Ultimate 101 - The Eight Legs of Ultimate

February 26, 2022

Ultimate 101 - The Eight Legs of Ultimate


Marcus Lee


Ultimate is played on a field similar to a football field. An Ultimate field has 20 yard end zones and an 80 yard field of play, fields are 54 yards wide. Ultimate is played in four 12 minute halves.

Start of play

Play starts with the defending team throwing the disc to the offensive player, similar to a football kickoff. Both teams always have seven players on the field.


The objective of ultimate is to score more points than your opponent. This is done by catching the disc in the end zone that your team is attacking. After a point is scored teams can make substitutions before the team that scored throws the disc to the other team starting a new point.

Moving the disc

In Ultimate in order to get the disc to the end zone you must pass amongst your teammates as you can not move with the disc. When you have the disc you must set a pivot foot, similar to basketball, and can not move that foot.


In order to stop the opponent from scoring the defensive team must force a turnover. There are three main turnovers, blocks, discs hitting the ground, and out of bounds. Blocks occur anytime the opponent stops the disc getting to the intended receiver. If the disc hits the ground or goes out of bounds the defending team gets it regardless of who touched it last. 


Ultimate is a non-contact sport meaning that any contact between players that is beyond unintentional contact is considered a foul. Fouls result in a loss of yardage.


Many levels of Ultimate are self officiated and rely on the integrity of the players. The AUDL though has referees who officiate the games. The referees are in charge of calling fouls and ruling out of bounds. 


Even with officials Ultimate relies heavily on Spirit of the Game which is the idea that players respect the game and are honest. In the AUDL this means overturning incorrect calls made by referees and your own teammates.