Ultimate Frisbee Rules

Ultimate Frisbee Rules Explained

The Headquarters for Ultimate

Ultimate Frisbee rules!  That's what most people say after a hard fought game.  Ultimate Frisbee, also known simply as Ultimate, is a game played between two teams on an Ultimate field.  It's similar to flag football in that one team is on offense and the other is on defense, with the offensive team trying to get the Frisbee (also known as a disc) into the end zone through the air.  Although the competition level between two teams is usually very high, sportsmanship is the main guideline for each game.  The Ultimate Frisbee rules and regulations are as follows:

Ultimate Frisbee Rules
-Ultimate Frisbee rules dictate that each team has 7 players on the field at a time.  
-Players cannot substitute in the middle of a point, it can only occur once one team has scored and the point is over.  An exception to this is if a player gets injured.
-To decide which team starts on offense and defense, two discs are flipped by one of the team captains.  The captain of the other team then calls same or different, which is whether both discs land with the same side facing up, or different sides facing up.  Based on the result, the team that wins this decides if they want to start on offense or defense.
-Ultimate Frisbee rules state that each team lines up on the goal line that they are defending.  The game starts with the disc being thrown by the team starting on defense.  Think of a kickoff in football, except a disc is thrown.
-If it lands out of bounds, you take the disc at the point where it went out of bounds.  If it goes through the end zone, you start at the goal line.
-You advance the disc down the field by throwing it.  The thrower must keep one pivot foot on the ground at all times.

 -According to the Ultimate Frisbee rules, a defender is allowed to get within one disc space when guarding someone with the disc.  They can also do a stall count, where they count up to 10.  If the offensive player hasn't thrown the disc by the time the defender counts to 10, it's a turnover.  If the defender doesn't do a stall count, the offensive player can hold on to the disc for as long as they want.
-You cannot run with the disc.  Once you catch it, you have to make an attempt to stop as soon as possible.  You then look for a teammate to throw the disc to.
-If the disc hits the ground, or a defensive player intercepts the disk, it's a turnover and the defensive team immediately becomes the offensive team.
-The game continues back and forth until one team scores.  
-A team scores by having one person throw the disc to a teammate who catches it in the end zone.  The first team to 13 points, win by 2, is the winner.  
-Halftime occurs when one team gets to 7 points.
-A compromise may need to be reached by the team captains if you're starting to run out of daylight and the game isn't close to being over.  The team captains need to use their best judgement in this situation, because it isn't clearly defined in the Ultimate Frisbee rules.


After learning all of the Ultimate Frisbee rules, it's important to know what you'll need for each game.
-Rubber cleats are recommended.  You're likely to slip and fall when wearing regular tennis shoes.
-Shorts and a jersey.  If you don't have jerseys, you can coordinate so each team wears a specific color shirt.
-Cones to mark the end zones
-Water or sports drink

 -I recommend wearing long socks if you plan to dive or slide while going for a disc.  Your legs can get tore up pretty quickly otherwise.  Plus they make you look extra cool!

The Ultimate Frisbee rules are pretty easy to understand, once you have a game or two under your belt.  It's a great form of exercise and an easy way to spend some time outside.  One thing I don't think those new to the sport understand is how much running is involved.  You're constantly moving (running, cutting, jumping), while on offense and defense, until one team scores, which can sometimes take quite a while.  You can then sub new people in after a point if you need a rest. 

You may also want to develop strategies once you have a good handle on all of the Ultimate Frisbee rules and regulations.  Some common strategies deal with playing zone defense, as well as deciding what to do on offense if the team you are playing is using a zone defense. 

The number one thing with Ultimate is sportsmanship.  Poor sportsmanship is not tolerated and I haven't experienced it very often in my years of playing.  Be a good sport, learn the Ultimate Frisee rules, play hard and have fun!