One of the most dramatic events in disc sports

Performing creative, artistic and athletic moves with flying discs is the essence of freestyle. One of the most dramatic events in disc sports, competitive freestyle combines aspects of gymnastics and dance with the basic game of throw and catch. Teams of two or three players perform choreographed rou- tines consisting of throws, catches and moves with one or more discs.

Starting with simple moves like a behind-the-back catch, freestyle has evolved into a crowd-pleasing event with moves such as air brushes, nail delays, and triple-spinning catches. Routines are three to five minutes in length and are evaluated by judges who base their scores on the difficulty (10), artistic impression (10) and execution (10) of the routine. The team with the highest score wins (30 is a perfect score).

Some basic techniques

As you would expect, throwing and catching the disc are basic parts of each routine. There are many ways to throw a disc and even more ways to catch it. You can use a backhand or sidearm throw (see the info sheet on throwing techniques). By changing the angle of the disc it will curve to the left or to the right.

The easiest and safest catch is the “pancake catch” (with both hands). In freestyle routines you will see much more difficult and riskier catches. A few simple catches include the under the leg and the behind the head. Advanced, hard to describe moves include the flamingo, flamingitis, triple fake, scarecrow, and the bad attitude. Take your pick. The more air you get the better.

The judging system

Nine judges evaluate the routines as they’re performed. Three judges each evaluate the categories of artistic impression, difficulty and execution. Each category is worth a maximum of ten points.