A brief history...
Ultimate has been played in the UK since 1976. We've picked out just a few highlights from the journey...
The earliest days mid 70s-mid 90s
The first ultimate clubs in the UK were Warwick Bears, Ally Pally Tossers, Purley School, Victims and Samurai.
International competition was established during the 80s with European and World Championships.
The British Ultimate Federation (BUF) was set up in the mid 80s to focus on organising ultimate.
World Championships were hosted in the UK in 1986 (WUGC), 1994 (WUGC), 1995 (WUCC) and 1999 (WUCC).
Check out more stories, pictures and chat on the UK Frisbee History facebook group
The next steps
In 1997 BUF created a new club competition structure to intensify competition between teams of similar levels (“The Ultim8 Tour”), helping to create an environment that led to improved results internationally, and a structure that supported growth in the number of divisions, clubs and players for many years.
In 2000, the BUF became a player’s association where individuals could join the organisation and have a direct vote on the organisation’s direction. UKUA employed its first part-time administrator.
2003-6 Women's and Mixed outdoor club divisions started, and adopted the same Tour structure as existed in the Open division.
In 2006, UKUA worked with BUSA (later became BUCS) to include University Indoor Nationals in their programme. Recognition within the BUCS programme has helped many university ultimate clubs access support and facilities.
National Teams - GB Ultimate
We had teams representing GB from 1980 onward, but arguably 2003 was the breakthrough year as GB dominated the European Ultimate Championships, reaching the final in all four divisions, and winning 3 golds and 1 silver.
2007 GB Women won the first World Championships of Beach Ultimate, an achievement followed up by the Mixed Masters in 2011.
2010 GB U23 Mixed won the gold medal in the first WFDF World U23 Ultimate Championships.
2012 GB Open won the silver medal at the World Ultimate & Guts Championships in Japan.
GB teams have had consistently good results across all divisions and formats throughout the last 20 years. We are 3rd in the WFDF World Ultimate Rankings.
Are you an ex GB player? Why not join the GB Alumni facebook group.
The UK Ultimate Association (UKUA) became UK Ultimate Ltd in 2008. UKU is company limited by guarantee: a legal structure that limits the liability of the members and board of the organisation. Ultimate was recognised as a "sporting activity" by UK sports councils the same year.
UKU achieved formal recognition as the National Governing Body in 2016.
The organisation's part-time administrator became full-time CEO in 2009, as UKU started to directly host major club events to build up a new revenue stream. A Coach Education officer followed in 2011, with a full-time Events Coordinator added when we secured the bid to host 2015 WFDF World U23 Ultimate Championships.
We created and published a first 4-year Strategic Plan in 2018.
UKU Coaching scheme started around 2006 with the Level 1 award being run a couple of times a year initially.
Around 2008/9 we also started the Foundation Award for teachers, sports coaches and young leaders.
With a member of staff focused on Coach Education we are able to deliver workshops to hundreds of people every year, and continue to develop resources and material.
More recently we created this coaching profiles resource to share and celebrate stories from ultimate coaches around the UK.
Women’s University Indoor & Outdoor Nationals recognised in BUCS programme in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.
Men's and Women's outdoor championships moved to BUCS league structure in 2015-16 and 2019-20 respectively.
Read more here.
The surplus from WUGC was invested in schools development, which then led to successful introduction of ultimate into The School Games in Sept 2018.
Read more about the work we've been doing in schools here.