Ultimate is fast-moving team sport which is sometimes compared to American Football or netball, but the truth is it’s unlike any other sport. There are no referees. The rules are simple, but the strategies are complex. And its played with a flying disc!
The game is played between two teams of seven players on a large rectangular pitch (a 5-a-side version can also be played in an indoor sports hall). A line drawn across the pitch at either end creates two "endzones", like in American Football. A goal is scored when a team completes a pass to a player standing (or more likely running) in the endzone which they are attacking. The winner is the first team to score a pre-agreed number of goals.
Players cannot run with the disc. When you get the disc you must come to a stop and try to throw it to another player (a bit like netball). If the disc hits the ground or is intercepted by the other team, then the defending team takes possession.
Fouls and "Spirit of the Game"
Ultimate is a non-contact sport where most contact between players can be deemed a foul... but there are no referees! Players make their own foul calls, and it is the responsibility of the players to settle disputes fairly according to the rules of the game. This is part of “The Spirit of the Game” – a central philosophy behind Ultimate that largely eliminates the gamesmanship and “off the ball” incidents that spoil other sports. And believe it or not, Ultimate's system of self-refereeing really works!
What you need to start playing:
- A marked-out field or sports hall
- A Frisbee (175g discs are preferred)
- At least 10 mates!