The Sport Information Resource Centre
The Sport Information Resource Centre

According to SGMA’s (Sport Goods Manufacturing Association) Annual Report, Ultimate is the fastest growing sport with a 20% increase in participation from 2008. With over 1 million people playing Ultimate at least 25 times per year. Here in Canada, Ultimate Canada Magazine reports that there are over 30,000 league players registered.

First a little history: In the 1920s, Yale undergrads would toss around the pie tins from the bakery of William Russell Frisbie after they had consumed the pies. Then in the 1950s the Wham-O Inc. Toy Company created the Pluto Platter which was later renamed Frisbee in 1957. The game of Ultimate Frisbee was created by high school students in 1967, and then in 1972 the first intercollegiate game was played between Princeton and Rutgers. Now the U.S. college championships are broadcasted by CBC Sports.

In Canada, Ultimate is played within the elementary, secondary, college and university systems as well as recreationally in many cities throughout the country. A great example of how this sport has grown in Canada is the Ontario Disc Sports Association (ODSA), since its inception in 2005 ODSA has focused on grassroots outreach programs which have reached over 30,000 youth throughout the elementary and secondary school systems. When the ODSA first began there was only 4 member clubs representing 275 players, today there are 30 member clubs representing over 11,000 players, a very significant growth in just 4 years.


Kerins, Andrew J.; Scott, David; Shafer, C. Scott, Evaluating the Efficacy of a Self-classification Measure of Recreation Specialization in the Context of Ultimate Frisbee. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration Fall 2007, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p1.

Johnson, Tyler, G.; Darst, Paul W.; Brusseau, Timothy A., “Got Disc?” The “Ultimate” Experience in Physical Education. JOPERD: The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Nov/Dec 2006: Vol. 77 Issue 9. p. 27-33

Smith, Matthew, Schools. Physical Education Matters Summer 2008, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p27.

Ultimate drills: the go-to drill. Ottawa Outdoors Spring 2003: p. 45.

Bethea, Charles, Ultimate Frisbee (a brief history). Outside Jul2008, Vol. 33 Issue 7, p24 1/4p.