- By Lawrence Budd Staff Writer
The 2018 World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) Championships will bring teams from around the world to the Lebanon Sports Complex, Mason High School and other facilities in Warren County, according to officials.
While area individuals could wind up among the 4,000 athletes taking the field during the tournament, no local teams are among the 128 teams - 48 teams in the Mixed Division, 40 each in the women’s and men’s divisions.
Still local organizers are excited about an event expected to generate millions for the local economy.
“It’s the biggest event of the year for Ultimate Frisbee. It doesn’t get any bigger than this tournament,” said Peter Tran, an assistant tournament director.
The U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to attend as part of a process determining whether to include the sport in the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, Tran added.
The tournament is scheduled to be held July 14-21.
The global, German-based organization holds the championships every four years.
“We are excited to be hosting our largest premier event next year, the World Ultimate Club Championships, in the U.S.,” Robert Rauch, WFDF president, said in a press release.
Area teams played, but failed to qualify, for next year’s big event. America will be represented by three men’s and three mixed teams, according to Tran.
The World Ultimate Club Championships, first held in 1989, were last hosted in 2014 in Lecco, Italy, where they featured 3,800 athletes on 129 teams from 39 countries.
“We will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the sport, which was developed at Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.Y., in 1968. Moreover, with so much of WFDF’s growth in National Federations coming from Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, it is gratifying to see so many new countries travelling to North America for the first time,” he added.
Warren County Sports, a division of the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau (WCCVB), along with Cincinnati Ultimate Players Association, will manage the tournament.
Ben Huffman, director of sports marketing for the WCCVB, estimates the tournament will generate approximately $3 million in economic impact for Warren County, accounting for more than 10,000 room nights at local hotels and bed & breakfasts.
The Lebanon complex is at 900 McClure Road, the Mason school at 6100 Mason Montgomery Road. Other locations have yet to be determined.
With just a few more national championships to be held, the team list is almost complete. The final list will be published with the schedule next year.
The provisional list is available here: http://wfdf.org/images/wucc-list-sheet1.pdf