As a boy growing up in Frankfort, Taylor G. Marshall and his brothers, Matt and Adam, spent a lot of time making their own fun, which included cooking up some imaginative inventions. One of Taylor’s childhood creations was an ingenuous recliner chair attached to roller blades used for travel in his neighborhood. Unfortunately, it ended up having a major design flaw — no brakes.
That little mishap hasn’t stopped Taylor from using his creativity as an adult. He regularly applies his artistry to his own home remodeling business, where he has built a niche in remodeling bathrooms. “I’m thankful to have found an occupation that uses my creative skills,” Taylor said.
Taylor juggles a life full of activities. He has practically rebuilt and renovated his home. A feature point includes a floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking Benson Creek. During the home remodel, he and his wife Vanna also made time to build a life with their two young daughters. “She (Vanna) has been a trooper when it comes to all of my projects,” Taylor said, grinning at her.
In what spare time he has, Taylor puts energy into a new game he has invented — TriFlecta. It’s a game that was born out of his passion for Ultimate. It’s website explains that the ultimate yard game of TriFlecta “engages players in competition as athletic or as ‘backyard-barbecue casual’ as you want. TriFlecta boards are light, collapsible …”
Trial and error
Still in the prototype phase, TriFlecta is the “ultimate yard game,” according to the TriFlecta website. “Creating this kind of happened by accident,” Taylor said, laughing. “I stumbled across a promotional kickstarter video of something called ZipChip. It’s basically a small rubber disc that people throw back and forth with no rules, just a game of catch. So, I’m watching this thinking that there should be a target.”
That was the beginning of Taylor’s journey, joined by a small team of dedicated family and friends, to develop the game of TriFlecta. He started by making a triangular target to throw discs through to score points. Along the way, he realized that a defensive element would make the game exciting. “When I added the deflection rule, where if the disc hit the target and was caught by the opposing player, the points scored would be lost. I realized that I had to move forward with this idea and make something of my own,” Taylor said.
From there, he added a stand to the back, but was struggling with throwing the small discs through the target holes. It just wasn’t working like he wanted and he kept searching for a solution. “It was like a ‘lightbulb above my head’ kind of moment. I was mowing the yard one day and it just hit me that my game would translate to using a regular Frisbee or disc that anyone can throw. I love Ultimate and have played a lot. It just made sense to use that size disc,” Taylor explained.
Taylor initially named his game Big Disc. “I just wasn’t sure about the name and eventually we settled on TriFlecta,” he said. “It comes from the three openings on the board and also the element of catching the deflected disc.”
Several iterations of the game TriFlecta have progressed in the last two years. There have been improvements in materials, as well as setbacks in determining the best route for production. “I’ve had to take a few steps back to think it all through,” Taylor remarked. “Luckily, I’ve had my brother, Adam, who’s a mechanical engineer, to help coach me through it. He’s the first person I call when I think of these ideas. I mean, we’ve been making and figuring stuff out all of our lives.”
Tournament and back yard ready
There have been two TriFlecta tournaments so far, providing motivation and critical information about how to proceed.
“I knew I had to show this to David Wu, who is partly responsible for bringing Ultimate to Lexington and maybe all of Kentucky,” Taylor remarked. “He really liked my idea and has been a great supporter and help to me. It was his idea to hold the 2019 Big Disc National Championship and he helped recruit people to participate. That first tournament gave us important feedback on the game.”
Fast forward to the 2021 Frankfort Octhrowberfest held in conjunction with Sig Luscher’s Octoberfest. “I owe a huge thanks to Tim Luscher for allowing us to be part of their event and we had great support from the community as sponsors. And I couldn’t have put on the tournament without the help of so many of my friends and especially my family,” Taylor said.
Twenty-five teams competed for a $1,000 first prize and $250 second prize. “We had an Ultimate tournament before the TriFlecta tournament. Many of the teams were from the Ultimate tournament, but we also had teams from the community. It was so great to see people playing the game and getting excited about it! This tournament was the best proof of concept yet,” Taylor said.
“We’re not yet at a selling point, but hope to make some decisions about manufacturing by spring,” Taylor remarked.
He believes that the more than three million Ultimate players in the United States present the primary target for his game of TriFlecta. He also knows that it’s an easy game for anyone to play and hopes that will make it successful with everyone.
“One of our goals is for TriFlecta to be that portable, lightweight game that you can throw in the trunk and take with you to a back yard or tailgate party,” Taylor said. “You can’t easily do that with a cornhole board and look how popular that game is.”
For more information, visit www.triflectausa.com.
Rules of the game
Two teams of two, standing on the same side as your teammate. One person throws three discs per round.
Play to 21. The top triangle is three points. Bottom two circles are each two points. A hit anywhere on the board is one point.
If a player catches a disc deflected off of the board, it clears the opposing team’s points that round.
The first team to 21 without busting over, wins. Regardless of who starts the game, the opposing team always has a rebuttal for a chance to tie. If they get to 21 without going over, they start a tie breaker.
Both teams begin at 15. The team scoring the most points at or above 21 with both teams using the same number of turns, wins. There can be multiple tie breakers to determine the winner.