US, Jim Palmeri his brother, and a small group of people from Rochester, NY, despite never hearing of the IFA or Ed Headrick, had been playing disc golf as a competitive sport on a regular basis since August 1970, including tournaments and weekly league play. By 1973, they had even promoted two City of Rochester Disc Frisbee Championship events which featured disc golf as the main event.[59] In California, the Berkeley Frisbee Group established a standardized 18 hole object course on the Berkeley campus in 1970.[60] University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor had a mapped out Frisbee golf object course, designed in 1973.

Ultimate Frisbee in Canada

Good times Ultimate Team Santa Cruz, CA 1977
Good Times Ultimate Team. Westerfield (second from the right). Good friend and disc sports promoter Tom Schot (fifth from the right) in the Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League, Santa Cruz, CA. 1978.

Ultimate is a team sport played with a flying disc on a rectangular field, 120 yards (110m) by 40 yards (37m). The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to members of your own team until you have successfully completed a pass to a team member in the opposing teams end zone. Ultimate comes with a self-regulated rule of playing conduct called the Spirit of the Game. " A players personal conduct as a competitor is as important as winning the game", Ken Westerfield brought this unique competitive spirit to all of his disc sports, including ultimate.[61] This spirit wasn't invented by any one person or group but was recognized as just the way these early anti-sports establishment athletes competed. The tradition of this spirit in disc sports has been carried on to this day. Ultimate was the first disc sport to recognize this unique conduct of play and named it the Spirit of the Game (SOTG). In 1978, it was added to the 7th edition of the rules for ultimate.[62] Beginning in 1975, the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, held on Toronto Islands, began introducing disc ultimate to Canadians as a showcase event. Westerfield played in these beginning ultimate Frisbee exhibition games with some of the sports founders (Johnny Appleseeds) from Columbia High School (CHS), Maplewood, New Jersey, who were also there to compete in the other events at the Canadian Open competition.[63] [64] Westerfield continued to play ultimate through the 1970s, mostly while competing at U.S. over-all NAS tournaments and also played on Santa Cruz's first ultimate team called Good Times (a Santa Cruz weekly newspaper) in the first two years of the Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League (NCUFL), 1977-1979.[65]

In 1979, at age 32, retiring from competing in U.S. and Canadian national freestyle, disc golf and over-all competitions, Westerfield continued to organize and produce local disc events in Toronto, Ontario. In 1979, because of his love of ultimate, began organizing ultimate events and with the help of Irwin Toy's Bob Blakely and Chris Lowcock, created the Toronto Ultimate League.[23] Westerfield started weekly ultimate pick-up games on Kew Beach, then sent team invitations to Wards Island, West Toronto, North Toronto and his own team Beaches.[66] These were the first four teams with each team taking turns hosting Wednesdays weekly league game nights at their home locations. The league starting night was at Kew Beach. Westerfield, using Bob Blakely's office copy machine and mailing facility at Irwin Toy, would produce a weekly newsletter highlighting the games and scores for each team as well as their league standings through the playing season. The Toronto Ultimate League developed and was renamed the Toronto Ultimate Club (TUC), that now has 3300 active members and over 250 teams playing the year round. This was the first ultimate league in Canada and now one of the world's oldest.[23]

In 1987, at the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC), Ottawa, Westerfield, with his team Darkside, won Canada's first national ultimate championships. In the 1980s, in the beginning of Toronto's competitive ultimate years, Westerfield's contributions to his teams were his expert handling skills as well as the strength of his sidearm (forehand) huck, hammer and pulls (the starting throw that begins the play, similar to a kickoff in football).[67][68][69] Consistently pulling (throwing) deep into the opposing teams end-zone, would always give his team the advantage of having plenty of time to get set-up on defense.[8][70]

In 2013, as a founding partner, the Toronto Ultimate Club presented Canada's first semi-professional ultimate team, the Toronto Rush,[71] to the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).[72] They went undefeated 18-0 for the season and won the AUDL Championships.[73][74]

In 2010, Ken Westerfield was inducted into the inaugural class of the Toronto Ultimate Club Hall of Fame.[8] In 2011, Westerfield was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Ultimate Canada Hall of Fame.[14]

Toronto Ultimate Club Hall of Fame presentation:

In the 1970s, Ken discovered the game of Ultimate in the USA and brought it to Toronto, Ontario. He introduced the game at Kew Beach to an initial core of people and from there planted the seed for Ultimate Frisbee in Toronto. Ken was larger than life to this growing core of players who craved increased knowledge and skill development. He created pickup and the establishment of (4 teams) beginning in 1980. Not only was he an architect for the origins of the Toronto Ultimate Club, but Ken's influence as a player and a person made his reputation legendary. Simply put, he was the point man on all aspects of disc play, the "go to" guy that everyone looked up to.[8]

Post-Frisbee and disc sports legacy

As with many discoveries, disc sports seems to have been created in part due to an unintended consequence. What began as Westerfield's and others rebellion against social norms and a rejection of what was considered the sports establishment, eventually working in cooperation within unlikely partnerships with "establishment" Frisbee manufacturers sales motivations, as a result, has become one of today's newest and fastest growing sports.[75][76] Many new and innovative ideas begin as an accidental discovery, but when you consider Westerfield's participation in the beginning of the Frisbee and disc sport development years that followed what was little more than a daily display of his counterculture activity and lifestyle, it would be hard not to see his contributions and influence in today's disc sports. Ken Westerfield is recognized not only for his athletic achievements and being one of the best players of all time, as stated in his hall of fame inductions, but also his influence and contributions as a founder, pioneer, innovator and organizer in the introduction and development of all the disc sports. From numerous shows and demonstrations, as one of the first professional touring Frisbee players, to introducing some of the first Frisbee disc sport competitions and organizations in Canada and the U.S. that are still active today. Freestyle and freestyle competitions are played in countries around the world, with organizing efforts of the FPA.[77] Canada and the US now has over 1.48 million ultimate players that play regularly, with competitions sanctioned by Ultimate Canada and USA Ultimate, including a semi-professional ultimate tour, called the AUDL.[78] Disc golf is played on over 7000 courses in about 40 countries with 500,000 regular players, including a semi-professional tour, set-up by the PDGA.[79] What began as Ken Westerfield's "sixties" daily counterculture pastime, became his storied legacy in disc sports, as well as ironically becoming an "establishment" sport, using the flying disc[58][28][14]

After retiring from playing and promoting disc sports in 1988, Westerfield went on to start a number of successful business ventures, K-West Products, importing exotic plants from South America, (1988-1992). Opening a popular biker themed rock and roll bar in downtown Toronto called the Rats Ass Saloon, (1990-1993). A motorcycle shop in West Toronto called Rockerbox Motorcycle Maintenance and Restoration, (1994-1997). In the 1990s, although never wearing a motorcycle club patch himself, Westerfield associated with Bikers and occasionally rode with local club members that were considered to be the 1% of patch-wearing motorcycle clubs in Toronto. Today Westerfield, mostly retired, spends his time in a small town near the U.S. Mexican border called Bisbee, Arizona. He has always had a passion for helping animals and volunteers much of his time working with several animal rescue organizations.[11]

Awards, achievements and event timeline

  • 1960 - Westerfield and Kenner, at age thirteen, become friends.
  • 1963 - 1965 - Westerfield and Kenner begin their free-form style of Frisbee play summer days at Silver lake and Cass Lake beaches through their high school years in Michigan.
  • 1965 -1969 - Played Frisbee freestyle to crowds, while at various outdoor rock concerts and music festivals including Woodstock.
  • 1970 - Westerfield and Kenner move from Michigan to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Play Frisbee freestyle and disc golf daily, in Queen's Park. This was one of the earliest designed object disc golf courses, along with Rochester, NY and Berkeley, CA. also designed in 1970.
  • 1971 - Hitchhiking across Canada, performed unsponsored improv Frisbee street shows with Kenner in cities along the way, including a summer of Frisbee shows in the historic area of Gastown, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • 1971- Involved in the Vancouver Gastown Riots while doing Frisbee shows that same night in the streets of Gastown.
  • 1971-1974 - Living in the highly publicized notorious counter-cultural Rochdale College they performed nightly Frisbee shows on the Yonge Street Mall in Toronto, Ontario.
  • 1972-1976 - As the Canadian Frisbee Champions, Westerfield and Kenner, contracted by Irwin Toy, the Frisbee manufacturer in Canada, to perform Frisbee shows and promote the Jr Frisbee Program at special events across Canada.
  • 1972-1985 - The Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto (co-produced and was tournament director with Jim Kenner).[28] Beginning as a guts and distance tournament, later adding freestyle, disc golf, ultimate and over-all individual field events. The Canadian Open and the Vancouver Open were the introduction of disc sports (up until then, the Frisbee was always considered a toy).
  • 1973 - Planned to introduce the first freestyle competition event at the 2nd annual Canadian Open Frisbee Championships in Toronto, but do to a lack of competitors, canceled the event. Wham-O in the U.S. sent Victor Malafronte and Jo Cahow to see this new freestyle event. It was the first time Westerfield and Kenner would see other highly skilled freestylers
  • 1974 - Westerfield and Kenner introduce and win the first freestyle competition at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[28]
Ken Westerfield freestyle scissors catch 1977
1970-1975 Best Men's Player and Best Freestyle Routine, The Decade Awards.
  • 1974 - The Decade Awards 1970-1975, Awarded "Best Freestyle Routine", The 1974 Canadian Open, Ken Westerfield/Jim Kenner.[30]
  • 1974-1979 - Clothing sponsored by Adidas Canada
  • 1974-1977 - Molson Frisbee Team, performing Frisbee freestyle shows with Jim Kenner at special events and Canadian universities in Ontario.[14]
  • 1974-1977 - Westerfield and Kenner produced Western Canada's first Frisbee (disc sports) competitions. The Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships at Kitsilano Beach and a Wham-O/Irwin sponsored North American Series (NAS) Tournament in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[80]
  • 1975 - World MTA Record 15 seconds, Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[81]
  • 1975 - Voted Best Men's Player, Ken Westerfield, The Decade Awards 1970-1975.[10]
  • 1975 - The Canadian Open Frisbee Championships introduces disc ultimate as a showcase event. Westerfield played in these beginning exhibitions along with some of the sports founders (Johnny Appleseeds) from Columbia High School (CHS), Maplewood, New Jersey.
1975-1977 World Class Frisbee
1975-1977 World Class Frisbee signatures Jim Kenner, Gail McColl, Ken Westerfield, collectively, have ten Disc Sport Hall of Fame Inductions.
1978 World Class Frisbee Brian McElwian Ken Westerfield
1978 World Class Frisbee signatures Brian McElwian and Ken Westerfield
  • 1975 - Introduced a new freestyle move called a "body-roll" (rolling the disc across outstretched arms and chest or back), at the American Flying Disc Open (AFDO), in Rochester, New York.[10]
  • 1975-1978 - Signature endorsing the Canadian World Class Frisbee.[82]
  • 1976 - Presents the first disc golf tournaments in Canada, first as an object course, then using disc pole holes with chains and baskets. Canadian Open Frisbee Championships on Toronto Islands and the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships, Vancouver, BC ( 1977, Wham-O, NAS event in Stanley Park using natural objects).[83]
  • 1976 - Vancouver BC, appearing on the Peter Gzowski television show along with Greenpeace activist/founder David McTaggart. The next day was invited by Mctaggart to do a Frisbee show at a Greenpeace rally/protest on Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver.
  • 1976-1978 - Winning 15 first place titles in only 10 North American Series (NAS) National Frisbee Championships in disc golf, distance and individual over-all events, including 6 U.S. national freestyle titles.
  • 1977 - Westerfield goes to Santa Cruz, CA and helps Tom Schot organize Frisbee events in Northern California. Kenner and Gail McColl move to London, Ontario to start a disc manufacturing company called Discraft that is today's largest disc sport company that supplies flying disc and accessories for every disc sport.
  • 1977-1979 - Westerfield played disc ultimate through the 1970s mostly while competing in U.S. over-all North American Series (NAS) tournaments and played on the Santa Cruz Good Times Ultimate Team (sponsored by the Good Times newspaper), in the first two years in the Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League.[84]
  • 1977 - Design and manufactured a flying disc with Tom Schot. Disc is introduced at the 1978 Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic. Disc is later retooled and manufactured by Brand-X.
  • 1977-1978 - Orange Crush Frisbee Team, touring Canada doing Frisbee shows with Mary Kathron, Women's Freestyle Champion.
  • 1978-1979 - Air Canada Frisbee Team, doing Frisbee shows across Canada with Mary Kathron.
Westerfield Sidearm 1970s
Westerfield demonstrating his sidearm throwing style, the 1970s.
Ken Westerfield Molson Frisbee Team 1977
Ken Westerfield performing Frisbee shows for various companies, Irwin Toy, Molson's Breweries, Lee Jeans, Orange Crush, Air Canada, Adidas and Labatt's Breweries at universities, sporting and special events in the U.S. and Canada, 1972-1987.
  • 1978 - At a North American Series (NAS) tournament in Dallas, Texas, became a member of the exclusive "400 Club" with a prelim sidearm throw, and won the event with a throw of 378 feet. Only two competitors had ever thrown a 119-gram Frisbee over 400 feet in competition.
  • 1978 - In Boulder, Colorado, during a distance demonstration at an (NAS) Frisbee tournament, Ken threw a forehand (sidearm) 119-gram Frisbee 552 feet. This distance record is still the longest distance toss for a Wham-O Frisbee disc.[8][44]
  • 1978 - Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic, Santa Cruz, California (co-produced and was tournament director with Tom Schot).
  • 1978-1982 - Good Times Professional Frisbee Show, performing shows with Women's Freestyle Champion Mary Kathron at universities, sporting events and music festivals across Canada and the U.S.
  • 1979 - Featured in a Wham-O film, "The 1979 World Frisbee Golf Championship" WFC Disc Golf final round. Not shown in the film, the championship ended in a sudden death play-off between Westerfield and Snapper Pierson.[85]
  • 1979-1980 - Lee Jeans Frisbee Team, freestyle shows in shopping malls and at special events with Mary Kathron.
  • 1979 - Started the Toronto Ultimate League (Club). This was the first disc ultimate league in Canada and one of the world's oldest leagues. Canada is considered a powerhouse in world disc ultimate and has been ranked number one several times in the world ultimate rankings according to the World Flying Disc Federation.[23]
  • 1979 - Retires from competing in U.S. and Canadian national (NAS) freestyle and over-all competitions. Continued to organize local disc events in Toronto, as well as playing league and touring team ultimate, Toronto's Zero Tolerance and Darkside (1987 CUC National Champions).
  • 1983-1985 - Labatt's Schooner Frisbee Team, performing freestyle shows at special events in Canada with Brian McElwain, Patrick Chartrand and Peter Turcaj.[14]
  • 1985 - World Labatt's Guts Championships, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (co-produced and was tournament director with Peter Turcaj).
  • 1987 - World Disc Golf Championships (PDGA), Toronto, Ontario, Canada (produced and was tournament director). This is the only time this annual championship has been played outside of the U.S.
  • 1987 - National Champion on Toronto team Darkside. Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.[14]
  • 1988 - At age 40, retires from playing ultimate and organizing disc sport tournaments. As Recently as 2010 has returned to collaborate on historical and performance disc sports articles and occasionally has shown up as a spectator at various disc events.
  • 2010 - Inducted into the Inaugural Class of the Toronto Ultimate Club Hall of Fame.[8]
  • 2011 - Inducted into the Inaugural Class of the Ultimate Canada Hall of Fame.[14]
  • 2012 - Featured in a flying disc film documentary called The Invisible String, made by a Berlin film group in Germany.[86]
  • 2013 - Inducted into the PDGA Disc Golf Hall of Fame.[58]
  • 2013 – 34 years after playing the first league games on Kew Beach (1979), the Toronto Ultimate Club, as a founding partner, presented Canada's first semi-professional ultimate team, the Toronto Rush, to the American Ultimate Disc League.
  • 2014 - Beaches Team - Special Merit - inducted into the Toronto Ultimate Club Hall of Fame (Kens first team in Toronto ultimate 1979).[87]
  • 2016 - Inducted into the Inaugural Pioneer Class of the FPA Freestyle Disc Hall of Fame.[88]

See also

External links

Newspaper articles

Ken Westerfield Today
Ken Westerfield at the Mission San Miguel Arcángel, San Miguel, CA. 2009.

Books about Frisbee and Disc Sports

Palmeri, Jim & Kennedy, Phil; A Chain of Events, The Origin & Evolution of Disc Golf Paperback, Unabridged (2015); ISBN 978-0-9774517-0-8

Stancil, E. D., and Johnson, M. D.; Frisbee, A Practitioner's Manual and Definitive Treatise, Workman Publishing Company, New York (July 1975); ISBN 978-0-911104-53-0

Horowitz, Judy, and Bloom, Billy; Frisbee: More Than A Game of Catch, Leisure Press, Champagne, Illinois (1984); ISBN 978-0-88011-105-8

Norton, Gary; The Official Frisbee Handbook, Bantam Books, Toronto/New York/London (July 1972); no ISBN

Danna, Mark, and Poynter, Dan; Frisbee Players' Handbook, Parachuting Publications, Santa Barbara, California (1978); ISBN 0-915516-19-5

Tips, Charles, and Roddick, Dan; Frisbee Sports & Games, Celestial Arts, Millbrae, California (March 1979); ISBN 978-0-89087-233-8

Tips, Charles; Frisbee by the Masters, Celestial Arts, Millbrae, California (March 1977); ISBN 978-0-89087-142-3

Morrison, Fred & Kennedy, Phil; Flat Flip Flies Straight! True Origins of the Frisbee, Wormhole Publishers, Wethersfield, CT (January 2006); ISBN 0-9774517-4-7

Leonardo,Tony and Zagoria, Adam co-authored "Ultimate: The First Four Decades," publ. by Ultimate History, Inc., 2005, ISBN 0-9764496-0-9

Notes and references

  1. ^ Gavin, Tristan (September 19, 2013). "Frisbee Don't Sell Out". Pioneer Opinion. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Jordan Holtzman-Conston (2010). Countercultural Sports in America: The History and Meaning of Ultimate Frisbee. Waltham, Mass. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  3. ^ "World Flying Disc Federation". WFDF Official Website. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "World Flying Disc Federation". History of the Flying Disc. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  5. ^ "Professional Disc Golf Association". PDGA Official Website. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  6. ^ "American Ultimate Disc League". AUDL Official Website. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "Flying Disc freestyle Hall of Fame". Ken Westerfield Player Biography. Retrieved October 6, 2018. Note: Ken received the Decade Awards 1970-1975, Voted Best Men’s Player, also is a Hall of Fame inductee in three disc sports, freestyle, disc golf and ultimate.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "TUC Hall of Fame Ken Westerfield". Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  9. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Development of Frisbee in the U.S. and Canada. Retrieved February 6, 2018. Note: The Canadian Open Frisbee Championships (1972) in Toronto and the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974) along with the IFT Guts Frisbee tournament in Northern Michigan were the first tournaments to introduce Frisbee as a disc sport (up until then, the Frisbee was considered a toy).
  10. ^ a b c d e "The Decade Awards 1970-75". Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d "FPA Hall of Fame Ken Westerfield". Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  12. ^ admin (1997). "PDGA Hall of Fame". 1997 Inductees. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Sanchez, Rodney and Bethany (2006). "Freestyle Frisbee Basics". Freestyle Players Association. Archived from the original on November 9, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "Canadian Ultimate Hall of Fame inductee Ken Westerfield". Archived from the original on December 17, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  15. ^ Marini, Dave. "What is Frisbee Freestyle". The Freestyle Frisbee Page. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  16. ^ Wham-O (January 9, 2009). "1979 World Frisbee Golf Championships". Youtube. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  17. ^ "Peter Tupper". Vancouver's other Occupation: All Season's. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  18. ^ "Vancouver Yippie". Red Lion Publishing. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  19. ^ "The Independent". This Day in Vancouver August 7th. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  20. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Development of Frisbee in Canada. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  21. ^ "The story of the first Yonge Street pedestrian mall". blogTO. March 18, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  22. ^ a b "History of Frisbee". Interview with Canadian Frisbee Historian Andrew Davidson produced by Nick Schofield. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h "History of the TUC". Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  24. ^ "Frisbee Tossing has it's Expert Twist". The Leader Post. July 14, 1976. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  25. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Development of Frisbee in Canada. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  26. ^ "Pair of Pros". The Calgary Herald. August 11, 1976. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  27. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Development of Frisbee in the U.S. and Canada. Retrieved February 12, 2018. Note: The Canadian Open Frisbee Championships (1972) in Toronto Canada and the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974) along with the IFT Guts Frisbee tournament in Northern Michigan were the first tournaments to introduce Frisbee as a disc sport (up until then, the Frisbee was only being used as a toy.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Canadian Open and the Formative Years of Disc Sports". Freestyle Players Association. Retrieved November 12, 2011. Note: Westerfield and Kenner had been doing shows for several years before the 1974 Canadian Open. They thought freestyle was a natural addition to the traditional guts, distance and accuracy events that comprised the competitions of that era.
  29. ^ "Freestyle Frisbee". The Freestyle Frisbee Page. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  30. ^ a b c "Top Freestyle Routine". The Decade Awards 1970-75. Retrieved November 12, 2011.Note: Considered the greatest speedflow game of all time. Ken and Jim put on a clinic to cap off a blistering hot final by all of the teams. This was also the very first formal freestyle competition ever. Ken and Jim featured a rhythmic and dynamic style with concise catch and throw combinations. These two gentlemen are credited with creating formal freestyle competition. The 1973 Canadian Open did not have freestyle as an event, the end result made history.
  31. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Development of Frisbee in the U.S. and Canada. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  32. ^ "Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Sports". The History of Frisbee and Disc Sports in the USA and Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  33. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Freestyle Becomes a Sport. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  34. ^ "Freestyle Players Association". Freestyle Hall of Fame Pioneer Class. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  35. ^ "Freestyle Players Hall of Fame". Inductees. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  36. ^ "History of Frisbee in BC". Frisbee history. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  37. ^ "Discraft History of Freestyle". Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  38. ^ "1975 World Frisbee Championships Rose Bowl". Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  39. ^ "FPA Freestyle Hall of Fame/Ken Westerfield". Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  40. ^ "Fast Freestyle the Ultimate Edge". Ultimate Rob. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  41. ^ "Canadian Ultimate Magazine Page 36-37". Fast Freestyle the "Ultimate" Edge. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  42. ^ "World Flying Disc Federation". Field Events. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  43. ^ "Decade Awards Top Mens Player". Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  44. ^ a b "PDGA". 119 Distance Challenge. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  45. ^ "Freestyle Players Association". Kevin Givens Profile. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  46. ^ "Ultimate Rob". Kevin Givens Interview. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  47. ^ "WFDF Distance Records". Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  48. ^ "Discraft Company". Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  49. ^ "2000 inductees Tom Schot". Disc Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  50. ^ "Birth and Early years of Mens West Coast Ultimate 1975-1985". Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League and Good Times Team. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  51. ^ "Ken Westerfield". The Leader-Post. August 4, 1979. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  52. ^ "1995 FPA World Championships". Brian McElwain and Gary Auerbach. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  53. ^ "History of Frisbee and Flying Disc freestyle". Development of Frisbee in Canada. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  54. ^ "Disc Golf Courses in the World - Disc Golf Course Review". Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  55. ^ "D.G.A. Disc Golf Baskets". Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  56. ^ "History of Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Sports". Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  57. ^ "87 Worlds revisited". PDGA. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  58. ^ a b c "Disc Golf Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  59. ^ "History of Rochester Disc Golf Club". Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  60. ^ "History of Frisbee". 1968-1973 Formative Frisbee Years. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  61. ^ "History of Disc Sports". History of Ultimate. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  62. ^ "USA Ultimate". Spirit of the Game. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  63. ^ "Special Merit the Johnny Appleseeds". USA Ultimate Hall of Fame.
  64. ^ "Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Golf History". Ultimate Frisbee and Canada. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  65. ^ "Birth and Early years of Mens West Coast Ultimate 1975-1985". Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League and Good Times Team. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  66. ^ "Toronto Ultimate Club Hall of Fame team award Beaches - Special merit". Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  67. ^ "Touring Team History". Toronto Ultimate Club. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  68. ^ "Ultimate Rob". How to Huck. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  69. ^ "Ultimate Rob". How to Pull. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  70. ^ "Top Mens Player". Decade Awards 1970-75. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  71. ^ Hall, Joseph (November 23, 2012). "Toronto Rush takes flight with American Ultimate Disc League". The Star. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  72. ^ "American Ultimate Disc League". Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  73. ^ "Toronto Rush Crowned Frisbee Ultimate Champions". The Star. August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  74. ^ "Toronto Rush". Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  75. ^ Barta, Jasmine. "Ultimate Frisbee's popularity expands on campuses". Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  76. ^ Gavin, Tristan (September 19, 2013). "Frisbee Don't Sell Out". Pioneer Opinion. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  77. ^ "Freestyle Players Association". History of Frisbee and Early years of Freestyle. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  78. ^ "the Sludge Report". Ultimate Frisbee Participation. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  79. ^ "PDGA". History of Disc Golf. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  80. ^ "British Columbia Disc Sports". History of BC Disc Sports. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  81. ^ "Many Fling Disc During Competition". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. May 21, 1978. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  82. ^ "World Class Frisbee Champions". Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  83. ^ "Disc Golf Pioneers History in Canada and the U.S." The History of Frisbee and Disc Sports in the USA and Canada. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  84. ^ "Birth and Early years of Mens West Coast Ultimate 1975-1985". Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League and Good Times Team. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  85. ^ "Wham-O Feature Film". 1979 World Frisbee Golf Championships final round. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  86. ^ "The Invisible String". Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  87. ^ "Toronto Ultimate Club Hall of Fame team award Beaches - Special merit". Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  88. ^ "Freestyle Players Hall of Fame Pioneer Class". FPA Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
1971 in Canada

Events from the year 1971 in Canada.

1974 in sports

1974 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.

Amateur sport in Toronto

Amateur sport in Toronto has a vibrant and distinguished history, with a breadth of sports featuring significant participation in youth leagues, collegiate sports, and other organised and ad hoc events.

Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee is a town in Cochise County, Arizona, USA, 92 miles (148 km) southeast of Tucson. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 5,575. The town is the county seat of Cochise County.

Disc golf

Disc golf (also called Frisbee golf or sometimes frolf) is a flying disc sport in which players throw a disc at a target; it is played using rules similar to golf. It is often played on a course of 9 or 18 holes. Players complete a hole by throwing a disc from a tee area toward a target, throwing again from the landing position of the disc until the target is reached. Usually, the number of throws a player uses to reach each target are tallied (often in relation to par), and players seek to complete each hole, and the course, in the lowest number of total throws.The game is played in about 40 countries and currently there are over 103,000 active members of the PDGA worldwide.


Discraft is a company founded in 1979 by Jim Kenner and Gail McColl and is located in Wixom, Michigan. They are a manufacturer of flying discs for the sports of Ultimate, Disc Golf and Freestyle. The company does not have any retail stores, but rather sells large quantities of discs to resellers and wholesalers around the world.

Discraft's 175-gram Ultra-Star disc is the only official disc that is USA Ultimate Championship Series Approved by the Ultimate Players Association. Discs manufactured by Wham-O, Innova, and Daredevil Discs are approved for other uses. Discraft also owns and produces discs and other disc golf accessories for the company Disc Golf Association (DGA)

Flying disc freestyle

Flying disc freestyle, also known as freestyle Frisbee in reference to the trademarked brand name, is a sport and performing art characterized by creative, acrobatic, and athletic maneuvers with a flying disc. Freestyle is performed individually or more commonly in groups, both competitively and recreationally.

The Freestyle Players Association (FPA) is the governing body of freestyle, "dedicated to the growth of freestyle disc play as a lifetime recreation and competitive sport. The organization is involved in international tournaments and rankings as well as education grants and promotional activities. Every year, the FPA holds a world championship with divisions in Open Pairs, Mixed Pairs, Open Co-op, and Women’s Pairs. Competitive freestyle is usually judged on execution, difficulty, and artistic impression by a panel of players.

Flying disc games

Flying disc games are games played with discs, often called by the trademarked name Frisbees. Ultimate and disc golf are sports with substantial international followings.


A frisbee (pronounced FRIZ-bee, also called a flying disc or simply a disc) is a gliding toy or sporting item that is generally plastic and roughly 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) in diameter with a pronounced lip. It is used recreationally and competitively for throwing and catching, as in flying disc games. The shape of the disc is an airfoil in cross-section which allows it to fly by generating lift as it moves through the air. Spinning it imparts a stabilizing gyroscopic force, allowing it to be both aimed and thrown for distance.

A wide range is available of flying disc variants. Those for disc golf are usually smaller but denser and tailored for particular flight profiles to increase or decrease stability and distance. The longest recorded disc throw is by David Wiggins, Jr. with a distance of 1,109 feet (338 m). Disc dog sports use relatively slow-flying discs made of more pliable material to better resist a dog's bite and prevent injury to the dog. Flying rings are also available which typically travel significantly farther than any traditional flying disc. Illuminated discs are made of phosphorescent plastic or contain chemiluminescent fluid or battery-powered LEDs for play after dark. Others whistle when they reach a certain velocity in flight.

The term frisbee is often used generically to describe all flying discs, but is a registered trademark of the Wham-O toy company. This protection results in organized sports such as Ultimate or disc golf having to forgo the word "Frisbee".

Frisbie Pie Company

The Frisbie Pie Company was founded in 1871 by William Russell Frisbie in Bridgeport, Connecticut, when he bought and renamed a branch of the Olds Baking Company. The company was located on Kossuth Street in Bridgeport's East Side, where nearby schoolchildren tossed the plates around and yelled "Frisbie" to alert others to avoid the spinning tins. The game the children played made its way to nearby college campuses.

Irwin Toy

Irwin Toy Limited was a Canadian distributor and manufacturer of toys. It was Canada's oldest toy company and remained independent and family owned until 2001.

Labatt Brewing Company

Labatt Brewing Company Limited (French: La Brasserie Labatt Limitée) is a Belgian-owned brewery in Canada, founded by John Kinder Labatt in 1847 in London, Ontario. Labatt is the largest brewer in Canada.

In 1995, it was purchased by Belgian brewer Interbrew. In 2004, Interbrew merged with Brazilian brewer AmBev to form InBev. In 2008, InBev merged with American brewer Anheuser-Busch to form Anheuser-Busch InBev (abbreviated as AB InBev), making Labatt part of Anheuser-Busch InBev. On October 10, 2016, an over $100 billion merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller closed. Labatt is now part of the new company, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, which is trading as BUD on the New York Stock Exchange (ABI:BB in Brussels).In the United States, Labatt brand beers are sold under license by Labatt USA, which since 2009 has been fully independent of the Canadian firm and a subsidiary of the privately held North American Breweries of Rochester, New York.

List of disc golf players

This is a list of notable Disc golfers

Catrina Allen

Ken Climo (1968 - ) (US)Twelve - time PDGA World Champion

Nate Doss

Dave Dunipace

David Feldberg

Holly Finale' Finley

Sarah Hokom

John Houck

Avery Jenkins

Valarie Jenkins

Stancil Johnson

Elaine King (US) Five-Time World Champion, Women's

Jeremy Koling

Juliana Korver (US) Five-Time World Champion, Women's

Simon Lizotte

Nikko Locastro

Paul McBeth

Eric McCabe

Tom Monroe (1947 - ) (US) Hall of Fame and disc golf champion

Paige Pierce

Barry Schultz

Nathan Sexton

Ken Westerfield (1947 - ) (US/Can) Decade Awards, Hall of Fame.

Ricky Wysocki

List of people from Detroit

The following is a list of notable people from Detroit, Michigan. This list includes people who were born, have lived, or worked in and around Metro Detroit.

Lists of ultimate players

This is a list of notable disc ultimate players

Buzzy Hellring

Robert L. "Nob" Rauch

Joel Silver

Ken Westerfield (1947 - ) (US/Can) Hall of Fame and 1987 National Ultimate Champion, Canada

Schooner Lager

Schooner is a regional lager style beer of the eastern Canadian provinces. It has an alcohol content of 5.0% ABV and is brewed at the Oland Brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Throwing is the launching of a ballistic projectile by hand. This action is only possible for animals with the ability to grasp objects with their hands (mainly primates).

Humans, being bipedal, have a wide variety of throwing techniques and abilities. These have been employed in warfare – first through rock-throwing, then refined weapon-throwing (e.g. spear), and into modern day with hand grenades and tear gas canisters. Throwing is used in many sports and games, particularly ball games, and in throwing sports the action is the main determiner of the outcome. These serve as forms of recreation and exercise in society.

Ultimate Canada

Ultimate Canada is a not-for-profit organization that serves as the governing body of the sport of Ultimate (also known as "Ultimate Frisbee") in Canada. It runs the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC) and Canadian University Ultimate Championship (CUUC) series.

Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC)

Each August, teams from across the country travel to the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC) to compete for the national title in 7 different divisions: mixed, open, women's, junior open, junior women, masters open and masters women. Teams compete at this seven-day tournament not only to determine the national champion, but also to determine who will represent Canada at the next world championships.Since 2016, the mixed divisions have been held as a separate event from the remaining divisions.

Canadian University Ultimate Championships (CUUC)

The CUUC started in 1995 and brings university teams from across the country to compete in the open & the women's division.

Each fall Ultimate Canada operates two competitions for university Ultimate teams in Canada: the Canadian University Ultimate Championships (CUUC) and the Canadian Eastern University Ultimate Championships (CEUUC).

The CEUUC began in 1998 and brings university teams primarily from Ontario and Quebec together to compete in the open & the women's division.

World Disc Games

The World Disc Games (WDG) is a semi-regular event that brings the entire world flying disc community together for a week of overall disc events that allow people to compete in and enjoy disc sports. Beginning in 1978, and originally called the Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic, the WDG has its home in Santa Cruz, California, with promoter and hall of fame disc sport player Tom Schot.Disc sports competitions at the WDG include ultimate, freestyle, disc golf, discathon, self-caught flight, accuracy, distance, and double disc court. In July 2003, World Disc Games X held in Santa Cruz with over 500 participants. More World Disc Games are planned for 2007 and beyond.

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