Footbag Reference: Groups:HOF/2004

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Footbag Hall of Fame: 2004 Inductees

52. Sam Conlon

Sam Conlon
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Sam has over 20 world championships including 4 women's singles titles in a row helped define her career in tournament play. This queen of smoothness has a great spirit and has taken that to teaching and demonstrating worldwide. An inspiration to all that meet her, a true ambassador for the sport.
  • The sports future?

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53. Peter Irish

Peter Irish
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I was given my 1st hacky sack in 1982 by my father. It sat around for a few years before it was picked back up again, around 1985. When I started playing again in '85 I became immediately addicted and began practicing consecutives daily for hours, ultimately kicking 10,000 consecutives. Attended East Coast Championships in 1986 and discovered freestyle, and have been practicing ever since.
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
    • I was a skateboarder back in the mid 80's, 1983-1985, skating vert half pipes. After my second broken arm due to skating ramps I started kicking my hacky sack with a cast on my arm. Over the years I have also been involved in the following activities seriously along with footbag: juggling, hung fut and chien lung kung fu and tai chi.
  • Major achievements?
    • My first tournament was the 1986 East Coast Championships.
    • First professional victory in pro freestyle was at 1989 East Coast Footbag Championships. This was the first drop less routine in East Coast history and the 4th drop less routine ever. First world championship was 1991, singles freestyle world championship. Subsequently won 1992, and 1993 world singles freestyle titles, being the only man to win 3 titles in a row until Vasek tied that record this year. During this time made 2 appearances on MTV sports. 1994-1995 toured with Creative Athletics doing 3-5 school shows a day. Won the 1995 World singles Freestyle Championship. In 1996 appeared for the first time on the shirt for the world championships and won the Team Freestyle world championship with partner Eric Wulff. Also around this time appeared on the cover of Footbag World magazine. 1995 moved to San Francisco to do juggling shows with partner Tim Kelly. Worked on Pier 39 in SF showing thousands of people footbag and juggling. In 1997 won the Singles World Freestyle Championships once again. Around this time traveled to Japan to perform.
    • In 2000, I appeared for the second time on the shirt for the world footbag championships. 2001 first person to ever juggle 3 balls on hands and 3 balls on feet at same time; developed own style of juggling incorporating manipulating balls between hands and feet. 2002-present co-director of East Coast Footbag Championships. 2004 tied the record for most years in a row in freestyle finals--14, only person to place in top 5 for 14 years in a row.
    • I am a founding member of Big Add Posse. Most drop less routines ever performed with 25. Had direct effect on the evolution of the concept of shred in footbag freestyle. Featured on every major freestyle video including Raw Shred, Aggressive Grounds, Where the Ripwalk Ends, Tricks of the Trade 2, Sick 03, Champions League, ect. Continues freestyling at the highest level in competition and circle shred, currently placed 4th at 2004 world footbag championships. Continues to perform shows from home in the Washington dc area, and maintains a private practice of acupuncture.
  • The sports future?
    • The future of the sport of footbag seems to be in its expansion around the globe, as evidenced by the scene in Europe. The standard level of play is already so high that kids discovering the sport are already working from an advanced starting point. Most new freestylers are getting in to the game as young teenagers, and we will see the age getting younger. The future of freestyle is a mind boggling level of play and conception that is currently being introduced by the golden child, Vasek Klouda.

Peter Irish 02.jpg Peter Irish 03.jpg

54. Jody Welch

Jody Welch has sole.
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I begun playing footbag with my husband Brent Welch in 1986.
  • Your own personal comments and notes(2007)?
    • Since 1986, I still play Footbag. Besides having the pleasure of playing and winning mixed doubles at multiple worlds events with my husband, I have had two great women doubles partners, Tricia George and Julie Symons. I'm currently a teacher and a mother of three boys and I still love playing the game.
  • Major achievements?
    • Worlds Women's Overall - 88, 89, 90
    • Worlds Women's Single Net - 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 01, 02, 03
    • Worlds Womens's Doubles Net - 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 02
    • Worlds Mixed Doubles Net - 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97
    • Worlds Women's Single Freestyle - 89,
    • Worlds Women's Doubles Distance One Pass- 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 98, 99
    • Worlds Women's 5 Minute Timed Concecutives - 90 and 91
    • 2003 Mike Marshall Award with Brent Welch, which was accepted in Prague.
  • The sports future(2007)?
    • As for the future of footbag, it is a sport that brings people together and offers players a range of participation from the highest levels of footbag net and freestyle to circle kicking with friends.

Jody Welch 02.jpg

55. Brent Welch

Brent Welch in the Golden Years.
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I worked as a raft guide in California in 1979 and 1980. I think I may have seen my first footbag in 1979 at Yosemite. And, the first time I kicked there were about 20 people in the circle and I kicked it like twice. But, in 1980 my friend Phil Henderson visited from Corvalis and we kicked just one-on-one and it was great fun. I couldn't find one to buy, so he sent me one later that fall when I was back in Boulder. My other good friend, Chris Spain, and I kicked every day after that.
    • It took me a while to get my own, but I was instantly addicted. After about three weeks I think my record was 9 or 17 kicks. I reached 100 after a couple months, I think.
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
    • What else were you doing at the time? Nothing, I was completely displaced. I was also taking Karate at the time, and rock climbing. But, I kept with footbag. Also, in 1982 I saw Mag Huges and Bill Hayne, and they were playing over a net! I was so amazed to see them kick the footbag back and forth 20 feet apart, with total control. Chris Ott and I started playing Net after that. When I went to grad school in Berkeley I hooked up with Bill Langbehn, Niel Fischer, Brent Stewart, Colin Cowles, Etienne Constable, Jody Badger, and Julie Symons. We played a lot of net and freestyle.
  • Major achievements?
    • Bill Langbehn and I set the 1-pass world record at 10,454 kicks. I believe that was in 1987. That record stood for a few years until Andy Linder and Ted Martin passed us up.
    • Jody Welch and I have won the Mixed Doubles Net world title 7 times and went to the finals 11 times in that event.
    • I went to the finals in Open Doubles Net twice, the first time with Jim Caveney in 1991 and the second time with Alf Marcussen in 1995(?). I believe we were beaten by Kenny Shults and Randy M both times.
    • I went to the final round in freestyle quite a few times, especially in team with partners Bill Langbehn and Etienne Constable. I think my highest team freestyle finish is 2nd place, and my highest singles finish was a fluke 3rd place when I placed ahead of Ricky Reese (!)
    • I was tournament director for many tournaments, starting with the first one in Berkeley in 1987 with Etienne Constable. We hosted many Western Regionals at Berkeley.
    • Later our club (BAFL) hosted the World Championships in 1994 and 1995.
    • I've painted a lot of net courts over the years.
    • I typed in the first edition of the Official Rules of Footbag Sports, and did the updates for the first few editions.
    • I created a freestyle scoring program, two versions, and was freestyle tournament director at the World Championships several times.
    • I created a registration program that has been used at several of the more recent world championships. It links to the registration system and is available for use with any tournament. Ask me about it.
    • 2003 Mike Marshall Award with Jody Welch, which was accepted in Prague.
  • The sports future?
    • Footbag is here to stay. I hope that Footbag Net retains its critical mass and continues to gain popularity. Its hard, but its great fun. We need continued exposure in schools via touring, and we need folks to set the net up regularly and invite newcomers to play.

Brent Welch 02.jpg Brent Welch 04.jpg Brent Welch 05.jpg

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