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      International Guts Frisbee Tournament draws impressive turnout

      For 57 years teams from all over the world have been competing in the Coca-Cola International Guts Frisbee Tournament. This year the tournament was at Agassiz Field in Calumet.

      "I think some people are attracted by the idea that it is kind of an unusual sportâ?? said Tom Tikkanen, tournament director. â??When you are here on the field you start to absorb that spirit that it is hard competition but there is a lot of camaraderie."

      But what exactly is Guts Frisbee? The goal is simple: throw the Frisbee as hard as you can so the other team cannot catch it or they drop it. Two teams of five stand 14 yards apart. You earn points for each Frisbee that is considered catchable, but is not caught.

      â??It is a community that gets together here every yearâ?? said Tikkanen. â??There are many tournaments that take place through the course of the year, but this is the international tournament.â??

      Of the 15 teams competing, three of them are rookie teams. One of those teams is the Keweenaw Mountain Men.

      â??We have been practicing for three weeksâ?? said Joey Curtis, of the Keweenaw Mountain Men. â??Three practices and we are ready to go.â??

      But they are not letting their lack of experience get in the way of their confidence.

      â??We are looking forward to playing the best teams and winningâ?? said Curtis. â??Hopefully we take home the win.â??

      Another feature of the tournament was a freestyle presentation by the Velasquez brothers, who are five time freestyle Frisbee world champions. The brothers were very impressed with the turnout for Guts Frisbee in the Copper Country.

      â??The disk, the plastic, brings us all togetherâ?? said Jens Velasquez, Frisbee world champion. â??But it is the people that are really important.â??

      Guts Frisbee is not for the weak, however, it is very physically demanding. One team explained that you need to have a hockey goalie mentality. Tomorrow the tournament will conclude and one team will take home the coveted Nachazel Cup.