GUTS (not an acronym-the caps are simply a sign of respect) is a team game. There are 5 players on a team (2 subs rotate in). Each team stands in a straight line, an arm’s length apart. 15 yards separate the teams, and a point is scored if the Frisbee makes it through the opposing team’s defenses. 15 yards isn’t that far, and let me tell ya, a well-thrown Frisbee is seriously moving. Defenders can only use one hand to grab the Frisbee, thus blocking the other team from scoring. If you’ve got some serious hand-eye coordination, you can snatch the Frisbee out of mid-air, but a lot of the time, someone simply bats the Frisbee in the air, hoping someone else on the team will then be able to grab it. It’s not uncommon for the Frisbee to be batted around numerous times until it’s tame enough to be firmly grasped. There’s more to it of course, but that’s the general idea: people throwing Frisbees at each other-really hard.
Apparently the game has become quite big in Japan, and two of the top Japanese teams played in this year’s tournament. One of the Japanese teams was selling their club Frisbee to raise money for tsunami relief back home. We bought one and all the members of the team signed it for us. The only female competitor was one of the Japanese players, and she kindly took a few pictures with the kids.
Back in the 60s, my father-in-law and a bunch of his buddies in Michigan’s UP created GUTS. In fact, we found out that he’s in the USGPA GUTS Frisbee Hall of Fame for his role in the birth of the game. He’ll tell you the game is a lot different now, but then again, aren’t they all. GUTS is a niche sport, to say the least, but more than 50 years later, they’re still throwing Frisbees at each other in the UP and beyond.