Ultimate Frisbee Rules and How to Play This Awesome Disc Game

Ultimate frisbee is growing in popularity because it is not only fun but is an incredible workout.  Ultimate Frisbee requires speed, strength, agility, and never gets boring unlike running on a treadmill. Not many other workouts have your running, jumping, and yelling for an hour. Plus making new friends while doing so.

One of my favorite things about playing it is the community and sense of positivity players exhibit. It is designed to be self governing where players call their own fouls.  Like your mother says, play nice!

There are leagues popping up for all different ages and fitness levels. While going for a run I saw a crowd of people around this soccer field. It was the summer and a professional hockey team that was doing their off-season training. Every morning they would start with a game for their endurance before hitting the ice. Each team had their own distinct and funny uniforms on, and I knew that Ultimate is going to continue to grow.

What is Ultimate Frisbee?

Ultimate is also known as Ultimate Frisbee or Ultimate Disc Toss.  Do not get Ultimate Frisbee confused with Disc Golf.  They are very different games.

The goal of the game is to score points by your team throwing your disc (or frisbee) into the other teams end zone and catching it. Since you are not allowed to run when you have the frisbee, you must advance down the field by throwing to a team mates.

The best thing about the game is that all you need is a few friends (preferably 7-on-7), a frisbee, and a field to play on.

See the official ultimate frisbee field dimensions below, if you have a set of cones, a rope or even use clothing or jackets you can turn any soccer field into an Ultimate Frisbee field. Bonus if you find a football field already with end zones. If you need the complete official rules they can be found here on usaultimate.org.

Ultimate Frisbee Rules:

Ultimate Frisbee is designed to be self governing, where players are expected to call their own fouls. In official tournament play they do have referees, but in all community and fun leagues you will oversee this.

Not only do players call their own rules, but it is frowned on to be rude or aggressive to others and is non-contact.

Almost all ultimate players not only call their own fouls, but normally out of politeness always side with the opposition in times of dispute. Keep reading for more on the code of ethics.

Each game consists of 2 halves of 24 minutes each.

How to Play Ultimate Frisbee Infographic

Start of the Game

The game is played with 2 teams of players with 7 on the field at a time for each team. There may be up to 5 substitutes with unlimited changes only at official stoppages.

The field above has end zones on each end as is 64 m by 37m with end zones on each side.  Once your field is setup and the teams are ready, then you must decide which team will start off with the frisbee. Flip a coin to decide who throws first and starts with possession.

Each team then lines up at their own end zone and waits for the throw. The other team will start off with the possession after half time.

Rules for Offense

The goal is to advance your way down the field by throwing the disc to your team mate.

You are not allowed to run with it, and once you catch the disc must stop immediately. You have up to 10 seconds to throw the disk and can take 1 step in that direction to throw the disc.

The defender will count out loud to make sure that you throw it during this time.

Rules for Defense

The opposing team will try to stop you by blocking discs in the air, intercepting, or forcing them to throw it out of bounds or drop it.

If this happens the other team will gain possession of the disc. The player now in possession of the frisbee has 10 seconds to throw, with the new defensive counting the time. The direction reverses, your team mates must reverse direction as fast as possible.

If the time counter is counting too fast, the player with the disc at the time is awarded another 10 seconds.

At no time can they come into contact with the other team, this is non-contact sport.

How to Score

Once a goal has been scored, both teams change end. To score you need to throw a flying disc (sometimes referred as frisbee) to a player where they are across the goal line or end zone. The disc must completely cross the end zone.

Rules for Substitutions and Timeouts

A team can take a 2-minute break, 2 times per half to talk strategy and rest.

Ultimate Frisbee Rules for Fouls and Contact:

This is a non-contact sport, picks and screen are also prohibited, and any time this happens a foul will occur. If any of the rules or fouls listed above or not completing a successful catch the other team gets possession. If the teams can not come up with an agreement, the play is redone.

Ultimate Frisbee is more then just a sport. The fact that you do not need refs, much equipment, and encourages team work makes working out fun.

Ultimate Frisbee is not just an outdoor beach for adults but a fun outdoor game for kids. Ultimate is picking up traction in schools and dozens of new leagues popping up every day.

However, it is very active so if you are looking for another frisbee game or one the many outdoor games make sure to check out other blog posts.

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