Ultimate Frisbee, or just Ultimate, is a fun, competitive game that can be played by people of all ages, body types, and skill levels. Games can be as friendly or as competitive as you like, and variables such as number of players, field size, etc., are extremely flexible. These factors make the game very popular among college and high school students, and make organizing a quick game a breeze.
In order to play a game of ultimate, you will only need players, a field that is at least moderately flat, and a Frisbee. No other equipment is necessary. You will likely need six total players at minimum (two teams of three), but if possible, an eight-player minimum is ideal (two teams of four). Your field can be of any size, but a regulation field (played on by 7 vs 7 man teams) is 120 yards long by 40 yards wide, with 25-yard “end zones.”
The rules for ultimate closely resemble a combination of soccer and basketball, but contains elements of other sports. One team begins with the Frisbee, and “throws off” the disc to the opposing team, similar to a kickoff in American football. The goal of the team with possession of the disc are to pass the disc to a player in the opposing teams end zone. The goal of the team without possession of the disc is to cause the opposing team to lose possession of the disc before reaching the end zone. The end zone is the same as an end zone in American football or rugby.
Passing to a player in the end zone results in a point. Games can be played to a total number of points, or for a set amount of time. Timed games are played like soccer, with a running clock and two halves.
Players that are holding the Frisbee are not allowed to walk or run in any direction. They must remain stationary, but can pivot on one foot within a single steps distance. The player with the disc is allowed to throw the disc in any direction, using any throwing style he or she desires. When the disc touches the ground or goes out of bounds as a result of being dropped, poorly thrown, or defended, it becomes the possession of the opposite team.
A player holding the Frisbee may be “marked,” or contested by a player on the opposing team. The contesting player can stand within 1 meter of the player holding the disc, and can use any part of his or her body to attempt to disrupt a pass. The defending player may contact any part of the Frisbee, but may NOT contact any part of the hand, arm, or body of the person attempting the throw. If contact to the offensive player is made, a foul can be called and the possession of the Frisbee is returned to the throwers team.
Fouls and contact are called on rules similar to basketball. Generally speaking, there is no contact of any kind. However, some colliding while receiving passes or attempting to intercept passes is unavoidable, and fouls can be called for unnecessary or excessive roughness.
Ultimate is a great way to have some fun with your friends, and also offers outstanding cardiovascular exercise. Next time you have a free evening or weekend, call up some of your friends and try it out!