A pull (full-field throw by one
team to the other) is what starts the game and each subsequent point. Players from each team line up on their respective goal line and when the pulling team is ready, one or more players raise their hands and wait for a reciprocal signal from the receiving team. The first pull of the game is decided by a flip (see below), but each pull thereafter is made by the last team to score. Any player who steps in front of their respective goal line before the pull is released is considered offsides. Either team may call offsides and request a re-pull. If the receiving team touches the pull in the air but does not catch it, it’s a turnover. The receiving team has 70 seconds to signal ready, and the pulling team has 90 seconds from the end of the last point to pull.
A flip of one or two discs by one or more representatives from each team usually determines which team pulls first and at which end of the field they start. The winner, calling either “UP” or “DOWN” (for one disc) or “SAME” or “DIFFERENT” (for two discs), gets to choose either a) which end of the field they want, or b) whether to pull or receive. At the start of the second half, these roles are reversed.
For more information, visit the
The 10 Simple Rules of Ultimate
Adapted from USA Ultimate
1. The Field: A regulation field is 70 yards long by 40 yards wide, with end zones 20 yards deep. A regulation field is typically marked with 8 orange cones, one at each corner of both end zones.
2. Initiate Play: Each point begins with both teams lining up on the front line of their respective end zones (the goal line). The defense throws ("pulls") the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.
3. Scoring: Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense's end zone, the offense scores a point. Play is re-initiated after each score. Games are typically played to 13 or 15, with one or two time-outs per half.
4. 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.
5. Change of Possession: When a pass is not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception, stalling violation), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
6. Substitutions: Players not in the game may replace players in the game only after a score and during an injury timeout.
7. Non-contact: No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.
8. 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.
9. Self-Officiating: Players are responsible for their own foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes.
10. 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.
When you do the right thing, people notice.
Games are played to 13, with halftime at 7. Games must be won by 2 points unless capped (see below). There is usually one timeout per half with one floater. Any player on the field with the team in possession of the disc can call a timeout, however, if a team calls a timeout when it has no timeouts left, it’s a turnover (play stops; check to restart).
Games can be capped due to schedule constraints, weather or inadequate lighting. If a soft cap is called, finish the point being played and continue until one point higher than whatever the highest score was when the cap was called. If a hard cap is called, finish the point being played and stop. If tied after the last point, play one more point. Win by 1 for all caps.
Coaches are NEVER allowed
to make ANY calls during a game. IF ASKED, they are allowed to offer clarifications of the rules, but this should NEVER include an opinion as to what the call should be. The idea is to help players learn to know the rules and make their own calls.
Players on the sideline should NEVER make calls or offer opinions (visual, audible or otherwise) to players on the field. Players who are on the field during any given point are the ONLY ones who can make calls during that point.