What is the history behind the
International Spirit of the Game Day?
In 2014 Early Recognition Is Critical (E.R.I.C.), a non-profit charitable organization, co-founded by Jim Gerencser, started the “ERIC awareness day”. E.R.I.C. teaches youth about cancer symptom awareness, cancer prevention, and the importance of healthy living through its Ultimate Frisbee clinics and their focus on Spirit of the Game (SOTG).
In 2015, with the help of the founding Chairman of the World Flying Disc Federation’s Spirit of the Game Committee, Patrick van der Valk, the day was renamed to the International Spirit of the Game Day. The day is to encourage communities around the world to raise awareness and embrace Spirit of the Game by hosting activities where people can teach, discuss, and demonstrate what good Spirit of the Game is.
That same year E.R.I.C. approached several apparel and equipment companies to donate prizes for people around the world who could creatively demonstrate and promote aspects of good Spirit through photos and videos. The goal was to raise further awareness of SOTG as a concept in Ultimate, as well as promoting the five core aspects of SOTG to the rest of the world as they are universally applicable. All the photos, videos, and events were joined in a Global Spirit Map, created by Tushar Singh.
On October 16, 2017 the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that E.R.I.C. had been designated as its Spirit of the Game Partner for a two-year period and that the WFDF would become an official partner of International Spirit of the Game Day, beginning with the event on December 3, 2017.
2018: The Year of Youth
In 2018, the focus of all activities was on the youth! How do we make Spirit of the Game relevant for today’s youth? In addition to hosting activities catered to youth and newcomers, the community was asked to start conversations and share their thoughts on Spirit of the Game and how it relates to youth.
2019: It’s Not Just High Fives (and a New Date!)
In 2019, the focus was on understanding that good Spirit of the Game goes way beyond high fives. Many individuals and organisations decided to chime in on the global discussion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To increase participation, we also decided that going forward, the date will be the first Saturday in December.
2020: Virtual Scavenger Hunt
As COVID forced many of us to limit our social contacts and severely impeded our ability to live our love of the flying disc, we decided to organise a SOTG-themed virtual scavenger hunt for this year. We hope that this sparks joy and lifts our spirits (pun intended) across the globe.
Go here to signup yourself and your team of up to 7 people.