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What is Ultimate?

Although ultimate resembles many traditional sports in its athletic requirements, it is unlike most sports due to its focus on self-officiating, even at the highest levels of competition. This concept, called Spirit of the Game, is integrated into the basic philosophy of the sport, written into the rules, and practiced at all levels of the game from local leagues to the World Games.

Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, a game of ultimate is played by two teams with a flying disc on a field with end zones, similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field.  Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees. Ultimate is played in more than 100 countries by an estimated 7 million of men and women, girls and boys.  The international governing body, WFDF, represents 86 member associations in 84 countries.



  • Introduce the game, explain the rules, emphasize Spirit of the Game
  • Playing Field: Set up a field with cones at the 8 corners of endzones. Use whichever field size is available.

Warm Up

  • Pick 1 warm up drill (below)

“Cut to!” Drill

Objective: Get students making lots of easy throws and catches.

  • Place two cones 20-30 yards apart. Have students line up facing each other behind the cones. One disc. Have students pass the disc back and forth in between the two cones, one student at a time. Once a student has caught and thrown the disc, they will cycle into the back of the opposite line. Give students a goal to reach:
    • time limit
    • number of completed passes in a row
  • Don’t run while throwing! Slow down and set your feet, and then throw.
  • Run as many drills at a time as necessary to keep all students engaged.


  • Split students in 2+ groups and have them race each other to go 2 times through
    • Only throw with forehand
    • Only catch with non-dominant hand
  • Don’t slow down as you are receiving the disc! In Ultimate, defenders LOVE when you slow down because it gives them time to catch up.

3 Person Marking Drill

Objective: Learn what a “stall” is and throw under pressure. Learn the need for both forehand and backhand. Get a lot of throws and catches in!

  • 3 students. One disc. 2 students stand 10-15 yards apart and will not move until the pass is completed. The 3rd student is marking the student with the disc.
  • The student with the disc is only able to pivot. The student receiving the disc is not allowed to move. The 3rd student is trying to prevent the thrower from completing a pass by guarding or “marking” the thrower.
    • Remember, the student defending the student with the disc is called the “mark.” The “mark” says “Stall 1…2…3…4…” trying to get to “10” which would result in a turnover.

Huck Drill – a “Huck” is a really long throw

Objective: Have fun! Always the most liked drill from students. Works on reading the disc and throwing it far.

  • Two cones 2 yards apart. One is oensive line (further from thrower). Other is defensive line (closer to thrower). One throwing line 10 yards away, but even with the other cones.
  • Thrower says “3,2,1 go!” Both runners run STRAIGHT (imagine a “go” route)
  • Thrower does their best to throw the disc to the offensive player
  • Remind players to rotate between the 3 lines. Thrower, defense, offense, etc.


  • Teach “UP!”
    • Easiest way to do this is yell “UP” every time the disc is thrown. Then ask why you are yelling it. “So your teammates know that the disc is thrown and to look for it.”
  • Teach “Reading the disc”
  • The disc will naturally curve to one side and speed up as it falls to the ground.
  • Learn how to predict where the disc is going to land by seeing the curve of the disc and run towards its landing point right away

Play Ultimate

8 Simplified Rules to play Ultimate

  1. To Start Each Point: Teams line up on their end zone line. The defense throws pulls) the disc to the offense.
  2. Passing:
    a. You cannot run with the disc in hand.
    b. The thrower has 10 seconds to throw disc to teammates
  3. Scoring: The team on offense, scores a goal when they complete a pass in the other
    team’s end zone. A goal = 1 point.
  4. Turnover: When a throw is dropped, blocked, intercepted, or out-of-bounds, the defense now takes control of the disc and becomes the offense.
  5. Non-contact: No physical contact is allowed between players.
  6. Fouls: A foul occurs when contact is made and it is up to the players involved to call a foul.
  7. Self-refereed: Players call their own fouls and calmly resolve the respect.

Advanced Rules: See