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Don't Call It Frisbee: World Ultimate Club Championship Comes To Warren County

The teams seek shade between games at the Lebanon Sports Complex Tuesday.
The teams seek shade between games at the Lebanon Sports Complex Tuesday.

In a grassy field under the hot sun at the Lebanon Sports Complex, players from a Spanish team take on their Japanese challengers in The World Ultimate Club Championships, a combination of soccer, football and basketball played with a disc. The event—which has 128 teams from 36 countries competing—is expected to generate $4 million dollars in economic impact for Warren County this week. 

Josh Levin brought his team, Disco Sour, from Chile. He started playing in Toledo and then moved to South America. He says the Chilean team is not as advanced as some of the teams in the U.S., where the sport started 50 years ago.

"We're getting to the point that even at the college level, a lot of these kids playing have already been playing for six or seven years," he says. 

Most people know these as frisbees, but since that name is trademarked, players call them discs.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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Most people know these as frisbees, but since that name is trademarked, players call them discs.

Levin likes the sense of community that Ultimate builds. So does the tournament's Kelsey Gibboney. "Ultimate is a self-officiated sport, so there are no referrees or anybody making calls on the field except players," she says. "So the power that it gives players on the field often builds into their life and gives them more confidence to do things." 

Twelve-year-old Hunter Gerth was familiar with the game but wanted to see people play who are really good at it. "I saw it in the newspaper, it was kind of like a dream, I always wanted to see professional people play it."

Games are at the Lebanon Sports Complex this week from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. The finals are at Mason High School Saturday.

Seven players are on the field at once. Most teams have 20 people.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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Seven players are on the field at once. Most teams have 20 people.

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