Teams compete in Calumet’s Guts Frisbee Tournament

For the fourth year in a row, Calumet was home to the Coca-Cola International Guts Frisbee Tournament.

Teams from near and far made their way to Agassiz Field in a quest to capture the Julius T. Nachazel Cup.

“It’s a small town atmosphere. It’s a family, really. It’s a guts frisbee family getting together every year here in Calumet,” Guts Frisbee Tournament director Tom Tikkanen.

While most of the same teams come back each year for the tournament, Tikkanen said one of the goals this year was to attract a younger group of participants.

“We’re recruiting youth,” he said.  “This year, we are very proud of the fact that we have three rookie teams, primarily from the Keweenaw, engaged in the competition this year.”

For those who may not have heard of Guts Frisbee, the object of the game is to throw the Frisbee past a team of five players standing 14 yards away.

David Brown has been playing Guts Frisbee for almost 40 years and has noticed some significant differences in the game since then.

“The sport is really developed,” he said.  “There’s a lot of newer shots.  There’s more shots that are rather than a straight, horizontal backhand, they’re starting to put shots together that flip as they come towards the line, which with this wind makes it very difficult to catch them.”

The defense gets points for making a catch, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Aside from the tournament, spectators were treated to some special exhibitions.  Rob McLeod and his dog, Davey Whippet, attempted to catch a Frisbee in the air from 400 feet awa and the world famous Velasquez Brothers performed a freestyle routine for the crowd.

“There’s a real resurgence in play of young players in Europe that are coming across and we’re trying to get the same thing going here in the United States,” Jens Velasquez said.

“We’re just hoping that big people, big marketers are going to see the potential in this sport and not only the potential in the sport of what it can do monetarily,” Erwin Velasquez said.  “But what it offers to the public for alternative sports.

When it was all said and done, the Boomtown Saints won the 2014 tournament, the team’s fourth win in the last five years.