The best of the best: Annual US National Guts Frisbee Tournament takes place at Tourist Park this weekend News, Sports, Jobs

Players from the Monte Carlo team participated in a previous US National Guts Frisbee Tournament in Marquette. (Photo courtesy of Drew Tikkanen)

MARQUETTE — Sixteen of the country’s best Guts Frisbee teams will battle this weekend in Marquette at the US National Guts Frisbee Tournament held at Tourist Park today and Sunday.

On the line is the Buck Buchanan Memorial National Championship Trophy, and the loaded field will be vying to leave with it. Marquette’s own O’Malley’s Alley repeated as champions last year, and is looking to make it three in a row.

This tournament has had no problem drawing big crowds in the past, and Tournament Director Kurt Lahtinen doesn’t foresee that being an issue this year either.

“We get a huge draw from Marquette,” Lahtinen said. “(There’s) great fans here, long history of having tournaments in Marquette. We have such a huge history, unbelievable tournaments.”

The round-robin bracket was released Thursday, and those games will be featured Saturday morning beginning at 10 am

At around 3 pm when the round-robin games are complete, double elimination bracket play will begin, and seeding is based off of the round-robin results. Bracket play will continue into Sunday, where the championship game is scheduled for 5 pm

Despite O’Malley’s Alley being the two-time defending champs, Lahtinen pictures some parity in the field with potentially six or seven teams having a great shot to take home the title, he said.

It’s free to get in for fans, and those who do come won’t be disappointed by the action of Guts Frisbee.

“It was the original extreme sport, and it was invented in the UP,” Lahtinen said. “It’s the longest lasting frisbee sport, and it’s just exciting. It’s great for fans, there’s action in every single play, and it’s just a great spectator sport.”

The history of Guts Frisbee in Marquette is really what has made it such a spectator sport around here. The original US National Guts Frisbee Tournament was held in Marquette all the way back in 1976, and it’s been the host ever since.

This came to be because the International Frisbee Tournament was held in Marquette in 1974 and 1975, and the crowd was so large that Marquette took over the National tourney, according to Lahtinen.

That history is now being used to pass on the sport to the future, and that’s what holding this tournament does.

It sa family atmosphere, and Lahtinen and the tournament staff look to grow the sport onto the next generation by passing out frisbees to kids to keep and try to get them hooked on this game. As long as this tournament sticks around in Marquette, the future is shaping up to be just as prevalent as always.

“I love Marquette, and I love the fact that we get to host this tournament annually here, and we hope to do so for a long time,” Lahtinen said.

Travis Nelson can be reached by email at [email protected]

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