- Category: General Information
- Last Updated on 25 March 2007
What Is Ultimate?
Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, a game of Ultimate is played by two seven-player squads with a plastic disc on a field similar to a football field. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field.
Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees. Ultimate is played in more than 42 countries by hundreds of thousands of men and women, girls and boys.
Ultimate in 10 Simple Rules
The Field: A rectangular shape with end zones at each end. A regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards, with end zones 25 yards deep.
Initiate Play: Each point begins with both teams lining up on the front of their respective end zone line. The defense throws ("pulls") the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.
Scoring: Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense's end zone, the offense scores a point. Play is initiated after each score.
Movement of the Disc: The disc may be advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc ("thrower") has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower ("marker") counts out the stall count.
Change of Possession: When a pass in not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
Substitutions: Players not in the game may replace players in the game after a score and during an injury timeout.
Non-contact: No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.
Fouls: When a player initiates contact on another player a foul occurs. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone.
Self-Officiating: Players are responsible for their own foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes.
Spirit of the Game: Ultimate stresses sportsmanship and fair play. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.
The complete Rules of Ultimate can be found at: http://upa.org/files/11th_ed_Final_1_25_07.pdf
History of Ultimate
In 1968 a student named Joel Silver introduced his idea of Ultimate Frisbee to the Columbia High School student council in Maplewood New Jersey. The next year, the first game was played between two groups of students. Within a year, a team had been formed at the school, playing in a parking lot. The rules for the new game were “officially” written up by CHS students in 1970, and on Nov 7th, CHS played the first interscholastic game against Millburn High School.
As Columbia High School players graduated, they introduced the game to their new college campuses. The first college ultimate game was played between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1972; the two universities had played the first intercollegiate football game on the same ground exactly 103 years earlier. (Rutgers won both games by two points.) The first organized tournament, the National Collegiate Championships, was played on April 25th in 1975 at Yale University. That summer, Ultimate was introduced at the second World Frisbee Championships (a collection of individual skill events and other team games) at the Rose Bowl, aiding in the development of Ultimate on the West Coast.
The Ultimate Players Association (UPA) the national governing body for the sport of Ultimate in the United States, was founded in 1979. At the first UPA National Championships, held in November of that year, Glassboro State College defeated the Santa Barbara Condors 19-18. A women’s division was added to the competition in 1981, with the title going to Boston Ladies’ Ultimate (BLU).
The sport continued to grow and spread internationally. In 1983, the first true World Ultimate Championship was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Two club teams, representing USA, won open and women’s divisions. Ever since the 1984 championships in Switzerland, national teams compete in the world championships every other year, presently in Open, Women’s, Master’s, and Juniors (under 19) categories. In 2001, ultimate was included as a medal sport in the World Games in Akita, Japan. Six countries were invited to compete based on their finishes in the WFDF (World Flying Disc Federation) 2000 World Ultimate Championships in Germany. Canada won the World Games gold medal with an overtime victory over the United States.
Ultimate is now played by more than 100,000 players in over 42 countries, with the Ultimate Players Association in the US having nearly 25,000 members. Every fall, hundreds of teams vie for the opportunity to compete in the UPA National Championships in Open, Women’s, Mixed (co-ed) and Master’s divisions. Teams must pass through elimination competition in sectional, and then regional tournaments to qualify for Nationals. Similarly, in the spring the UPA sponsors a national collegiate championship series, and organizes Western and Eastern championships for high school teams. Many thousands of other players also participate in nearly 200 recreational leagues all over the country.