Timeline of early history of Flying Disc Play (1871-1995)

In History, History & Statistics by WFDF

This page was first built by Johan Lindgren of Sweden, long-time Secretary of WFDF. We have made a few additions and corrections, but there are obviously very many significant events in disc history that have not yet been included. If you have authortative information about events that you feel should be added or corrections to suggest, please contact us.


William Russel Frisbie moves to Bridgeport, CT to manage a new pie company. Shortly afterward he buys it, renaming it the Frisbie Pie Company.

More on the early history


Fred Morrison carves first plastic disc from a block of solid tenite.


Fred Morrison manages to make his first disc from buthyl-stearate.

First Premium Flying Disc, the Arcuate Vane with Lil’Abner label appears.


The Pluto Platter is the first mass-produced disc.


Dartmouth University hold tournaments of two-a-side Guts.


The founders of Wham-O, Rick Knerr and “Spud” Melin first see Morrison’s discs.


Wham-O buys the rights to the Frisbee disc from Morrison.


Fred Morrison was awarded a design patent #183626 (30/9) for his “Flying Saucer.”

Wham-O produced the “Toy Flying Saucer”.

The Healy family organised the “Invitational Frisbee Tournament with Guts as the event. It was held in Escabana, Michigan, USA.

The Frisbie Pie Bakery is closed.


The name “Frisbee” is registered by Wham-O on May 26th. Trademark #679186


In October, the Professional Model Frisbee, designed by Ed Headrick is introduced by Wham-O.


Ed Headrick is awarded the first mechanical patent on a flying disc #3359678 on Nov 1. Headrick assigned the patent, which introduced the “Lines of Headrick,” to Wham-O for $10.


Joel Silver and others at the Columbia high school in Maplewood, NJ, USA invent Ultimate Frisbee.

The International Frisbee Association (IFA), is formed in Los Angeles by “Steady” Ed Headrick.

A Mr Malu in Belgium starts his own disc manufacturing.


IFA publishes its grading system and a newsletter.

The IFA Masters Qualifying Meet and Tournament is held on April 27 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA., won by Jay Shelton.

The first Ultimate game is played in Columbia High School.

The Master Model, designed by Ed Headrick is introduced by Wham-O.


US Army invest $400,000 to see if Frisbees can be used as a parachute flare carrier. The project is closed without success.

IFA organises “Berkely VS Southern California Meet”. The events were Distance, Accuracy Guts and Golf. The meet was held in Brookside Park, in Pasadena, CA. It is the first known disc golf tournament. Jay Shelton won. The temporary targets were Hula Hoops. Berkely had a pole course at about the same time.

Columbia High School play Ultimate on a parking lot.


The first and second editions of the Ultimate rules are written by Buzzy Hellring, Joel Silver and Jon Hines.

Columbia High beats Milburn High 43-10 in the very first interscholastic game.


New Jersey Frisbee Conference formed with five teams.


On November 6, Rutgers beats Princeton, 29-27 in the first intercollegiate game of ultimate. This was exactly 103 years after the first intercollegiate fotball game, and on the same site (which had been turned into a parking lot), and the same team won by the same margin victory.


United Kingdom FDA is formed.


On September 1st the Swedish Frisbee Federation (SFF) is formed by Johny Gustafson and Mikael Hj�rtsj�.

In May the first OCTAD is organised on Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. The tournament has 8 events. Golf is won by Keith White.

In Toronto, at the 1974 Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Jim Kenner and Ken Westerfield introduce and win the first freestyle competition

On August 2nd the American Flying Disc Open is organised in Rochester, USA. Kerry Kollmar did the first air-brush. Dan Roddick won golf and got a car as first prize.

In June in Evanston, ILL, the North Western Frisbee Tournament is held. Bruce Konger won Golf.

The first World Frisbee Championships are held by Wham-O in the Rose Bowl. Victor Malafronte and Jo Cahow won overall.


The Japan Frisbee Disc Association is formed.

The first permanent Disc Golf course is made in Oak Grove, Pasadena by Ed and KenHeadrick. The targets were made of pipe.

On April 25th the first organised Ultimate tournament is played. Eight teams participated in Yale in the Intercollegiate Ultimate Frisbee Championships. Rutgers won.

Ultimate is included in the WFC in Rose Bowl, where Tom Kennedy won Golf and Bruce Koger/Jo Cahow overall.

The IFA newsletter and Flying Disc World are merged into Frisbee World.


The Australian FDA is formed.

The first Disc Pole Holes with chains are installed in Oak Grove and La Mirada by Ken and Ed Headrick..

The Yale Ultimate tournament is renamed into the National Ultimate Frisbee Chapionships. Rutgers won again.

Freddie Haft did a nail delay during the AFDO in Rochester.


The Austrian FDA is formed.

The Belgian FDA is formed.

USA is split into the east and west for Ultimate play. Santa Barbara won over Penn State in the final in the Nationals.

The first patent (#4,039,189) is issued on a chain catching device to Ken and Ed Headrick on August 12th. They form the PDGA


The Finnish FDA is formed.

The Guts Players Association is formed.

The Danish Frisbee Sport Union is formed.

DDC is included in the WFC for the first time.

In Sweden an indoor Ultimate game is played for the first time. Skogshyddan played against Halmstad.


Ultimate Players Association is formed i december. Tom Kennedy is elected the first director.

The Nederlandse Frisbie Bond is formed.

The Norwegian Frisbee Forbund is formed on April 17th.

The Federation Francaise de Frisbee is formed.

Frisbee Sport Italia is formed.

First UPA Nationals, held in Stage College, PA, won by Glassboro over the Santa Barbara Condors.


The Swiss Disc Sports is formed.

The first Ultimate European Championship is played in Paris. Finland, England, Sweden finnished first, second and third.

The Individual European Championships are held in Belgium.


The British Ultimate Federation is formed.

The European Flying Disc Federation (EFDF) is formed. Mikael Hj�rtsj� is elected the first president.

Sweden won both Ultimate and Guts in the European championships in Milano, Italy.

The Individual European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, was won by Klaus Arpia, Finland and Marianne Spiegelhofer, Austria.

Peter Jansson, Sweden won the first European Disc Golf championships in Essen, West Germany.


The United States Disc Sports is formed.

Peter Jansson, SWE won the Individual european championships in Belgium.

Charlie Mead, UK, won the european disc golf championships in England.

The first World Disc Golf Championship was held in Southern California and directed by Ed Headrick. Harold Duvall won.

In the European Ultimate and Guts Championships in Austria, Sweden won all titles except womens ultimate which Finland won.

Peter Spiegelhofer is elected president for EFDF.


The Deutscher Frisbee Sport Verband is formed.

The European Individual Championships in England is won by Christophe Sch�tte, SWE, (Open), Marianne Spiegelhofer, Austria, (Women) and Jacob Wichman, Denmark, (Juniors).

The first World Ultimate Championships are held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Rude Boys, USA won open and Melting Pot, USA, women. Sweden won Guts and juniors ultimate.

The Swedish Frisbee Forbundet gains membership in the national Swedish sports confederation and flying disc play is officially accepted as a sport in Sweden.

Kransco bought Wham-O. Both IFA and WFC are closed. At that time IFA had 100,000 members in 30 countries.

The the first US Open is organised.

Windy City won the UPA nationals.

Ed Headrick turns PDGA control over to the players.


First UPA College Nationals, held at Tufts, won by Stanford over Glassboro.

The individual european championships is organised in �rebro, Sweden. Overall winners are Torsten G–rke, WG (Open), Karin Karlsson, SWE (Women), and Martin Sievers, SWE (Juniors).

During the championships (On July 12th) the World Flying Disc Federation is formed by EFDF. The Swedish association is given the task of getting the organisation going. Charlie Mead is elected president of EFDF.

The ultimate and guts world championships are held in Lucern, Switzerland with Windy City winning ultimate and guts open, Finland, women ultimate (USA participated but outside the actual championship). Sweden won juniors ultimate. The decision to start WFDF is confirmed by the other countries.

Finland changes its name to Finnish Flying Disc Association.


The Jugoslavian FDA is formed.

The first WFDF Disc Golf World championship is held in Helsingborg, Sweden. Sam Ferrans and Tami Pellicane won.

The first WFDF Congress is held and Charlie Mead, England, is elected president, Johan Lindgren, Sweden, secretary and Brendan Nolan, Ireland, treasurer.

The individual European championships are won by Dieter Johansson, Sweden and Barbro L�ngjuth, Sweden. Tami Pellicane,USA, participated and finished first in the women’s overall.

In the Ultimate and Guts European championships in Austria, Sweden won three titles and Austria one.


In August the third World Ultimate and Guts championship is held. (Colchester England.) San Fransisco won open and Lady Condors womens. Sweden won juniors and guts.

During the second WFDF Congress, Dan Roddick, USA, is elected new president for WFDF, with Johan Lindgren reelected as secretary and Jacques Doetsch, Belgium elected treasurer.


The first WFDF Overall World Championship is held in Ft Collins, USA. Peter Bowie, New Zealand, won.

The Ultimate Affair tournament, Amherst, MA, with about 80 teams in attendance.


The second WFDF overall is held in San Fransisco and the fourth World Ultimate and Guts championship is held in Leuven, Belgium.


New Zealand FDA is formed.

In Colchester, England the WFDF Overall Championship is held between July 24-30.

In Cologne, West Germany the first World Club Ultimate championship is held.

Flying disc is demonstrated during the World Games in Karlsruhe, West Germany.


The Asociation Venezolana de Ultimate is formed.

In Oslo, Norway the fifth WFDF World Ultimate and Guts championships are held, including masters for the first time.


The second WFDF World Club Ultimate Championships are held in Toronto, Canada.

The WFDF Overall Championships and the WFDF Congress is held in Santa Cruz, CA, USA.


The sixth WFDF World Ultimate and Guts Championships are held in Utsunimoya, Japan.

The WFDF Congress is held at the championships in Utsunimoya on Aug 16th. Robert L Rauch, USA, elected new president for WFDF.


The first WFDF Ultimate championships in the US. Madison organize the third World Club championships between July 24th and 31st.


The seventh WFDF World Ultimate and Guts championships are organized in Colchester England. At the WFDF Congress during the championships Bill Wright is elected new President of WFDF. The Czech Flying Disc Association and the Mexico Flying Disc Association are elected full members of WFDF.


The fourth WFDF Ultimate Club championships are held in Millfield, England.

In August the European Ultimate Championships are held in Fontenay-le-Comte, France. Spain participating for the first time. Sweden won all divisions.

In October WFDF was elected full member of both GAISF (General Assembly of International Sports Fedreations) and IWGA (International World Games Association).