The Simple Rules of Ultimate Frisbee

An Easy to Read and Understand Guide to Ultimate

General Play

The object of the game is to pass the disc from team mate to team mate in order to gain progress towards the opposite goal line. The style of the field is very reminiscent of a football field. A large rectangular playing area with two end zones. A regulation field is somewhat similar then a football field in size at 70 yards in length, 40 yards in width and 25 yard end zones on each side. The style of play is very similar to soccer or basketball in that anytime a disc is dropped or possession is lost for any reason, the other team immediately assumes the offensive role and begins to pass the disc.

Starting a Game

The beginning of the game often begins with captains flipping the disc to determine who will start with the disc and what side will this will take place on. All points begin with players lining up on the end zone line that was determined from the disc flip. The defending team will "pull" the disc (or throw it) as far down the field as possible to the other team, much like a football kickoff.

In Game Movement

 The typical frisbee team consists of 7 players. Of course this number can be as little a 3 or as many as 10 depending on the size of field you are using. These players may move the disc by throwing the disc to an available team mate. A pivot foot must be established while throwing and obviously players may not change field position until they have released the disc. The team that is on the offense will typically have a count down to release the disc. Whoever is marking the person holding the disc is responsible for counting down from 10 seconds out loud and at a reasonable pace. If ten seconds is reached then the disc is turned over.

Officiating the Rules

Ultimate Frisbee is a great game that should be played with respect, equality, and humility. If any of the rules of the game are in question, the players are responsible for resorting the matter. A good guide for disputes over ultimate frisbee rules that cannot be settled is that the disc should be returned to the handler before the play and both teams roughly resume their positions before the problem occurred. A "replay" isn't always fair but it is typically how disputes are resolved. Fouls are identified by any contact between players. If a defensive player makes contact with someone catching or throwing a disc, a foul is a reasonable call at that time.

If a foul occurs while receiving a disc, the offended player (and no one else) may call a foul. If the foul is not contested by the offending player then the play resumes where the foul occurred. If the foul is contested then the disc goes back to the handler and the play is redone as described previously.

Spirit of the Game

Ultimate is a special game and should be played with that in mind. Many ultimate players adhere to "the spirit of the game" that transcends rules, strategy, wins, losses, and teams. The Spirit of the Game is the acknowledgement that no level of competition should diminish the honor of any player or the respect ultimate players should have for each other. Honesty, community, respect and plain old fun should "ultimately" govern decisions and attitudes on and off the field.