On Dec. 18, the U.S. Virgin Islands Ultimate Federation was accepted to the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) along with Kazakhstan, Malta and Sri Lanka, gaining formal recognition under the official governing board of the sport of ultimate and increasing WFDF’s membership to 84 national member associations.
WFDF serves as the international governing body for the sport of flying disc with responsibility for sanctioning world championship and other international flying disc events, establishing uniform rules, and setting standards for and recording of world records.
WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch said, “WFDF is proud to welcome the four new member associations to the WFDF flying disc family concluding the latest admission process overseen by our Executive Director Volker Bernardi. WFDF continues to benefit from the work begun five years ago to work closely with our local groups to institutionalize their governance infrastructure, allowing WFDF to expand our global reach and universality.”
Ultimate Frisbee, or simply “ultimate,” began independently on each island, beginning with organized pickup games on St. Croix and St. John in the early 1990s. St. Thomas began holding regular weekly games in 2013. In December 2014, St. John hosted the first “Tri-Island Tournament,” which brought together teams from all three islands. Since then, seven more tournaments have taken place, including one on St. Thomas that included players from Tortola.
In late 2015, the USVI teams began discussions of formally organizing in order to increase the possibility of participation in international competitions and of being recognized under the WFDF and USVI Olympic Committee. After working through the application process, the teams were notified of their acceptance in December.
USVI Ultimate Federation (USVIUF) officer and St. John representative Mary Vargo said, “We’re excited to now have opportunities to compete outside of the territory, as well as to promote the spirit of the game and introduce more of our islands’ youth to the sport. Thank you to the WFDF Board of Directors and member organizations for this recognition.”
Rob Upson, USVIUF officer on St. Thomas said, “The U.S.V.I. has a long tradition of ultimate enthusiasts. We look forward to recruiting new players, advancing the sport and participating in international competition.”
Mollie Nadler, USVIUF officer on St. Croix, said, “We in the U.S. Virgin Islands Ultimate Frisbee community represent a group of dedicated athletes stretching over three islands. Although the history of Ultimate goes back decades on the islands, the individual VI Ultimate communities have come together over the last six years for multiple tri-island tournaments to increase the level of play and competition. As a result, countless friendships have been formed amidst an even greater sense of family.”
St. John plays pickup games at 5 p.m., every Tuesday. While the Emmaus Moravian Church ball field is being restored, games are taking place at Gifft Hill School’s Trayser Field.
St. Thomas hosts pickup games at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays, at Antilles School. Announcements are made on its Facebook page: St. Thomas Ultimate Disc-O’s.
On St. Croix, every Monday and Thursday, rain or shine, the St. Croix Ultimate Frisbee Association (SCUFA) meets at 5 p.m. and plays until dark. The team is currently playing on a large grass field located on the property of a local beer brewing company (Leatherback Brewing) at the Robuck Industrial Park.
All teams are co-ed and welcome all abilities and experience levels to play.