Highly popular with the youth and young professionals, Ultimate Frisbee is a game with a fairly intriguing background dating back to the 60’s with the rules and game play influenced by other more popular team sports such as soccer, handball, and American football. The game is a staple in most universities and colleges. In fact, it is even considered a competitive sport in many countries, with a number of regional and national tournaments paving the way. If you want to learn how to play Ultimate Frisbee, here are some of the fundamentals of the game.
- The playing field. An Ultimate Frisbee field is typically similar to a regular American football field. Basically, there will be 2 end zones, which will represent the markers for scoring. And, like American football, these end zones will be defended by the opposing team, preventing the other team from scoring. With regard to the dimensions of the field, there is really no standard. However, as a rule of thumb, a field with the same dimensions of a standard American football field will do fine. In most cases, many people simply use a soccer field or a large area in the park to play in.
- The teams. Ultimate Frisbee consists of two teams with at least 7 players each. While this is the standard for official competitions, casual play can be altered to include less or more than 7 players per team. However, the size of the playing field must be taken into consideration when adding or deducting the number of players for each team. The 7 player standard is applicable if the field used is of the same dimensions of a standard soccer field.
- The game objective. As implied by its name, the game involves throwing the Frisbee from player to player until it is finally caught on the end zone wherein a point will be given to the scoring team. At the end of the game, the team that scores the most points wins. As a standard, the game is played for a total of 48 minutes divided into 2 halves.
- The rules. The game rules basically employ a mixture of American football and soccer rules. A coin is tossed at the beginning of the game to determine which team starts out with the Frisbee and which team defends. The coin toss will also determine the end zones for each team. Each team will position itself at the middle of the field and the defending team will throw the Frisbee to the offensive team to start the game.
While a player holds the Frisbee, he is prohibited from walking or running until he throws the Frisbee to another teammate. He is given 10 seconds to do so. If he fails to throw the Frisbee within 10 minutes or runs with the Frisbee in hand, he commits a turnover and the Frisbee will be awarded to the opposing team. If the player misses a throw and the Frisbee goes out of bounds or lands on the ground, it will be considered an incomplete pass and the defending team will be awarded the Frisbee. The same goes should a defending player intercept the Frisbee in mid-flight.
It is also illegal to push or tackle the offensive player. Any action similar to this is considered a foul. And, similar to basketball, each player will be given a finite amount of fouls to give. If exhausted, he will be considered fouled out and must leave the game, leaving his team a man short. In some cases, certain games allow teams to substitute fouled out players.