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Finals Day at The Bite

The photos in this set are from the finals day at the '97 Worlds in Portland, Oregon, which took place during The Bite (an annual food festival at Waterfront Park), on Sunday, August 17, 1997. This gallery has other related information; click here to see the related information.

Crowd Scene
This gives you a sense of the energy at the event -- crowds surrounded the finals court and fans cheered on during the matches. At several points, the crowd actually did "the wave" all the way around the court. Even innocent bystanders who had no idea what footbag was were sucked in by the energy of the event. Photo by Tom Holt.
Mixed Doubles Final
Brent Welch (left) and Kenny Shults (right) in air-to-air combat as Jody Welch (background) prepares to dig whatever comes down. Shults and partner Tricia George succumbed to the finely-tuned Welch partnership in 3 games. The Welches have rarely lost a world championship. Photo by Tom Holt.
Open Doubles Semifinals
The open doubles semifinals saw many-time world champions Randy Mulder (left foreground) and Kenny Shults (right foreground) defend their title against the underdog team of Chris "Gator" Routh (left background) and his partner Dave "Dr. Fly High" Bernard (flying high). Photo by Tom Holt.
Dr. Fly-High
Dave Bernard (far side, in the air) makes no bones about his commitment to eliminating the "contact rule" that precludes contact over the plane of the net. In footbag, players may cross the plane to spike or block the bag, but are not allowed to touch the player on the far side of the court (nor the net) at any time. Photo by Tom Holt.
Out of Nowhere
Dave Bernard (Portland, Oregon) flies over the net in an attempt to hit an "ayatollah" out from the clutches of Kenny Shults' (left) deadly sole dink. Photo by Tom Holt.
Flying Over Portland
It may look like he's about to miss, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Kenny Shults' insane sweeping smash is only milliseconds away from driving the bag hard and fast into his waiting opponents' court. Photo by Tom Holt.
Kenny Shults
This is the classic form of Kenny's punching sole sweep, where he appears to be going for an inside sweep only to pass the bag and PUNCH it with his sole... This move can be entirely unpredictable, and is one of the reasons Kenny has rarely lost a final match once he's made it to the arena. Kenny retired this year from singles net after a hard-fought match with long-time friend and opponent Randy Mulder. Photo by Tom Holt.
Open Singles Final
In one of the most exciting and best attended final in the sport, Kenny Shults (shown here doing a flying "Kenny" outside scuff) attempted to grab the singles title from the clutches of rival Randy Mulder. His attempts, though exciting and meritorious, were no match for the sheer power and persistence of Mulder. In three games, with some amazing plays along the way, Mulder took the championship title, and Shults announced his retirement. Photo by Tom Holt.

Copyright © 1997, Sole Purpose Footbag Club of Portland

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