Frisbee Literature

Sometimes frisbee crosses over into my hobbies. This week it filled up my reading time.

I have spent a lot of time over the past two years searching the local libraries for literature about frisbee, with disc golf/ultimate in particular. The findings have been scarce. There was one book: Ultimate Techniques and Tactics. It was written by James Parinella and Eric Zaslow, two great players. It is almost written for an advanced level of ultimate players, because it goes straight into how to make your game better and doesn’t bother too much with the simple concepts. I did gain information from this book, but the point is that I needed something else to help me understand frisbee and its history first. The search continued.

My mother works at a school library, and I get the opportunity to sort through the deleted books occasionally. That is where I obtained a book that seemed, by appearance to be from the beginning of ultimate’s creation. It is titled: Frisbee. No surprise there! This book by Stancil E. Johnson looks to have been released in 1975, only nine years after the creation of ultimate! This is a very interesting read because it has a lot of out to date drawings and information since this amazing sport has evolved so much. Even so, it helped me to learn a lot more about the history of ultimate and the creation of its organizations as well as about the origins of Folf, which is now known to us all as disc golf.

I still was missing a piece of literature that almost every established sport has. A memoir or an autobiography from a former/present frisbee player, whether it be ultimate or disc golf. There seemed to none in sight… until a few weeks ago, when I once again typed in “frisbee” in the library catalog search. The first book to pop up was titled Ultimate Glory and written by David Gessner. I opened the webpage and placed a hold. While doing so, I noticed the status of the book was “on order” so I wondered how recent the book was written. It turns out it was published in 2017! So not only was I getting the content I had been searching for, I was also getting a book written in the here and now!

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I would give Ultimate Glory, which I just finished last night, a 5/5 stars considering it is the only book of its kind so far. There are no other frisbee memoirs to compare it to so it deserves the best possible rating. It is suitable for young adults on up. Parents might want to monitor if their children read it because the language is not always appropriate and there are frequent drug references. Although this is to be expected since the book is written by an apparently somewhat atheistic man about his unwise college/twenties behavior that took place during a decade of drug experimentation. I would recommend the book to anyone who is a fan of flatball and wants to learn more about the gritty beginnings and the past decades of elite frisbee competition. This book can serve as an inspiration to play more or just throw more plastic than you do now.

Even if you are a skeptic of the sport, give it a chance. There are plenty of books out there that can help you decide if you should take it seriously. I’m biased obviously, but I feel that you should at least hear me out. Ultimate is in contention to be an Olympic sport, you should at least know how it works.

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