Having guts

Sixty years on: Still flinging frisbees at the IFT

Photo submitted to the Gazette Members of Japan’s Samurai Spirits Guts Frisbee team pose after competition. The team will be in the area this weekend to take part in the 60th Coca-Cola IFT.

CALUMET — After six decades, Frisbee continues to make its mark in the Copper Country and around the world. Tournaments featuring many different types of disc sports are held in countries all over the globe, and they can all trace their roots back to a small village on the shores of Lake Superior.

Eagle Harbor, Michigan, will be hosting a Throwback Guts Tourney on Thursday, July 6. This will be the first time there has been a Guts tourney there since 1969. Eagle Harbor is the Birthplace of Guts Frisbee and also the home of Harvey J. Kukuk, tournament director emeritus and a man of mystery who helped pave the way for all flying disc sports across the world. He was also the director of the International Frisbee Association formed by Wham-O in the early 1970s. Frisbees and road signs have been made to honor this historic occasion.

In the past, Frisbee Flingers across the United States attended this annual event in Eagle Harbor and elsewhere in the Upper Peninsula. The likes of the father of Disc Golf “Steady” Ed Headrick, Irv “Dr. I” Kalb of the Columbia High School Ultimate team, Dan “The Stork” Roddick, and the list goes on: all attended the International Frisbee Tournament (IFT).  

This year, the 60th Coca-Cola IFT will be held July 8 and 9 at Agassiz Field in Calumet, Michigan. Frisbee Flingers are coming from all the across the USA and from Japan, Great Britain, Canada, and Taiwan. This is also the year new inductees are enshrined in the International Frisbee and USA Guts Hall of Fame. Many current and new Hall of Famers will be in attendance and playing at this year’s IFT.

In addition, last year’s champions, the Appleton Assassins, will be defending their title against six-time champion Boomtown Saints, Wisconsin State Champions the Shottle Bop, Blame the Dog, and many other top-notch teams, including Japan’s Samurai Spirit. A new Saucer Division will allow older players and first-timers to compete and not have to face the near-90-miles per hour shots of the Nachazel Cup Division.

The IFT will also be hosting an Overall Pro Frisbee Competition and Disc Golf Tournament on Friday July 7. This whole week will be one not to miss, as the global Frisbee Family unites under the skies of the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula once again.

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