In 1978, a group of officials of the International Frisbee Association and executives of Wham-O Mfg. Co., makers of the Frisbee, discussed the desirability of creating a Hall of Fame to honor those persons who had made major contributions to the growth of disc sports.
A poll was taken on persons who should be enshrined and the names of Jon Davis, Ed Headrick, the Healy Brothers, Victor Malefronte, Paul Richardson, Goldy Norton, Fred Morrison, and Stancil Johnson were almost unanimous selections.
It was decided to announce the formation of the Frisbee Hall of Fame at the 1978 World Frisbee Championships and to announce the persons previously mentioned as the initial honorees.
Subsequently, the Chamber set up the first biennial election for Hall of Fame members, using a scaled down version of the election process used for the baseball Hall of Fame. Twelve electors were appointed, all of who had a long history in disc activities, and they each were asked to name ten nominees. Fore election, a nominee had to appear on three-quarters (nine) of the ballots. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980 were John Kirkland, Jo Cahow, and Dan Roddick.
The Hall of Fame exhibits honoring the original members and the Class of 1980 are metal engravings made from original line drawings by artist Ann Goldstein. The original engravings are then handsomely mounted on plaques.
In 1982, with the 25th anniversary of the International Frisbee Tournament—the oldest continuing disc sports activity in the world—set to take place, it was decided by the Copper Country Chamber of Commerce to combine that event with the formal dedication of the Frisbee Hall of Fame.
The twelve living members of the Hall of Fame were invited to be enshrined at ceremonies at the Hall of Fame and then honored at a banquet following, as well as to be special guests at the 25th Anniversary IFT on the following two days.
Later in 1982, the Chamber held the balloting for new honorees to the Hall of Fame, and, in addition, a special “old-timers” committee will be established to honor those persons who made major contributions in the early days of the disc sports activities, and who may not be familiar to all the persons voting for Hall of Fame inductees.
(Originally produced in the 1982 25th Annual International Frisbee Tournament program)
Subsequently, classes were inducted in 1984/87, 1997, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011.
The duties of housing and curating the Hall was handed over to Dennis “Wally” Walikainen in the early 1990s from the Copper Country Chamber of Commerce, who didn’t produce a location for it. Soon after, the Hall was located in the Houghton County Memorial Museum in Lake Linden, Michigan, for a number of years.
With interest from Calumet Township, the Calumet Colosseum, and Main Street Calumet, the Hall was moved to the second floor of the Calumet Colosseum, where it continues to grow. Frisbee players and fans continue to donate to the Hall, and induction ceremonies are still held every other year, slated for 2013.
The Dave Bradshaw Award, honoring “those who have made remarkable, memorable contributions to the game, making it stronger, and fostering its grown,” is awarded in the alternate years with the Hall inductions. More on the Bradshaw Award . . . [link]
In 2012, at the Guts Frisbee Congress, the name of the Hall was officially changed to the International Frisbee and USA Guts Hall of Fame, recognizing both the past intentions of the Hall and the future growth focusing on Guts Frisbee.
The Hall features numerous discs, t-shirts, news clippings, trophies, posters, and photos from the rich history of tournaments around the nation and the globe.