About Ultimate: The Basics

Ultimate is a high-energy sport that combines the best aspects of sport. Ultimate players outrun, out-jump, out-throw, out-catch, and out-think their opponents all while showing a healthy respect for the spirit of sportsmanship.

Field layout

Ultimate is a non-contact field sport played by two teams of seven players each. The object of the game is for a team to pass the disc from player to player, all the way up the field, and catch the disc in their end-zone, which scores a point. Players cannot run with the disc, but must plant a pivot foot (as in basketball) and throw the disc to a teammate. When holding the disc, a player gets ten seconds to throw it.

If the offensive team fails to complete any pass, whether through defensive effort or an unforced error, the former defensive team picks up the disc where it lands and works to score in the opposite direction. Defenses employ both man-to-man and zone strategies in their attempts to force a turnover.

The most important part of Ultimate is The Spirit of the Game. This is used to describe the respect that every player in the game has for the rules and their fellow players. No referees exist. Instead, the players themselves officiate. Implicit in Ultimate is the assumption that no one will cheat to gain an unfair advantage and everyone will abide by the Rules.

This principle is what makes Ultimate special to so many people, and all Ultimate players try to keep the Spirit alive by maintaining this high level of trust, no matter how competitive the game becomes.

The best way to see how Ultimate is played is to find a local league in your area. Ultimate players share a great camaraderie, and they LOVE to introduce new players to the sport. So come on out and play!

Ultimate Strategy

There are a number of online resources for Ultimate strategy, but if you're looking for some of the basics you can read this Ultimate Strategy write-up by TUC Hall of Fame Inductee John Harris.