The Aim of the Game
Ultimate is a non-contact, self-refereed team sport played with a flying disc (or Frisbee™).
Two teams of seven players compete on a playing field about the same length as a football field, but narrower. At each end of the playing field there is an end zone. Each team defends one endzone. They score a goal if one of their players catches the disc in the opposite end zone.
The player with the disc is called the thrower. The thrower may not run with the disc. Instead they move the disc by passing to team-mates in any direction.
The defensive team gets possession of the disc if an offensive team’s throw is not caught by a player of the same team. Then the defensive team becomes the offensive team and can try to score in the opposite end zone.
10 Simple Rules (USAU)
The Field: A rectangular shape with end zones at each end. A regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards, with end zones 25 yards deep.
Initiate Play: Each point begins with both teams lining up on the front of their respective end zone line. The defense throws ("pulls") the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.
Scoring: Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense's end zone, the offense scores a point. Play is initiated after each score.
Movement of the Disc: The disc may be advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc ("thrower") has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower ("marker") counts out the stall count.
Change of Possession: When a pass is not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception, stalled), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
Substitutions: Players not in the game may replace players in the game after a score and during an injury timeout.
Non-contact: No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.
Fouls: When a player initiates contact on another player a foul occurs. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone.
Self-Officiating: Players are responsible for their own foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes.
Spirit of the Game: Ultimate stresses sportsmanship and fair play. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.
Spirit of the Game
Spirit of the Game is the most important rule in flying disc sports. It is similar to Fair Play and sportsmanship, but there is a much higher emphasis put on it in (Beach) Ultimate. It is summarised in this preamble to the rules of play:
“All players are responsible for administering and adhering to the rules. Ultimate relies upon a Spirit of the Game that places the responsibility for fair play on every player. It is trusted that no player will intentionally break the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for breaches, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach.
Highly competitive play is encouraged, but should never sacrifice the mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.”
Actions such as intentional fouling, cheating, dangerous plays, disrespectful conversations, and other ‘win at all costs’ behaviour are contrary to the Spirit of the Game. Often a player is in a position where it is to his/her advantage to foul or commit some violation, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of the sport depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly.
As Ultimate is a self-refereed sport, maintaining Spirit of the Game is essential. Players must know the rules, be fair-minded and truthful, explain their viewpoint clearly and briefly, allow opponents a reasonable chance to speak and resolve disputes as quickly as possible, using respectful language.
Examples of good Spirit