The early days
The Beach Ultimate Lovers Association – BULA was born in 1999 in Rimini as a movement to organize and promote Beach Ultimate. In fact, Bula Bula was often heard at Paganello. The concept was the brainchild of Gian Pietro “Jumpi” Miscione, Peldi and others in Rimini and a BULA mailing list was set up for all who were interested in making the sport grow.
April 2001: The first BULA meeting took place in Rimini, where a bunch of Ultimate legends met on a cold beach to discuss the future of BULA and Beach Ultimate. This resulted in a proposal with long term objectives being approved by 20 Beach Ultimate tournament organizers.
By July 2001, Patrick van der Valk was elected as the main BULA coordinator and he quickly assembled a volunteer group of 25 people from 12 countries: Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, UK, and the US.
The BULA mission is on!
BULA quickly started to help Beach Ultimate grow, becoming a provisional member of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) in February 2002 and producing an extensive tournament organizers help page with offers of discs, sidelines, and promotion. By November of that year, a BULA webpage was launched with royalty free high quality beach ultimate pictures for tournament directors to use on posters or offer to newspapers, and magazines.
BULA’s initiative to have at least one special tournament per year focused on promoting Beach Ultimate in areas that want/need growth kicks off with amazing success in December 2002 with. BULA’s Travelling Tournament in Brazil having players from 8 nations as well as TV coverage and being sponsored by Trident and Halls.
The second Travelling Tournament was held in Lanzarote (Canary Islands) in November 2003, where 60 players converged on the magical island shared in the wonderful hospitality of 15 local players. This tournament evolved into the now legendary CFC, one of the best and most competitive Beach Ultimate events every year!
Beach Ultimate Championships
Since BULA began, there have been many high level championships in some awesome beaches all over the world. The 1st World Championships Beach Ultimate took place in August 2004 and were a big success. Four divisions, 22 countries, 450 participants, played high level and windy Beach Ultimate on the largest stretch of sand in Europe in Figueira da Foz in Portugal. A “Magic Bus” took players from the Grass Ultimate championships in Turku, Finland to Portugal. Check out wcbu2004.org, for vintage ringtones, an online video, a virtual trophy, and many pictures.
The 2nd World Championships in Brazil were also unforgettable. For anyone travelling from the East, players left home in the Autumn, arrived in Brazilian Spring, welcomed Summer during the event and flew back to Winter! This four season event took place in beautiful Maceió, and the Open team from the Philippines stole the show.
Check out memories of the first European Championships which took place in May 2008 in charming Le Pouliguen, Françe, and the first Asian Championship that happened in Oct 2009 in Beach Ultimate paradise: Boracay Island in the Philippines.
The 3rd World Championships of Beach Ultimate was co-hosted with the WFDF, and took place in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy). Attended by 1,000+ players from 30 countries this unforgettable event was a solid sign that Beach Ultimate is an emergent sport!
This was once again obvious at the 2013 European Championships of Beach Ultimate, which were awesome! Hosted by BULA and WFDF and made possible by the local organization (thanks Peixets) the memorable event took place on the beaches of Calafell (Spain), 74 teams consisting of 1,150 athletes, 23 nations, 11 fields, 7 divisions.
The 2015 BULA & WFDF World Championships in Dubai have been the highlight of the sport so far. Fans at home were able to watch all the action at home. There was professional TV and online coverage of 4 showcase games each day, plus all the finals. There were video highlights, live scoring of all games, statistics, and deep social media immersion. A team of professional writers, photographers, and videographers provided very comprehensive coverage of the event.
The 2017 WFDF World Championships of Beach Ultimate, in association with BULA took place in Royan, France. It broke all interest records and 120 teams from 39 nations participated.
In 2018 BULA will have another first: the European Beach Ultimate Club Championships. Winners from National Beach Ultimate Club Championships are invited to play 26-28 Oct 2018 in Barcelona. The event will have room for 16 Men, 16 Women, and 16 Mixed teams.
BULA and the WFDF
BULA has had much help to make it grow, and one important mention is the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF). This partnership started in 2002 and has since grown into a fruitful collaboration. In May 2008 BULA and the WFDF collaborated to develop a new Spirit of the Game scoring system, which has currently been adopted globally. WFDF officially recognized Beach Ultimate as a sport in September 2010, and in 2015 the WFDF and BULA signed a second 4-year partnership agreement.