Frisbees have always been a marvel. They are inexpensive and easy
to get. They can be played virtually anywhere there is an open
space, a any size group of people can play and the age level of
Frisbee play spans all ages. The history of the Frisbee is
unique. I have always found Frisbees fascinating and a challenge
so as I began to train children, I wanted to learn how to properly
manipulate one so I could add it to my curriculum. Frisbees were
originally created by the Frisbie Baking Company. Hungry college
students bought the pies and then used them as flying disks for
inexpensive entertainment. In 1964, Whamo bought the patent for
the Frisbee and currently, Mattel Toy Company owns the official
patent for the Frisbee.
Using a Frisbee requires practice and skill; with me, it took a lot
of practice There are three basic kinds of throws.
� The grip is when you place your thumb on top of the freebee
and index finger along the rim. Other fingers are underneath.
Think of fanning yourself with the Frisbee.
� The backhand throw has the thumb on top , the index finger
along the rim and other fingers underneath. Then, throw the
Frisbee with the dominate hand, standing in a sideways position
with the right foot toward the target. Step toward the target and
throw the Frisbee with the designated hand in a horizontal motion
across the body, snapping the wrist and keeping the disk flat on
� The underhand throw is also sometimes used. It is similar
to the overhead throw but the student faces the target and holds
the disk at the side of the body. She steps forward with the
opposite leg the throwing hand as she brings the Frisbee forward.
When the throwing arms is out in front of the body, release the
Frisbee. The trick is to learn to release the disk so that it is
parallel to the ground.
� Catching the Frisbee is another form of great practice and
patience. There are three basic kinds of catches.
� The high catch is when you watch the Frisbee as it leaves
the thrower�s hand. If the Frisbee is coming toward you at a
height level catch it with the hands, and point thumbs down and
fingers up. Reach for the Frisbee and then close thumbs and
fingers over it.
� Low catch is when the Frisbee is coming toward you at a
height below the waist and you point thumbs up and fingers down.
Watch the Frisbee, reach for it and close hands under it.
� Thumbs down catching is used for catching when the disk is
received at the torso or in the upper body. Catchers should watch
the Frisbee thrown from the throwers hand.
� Thumbs-up catches are used when the Frisbee is thrown from
below the upper body. The thumbs are pointed up and the fingers
When a student gets more advanced, trick catches may be added.
First emphasize building a foundation of basic skills. You can do
behind the back and between the legs catches. The behind the back
and between the legs catch utilizes the thumbs-up technique. Try
to see how many times you can catch the Frisbee and throw it to
your partner. After you drop the Frisbee, start the process
again. Throw a Frisbee from different distances and try to hit
targetsor throw into hoops.
It�s important to remember when using the Frisbee that when the
side is thrown, it should be parallel to the ground at release. If
it is inverted, you will get a circular throw and it won�t go the
direction you want. Stepping before releasing is effective for
directing the Frisbee. If you are in a limited area such as a
classroom or a similar closed area make sure all of the Frisbees
are going in the same direction. This will avoid the Frisbees
bumping into other disks and hitting students. Students should
practice with different partners and instructors should frequently
change partners so that students can have a chance to play with
more and less skilled players. Practicing throwing with both arms
develops strength and agility. Remember to emphasize correct
technique. Do not reward students who throw quickly but those who
have perfect technique.
There are many activities to do with the Frisbee.
1. Try throwing at different levels with a partner. Try
light, medium, and hard throws as well keeping track of safety, etc.
2. You can bounce the Frisbee by throwing a low fast bounce.
You can further the challenge by throwing a high, slow bounce.
3. Catchers can show off their fancy skills by clapping, heel
clicking and touching the ground before they catch the Frisbee.
Emphasis should be still keeping a constant eye on the Frisbee.
Students may play Frisbee by themselves by throwing it into the air
and catching it.
4. Hula-hoops can add to the fun of Frisbees. See how may
times you can throw a Frisbee into a hoop. You can play �One-Step�
in which the catcher moves one foot backward the Frisbee is thrown
and successfully is caught in the hoop. You can further the fun by
making your own version of Skee Ball Frisbee by having students
throw the Frisbees into different hoops and adding different point
values to the hoops. This also teaches adding, subtracting and
5. Move with the Frisbee and catch while running. Be sure all
runners are running in the same direction if you are playing in a
6. Hoops are not the only things you can add to Frisbee play.
Try stuffed animals, baskets and objects that when they are tossed
to the ground will not break. Frisbee golf often utilizes poles,
trees, and other permanent objects.
7. For fun try to practice for speed but emphasize accuracy.
Set time limits for plays and drills.
8. Mix up the fun by playing in-group emphasizing that all
persons need a chance to throw and catch. Have students rotate
positions when throwing and catching the Frisbee. Teach
cooperative skills to those who are less patient with less skilled
Here are some games you can do with Frisbees.
Step 1: Begin with each group standing behind its goal line. One
team throws the disc into the other's end zone. The receiving team
must try to move the disc up field using a series of passes.
Step 2: Each time a player catches the disc, she must stop in her
tracks and throw it to a teammate before taking another step.
Step 3: To score a point, the receiving team must complete a pass
to a player positioned behind the opponents' goal line. The
defending team is awarded the disc following a score, an incomplete
pass, or an interception. The first team to score 21 points wins
Step 1: Before play begins, the group should plot out a course of
six or eight holes by having players agree on a series of objects
or sites on the playground at which the Frisbee disc will be
Step 2: Once the course is decided, players take turns attempting
to hit the targets with the Frisbee.
Step 3: Players must keep track of how many throws they take to get
the target; the player who completes the course in the fewest
number of throws wins the game.
Players of this contest have an unusual goal--to see how far a
Frisbee can roll.
Materials: Two sticks or wooden dowels, string, Frisbee
How to play:
Step 1: Set the two sticks or dowels into the groundabout one foot
apart. (Or, set the sticks in pails filled with sand). Use string
to mark a line on the ground about 10 feet from the upright
Step 2: Standing behind the line, players try to roll a Frisbee
between and beyond the sticks. Each child gets five chances to ply
his skill, and the one who rolls the disk through the goal the most
Spear the Disk
Materials: Stick and Frisbee for every player
Step 1: For this game, you will need two players and a third person
to assist. At the start, the players stand about 20 feet apart and
face each other. Each holds a stick or a short wooden dowel. (I
suggest elaborating a bit- do they try to hit the rolling Frisbee
with the sticks?)
Frisbees are a great way to foster creativity and learn to work
with various types of people. What wonderful lessons to learn for
References and Recommended Resources
Family Fun Frisbee Games