The early days
BULA (Beach Ultimate Lovers Association) was born in Rimini in 1999, created with the mission to help organize and promote Beach Ultimate. The concept was the brainchild of Gian Pietro “Jumpi” Miscione, Peldi and others from Rimini, and resulted in a BULA mailing list for all who were interested in making the sport grow. In fact, the jingle Bula Bula was often heard at Paganello.
April 2001: The first BULA meeting took place on a cold beach Rimini, where a bunch of Ultimate legends met to discuss the future of BULA and Beach Ultimate. The result was a proposal with long term objectives, which was approved by 20 Beach Ultimate tournament organizers.
By July 2001, Patrick van der Valk was elected as the main BULA coordinator and quickly assembled a volunteer group of 25 people from 12 countries interested in working towards Beach Ultimate development: Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, UK, and the US.
The BULA mission is on!
BULA was quick 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 help with 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 kicked off with amazing success in December 2002 – with BULA’s Travelling Tournament in Brazil. There were players from 8 nations as well as TV coverage, and sponsorship 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 and shared 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 awesome beaches all over the world. The 1st World Championships Beach Ultimate took place in August 2004 and were a big success. With four divisions, 22 countries, and 450 participants – everyone enjoyed 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 were the highlight of the sport thus. 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.
To further help Beach Ultimate grow, BULA started the European Beach Ultimate Club Championships., where winners from National Beach Ultimate Club Championships were invited to play 26-28 Oct 2018 in Barcelona. The event hosted 16 Open, 16 Women’s, and 16 Mixed teams.
In 2019 the WFDF European Beach Ultimate Championships, in association with BULA, we held in Portimao, Portugal with nearly 90 national teams from 22 European countries participating, where as the first WFDF Asian-Oceanic Beach Ultimate Championships were held in Shirahama, Japan with 42 teams from 9 countries.
In September 2021, BULA organized the World Great Grand Master Beach Ultimate Club Championship in beautiful Sardinia. It was a great success, with 12 teams from 8 countries including the mystical and mythical Currier Island. And in 2022 we are excited to host the second edition of European Beach Ultimate Club Championships, where the top three Club teams from European Nations that held Beach Ultimate Championships will compete to be European Champion.
Also in October 2022, 16 vintage teams from all over the globe (from USA to Japan) will compete at the World Great Grand Master Beach Ultimate Club Championship. Keep in touch on social media for all the details.
BULA’s parterships with WFDF and EFDF
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 grew into a fruitful collaboration to organize and host World and Continental National Beach Ultimate Championships from 2011 to 2019.
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.
WFDF’s and BULA’s partnership continue throughout 2020 and 2021, evident as a third multi-year agreement stating our mission to work together to develop Beach Ultimate. Starting in 2021, WFDF will be fully assuming the organization of World and Continental National Team Championships in order to standardize event organization.
In 2022, BULA announced the European Flying Disc Federation‘s endorsement of the European Beach Ultimate Championships 2022 – as an official event under the umbrella of EFDF. In January 2023, EFDF and BULA formalized their collaboration for the upcoming four years (2023-2026), to foster the recognition of Beach Ultimate and SOTG within Europe. The first chapter of this collaboration will be EBUCC2023 as a EFDF sanctioned event in Royan (FR) organized by EFDF, BULA and the Local Organizing Committee. EFDF and BULA are looking forward to a long and successful collaboration.