That member then raises an arm to indicate readiness to throw, at which point the members of the opposing team freeze in position. The thrower then throws the disc as hard as possible at someone on the opposing team. If the thrower misses the "scoring area" (a demarcated area a bit larger than the space occupied by the opposing team), or if a member of the receiving team catches the disc, the receiving team scores a point. If the throw is within the scoring area and the receiving team fails to catch, or catches but drops the disc, the throwing team gets a point. The receiving team then picks up the disc and becomes the throwing team.
The receiving team must catch the disc cleanly in one hand, and may not move from position until after the disc leaves the hand of the thrower. The disc may not be trapped between the hand and any other part of the body, including the other hand. This frequently results in a challenging sequence of "tips", rebounds of the disc off of receivers' hands to slow the disc down, often involving multiple players on the receiving team.
Play continues until at least 21 points have been scored by one of the teams and there is a difference in score of at least 2 points.
As guts evolved during the 1960s, players started throwing faster and faster, until it wasn’t unusual to see presumably unbreakable discs traveling at 60–70 mph shatter on impact with an unlucky defender’s hand. Catching a speeding disc directly was said to really "take guts", thus the name of the game. One tournament player even required fifteen stitches to close a gaping wound across the palm of his hand.
By the early 1970s, the game had spread across the United States and to other countries, with coverage on radio, television, major newspapers, and magazines such as Time.)
With over 60 teams at a tournament in the heyday of the game, matches became intensely competitive affairs, seeking the IFT’s Julius T. Nachazel Trophy. With radical curving shots, deflected Frisbees bobbled frantically among teammates, and spectacular diving catches, guts had become an extreme sport demanding fast reflexes, physical endurance, and concentration.
Since its rise in the 1970s, when even ABC’s Wide World of Sports was televising guts action, and numerous tournaments were springing up, from Toronto to Chicago and Los Angeles, the sport has gradually declined in popularity in America. Guts had been introduced in Asia by the toy company Wham-O in the 1970s, and by the 1990s it had become even more popular in Japan and Taiwan than in the US. Recent years, however, have seen pockets of strong new American players renewing competitive American interest in the game, also drawing some older players out of “retirement”.
The fiftieth annual International Frisbee Tournament (IFT), held in Hancock, Michigan, June 30 – July 1, 2007, included the largest-ever guts disc tournament, drawing players from all over the United States and Canada, and for the first time, two strong teams from Japan – including “Katon”, the WFDF World Champions.
As of 2007, the USGPA plans to induct some of the most outstanding players into the Guts Hall of Fame, joining Fred Morrison (inventor of the original Pluto Platter flying disc), the Healy brothers (inventors of guts and founders of the IFT), and “Steady Ed” Headrick (IFT champion and inventor of the standard “pole hole” basket used on modern disc golf courses).
There are no winners or losers in Slubber Guts. The game is best played with a large amount of players & many discs