Ultimate is a non-contact, fast paced, self-officiated sport developed in 1968 by students at Columbia H.S. in Maplewood, N.J. Over forty plus years Ultimate has grown from a pick-up game to a sport with a national governing body, youth, college, and club championships, international competitions, two professionals leagues, and was recently recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

One main element of Ultimate that makes it unique is the fact that it’s self-officiated, which makes the players responsible for the integrity of the game. The Ultimate community calls this Spirit of the Game™ (SOTG). The responsibility for each player to uphold the Spirit of the Game puts integrity and honesty above outcome, combining healthy competition with respect for your opponent.

To find out more about Spirit of the Game, Ultimate, and FAQs about the sport, visit the USA Ultimate page.

Still want more information about Ultimate? Check out the videos below, or click through the sites of some of the media outlets for some great talk about the sport of Ultimate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: I’ve never played Ultimate before, what the heck is it?

A: Ultimate is a non-contact sport played on a football-sized field. It is self officiated and has seven players per team playing at a time. Play only stops when fouls occur or when a team scores. The contact and the way you play offense and defense is very similar to basketball, except you use end-zones to score.

Q: That sounds like fun, but what are the rules?

A: There are lots of rules, but we’ll just stick with the basics:

  • Once you catch the disc you stop and must use a pivot foot (just like in basketball) to rotate around to find an open teammate to throw to.
  • You cannot push, pull, kick, punch, tackle, launch off of, or otherwise intentionally contact someone else to gain an advantage. Just like most sports contact happens, but when you gain an advantage over your opponent with that contact it’s a foul. You also cannot punch out the disc or run picks (that’s a difference from basketball).
  • Substitutions can only be made after goals or when an injury occurs.
  • Games are played to 13 with half when one team scores 7. You are allowed one time-out per half.
  • Teams score by an offensive player catching the disc in their end-zone.

Other than that just have fun! It isn’t a rule, but it’s encouraged. You can find out more on USA Ultimate’s website.

Q: I’ve never played and don’t know anyone, can I just come out and play?

A: Heck yes! We always want new people! Whether you have played for 10 minutes or 10 years we want you to come out to play!

Q: Is this co-ed?

A: Yes! It might be the best part of Ultimate! Anyone can play!

Q: I would like to purchase a jersey and/or a disc before I play, where can I buy one?

A: Smart move, you recognize the importance of style. Check out the merchandise we have available in our online shop.

For the Super-fans of Ultimate

Check out these news organizations that live and breathe all things Ultimate. Perfect for conversation starters with your teammates in-between hucks to the end zone.