Ultimate Frisbee Gaining in Popularity with Local Youth

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Baseball, basketball and football have long been kings of the American sporting landscape. In recent years, lacrosse and soccer have surged in popularity too.
But now Ultimate Frisbee is making inroads as well.  

SpringReign2018 AlecMiller 252Kids compete at last year's Spring Reign event. (Photo by Alec Miller)

“It is growing by leaps and bounds in the Puget Sound area,” said Mel Clark, Executive Director of DiscNW, a local non-profit which promotes the sport. “In the Seattle Publics schools, ultimate frisbee is an official middle school sport.

So that has fueled growth. We actually have the largest number of youth served for ultimate frisbee anywhere in the world, in our area.”

Clark, a resident of Woodinville, said that her group caters to kids and adults alike. DiscNW runs camps, tourneys and clinics year-round for everyone who is interested. 

But in this day and age of parents sometimes struggling to get their kids off the computer and playing outdoors, ultimate frisbee might serve as an enticing lure.  

“Kids should try ultimate frisbee because it’s fun, and it’s super easy to get started,” Clark said. “You don’t need a lot of specialty training, equipment or time involved before you can toss a disc and start playing. Kids learn valuable social skills, life lessons and values, while having a really good time and getting outside and playing and making friends.”

What also makes this sport different is that there are no referees. There’s an honor code when it comes to enforcing rules. The organization’s website says: “It is intrinsic to DiscNW’s mission to promote and teach mutual respect and fair play, demonstrate the value of team sports for health and social benefits, and perform outreach in the community. The notion of sportsmanship or the “Spirit of the Game” has guided the agency and defines the organizational culture.  Our goal is to be the leading provider of recreational Ultimate Frisbee Events in the Northwest.”

“Kids make their own calls and learn how to stand up for themselves,” Clark said. “They learn to admit if they were wrong and learn to see the opponent’s point of view.”

The organization is encouraging kids and adults alike to join them this summer. For more information please go to

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