What is Ultimate Frisbee?

By Pedro Santos

Ultimate is a team sport that you may consider similar to rugby in its format but without any physical contact among players. The game is played on a pitch with two end zones where points are scored by collecting the disc inside those areas. The pitch can be imagined like a soccer pitch 37metres wide and 100metres long including two 18metres long end zones. The teams have 7 players on each side. The game starts with one of the teams making the Pull (throwing the disc from their end zone towards the other end zone). The team that pulls will then be the defenders. The other team will attack by passing the disc among their members with the objective of reaching and collecting the disc on the opposite end zone. The defenders recover the disc if they can intercept it, if it falls on the ground or if it flies out of bounds. Once they recover the disc they will start to attack immediately from the position where recovery occurs. Once a point is gained the scoring team will be the on the attack for the next play. In the beginning of the game teams agree on a number of scores to win.

To play ultimate you have to really work as a team maybe more that in any other sport because once you receive the disc you have to come to a halt as fast as you can and then you can only move the foot you are not pivoting on to throw the disc in the next 10 seconds to a team mate. There is no big chance for individualism like can happen in other collective sports where you can make field progression on your own.
Another incredible fact about this sport is that it is played without a referee, thus promoting a very good sportsmanship. In fact, Ultimate has an official “Spirit of the Game” (SOTG), a sort of mission statement that stresses sportsmanship and honor.