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SUZANNE “SUZ” FIELDS

Inducted: 2004 – Inaugural Class

Current Home: Haiku, Hawaii

Born: September 1, 1953                    


Suzanne “Suz” Fields was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of a separate women’s division for Ultimate and the first Women’s Director of the UPA beginning in 1981. A classic thrower who held the women’s distance record at 239 feet for over a decade, she began her Ultimate career playing with men’s teams at UMass and even went to the 1980 Nationals with Boston Aerodisc. Suz, together with Michelle Pezolli and Louie Cohn, successfully proposed the initiation of an all-women’s division of play at the UPA Club Championships in 1981. Her team, Boston Ladies Ultimate, won that first wqomen’s title. Suz organized the USA women’s team which won the first World Ultimate Championship in Sweden in 1983, played with various national caliber teams throughout the 1980s, and was a part of the first Masters Division World Championship team in 1990. A tireless promoter of Ultimate, she was responsible for Ultimate being included in the Massachusetts Bay State Games in 1987. Suz is still playing in a local league in Hawaii and continues to be involved in Ultimate affairs today. 

 


Playing Career | US Nationals | WFDF Worlds | Contributions & Service | Other Accomplishments | Personal Life

Playing Career 

  • University of Massachusetts – learned to play Utimate in 1977 in an environment where the games were rated on a scale of 1 to 100, based upon how much "fun" you had
  • Moved to Boston in Summer of 1977 and discovered organized Ultimate at Boston University. She met Toby Lou, Leif Larsen, and Buz Laughlin, Keith Armstrong and others and began to play for Boston Frisbee Club which evolved to Boston Aerodisc
  • Participated at Nationals with Boston Aerodisc in Atlanta in 1980. Was involved as fundraiser and administrative help to secure first ever Nike sponsorship for an Ultimate team
  • While playing with Boston Aerodisc, was invited by Louie Mahoney to play with the fledgling women’s team, Boston Ladies Ultimate (BLU). Helped to organize the team and functioned as co-captain
  • As luck would have it, Boston Ladies Ultimate was the winner of that first Nationals title in 1981
  • In 1983, the Spinsters were formed – participated in any / all tournaments including April Fools, Easters, Boulder, Nationals in 1983 and 1984
  • Participated in the World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden on Melting Pot representing U.S. Women, organized and captained the team and won the tournament with eight players
  • In 1986, Smithereens was formed & participated in all major (and minor) tournaments including Nationals in 1986, 1988, and 1989
  • In 1989, Smithereens traveled to the first ever WFDF World Club Championships in Germany and came in second to the Santa Barbara Condors
  • Started a corporate team for Johnson & Johnson in 1988
  • In 1990, was selected by the UPA to represent the USA’s first ever Master’s Co-ed team to compete at the World Championships of Ultimate and Guts in Oslo, Norway from July 6-14
  • Moved to Maui in 1995 and have played ultimate there ever since
  • In 1997 and 2004, played at Kaimana Klassik in women’s division. First, the Birds of Paradise from Maui and more recently, Supertramp, comprised of all Hawaii women
  • Couldn’t miss a tournament with the reputation and size of Potlatch; played with a Hawaii team in July 2005
     
  

[PHOTO CREDIT: Stuart Beringer]
 

US National Championship Tournaments  

Name    City    Year    Venue    Placing
Boston Aerodisc   Boston   1980   Atlanta   Second
BLU   Boston   1981   Austin   First
Spinsters   Boston   1983   New Orleans   Semis
Spinsters   Boston   1984   Santa Barbara   Semis
Smithereens   Boston   1986   Houston   Semis
Smithereens   Boston   1988   San Diego   Semis
Smithereens   Boston   1989   Miami   Semis
Ten Years After
(Women’s Masters)
  Boston   1991   Sanford, FL   Quarters

 

WFDF World Ultimate Championship Tournaments

Name   City    Year   Venue   Placing
Melting Pot    National Team   1983    Gothenburg, Sweden    WUGC-First
Smithereens   Boston   1989   Karlsruhe, Germany   WUCC-Second
USA Masters   National Team   1990   Oslo, Norway   WUGC-First

 


Contributions and Service 

  • 1980: Flying disc League of Women (FLOW) – Coordinator for Ultimate for the first (and only) organization dedicated to promoting women and disc sports. Served through 1980 until the formation of the Women’s Division of the UPA. 
     
  • 1981: Organized Women’s Division of UPA 
     
  • 1981 to 1984: Women’s National Director of the UPA. Worked to establish the division and organized first ever and subsequent National Championships. Helped growth of women’s division from 50 to more than 80 teams. 
     
  • 2004: Kathy Pufahl Spirit of the Game Award. As a member of the "Friends of Kathy," worked with a committee of Kathy’s friends and former teammates to craft a proposal to the UPA Executive Board to establish the Kathy Pufahl Cande Spirit of the Game Award, which was inaugurated at the 2004 UPA Series Championships. 
     
  • 2004-Present: UPA 25 Alumni Celebration at the 2004 UPA Club Championships. Crafted a proposal to present to the UPA executive committee to fund and support the UPA 25th Anniversary Celebrations at the 2004 UPA Series Championships. Currently serving as Alumni Director and Chair of 2008 Alumni Reunion Committee. 

    In the early years of being Women’s National Director, she had many opportunities to be a spokesperson both for ultimate and for women’s Ultimate and was even quoted in Women’s Sports and Fitness, the Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and other magazines and newspapers. 

    As a Governor-appointed member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Committee for Physical Fitness and Sports from 1980 to 1987, Fields was involved in helping to establish the Bay State Games and proposed the successful inclusion of Ultimate Frisbee in the team sports. 

    Worked with staff at the Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham, Mass., to teach the middle school children how to play ultimate. 
     


 

  



Other Accomplishments 

Cited in the Guiness Book of World Records from early 1980’s until early 1990’s as world record holder in indoor distance throwing with a disc at 239 plus feet 

From 1979 to 1989, competed in the World Championship Series for individual events, as well as the World Championships/Rose Bowl at UC Irvine and at Santa Cruz. Consistent top competitor in distance, golf, accuracy, discathon, Maximum Time Aloft (MTA), and Throw, Run and Catch (TRC). 

Held various world records and tournament records in distance over the years. Consistently won the New England Events Championships throughout the 1980s. 

In 2005, Suzanne "came out of retirement" and participated in the Worlds Masters tournament in San Diego and competed in distance, golf, MTA/TRC, freestyle , DDC, and discathon. 

Personal Life 

Suzanne lives in Hawaii and is a Sales Manager with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan – Hawaii, where she is responsible for sales of worksite health and productivity programs and occupational medicine services to employers throughout Hawaii. A member of Lae Ula O Kai outrigger canoe club, Suzanne has added canoe paddling, stand-up paddling, surfing, scuba, and boogie boarding to recreational activities. She still plays in a local league in Hawaii and continues to be involved in Ultimate affairs today. 

 



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