Ultimate at a Glance
What is ultimate?
“Ultimate” is played between two teams, each with seven players. It is played by throwing a frisbee (or “disc”) on a field. The field has rectangles at each end called “end zones” and is bounded by side lines and end lines. These lines, and everything outside them, is “out-of-bounds”. The end zones are separated from the main field by “goal lines”.
The attacking team (the “offense”) scores by passing the disc between themselves until they catch it in their opponent’s end zone. The defending team (the “defense”) tries to knock down or intercept the disc.
1. Starting a Point: Each “point” begins with the two teams lining up across their respective goal lines and indicating they are ready to start. The defense then throw the disc to the offense (this first throw is called a “pull”). The offense do not have to
catch this “pull” before it hits the ground.
2. Passing: A player may throw the disc in any direction, but may not run holding the disc (“travel”) – except to stop safely after catching – and may not throw the disc to themselves (“double touch”). The other offensive players try to run into
empty space (“cut”) to catch the disc.
3. Turnover: After the offense starts passing the disc, if the disc hits the ground, is touched by an offensive player who is out, or is intercepted by the defense, then the defense receives the disc and becomes the offense (a “turnover”).
4. Marking: The person with the disc (the “thrower”) may only be defended by one player at a time (the “marker”). The marker may not hit or grab the disc out of the thrower’s hand (a “strip”). The marker may start counting out loud by saying “stalling,
one”. As soon as the marker starts saying “ten”, it is a turnover.
5. Scoring: Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense’s end zone, the offense scores a point. The offense stays in the zone where it just scored and the defense walks to the other end zone. The two teams then switch roles – the offense becomes the defense (and vice versa) and a new point starts.
6. Substitutions: Players not currently in the game may replace players in the game (“sub”) only after a score or during an injury time out.
7. Non-contact: Ultimate is a non-contact sport and contact should be avoided. Contact that is dangerous or affects the outcome of the play is a “foul”. Only the player who was fouled may claim a foul – if they do, play stops.
8. Self-Officiating: There are no referees. Disputes should be resolved through calm discussion by the players directly involved or by players who had the best perspective on what happened. More experienced players can help explain the rules.
9. Spirit of the Game: Ultimate stresses sportsmanship and fair play (“spirit”). Competitive play is encouraged, but players should always respect other players, know and adhere to the rules, and ensure the game is fun for everyone.
1. Throw the disc to your teammates.
2. Don’t run holding the disc.
3. Score by catching the disc in the opposing team’s “end zone”.
4. Defend by trying to catch or knock down the disc.
5. If you are the “marker”, remember to count out loud starting with the words “stalling, one”.
6. Be safe. Don’t hit, hurt or collide with each other.
7. Be competitive, but fair, honest and respectful.
8. Have fun. Be nice to each other.
9. On offense, start learning how to:
a. “stack”, “cut”, and “clear out”.
b. “pivot” and “dump”.
c. ask your team what these words mean.
10. On defense, start learning to “mark”, “force”, “count” and “guard”
11. Your team will often use unfamiliar “Ultimate” terms – don’t be afraid to ask what these mean.