ULTIMATE--THE FIRST FOUR DECADES
by Pasquale Anthony Leonardo and Adam Zagoria
Published by Ultimate History, Inc.
$39.50, 192 pages
While playing a game of Ultimate in 2002, Cristin Rutzler made a big catch--in more than one sense. On the bottom of the disc she caught was the message, "Will you marry me?" The play resulted not only in her marriage to the disc's tosser, Mark Gandy, but also the couple's inclusion in Ultimate--The First Four Decades, a history of the self-proclaimed antisport.
The book--which comes with a DVD--traces Ultimate from its 1968 start at a New Jersey high school to its growth on college campuses, which have become home to more than 500 club teams. Dozens of articles examine everything from club histories to throwing technique to the Gandy-Rutzler nuptials.
Look for enlightening asides (Wham-O once tried to supplant Ultimate with a soccerlike game called Netbee) and sometimes hilarious minutiae (a graph charts the rise in Ultimate Players Association dues), but the book makes no pretense of being for the nonconverted. Readers who enjoy this book most will have said I do to Ultimate long ago.