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Ultimate Frisbee Rules and Regulations

This popular and fast-paced sport is more commonly known as 'Ultimate'. The rules and regulations of Ultimate Frisbee resemble netball, soccer, and American Football.

REGULATION ULTIMATE: Frisbee® is a registered trademark. Thus, the game gets called ‘Ultimate’ in many countries.

Around five million people compete in the US. Championship leagues are also growing in popularity around the United Kingdom and Europe.

Most of its fans believe the inventor of Frisbees to be the Frisbie Baking Company. Their empty metal pie tins got thrown around by college students for recreation in the 1920s.

The official game of ‘Ultimate’ was in fact created by students at Columbia High School in 1967.

The Ultimate Players Association (currently USA Ultimate) formed in 1979. Ultimate Frisbee has since been heavily popularized from its early years as a hobby sport – played mostly for fun.

Present day versions have become very competitive. The tournaments attract better athletes and ambassadors from all over the world.

Rules of Ultimate

Aim of Ultimate Frisbee Game

The principle aim of the game is to score goals. Players achieve this by flying the disc to other players who are inside the scoring zone of the pitch.

These are often called end zones like those in American Football Rules. The final 18 meters of the pitch at each end are the scoring zones.

Pitch Playing Field

As a rule, the pitch is 100 meters long by 37 meters wide with two 18 meter deep end zones at either end.

Ultimate Frisbee Equipment

The diameter of a regulation disc is 10.75 inches. Most professional Frisbees weigh around 175 grams.

Ultimate Frisbee Players

Two sides of seven players, each wearing bibs, will compete together. Ultimate Frisbee rules and regulations allow substitutions in a game.

General Regulations of Ultimate Frisbee

  • A ‘pull‘ starts the match as one side throws-off to the other.
  • Games are usually played over two 15 minute periods with a five minute break for half-time.
  • Players cannot run with the disc and they must stop moving when they receive it.
  • Players can pivot on one leg while they have the disc in their hand. That is a similar movement allowed in netball rules and regulations. But, competitors must release the flying disc within 10 seconds.
  • The flying disc goes to the other side if a pass hits the floor. The same rule applies if it gets intercepted or gets caught out of bounds by an opposing player.
  • Regulation Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport. Thus, all defenders must stand at least three meters away from the disc-holder.
  • Substitutions are only allowed:
    • After a goal gets scored.
    • After a goal before the throw-off.
    • To replace an injured player.
    • After allocated periods of play (but not during a timeout).
  • There is a strong spirit of respect and sportsmanship portrayed in the game. Only a fouled player may call or appeal for a foul.

Ultimate Frisbee Rules and Regulations for Scoring

Simply put, you can only score points by passing the flying disc through the air to one of your players in the end zone.

Ultimate Frisbee Umpires and Officials

Ultimate Frisbee rules and regulations are self-refereed or self-officiating. All players are responsible for administering and adhering to the rules of Ultimate.

The competition relies upon a Spirit of the Game (SOTG). It places the responsibility and free-spirited reputation for fair play on every player. So, it gets trusted that no player will ‘intentionally’ break the rules. Even so, there are no harsh penalties for breaches of the regulations.

Winning a Game of Ultimate Frisbee

As a general rule, Ultimate Frisbee games will play until the first side reaches 15 goals (sometimes 17). The winner is the team which scores a specified number of goals first or whoever scores the most goals in an agreed timeframe.

Advanced Ultimate Frisbee Rules UK


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Regulation Ultimate Frisbee Played in the United Kingdom