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Ultimate Frisbee is more than just a running game. Tactics and throwing techniques make Ultimate an ingenious team sport that focuses on fairness and fun. Practically anyone can play it. And this is how to play Ultimate Frisbee.
Ultimate Frisbee – Ultimate for short – is a running game in which two teams play against each other and score points with the Frisbee. The special thing about it: There is no referee, each player reports a foul himself. It consists of game elements from basketball and American football and is running-intensive and tactical.
High combative commitment pays off in Ultimate Frisbee – but it is a disembodied sport, which means tackling like in American football is not allowed. There are fixed rules and specifications for the number of players and playing field for Ultimate Frisbee, which exist at international competitions and clubs.
However, those who play Ultimate Frisbee in their leisure time for fun do not necessarily have to comply with these specifications – because Ultimate can also be played well with more or fewer players and on a roughly estimated playing field, e.g. in a park. For indoor games, basketball or handball courts are ideally suited.
Two teams of 7 players face each other on a marked out field the length and half the width of a football field. At each long end of the field is a 15-20 metre long end zone, as in American football. The goal of the game in Ultimate Frisbee is to pass the disc without running with it and to catch it in the opponent’s end zone – this way the team of the catcher scores a point..
If a player catches the frisbee, he may only move in star step or stop step and has 10 seconds to throw. All other players move freely, trying to block and cover to grab the disc and run for open spaces. If a throw lands on the floor or out of bounds or is intercepted by the opposing team, the other team gets the disc (turnover) and may attack immediately. In tournaments, there is a default whether a game is won by 13, 15 or 17 points – or it goes for a certain time e.g. 2 x 25 minutes..
Ultimate Frisbee is the only team sport in the world where the players manage themselves – so they don’t need a referee – and call fouls. It is a body-less sport and fouls or caroms are reported by the player involved himself by calling foul. Immediately, all players freeze in their position and the player and the one responsible for the foul can acknowledge or deny the foul. If he acknowledges it, the fouled player gets the Frisbee, if he disputes it (contest), the Frisbee goes back to the thrower and the game continues. This check cancels the freeze so that play can continue. Fairness is very important in Ultimate Frisbee – so the players also decide for themselves whether a Frisbee was caught out of bounds or a player moved with the Frisbee against the rules (Travel).
About 5 million people play Ultimate Frisbee worldwide – 4.9 million of them in the USA and Canada. So in Germany, this team sport is still a novelty. But it is played all over the world (except in North America) according to the rules of the World Frisbee Federation (WFDF).
1. Fair Play is the most important rule.
2. The playing field
The playing field is 100 m long, 37 m wide, the end zones are each 18 m long. The chalk lines bordering the pitch are already part of the out. The size of the pitch may be freely adapted to the available space and the number of players.
3. Teams and Team Strength
Officially, there are always 7 players per team, who may be substituted after each point scored. Each team usually consists of around 15 players.
4. Duration of the game
Officially, a game lasts until a team has scored 15 points and consists of two halves. When a team has scored 8 points, it is half-time. This rule is also flexible – for example, the duration of the game can be limited to 2 x 25 minutes and lower points.
At the start of the game, the teams face each other at the baseline. The defending team gets the Frisbee and throws it to the attacking team – this is the throw-off. Now each player may move freely and the attacking team starts the game.
2. Change of sides
After each point, the teams switch sides and the team that scored last throws on.
The disc may be thrown in any direction to a team player. When a player catches the disc, he must stop immediately and move only in a star step like in basketball. He must throw the Frisbee within 10 seconds – the direct defender who is within a radius of 3 m of the player counts every second (stall count). If no one counts to 10, the thrower may keep the Frisbee longer.
If the following occurs, the other team may attack and gets the frisbee:
And how to play Ultimate Frisbee professionally? This is how Ultimate Frisbee is played by the pros! The best throws from 2016:
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