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Frisbee Games

The history of the Frisbee is perhaps more interesting than the game itself. It's a true American product that came into popularity out of poverty and ingenuity. In the late nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century, children used to play with metal cookie tin and pie tin lids by tossing them to each other in a kind of game of catch. It is rumored that the most commonly tossed tin lid was that of an American company called the Frisbie Pie Company, which is how the Frisbee got its name. The Frisbie lids were especially popular on college campuses. The sport of tossing pie tin lids grew during the Depression years, and soldiers took the practice overseas during World War II.

The problem with the tin lid was that it didn't glide very easily and it made a horrible shrill noise when it flew threw the air. It also hurt to catch them. Sometimes the lids would crack or break and then the edges became sharp and dangerous.

So after the war, two veterans took it upon themselves to manufacture a kinder, gentler Frisbee—they were Walter Morrison and Warren Franscioni. They manufactured a better flying disc, but it still had some major flaws due mainly to primitive plastic materials. Morrison later developed a better flying disc and called it the Pluto Platter—named after the planet Pluto—which looked like a flying saucer. When two small toy company owners met up with Morrison, they offered to perfect and mass manufacture his product. They struck up a deal and took the product to college campuses. Students at Harvard were thrilled by the invention because, as they admitted, they'd been playing with the tin lids from the Frisbie Pie Company for ages. So the small toy company called “Wham-O” named the flying disc “Frisbee”—changing just one letter in the spelling—and the life of the Frisbee came full circle.

Most picnic goers will bring along a Frisbee and use it just for fun—tossing it back and forth and catching it—with no heavy-duty competition involved. You need a wide-open space, and make sure you're not too close to other picnic goers. Frisbees have a tendency to fly a little erratically on a windy day and you don't want anyone to get hurt. There are loads of different games you can play if you get tired of tossing the flying disc back and forth aimlessly. Try a couple of these.

Ultimate Frisbee

Frisbee has become a very popular game in many countries of the world. Ultimate Frisbee is probably the most popular and most competitive version of Frisbee out there today.

To play the game, you need seven players on each side and a large field at least half the size of a football field. You also need markers to mark the end zones at either end of the field. You will find that this game is similar to football, only it is played with a Frisbee. The major difference is that a player can never run with the Frisbee—it must always be in motion.

The regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards with end zones 25 yards deep.

Both teams line up in front of their own end zone lines. You can flip a coin to determine who tosses the Frisbee first. The team that tosses is the defense and the receiving team is the offense. To start play, the defense throws the Frisbee to the offense. It is now the job of the offense to throw the Frisbee past the end zone of the defense. The defense must intercept the toss. Each time the offense is successful, they score a point. If the offense is intercepted, the play transfers to the defense and the roles are reversed: The defense becomes the offense and the offense becomes the defense.

The disc can be tossed to a teammate before an attempt to toss it across the end zone is made. The teammates can run and toss to try to get closer to the opponent's end zone. The Frisbee must always be in motion; a player cannot hold it for longer than 10 seconds and can never run with it in hand.

You can assign each player to be a “marker” when you are on the defensive team. Each marker is assigned to a thrower. As a marker you should attempt to block the thrower from making a successful toss without touching him or her—touching constitutes a foul. The marker is also responsible for counting, to make sure the thrower doesn't hold the Frisbee for more than 10 seconds. If a toss is not completed, the teams switch offensive and defensive roles.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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