The sport of Ultimate Frisbee

The sport of Ultimate Frisbee



Ultimate frisbee, or colloquially known as “ultimate”, is a field sport that was invented in the 1960s rising out of the counterculture in the U.S. Although the sport doesn’t have a governing body of rules or a professional association, it is still a popular recreational game that’s played by more than 5 million North Americans every year.


How to play Ultimate Frisbee?


To play ultimate frisbee, one must first find a large enough playing field. The game can be played on a variety of surfaces -- including indoor or on the beach, but the game is most commonly played on natural grass or turf.


Aside from jerseys differentiating teams and a regulation frisbee (about 10.75 inches in diameter and 175 grams in weight), there isn’t much equipment used in the game. Players will have to know how to throw a frisbee with velocity, accuracy, and over long distances.


Rules of Ultimate Frisbee


  • If the game is played indoors or on a beach, teams will only have five members. On a larger grass field, teams will have seven members. The only “set” position in ultimate frisbee is the goalie -- every other player can move freely throughout the field.
  • There are no “set” dimensions to an ultimate frisbee field. However on grass, the playing field has similar dimensions to a football field (100 yards endzone to endzone with 18 yards extending back from each end zone, almost 40 yards wide).
  • The course of a game is tracked two ways: Either first team to 15 goals, or the team with the most amount of goals after two 15 minute halves.
  • Players can run routes in order to catch the frisbee, but once caught, they cannot move anymore. They must pass the frisbee off from that point -- however, they’re still allowed to pivot with one foot.
  • Players can only hold the frisbee for 10 seconds before having to pass it off. Anything beyond 10 seconds results in a turnover.
  • Players cannot wear gloves or any hand wraps that increase their chances of catching a pass.
  • If a pass hits the ground, is intercepted, caught out of bounds, or simply goes out of bounds, it is a turnover.
  • Substitutions are only allowed after a scoring drive or if a player has been injured.


One neat thing about ultimate frisbee is the friendly nature involved. Although there are a set of rules, nothing is set in stone. The flow of a game relies on players being self-regulators and having good sportsmanship. Because of this, the game is often played without a referee.





Written by: Devin Pickell

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