| Ultimate is a field sport that combines the nonstop footspeed and cutting of soccer,
the aerial beauty of basketball, and the scoring excitement of football. It is played with a frisbee.
Everyone is a quarterback and everyone is a receiver. |
Some say that... When a ball dreams, it dreams it's a frisbee...
| Each team has seven players on the field at one time. The Field is a rectangular
shape with endzones at each end. A regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards, with endzones 25 yards deep. Each point starts with both teams lining up on the front of their respective endzone lines.
Play begins with a long throw made by the defense to the offense. This serves as the kickoff.
We call it a "pull". |
The offense moves the disc up the field by completing passes between teammates. Players may not run with the disc. The offensive player with the disc ("thrower") has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower ("marker") counts out the stall count.
The defense tries to prevent this movement of the disc by forcing a bad pass or intercepting/knocking down a pass. A variety of "zone" and "man-to-man" defenses can be used. When a pass is not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
Each time the offense completes a pass into the defense's endzone, the offense scores a point. After a score, there is a pause in the action during which both teams make substitutions and call plays. Offense becomes defense, and play resumes with a "pull" by the scoring team.
Games are not timed, they are played to a score (traditionally, 11 or 13). A typical game lasts between one and two hours.
Ultimate is a non-contact sport. A foul occurs when contact is made, however, incidental contact is often not considered a foul.
| At the heart of Ultimate is something known as Spirit of the Game. This one feature
sets Ultimate apart from all other sports. The basic idea is that personal integrity, respect for yourself, and
respect for your opponent are more important than winning. In other sports they call it good sportsmanship, and
unfortunately it is rare. Ultimate is special because the game is built around the concept of competition with good
The last sentence in the official Ultimate Players Association Rulebook is: No set of rules can replace players' respect for one another and good spirit.
In practice this means that there are no referees, and each individual is responsible for calling his or her own fouls. In heated situations (e.g. the last point in the finals of Nationals) there is an incredible temptation to make calls that favor your team. You learn a lot about yourself and your teammates in these moments.
| The college season opens in late January and extends to College Nationals at
the end of May.|
In order to compete in College Nationals a student must:
1. be enrolled for two quarters including Spring quarter; and
2. have less than 5 years experience.
Tournaments are usually two day events. Saturday play consists of "pool play" which determines seeding for the elimination rounds on Sunday (quarters, semifinals, finals). Over the course of a weekend a team plays as many as eight games. This grueling format makes it advantageous to carry a roster of 20 to 24 players, though only seven play at one time.
| In the US, the Ultimate Player's Association (UPA) is the governing body
for the sport. This largely volunteer organization runs the National Series, watches over the sport, keeps a database
of teams, and acts as a clearing house for Ultimate players across the country. The phone number for the UPA