MARQUETTE - A popular sport in Marquette is gaining recognition for the second time in nearly 40 years.
In 1975, Wham-O Manufacturing Co. designated Marquette as a "Frisbee Sanctuary." This distinction meant that Marquette was a community that helped develop and progress Frisbee and disc games into a global recreational activity. On March 25, the Marquette City Commission unanimously approved a resolution to designate Marquette with the official title of "Frisbee Sanctuary," making Marquette the only city in the world with this official designation, according to Buck Buchanan, spokesman for the Upper Peninsula Disc Golf Association.
And Frisbee activities have taken many forms in Marquette. From casual Frisbee, to competitive ultimate Frisbee and, most recently, disc golf.
Pictured is Katie Canfield, left, fending off an unnamed opponent at a recent High Tide Hat Tournament in Marquette. This year was the first year that Northern Michigan University established a women’s ultimate Frisbee club. (Photo courtesy of Cassy Hastings)
"Disc golf is one of the fastest growing in the states right now," said Buchanan."It's a silent sport that is great exercise."
Buchanan said he began approaching the Marquette Board of Light and Power about developing a piece of property along the Dead River below the Tourist Park dam into a disc golf course. Last year, the board approved the project, which is now two-thirds of the way finished. A grand opening is anticipated in June.
Disc golf is similar to regular golf, including teeing off like golf, and the use of various types of discs, including drivers and putters. The difference is instead of aiming for a pin, players aim toward a basket. Buchanan said he hopes in the future to be able to offer classes for kids and adults on disc games and host family nights once the disc golf course is completed.
Another new development in disc sports this year is the addition of a women's team for ultimate Frisbee at Northern Michigan University. And while Cassy Hastings, a junior at NMU and the president of the women's team, said she was nervous about whether the team would hold up, she said she was pleasantly surprised.
"The turnout has been amazing," Hastings said. "We now have a team of 14 women. ... Our team and the men's team are a big happy family."
The women's team practices twice a week and competes against other schools. Aside from the NMU teams that travel for competitions, Marquette also hosts the U.S. National Guts Frisbee Championships.
"Bottom line, it's (Frisbee) a game that's accepting of all skill levels," Hastings said.
Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.