Technically speaking, Guts - a popular, if niche, extreme sport – has been around since the inaugural International Frisbee Tournament was held in Eagle Harbor, MI in 1958. You’d be hard-pressed, however, to find anyone outside the Frisbee community that’s even heard of it. Guts is one part Frisbee, two parts dodgeball and three parts adrenaline.
Here’s why this game bills itself as ”the original extreme sport.”
Guts Frisbee Instructions
First, you need a traditional, high-topped 118 gram Frisbee. If you use the heavier Frisbee – like the one used in Disc Golf – you might seriously injure someone. Two teams, of 3-5 Adrenalists, line up about 45 feet apart. A player from one team throws the disc at the other team. The other team’s goal is to catch the disc one-handed before it hits the ground. If it hits the ground without being caught, the team that threw it is awarded a point, and the person hit first when the Frisbee isn’t caught is the next thrower for the opposing team. The teams alternate throwing and catching until the first team reaches 21 points and wins the game.
Now, if the original throw is too fast to catch one-handed, it’s the receiving team’s job to deflect or ricochet the disc in whatever manner possible so one of their teammates can catch it. If the disc is caught, no one is awarded points and the person who caught it now gets to throw at the opposing team.
There are some other rules: the disc has to be right side up when it crosses the threshold line of the other team; it’s also got to be within reach of a team member, so there’s no throwing it on the ground away from the other team entirely, since there are clearly delineated markers (usually cones or some sort of line of chalk) where the team plays. Also, you have to catch it one-handed, and there’s no trapping the disc on the ground. But that doesn’t mean you can’t trap the disc on your teammate’s face, just so long as you do it with one hand.
The craziest moments in Guts are the serious Frisbee blows that happen when a team member gets hit on the head while distracted or facing an unlucky, speeding deflection. The Frisbee’s generally travel around 60-70 mph, and have been clocked going even faster. The fastest recorded Guts throw and one-handed catch was Will Shusternick’s 83.3 mph throw to David Nesbitt at the PDGA Championships in Appleton, GA.
That’s the reason it’s called Guts. It takes guts to willingly expose yourself to that type of hard-hitting disc, and to do whatever you can to stop the oncoming Frisbee. Some players wear gloves, since the hands take the most abuse as teammates flail at the oncoming disc, but most people in the community frown upon that sort of cushioning.
There are Guts competitions, including the International Frisbee Tournament (IFT) which draws players and teams from all over the world. And there’s a governing body: The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF). So what are you waiting for? Go out there and find your Gut teammates to start a game. Don’t mind the broken fingers, it’s what an Adrenalist would do.