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October 16, 1992 - Image 57

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-16

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The Ultimate Game

How a flying disc took Marty Wollner to Japan.


ltimate: the best.
Ultimate: a flying disk
game, originating in New
Jersey in 1968, resembling
Seven players from each
team are on the field, pass-
ing the disk to score. Unlike
football, each player works
every position. No referees
are involved. The sport is
played on the honor system.
Returning from the world
championships of the World
Flying Disk Association in
Utsonomia, Japan, Marty
Wollner said he had the ul-
timate experience.
Mr. Wollner, a Livonia
resident, had been playing
Ultimate for 17 years —
since his days at Michigan
State University. Having
competed in more than 100
tournaments, he decided to
visit Japan to observe the
U.S. team in the world
Fate had other plans.
Mr. Wollner's friend, Dr.
Dan Hyslop, had been cho-
sen to play on the 21-man,
five-woman masters team —

a group of men and women
more than 30 years old. A
court date kept him in the
United States. Dr. Hyslop
had tried to save the life of
Loyola University basket-
ball star Hank Gathers
when he collapsed on the
basketball court two years
prior. He was not successful
and a lawsuit was brought
against him. (It was later
Dr. Hyslop encouraged
Mr. Wollner to go to Japan
without him and to fill in for
him on the team. He ac-
An 18-hour plane ride lat-
er, Mr. Wollner found him-
self in Japan with disk
players representing Aus-
tralia, New Zealand, Cana-
da, Japan, Chinese-Taipai
(Taiwan), Sweden, Finland,
England, Germany and
Posters and banners an-
nouncing the tournament
decorated Utsonomia. Open-
ing ceremonies included a
performance by the Shi-
royama Nishi Children's

Drum Band and speeches by
the tournament director and
the mayor. The mayor end-
ed his address with the
words, "Let the disk be the
symbol of world peace."
"I knew this was not going
to be like any tournament in
my 17 years of Ultimate. It
was far beyond anything I
could have dreamed," Mr.
Wollner said
"There was so much ca-
maraderie on the field," Mr.
Wollner said. "We played

Japanese and American teams pose

the Taiwanese team. They
didn't speak a word of Eng-
lish and we didn't speak any
Chinese. But it never was a
problem. We had the game
in common."
The U.S. team captured
the championship in a game
against Germany. The final
score was 18-4, with Mr.
Wollner catching the game-
winning goal.
When writing of his expe-
rience in Japan for the Ulti-
mate Players Association,
Mr. Wollner said, "When I

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