What is Ultimate Frisbee?
Ultimate Frisbee is a fast-paced, non-contact team sport that combines throwing and catching skills with elements of American Football and Netball, the continuous flow of Soccer, and the offensive/defensive play of Basketball to create an elegantly simple yet fascinating and demanding game. Self-refereed, it is played by hundreds of thousands of people in more than 50 countries worldwide. To compete at the top level, Ultimate players require an incredible degree of speed, stamina and agility, yet the simplicity of the rules means it's easy and fun for newcomers to pick up. Ultimate is played indoors, outdoors and on the beach depending on the time of year.
In a wider sense the self refereed nature and resulting emphasis on fair play and good spirit ensure that the wider Ultimate community is a close one. Players at a university level are therefore introduced to a wide and inclusive community across the UK. As a result Ultimate players are able to join local and national teams with relative ease.
Ultimate is a game for two teams of seven, played on a field similar in size to a football pitch (see diagram). The last 18 metres at either end of the field are the “endzones”. A goal is scored when you throw the disc to a member of your team standing (or more likely running) in the endzone your team is attacking. Players cannot run with the disc. When a player catches the disc, they must come to a stop. A team can therefore only move the disc upfield by throwing it from player to player. The defending team takes possession if the disc touches the ground, or if they make an interception by catching the disc or knocking it to the ground in mid–flight. The game is noncontact — when contact between players does occur, it may be deemed a foul.
The winner is the first team to reach a previously determined number of goals, typically fifteen or seventeen.
Indoors and Beach
For Indoors and Beach Ultimate the pitch size is smaller and the teams are reduced to 5 a side. Aside from these adjustments the game remains the same.
Spirit of the Game
There are no referees in Ultimate. The players make their own foul calls and settle disputes according to procedures laid out in the Rules of Ultimate. Upholding the principles of fair play and “Spirit of the Game” during competition becomes a challenging responsibility for players and is one of the defining aspects of the sport.
"Spirit of the Game places the responsibility for fair play on every player. Highly competitive play is encouraged but should never sacrifice the mutual respect between players, adherence to the rules of the game, or the basic joy of play." (WFDF Rules of Ultimate).