Spirit Awards



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 Spirit Awards

Men's Club Division      Mixed Club Division     Women's Club Division      Men's Masters Division     Women's Masters Division
Farricker Spirit Award   Spirit and Equity Award   Kathy Pufahl Spirit Award   Marty Bakko Spirit Award   Women's Masters Spirit Award


Since the game was invented in 1968, ultimate has proudly promoted one aspect of the game more that any other: the spirit of fair play. While some of the very first games ever played did, in fact, have referees, soon they disappeared in favor of self-officiating, something we now call Spirit of the Game. 

As ultimate becomes more and more popular, we know SOTG sets us apart. With Spirit Awards like those listed below we also want to honor the individuals who give back. Without the selfless contributions from players of all levels of play, the sport of ultimate would not have grown throughout the years. By honoring a national-caliber player who exemplifies both SOTG and individual contribution to our sport, we can elevate the core value of giving back.

Farricker Spirit Award

The Farricker Spirit Award is given to the player in the men's division of the USA Ultimate's National Championship Series adjudged to have exhibited personal responsibility, integrity, and fairness combined with a high standard of playing ability. Each Nationals-qualifying men's team nominates one player from their own team as the person who best represents Spirit of the Game. During the open championship game, each nominee is honored with a disc, pin or set of Mardi Gras beads. The hope is that the people wearing the Mardi Gras beads will be connected to Pete, each other and the Spirit of the Game, and will become role models for their teammates and opponents.

About Peter Farricker

Peter "Wheels" Farricker was a person of spirit — teammate, friend, brother, son, husband and father. He was swift, clever, funny, smart, kind, and he attracted people with an ease and calmness many admired. Fair on the field, he was strong in skill, superior outside the lines. He was champion in many ways. Taken seriously without being overly serious, loved by many, he was and is for many of us a model of what we hope we can be.

2019 Recipient: Trent Dillon, Sockeye
2018 Recipient: Grant Lindsley, Revolver
2017 Recipient: Jay Froude, Doublewide
2016 Recipient: Owen Westbrook, Johnny Bravo
2015 Recipient: Ashlin Joye, Revolver
2014 Recipient: Danny Clark, Ironside
2013 Recipient: Beau Kittredge, Revolver
2012 Recipient: Martin Cochran, Revolver
2011 Recipient: Matt Rebholz, Ironside
2010 Recipient: Bart Watson, Revolver
2009 Recipient: Robbie Cahill, Revolver
2008 Recipient: Josh McCarthy, Ironside
2007 Recipient: Chase Sparling-Beckley, Sockeye
2006 Recipient: Allan Cowan, Furious George
2005 Recipient: Jeffrey Eastham-Anderson, Jam
2004 Recipient: Damien Scott, Jam
2003 Recipient: Andy Crews, Condors
2002 Recipient: Moses Rifkin, Death or Glory

Spirit and Equity Award

The Mixed Division Spirit and Equity Award is given to one female- and one male-identified player (for the purpose of satisfying on-field gender ratios) each year. Each mixed team that qualifies for the National Championships nominates one male and female who best represent Spirit of the Game and show a dedication to equity both on the field and in the community.

This award is given to the players determined by Nationals-qualifying mixed teams to have exhibited personal integrity, responsibility and fairness, along with a commitment to enhancing equity in play and in their communities.

2019 Recipients: Ann Sitler- Superlame; Henry Phan- Mixtape
2018 Recipients: Lili Gu - BFG; Andrew Hagen - BFG
2017 Recipients: Kate Kingery - BFG; Paul Utesch - Public Enemy
2016 Recipients: Allysha Dixon - AMP; David Protter - Love Tractor


Kathy Pufahl Spirit Award

Given the seminal importance of the Spirit of the Game to our sport, the USA Ultimate Board of Directors approved the addition of a sister honor to the Farricker Spirit Award and established the Kathy Pufahl Spirit Award on January 17, 2004. Each women's team that qualifies for the National Championships nominates one player from their team who best exemplifies both the ethos of the SOTG, along with a personal commitment to giving back to the sport. Each team at the National Championships casts a vote for one of the nominees, taking into account who has exhibited personal responsibility, integrity, and selfless contribution to ultimate, combined with a high standard of playing ability.

The athlete with the most votes is awarded the Kathy Pufahl Spirit Award at the National Championships 

About Kathy Pufahl

For those who knew Kathy Pufahl as a player, no one better exemplified the combination of fierce, fun loving competitor, as well as, her selfless, ongoing contribution to the betterment of Ultimate. From the winter edition of the UPA Ultimate News magazine: "On the field, Kath helped build women's Ultimate and several of its early teams, setting the pace for high-quality and fair play. Off the field, she helped build the structure, and the spirit, of the game we know today. She organized tournaments, wrote and mailed newsletters, organized the women's college division, co-wrote (with Sholom "Eric" Simon) the first update to the Ninth Edition rules, and played a crucial role throughout the 1980-90s in developing and overseeing the administrative responsibilities of the UPA and served as the second women's national director from 1985 to 1988. She was the first managing director of the UPA and ran the first official UPA headquarters in an office near her home. She was relentless yet thoughtful, as she endeavored to lay the foundation of the structure of the game and the UPA."

2019 Recipient: Anraya Palmer, Ozone
2018 Recipient: Chip Chang, Pop
2017 Recipient: Amber Sinicrope, Brute Squad
2016 Recipient: Anna Nazarov, Fury
2015 Recipient: Alex Snyder, Fury
2014 Recipient: Leila Tunnell, Brute Squad
2013 Recipient: Nancy Sun, Fury
2012 Recipient: Lauren Casey, Fury
2011 Recipient: Gwen Ambler, Riot
2010 Recipient: Michelle Ng, Showdown
2009 Recipient: Jody Dozono, Fury
2008 Recipient: Allison Boyd, Rare Air
2007 Recipient: DeAnna Ball, MOJO
2006 Recipient: Kris Gill, Bnogo
2005 Recipient: Kati Halmos, Riot
2004 Recipient: Vida Towne, Riot

Marty Bakko Spirit Award

Established in 2010, the Marty Bakko Spirit Award is presented to a player in the masters men's division at the Masters Championships who best exemplifies SOTG. The award was created in honor of the late Marty Bakko (Minneapolis Surly). The masters division spirit award honors players that embody the best attributes of ultimate. Like Marty Bakko, these individuals: have an infectious sense of humor; possess a long-term passion for the sport of ultimate; display a commitment to fair play, integrity and respect for their opponent; are shrewd, tactical innovators on the field; show an intense, competitive Spirit; and are leaders who inspire others to act. 

Each qualifying masters team nominates one player from its roster as the person who best represents the Spirit of the Game and the qualities listed above.

2019 Recipient: Ben Banyas, Rest Stop
2018 Recipient: Jonah Shaver, Surly Cynic
2017 Recipient: Mati Chessin, Pacemaker
2016 Recipient: Tim Jacobson, Surly Cynic
2015 Recipient: Chris McManus, Beyondors
2014 Recipient: Lincoln Wilson, Slow Country Boil
2013 Recipient: Alfonso Acosta, Tejas
2012 Recipient: David Remucal, Johnny Encore
2011 Recipient: Russ Adams, Surly
2010 Recipient: Blayne Ferguson, GLUM

Women's Masters Spirit Award

Each qualifying masters women's team nominates one player from its roster as the person who best represents the Spirit of the Game. 

2019 Recipient: Mo Kappes, Aged Cheddar
2018 Recipient: Stephanie Landry, The Old and the Breathless


Also see:

College Awards

Coaching Awards