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Ultimate Frisbee Recognized By Olympic Committee

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The International Olympic Committee has formally recognized the World Flying Disc Federation. Translation - Ultimate Frisbee is one step closer to being included in the Olympics at some point in the future. Here's NPR's Brakkton Booker.

BRAKKTON BOOKER, BYLINE: This is what Ultimate Frisbee sounds like at the highest level.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Deep huck down the field. With a step, it's LaRouche, and she'll make the catch. Good grab, and here comes Fierry on the attack.

BOOKER: This is from ESPN's broadcast of the women's U.S. Open Ultimate Championship semifinal earlier this year. Nob Rauch is the president of the World Flying Disc Federation, or WFDF, and he says the Olympic governing body recognizing disc sports is an incredible milestone.

NOB RAUCH: It's very exciting. It's something we've been working on for the last four years or so.

BOOKER: Rauch says he believes his organization was selected as one of the sports federations to receive official recognition because the Olympics wants to attract younger audiences.

RAUCH: So I think they're setting the stage to be able to introduce new sports that are youth-oriented, gaining in popularity, exhibiting gender equality and the like. And so we're pretty excited about prospects over the next decade or two.

BOOKER: Ultimate Frisbee, or simply Ultimate to those who play, combine aspects of football, soccer and basketball. Tom Crawford heads USA Ultimate, the national governing body for Ultimate Frisbee.

TOM CRAWFORD: So the goal, just like in football, is you score by catching the disk in the end zone.

BOOKER: Nob Rauch of the World Flying Disc Federation says while the U.S. is a major contender in Ultimate, it has lots of competition. But when could we see Ultimate Frisbee make its Olympic debut?

RAUCH: At this point in time, 2024.

BOOKER: Ultimate Frisbee organizers say one of the things that will be popular about the game is that teams will be made up of men and women. Brakkton Booker, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.