Gail McColl, Co founder, co owner of Discraft, and recent inductee in the Freestyle Hall of Fame has passed away. Our thoughts go out to Gail, her family and Discraft. The freestyle and disc community will miss you.
I first met Gail & Jim at NAS tourneys on the 1976 circuit. They were great people and became good friends with them during the early WFC years. The women’s Freestyle competition at the ’76 WFC consisted of an individual receiving 10 throws and the judging based on what the player did with those 10 throws. It was individual because there were so few women competing back then compared to the men. The women also had the option of choosing their thrower and Gail chose me to be her thrower – which remains a tremendous highlight in my career (yes she won :-).
This is what Discraft posted about Gail:
The disc sports community lost a beloved pioneer on January 1, 2017 when Discraft co-founder Gail McColl passed away in Toronto, Ontario after a brief illness. She was 62.
Gail McColl was a lifetime contributor to the growth of disc sports who influenced generations of freestyle, disc golf and ultimate players.
Gail began her disc career in Toronto, Ontario, playing object golf in 1973 with Jim Kenner and Ken Westerfield. The trio would go on host the Canadian National Exhibition Frisbee Championships the following year. Through her playing career Gail earned six Canadian Women’s disc golf titles, the 1976 World Freestyle title and won the Women’s Disc Golf title at the 1978 World Frisbee Championships.
A top competitor in all disc disciplines, Gail has been called the original women’s freestyler and is credited as being the first woman to nail delay, body roll and air brush.
Her great passion for disc sports lead Gail to co-found Discraft Inc. with Jim Kenner in 1979. They set out to build a better product and began breaking the flying disc out of its culturally established role as a toy and into the high performance sports equipment it has become today. The many millions of smiles brought about by Discraft discs since those beginnings have earned Gail McColl and her Discraft legacy a permanent place in the rich history of disc sports. PDGA #240, Gail was inducted into the disc golf hall of fame in 2015.
Do you have some great ideas in order to grow the sport of Freestyle?
Ever want to have a larger impact on Freestyle Frisbee/Disc?
Are you willing to spend some time during weekdays throughout the year to brainstorm creative ways to help Freestyle Frisbee grow?
Well, now is a great time to step up as we’re starting the process of ELECTIONS for 3 positions on the FPA Board of Directors.
There are 5 elected positions on the FPA’s Board of Directors and every November, elections are held for the Board Director jobs (consistent with the FPA By-Laws).
Newly elected Board position terms begin in January of next year.
The positions that are up for election this year for a full 3-year term are:
Marketing Director (2023-2025)
Vice President (2023-2025)
Please nominate your candidates* or nominate yourself for theposition of Treasurer, Marketing Director,orVicePresident. (please also specify the position)
Just email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Subject Line “FPA Board Nomination”:
1-2 paragraph summary of interest and qualifications for the position;
* Make sure that whomever you nominate is in agreement that they wish to be nominated before you suggest them.
Nominations will be accepted through November 6th, 2022.
Shortly after we have received the nominations, we’ll be sending out a voting poll/ballot and will provide information about each nominated person for you to review.
Thanks for your continued support and thanks for being FPA Members!
The history making greatest gathering of Freestyle Disc Hall of Fame members ever assembled took place in Santa Barbara, California the weekend of October 8 to celebrate the inductions of the (pandemic delayed) 2020 class and the 2022 class. Santa Barbara is famous for Palm Park, site of so many jams by so many of the legendary sports icons.
Special thanks goes to Skippy Jammer and the HoF committee for all the hard work putting this special moment together for all of us. I got to see first-hand only a small part of the work Skippy and team did to put this together and that was enormous. It is so important to keep our history alive so new generations have a connection to our past.
The general hosts were the celebrated Santa Barbara Beach Jammers (YJIW!) with superhosts Hot Tub Gerry and Marie Geare, Pre-Party James “The Gusman” Emerson, Jay Hinkle, Dave Zeff and the rest of the crew. Look for the next YJIW event in March 2023!
Thank you Bill Wright, Brian Hayes and the FPA for providing all inductees with special schwag! Look for an upcoming FPA auction for an opportunity to get some signed discs.
The site of the induction ceremony was the ridiculously beautiful Oakleigh in Montecito in the hills above Santa Barbara. The event hosts were disc friends Architect Jeff Shelton (The Montecito Muse), great humanitarian Tom Cole (Link to the website) along with Linda and Karen. To warm up for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Oakleigh hosted Jackson Browne the week before for an African Women Rising fundraiser (Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey was in attendance).
Here is the list of the inductees as presented with links to their biographies if available:
Everyone gave great speeches with a broad array of delivery and messaging, some scripted, some more free-spirited. Especially compelling was the heartfelt openness of everyone. Interesting that it seemed to evolve more into “life” than just freestyle.
There were a number of HoF inductees from previous classes and some future HoFers in attendance adding a historical connection to the gathering. Current Hall of Famers in attendance included Dan “Stork” Roddick, John Z Weyland, Joey Hudoklin, g rose, Skippy Jammer, Steve Hubbard, Larry Imperiale, John Jewell, Cynthia Birch, Bethany Sanchez, Suzanne Strait, Chipper Bell, Jim Benson, Connie Bond, “Crazy” John Brooks, Arthur Coddington, Clay Collera, Evan David, John Houck, Mary Lowry, Stacy McCarthy, Dave Lewis, Deaton Mitchell, Joel Rogers, Carolyn Hubbard, Dave Schiller, Bob “Friz” Coleman, Gary Auerbach, Lori Daniels, Allen Elliott, Rodney Sanchez and Paul Kenny.
This was the place to be. There were a number of reasons why as I will try to list below.
It was the first gathering for many of us post-pandemic and there was so much pent-up emotion. Kate Dow’s brother said some words about his sister with not a dry eye in the house, especially when he brought up her children. So many have a close connection with her and her contribution to freestyle was enormous.
Also unable to make the ceremony and sorely missed were Chris Baker (RIP), Jim Palmeri, Joakim Arveskar, Brian Hayes and Randy Silvey.
There were so many mini-reunions it was hard to keep up. It reminded me of when there is a particularly awesome jam, do not jam bust!
It appeared more of the male inductees cried than the women inductees!
Great to see Doug and Jeanne Korns!
Lui and Clay flew in from Italy to attend….Musica!
Great to see local icon and the father of the Santa Barbara disc scene, Tom Shepherd, in attendance!
It was noted how freestyle changes so many lives, from life partnering, moving to different locales to the cute story of 8 year old Tom Cole being dropped off at Palm Park by his Mom and just left there to absorb the freestyle “shenanigans”!
The most compelling aspect of the presentations were the “origin stories”. From exposure in educational classes, to seeing someone in a park or on TV, it was informative to learn about how each was triggered to make freestyle a lifelong passion. The spectrum of these origins included how some were drawn to freestyle from other sports such as basketball, swimming and dance showed the broad spectrum of our collective personalities and in how it manifest in how each person’s style developed.
It was notable how many people made the point of how influential women are to the sport and how there is no difference in ability or depth of game. This is one element of freestyle that makes it so different from many other sports and why it is so awesome!
It was with a heavy heart that all of us simultaneously found out that Santa Barbara native and the best freestyle photographer ever (as well as skateboard and other sports) Scott Starr had passed away while we were all there. The initial reaction was a stunning sadness and grief. It then turned into tears of joy as we all recalled how much Scott gave to our sport and that he was emotionally connected with all of us at this very historic time. There was so much emotion before we found out and this just took it over the top. Thank you Scott.
Here’s a preview of the 2022 HoF minis:
FPAW’22 is over, and what a great tournament with such a high level of play and so many international players. These memories are indelible already!
Congratulations to all the winners! Here are the podiums of each division: