I came to Beer Frisbee late in life -- two days ago, in fact -- but I've been ready for it since intense training during my California college days in the 1960's.
Not by drinking beer, since this substance wasn't cannabis or a psychedelic. Hence...boring!
But by spending countless Flower Power hours stoned on various substances and throwing frisbees with my brothers and sisters in altered consciousness.
So when a couple of 30-something kids, Corey and Zack, challenged me and another 60'ish relative (Jerry) to a game of Beer Frisbee at a family reunion I jumped at the chance -- unconcerned that not only had I never played Beer Frisbee, I hadn't even heard of it.
Empty beer bottles are perched on two poles. Jerry (in red) is about to throw a frisbee toward the bottle Corey and Zack are defending. If the frisbee knocks it off and they don't catch the bottle before it hits the ground, we get 3 points. If one of them doesn't catch the frisbee and it hits the ground, we get 1 point. The ultimate is to have both the bottle and the frisbee hit the ground -- which gets us 4 points. Game is 21.
This is how we chose to play the game. Which in my utterly biased opinion, is the way it should be played.
As you might expect with a game called Beer Frisbee, the rules of the game are open to endless debate and alteration. (The more bottles of beer that have been opened before playing the game, the more debate and alteration.)
We did away with the rule that each player must hold an open bottle of beer in one hand. This would have interfered with our marvelous displays of athleticism, made possible by the fact that no one had consumed more than a few bottles of beer.
This is a classic Beer Frisbee catching posture. I can't believe how good I look (of course, I'm writing this post after drinking most of a large glass of Two Buck Chuck, so naturally I look good to myself).
Not one of the finest moments for Jerry and me. Corey or Zack managed to knock our bottle off and it's about to hit the ground after Jerry missed catching it. I'm making a futile attempt to snag the frisbee after it bounced off the pole or bottle. Four points down the drain.
Proving that white guys can jump (about six inches), Zack is catching a high toss. After several games we came to a consensus on what a "catchable" toss means: above the black area on the poles, and not requiring more than one step, or a jump, to reach.
After one of us knocked off their bottle, Zack and Corey burst into Beer Frisbee catching-action. The game is filled with exciting moments like this one. Yet for some reason the women folk chose to sit around a fire in the background and chit-chat rather than watch this marvelously entertaining athletic contest close up.
Another classic Beer Frisbee moment, courtesy of Jerry and me (a.k.a, "the old codgers" as Corey and Zack described us before the first game; after we kicked their butts I didn't hear this term again).
Our strategy was that on which ever side of the pole the frisbee went, the guy on that side would catch it. The other guy would focus on catching the bottle if it fell off. Note my focus, my readiness, my balance -- ready to move in any bottle-catching direction.
Beautiful, if I say so myself. Which I do, since this is my blog.
The final photo shows two important aspects of this Indiana contest. One, the open bottle on the ground shows that beer can be a central feature of Beer Frisbee even if the players aren't holding a bottle throughout the game.
Two, we see Zack and Corey lunging for a bottle that Jerry or I knocked off the pole -- a frequent occurrence.
The match would have ended with each team winning two games, except one of my astoundingly powerful and accurate throws hit their bottle with such force, it broke the frisbee. And Corey, whose house we were playing at, said he didn't have another one.
Because Jerry and I were leading by something like 19 to 8 at the time, which allowed Corey and Zack to claim the game didn't count, leaving them with a 2-1 advantage in games won.
Jerry and I, however, made up a new rule on the spot: if the guy organizing a Beer Frisbee contest doesn't have at least two frisbees, so one can be replaced when it breaks, he loses three points when this happens.
Thus, we won the last game 22-8. With that much momentum on our side, it's pretty obvious Jerry and I would have won the fifth game tie-breaker.
Which means we are the 2009 Central Indiana (Spencer/Bloomington area) world champions! Congratulations to me and Jerry.
Maybe next time, young guys. (But don't count on it.)