CALUMET — It takes guts to stand in the way of a Frisbee flying at you at 80 miles per hour.
Spectators who came out to watch Guts Frisbee in Calumet saw their own fireworks this weekend. The 58th Annual Coca-Cola International Frisbee Tournament featured 12 teams competing for the coveted Nachazel Cup.
Guts Frisbee is played by two teams of five who then whip a Frisbee at each other. If the other team doesn’t catch it, you get a point. First team to 21 wins.
The discs can fly at speeds reaching 80 miles per hour. And, oh, by the way, you have to catch it with one hand. The competition level this year was as high as it has ever been.
“You’ve got guys that are trying new and unique shots,” said IFT Co-Organizer Peter Rilei. “Some are extremely hard, some are more than hard-they are very difficult to catch because of the way the movement on the Frisbee is. They disguise the shots and, of course, a lot of these players can pick their areas pretty well, as to where they want to hit.”
Guts Frisbee has showcased the skills of women players in the past, and an exhibition was held to try and revive the interest.
“Just to show the competition isn’t just reserved for the men,” said Rilei, “in Japan, there is actually a lot of women’s teams, so it’s not unique just to the guys.”
The championship game came down to the tournaments two powerhouses, the Appleton Assassins and the Boomtown Saints. The Assassins took the first game of the best of three series but appeared to wear down as Boomtown roared back with two straight victories.
“We came in kind of cold but Appleton, they beat us pretty good and the second game we stepped up our defense, starting hitting our man a little more often and in game three it was just more of the same and it was, you know, play great defense and move smart,” said IFT’s Most Valuable Player and Boomtown Saints team member Ryan Scott.
It’s the third championship in a row for the Lansing-based team and the fourth in the last five years.
“We can tell each other anything and nobody’s going to take it personally,” said Scott. “The fact that we have the highest respect for one another and great communication and we practice a lot.”