This is such exciting news for Freestyle Frisbee that I just had to share: Freestyle Frisbee is set to be a part of the inaugural World Urban Games (WUG) in Los Angeles, California, USA in 2019! Freestyle Frisbee will be featured in the 5 day event (Sept 18-22).
World Urban Games is a new event, hosted by The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). According to their site, “GAISF’s vision is to present a united voice of sport in support of the Olympic ideals and of the Olympic movement and promote sport at every level and in every corner of the world, from grassroots to elite, wherever its members have national organizations and events.”
The World Urban Games event is an effort to give exposure to up-and-coming, modern sports.
“The programme and festival will showcase all that is best about sports which have been forged by youth and urban culture and which celebrate competition, creativity, lifestyle and the engagement between competitors and fans.” – GAISF President Patrick Baumann
Sounds to me like a perfect description of Freestyle Frisbee. The GAISF must have agreed, since they started with a list 14 eligible sports and narrowed their selection down to 7.
How did freestyle get to be a part of this? Back in 2014 the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) approached the Freestyle Player’s Association (FPA) about pitching freestyle disc as part of their bid for flying disc to be a part of WUG. As members of WFDF, the FPA gave full support. Various jammers world-wide (Germany, France, USA) provided photos and videos of freestyle in urban settings. From there, WFDF made the proposal to GAISF. Freestyle was eventually accepted for eligibility and then made the final cut for inclusion.
“Having Freestyle added as an eligible sport for the first edition of the World Urban Games means bringing another Flying Disc sport to a Multisport Games presence, which is a major step for the development of Freestyle internationally, opening new opportunities for our community.” – Kevin “Skippy” Givens, WFDF Freestyle Committee Chair
For 2019, the city of Los Angeles will build a new new urban park specifically for WUG in El Segundo (CA). There will be ~700 competitors, a music festival, and the event is expected to be the focus of global media attention. Competition events will include 3×3 Basketball (FIBA), BMX Freestyle (UCI), Sports Climbing Bouldering (IFSC), Break Dance (WDSF), Freestyle Flying Disc (WFDF), Parkour (FIG), Skateboard Street and Park (World Skate), Roller Freestyle (World Skate).
This is quite possibly the largest international venue that our sport has ever been presented on, which is a tremendous opportunity for world-wide exposure of freestyle disc!
The FPA is stepping up to prepare. Their plan is to present a mixed pairs event with 12 internationally represented teams from as many different countries as possible; with a maximum of 3 teams per country. The FPA is also investigating sponsorship opportunities for competitors and staff, to ensure that the best of our sport will be represented at this event. This is an amazing chance for teams to perform in front of a huge crowd, and be pioneers in representing the sport on the world stage.
I, for one, am hugely excited about freestyle being selected for the World Urban Games. I look forward to keeping track of the preparation progress and with helping out in any way I can. If you want to help out too, you can always support the FPA by becoming a member, donating, shopping, or volunteering.
For more details, check out the links below.
What are your thoughts about this opportunity? Let me know in the comments below.