[Ads-l] Antedating of "Ultimate Frisbee"

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 19 15:07:49 EST 2022

Not sure how germane but the sport is now just "Ultimate" as Whammo tried
to make the players handle some sort of tribute for the trademarked
"Frisbee" and, in true Ultimate style, they chose to drop the word. It's
considered bad form to even say "frisbee" at an ultimate game. WikiP though:
"*Ultimate*, originally known as *ultimate Frisbee*, is a non-contact team
game played by players with a flying disc, flung by a human. Ultimate was
developed in 1968 by a group of students at Columbia High School
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_High_School_(New_Jersey)> in
Maplewood, New Jersey.[5]
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_(sport)#cite_note-5> Although
ultimate resembles many traditional sports in its athletic requirements, it
is unlike most sports due to its focus on self-officiating, even at the
highest levels of competition.[6]
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_(sport)#cite_note-6> The term
Frisbee <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisbee>, often used to generically
describe <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_Trademark> all flying
discs, is a registered trademark of the Wham-O
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wham-O> toy company, and thus the sport is
not formally called "ultimate Frisbee", though this name is still in common
casual use. Points are scored by passing the disc to a teammate in the
opposing end zone <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_zone>. Other basic
rules are that players must not take steps while holding the disc, and
interceptions, incomplete passes, and passes out of bounds are turnovers.
Rain, wind, or occasionally other adversities can make for a testing match
with rapid turnovers, heightening the pressure of play.

>From its beginnings in the American counterculture of the late 1960s
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterculture_of_the_1960s>, ultimate has
resisted empowering any referee with rule enforcement. Instead, it relies
on the sportsmanship of players and invokes the "spirit of the game" to
maintain fair play.[7]
call their own fouls, and dispute a foul only when they genuinely believe
it did not occur. Playing without referees is the norm for league play but
has been supplanted in club competition by the use of "observers" or "game
advisors" to help in disputes, and the professional league employs
empowered referees.:"

So maybe Columbia H.S. folks just got the first published version.


The Creation of Ultimate and the First Game
When Joel Silver returned home to Maplewood, he continued to throw with
fellow students, adapted the rules of Frisbee Football, and ‘invented’ the
team sport of Ultimate. The name itself is said to have arisen due to
Silver referring to the game as the Ultimate sports experience. Such claims
have been supported by fellow players of the time (Zagoria, 2003).

However, more recent and rigorous research has come to light to suggest
that the truth may be somewhat different. According to Herndon (2003),
after interviewing Silver, it was found that he had learned a Frisbee game
from someone named Jared Kass while attending summer camp. Herndon (2003),
like many, assumed that Silver had played something like Frisbee football
with Jared Kass at camp, and then returned to Columbia High School in
Maplewood, New Jersey, and made up and named, a whole new game called
Ultimate. However, upon questioning Kass closely it seems that the whole of
the Ultimate playing world had been somewhat misled.

Upon investigation, Herndon (2003) learned that Kass had taught Silver not
some distant relative of Ultimate, but Ultimate in its essence and by name,
whilst having no idea that he had had anything to do with its creation.
Kass recounts that the game evolved from a variation of touch football
whilst at Amherst College where he started as a student in 1965.

On Wed, Jan 19, 2022 at 1:12 PM Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Note that the "Joel Silver" listed below went on to be a movie producer:
> https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005428/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
> (Die Hard, The Matrix, Lethal Weapon, etc.)
> ----
> 1971 [copyright registration] 2 Sept.
> Columbia High School, Maplewood,
> New Jersey presents Ultimate
> Frisbee official rules, 1971-1972.
> 8 p.   Appl.  authors:  Richard
> Denburg & others.   © CHS Varsity
> Frisbee Team  (Richard Denberg,
> Irvin Kalb & Joel Silver);  2Sep71;
> A286836.
> Caution-
> https://archive.org/details/catalogofcop197132511l/page/2420/mode/1up?q=%22ultimate+frisbee%22
> >  ultimate Frisbee (OED 1972)
> >
> >  1971 The Item of Millburn and Short Hills (Millburn, N.J.) 9 Dec. 11/3
> (Newspapers.com)
> >  Officially known as "Ultimate Frisbee," the game, played with a
> saucer-shaped plastic disc
> >  about the size of a record album, was originated four years ago by
> students at Columbia
> >  High School.
> >
> >  Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - Caution-http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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