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USA Ultimate

It is nearing the end of * December * and that means a couple of things: celebrating the holidays (Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, etc.) and time to renew your USA Ultimate membership for 2011. When I heard that the dues were going up I was a little worried about the change. I’ve been a member of the “UPA” since 2000 and couldn’t remember any significant increases to them over the years, so I thought, “I guess it was about time”. Additionally, most of my concerns were put to rest when I read the “Dues Restructuring” (1) article in USA Ultimate; I felt a lot better seeing the comparisons to average dues for other National Governing Bodies, and knowing how this “restructuring” would positively impact the organization. I did a little searching and found some additional articles about the change in dues on the USA Ultimate Website if you feel like reading:

– Membership in USA Ultimate Rises 11%
– June 2010 USA Ultimate Board Meeting Minutes

USA Ultimate has seen significant increases in new membership over the years, so I will be interested in learning if the change in dues slows that growth. I don’t think it will, especially because of the multi-year discount offer, which I liked. Offering the two, three and five year options will both help members transition with the change and secures longer-term financial stability for the organization. Both good things in my mind. I opted for going with the two year adult membership for $80; I would’ve considered the 3 or 5 year membership options, but I don’t really have the money around the holidays.

Fred Immortalized

In other, more exciting December news, I wanted to share a picture of one of my awesome  Christmas presents. My super-cool girlfriend made me a special “Frisbee” ornament (the picture to the left). She bought the Mini Disc /Disc Golf Marker from Disc Golf World, but you can also find a limited quantity on Sun King Discs as well. When it arrived, she made a small hole in the top of the disc and attached a ring of wire and a little ribbon. So, I now have my very own Fred Morrison Frisbee Ornament… Jealous? Yeah, I thought so! Well, she made some other ones, too, and will be giving them to some of our friends. The only bummer about the whole project is that she could only find a limited quantity of the Fred Morrison space suit prints, so she only made five.

Oh, and for those of you who do not know the name Fred Morrison (1920-2010), he was one of the originators of the object we all love. Morrison and, not-always-mentioned, Warren Franscioni collaborated to produce the first plastic flying disc in 1948 called the “Whirlo Way”. The two would go to Country Fairs selling the Flyin Saucers, which included 10 feet of invisible wire. The invisible wire joke started after a member from the crowd shouted that the disc was on a wire.  Sadly, the partnership dissolved because of low sales and a legal battle with Al Capp, creator of the “Little Abner” comic strip. Thankfully for us all, this didn’t stop Morrison. He continued to develop new designs and later partnered with Wham-O to produce the “Pluto Platter” (patented on July 22, 1957), which was renamed for better marketing the “Frisbee”. (2) You can read all about it in the Complete Book of Frisbee or Frisbee a Practitioner’s Manual. Morrison passed away this year at the age of 90, but his invention will thrive for innumerable years to come thanks to Ultimate, Disc Golf, Guts, Freestyle and tosses on the beach.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday, and have a fun and safe New Year!

1. Crawford, Tom and Peri Kurshan. “Dues Restructuring.” USA Ultimate Fall 2010: pg. 4. Print.
2.Malafronte, Victor A. Complete Book of Frisbee, Alameda, CA: American Trends Publishing Company, 1998. pg. 69-75.