Ultimate Rules

Adapted from 11th Edition Official Ultimate Players Association

1. Introduction:

Description – Ultimate is a non-contact disc sport played on a field by two opposing teams. The object of the game is to score goals by catching the disc in the end zone of which the player is attacking. The disc is advanced by passing it to other players. It can be passed in any direction, but players are not allowed to run with the disc. Any time a pass is incomplete, there is a turnover and immediate change of possession to the opposing team.

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Spirit of the Game – “The integrity of Ultimate depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the game”. This game is based upon good sportsmanship and fair play. While it can be very competitive, there is an underlying respect and trust among competitors. At no time are taunting, cheating, dangerous aggression, malicious intimidation, intentional infractions or other “win-at-all-costs” behaviour tolerated. There are no referees in the league and thus, teams will self-officiate. It is expected that there will be a mutual adherence to the rules.
Active Diversions reserves the right to remove a player or team from the league (due to behaviour). The team or player will not receive a refund of any sort!

2. Time & Players:

• teams will have a 5 minute warm-up
• games will run for 55 minutes
• the game is completed when the convener blows the whistle at the end of 55 minutes; if the disc is in the air when the whistle is blown, the play counts
• 1st game will run from 6:35 -7:30pm ; 2nd game will run from 7:35-8:30pm
• all teams play 6vs6 with at least 2 of each gender on the field
• a team has 10 minutes after the official start time to field a team (minimum 4 players, 2 of each gender) before they default

•A default will be recorded as a score of 4-0 for the non default team
• each team is allowed a 1 minute time-out per game

* Every player must sign a waiver before the first game. If a new player is added to the roster throughout the season, the player must sign a waiver.

3. Equipment & Field Set-up:

• All Team members/players must be wearing the same coloured shirt when on the field of play (this colour will be designated before the season begins)
• cleats are allowed (NO metal spikes or bare feet)
• the convener(s) will set up the field, provide a disc, a basic first aid kit and will blow the whistle to start the game

4. Initiate Play:

• before the game, the captains will flip two discs and call odds (1 up 1 down) or even (2 up or down) to determine who will “pull” (throw) and who will receive
• at the beginning of the game and after each point, both teams will line up on the front of their respective end zone line and indicate when ready
• the defense “pulls” (throws) the disc to the offense
• the receiving team may:
1. catch the disc -automatic turnover if missed
2. let it fall – disc is played from where it lands in-bounds OR from where it rolled out-of-bounds

• if the disc is thrown directly out -of-bounds the receiving team will play the disc from the sideline or signal middle and move to the middle of the field. The disc must be checked in before play resumes

• a player on the throwing team may not touch the pull in the air before a member of the receiving team touches it (results in an automatic re-pull)
• the receiving player to get possession of the disc must put it into play immediately (they can’t give it to someone else to play it)

5. Movement of the Disc:

• the disc is advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate
• players cannot run with the disc
• the “thrower” (player with the disc) has 10 seconds to throw the disc
• the “marker” (defender guarding the throw) counts to 10 out loud (ie. Stall One… Stall two. this is called the stall count) , but must be within 3 meters of the thrower to begin the stall count. As soon as the “S” sound of stall ten is called the disc is dead and a turnover has occurred.

6. Scoring:

• a player cannot score from inside their own half. Marked by white pylons
• a tie=1 point, win=2 points, loss= 0 points

7. Change of Possession:

• a change of possession occurs when a pass is incomplete
• incomplete passes occur if the disc goes out-of-bounds, if it is dropped, if it blocked or if it is intercepted

Blocks – defenders may block or knock-down a pass with any part of their body, EXCEPT their feet ; no contact can be made with the opposing player (this results in a foul)

• the person who touches the disc first on the new offense must be the first thrower
• if two players catch the disc at the same time, the tie goes to the offense

8. Violations:

1. Traveling

Travelling can occur in three ways:

•The thrower does not keep all or part of the pivot foot in contact with a single spot on the playing field.

 •The receiver has obviously taken more steps than required to stop after catching a pass.

 •The receiver, after receiving a pass on the run, releases a pass after the third ground contact before coming to a complete stop.

 2. Strip

 •No defensive player may touch the disc while it is in the hands of the thrower. If a defensive player does do so, causing the thrower to drop the disc, the thrower calls “strip”.

 •The thrower then picks up the disc and play continues un-halted from the point where the thrower gained possession.

 •If a count was in progress as the disc was stripped, the count is temporarily halted until the thrower regains possession.

 3. Double-team

 •Only one marker is permitted to guard the thrower.

 •No other defensive player may establish a position within three metres of the pivot foot of the thrower, unless she/he is guarding another offensive player in that area.

 ·Should the thrower recognize a double-team situation, he/she first calls “double-team” as a warning. If the defensive team continues to double-team, the thrower calls double-team again and it is a violation.

 4.   Picks

• No player can establish a position, or move in such a manner, so as to obstruct the movement of any player on the opposing team; to do so is a “pick”. Picks are most often committed by the offence.

• The most common way that this occurs is when a receiver is being pursued by a defender. If a third player, from either team, ends up in between the two players (basically impeding the defender), this is a pick. This could occur in these two scenarios:

• As the result of an action on the part of the receiver (running around or through other players).

• Due to the action of an offensive teammate (another receiver running themselves in between the first pair of players, or causing their defender to accidentally get between the first pair of players).

• If a pick occurs, anybody on the defensive team (not just the player who was picked), can yell “Pick”. If the disc is in the air, play continues until that throw is finished (completion, interception or drop). When this happens choose the action that best suits the situation:

• If the pick did not affect the play, then the play just continues on from where everybody is at.

• If it did affect play, the “picked” player can catch up with his mark while everybody else stays stationary. The disc goes back to the thrower and play continues. The stall count continues from where it was when the pick occurred, it does not reset

• The examples above describe an offensive player picking a defensive player, but can also happen in reverse.

5.   Contact Fouls

Fouls are the result of physical contact between opposing players.

• A foul can only be called by the player who has been fouled and must be announced by calling out the word “foul” loudly immediately after the foul has occurred.

• The player initiating contact is guilty of a foul.

• Throwing fouls:

• A throwing foul may be called when there is contact between the thrower and the marker.

• Contact occurring during the follow-through is not sufficient ground for a foul but should be avoided.

• When a foul is committed by a thrower or the marker, play stops and possession reverts back to the thrower after a check.

•If the thrower is fouled in the act of throwing and the pass is completed, the foul is automatically declined and play continues without interruption.

• If the marker is fouled in the act of throwing and the pass is not completed, play continues without interruption. 

6. Catching fouls

• A catching foul may be called when there is contact between opposing players in the process of attempting a catch, interception, or knockdown.

All players must make every effort to avoid contact with their opponents. Ultimate is unique in this way and players coming over from other sports will have to readjust their approach to the game.

• A certain amount of incidental contact during or immediately after the catching attempt is often unavoidable and may not be a foul. If both people go for a disc with their ‘eyes open’ (i.e. are aware of each other and that contact may occur) and some incidental contact occurs, this may not be a foul.

• It is common for one player to ‘concede’ a throw to their opponent by not jumping to attempt the catch and potentially foul.

• If a player contacts an opponent before the disc arrives and thereby interferes with that opponent’s attempt to make a play on the disc, that player has committed a foul.

• If a player’s attempt to make a play on the disc causes significant contact with a legitimately positioned stationary opponent, before or after the disc arrives, that player has committed a foul.

• Dangerous, aggressive behaviour or reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players is always a foul.

• If a catching foul occurs and is uncontested, the player fouled gains possession at the point of infraction. If the call is disputed, the disc goes back to the thrower.



•Cardinal Rule:

Whenever a violation or a foul occurs, play is halted and the disc is put back into play at the point of the last possession before the play was stopped (the exception is defensive interference on a catch).

If there is ever a failure to come to an agreement over any call, the disc reverts back to the thrower after a check.

Play-On Rule: If a foul, violation or pick is called while the disc is in the air, the play is always completed.If the team which made the call gains possession as a result of that pass, play continues un-halted. It is the responsibility of the player who made the call to call “play-on” loudly to indicate that this rule has been invoked.

• If offsetting catching fouls are called by offensive and defensive players on the same play, the disc reverts back to the thrower after a check.

• Any time the marker’s count is interrupted by the call of a foul, violation or pick, the count is resumed as follows:

• If the call is against the offence, the count remains the same if the count was less than five, or is reset to five if the count was greater than five.

• If the call is against the defence, the count is reset to zero. If the foul is contested, the count remains the same if the count was less than five, or is reset to five if the count was greater than five.

• When play resumes after a time-out, the stall count is continued from where it was when time-out was called. The marker must initiate the count by calling “stalling”.·If the marker counts too fast, the thrower may call “fast count”.

• The first fast count is a warning.

• If fast count is called again within the same ten seconds, play stops and is resumed with two seconds subtracted from the current count.

The Continuation Rule applies to fast counts. If the marker counts too fast within the last two seconds, the count automatically goes back to eight.


9. Substitution:

Teams may substitute on the fly. All substitutions must occur at centre field. The player leaving the field of play must tag the player entering the field of play before the new player may enter.

10. Dangerous Play:

• there should be NO CONTACT
• Principle of Verticality: Offensive players have the right to the space above them. Defensive players may not jump up and grab or knock down a disc above an offensive player.
• footblocks are not permitted
Active Diversions reserves the right to remove a player or team from the league (due to behaviour). The team or player will not receive a refund of any sort!

11. Playoffs:
• in the playoffs, if a game is tied at the end of 55 minutes, the game will be stopped from where the whistle went, agree the game is a tie, tap the disc back in and continue to play until the next point is scored
• team points determine the playoff schedule
• if the teams have the same number of points at the end of the season, the tiebreaker will be determined by:

1. The highest Spirit Score average
2. Head to head- if teams played against each other, who won?
3. Point differentials- only count games against common opponents
4. Points scored – only count games against common opponents
5. Points against -games played against common opponents