The game of friendship.

Ultimate for Dummies

Want to try Ultimate but don’t know where to start? Here’s how! This brief explanation of the gameplay will allow you to gain some insights about Ultimate!

This is a typical field and its dimensions used in world matches. 2 teams start in the respective end zones.

To win, a team member has to complete a pass to his/her teammate who is standing in the opposing end zone.

Players can’t run when in possession of the flying disc and can only use one of their legs as pivot.

Teams change possession when a pass is not completed. Below are 2 videos on how to pass by throwing a forehand or a backhand effectively by Brodie Smith.

There are no referees involved, there will only be observers who only steps in when there are conflicts. All decisions are first decided amongst the players.

Here is a summary of the rules into 10 simple points: (By UF)

1. Start of Ultimate Frisbee Play
To begin play the ultimate players from each team line up on their endzones and the defense team pulls (throws) the disc to the other team as a “kick-off”. Pulls are long throws, and they are thrown in efforts of giving the offiensive team poor field position and a chance for the defense to get down the field soon enough to stop advances. Teams consists of 7 players each.

2. Movement of the Disc
The disc may be moved in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. After catching a pass, a player is required to come to a stop as quickly as possible, and then can only move their non-pivot foot.

3. Scoring in Ultimate
A point is scored when a player catches a pass in the endzone his team is attacking.

4. Change of Possession
An incomplete pass results in a change of possession. When this happens the defense immediately becomes the offense and gains possession of the ultimate disc where it comes to a stop on the field of play, or where it first traveled out of bounds. Play does not stop because of a turnover.

5. Reasons for Turnovers

  • Throw-away — the thrower misses his target and the ultimate disc falls to the ground.
  • Drop — the receiver is not able to catch the disc.
  • Block — a defender deflects the disc in mid flight, causing it to hit the ground.
  • Interception — a defender catches a disc thrown by the offense.
  • Out of bounds — the disc lands out of bounds, hits an object out of bounds or is caught by a player who lands out of bounds or leaps from outside the playing field.
  • Stall — a player on offense does not release the disc before the defender has counted out ten seconds.


6. Ultimate Frisbee Fouls
A foul is the result of contact between players, although incidental contact (not affecting the play) does not constitute a foul. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession were retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the disc is returned to the last thrower.

7. Ultimate Player Substitutions
Teams are allowed to substitute ultimate players after a point is scored or for an injured player after an injury time out. In the case of an injury substitution, the opposing team is allowed to make a substitution for a non-injured player.

8. Refereeing
Players are responsible for foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes. This creates a spirit of honesty and respect on the playing field. It is the duty of the player who committed the foul to speak up and admit his infraction. Occasionally, official observers are used to aid players in refereeing, known as observers.

9. Ultimate Frisbee Strategies
Teams employ many different offensive strategies with different goals. Most basic strategies are an attempt to create open lanes on the field for the exchange of the disc between the thrower and the receiver. Organized teams assign positions to the players based on their specific strengths. Designated throwers are calledhandlers and designated receivers are called cutters. The amount of autonomy or overlap between these positions depends on the make-up of the team.

10. Spirit of the Game
Ultimate Frisbee is known for its “Spirit of the Game”, often abbreviated SOTG. Ultimate’s self-officiated nature demands a strong spirit of sportsmanship and respect

However, for uncompetitive play, the dimensions are not important. All you need is a few players, a flying disc and you can start a game of Ultimate! Ultimate is truly a sport that can be played anytime, anywhere. This is why we all love the sport! You will too!

Just for laughs:

Brodie Smith

Brodie Smith is a young American currently studying in the University of Florida. He began playing Ultimate since high school. He has made Ultimate a sensational sport with his unique videos. Here is a video of him doing trick shots with Ultimate discs:

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