Ultimate Frisbee Rules


Quick-Start Rules for Ultimate Frisbee

Field Size and Frisbee: A normal grass field is a rectangle, about 70 yards by 40 yards.  At each end of the field is a scoring box, like in American Football or Rugby, called an Endzone, that is 20 yards deep.  A standard disc is 175g.  Most people use a white Discraft Ultrastar model disc to play ultimate frisbee.

Starting the Point:  Each point begins with each team starting in their own endzone.  The point starts when one team throws the disc to the other team; experienced players call this throw off "the Pull".

The receiving team can either catch the pull or let it drop to the ground and pick it up. 

Moving up the pitch:  The team on offense moves the disc towards the goal (endzone) by throwing to their teammates.

When you are holding the disc you aren't allowed to run with it!  It's like in Netball, or Basketball after you've set a pivot - to move the disc toward the goal you've got to find a player on your team to throw to.

Scoring:  Your team score when one of your teammates catches the disc in the endzone you're attacking, like in American Football.

Turnovers:  You can intercept the disc any time the disc is in the air.  If the disc is intercepted or the frisbee touches the ground or is dropped by the intended receiver, it's a turnover.  The other team gets the disc and tries to score in the other endzone.


Fouls:  Ultimate frisbee is a non-contact sport.  There may be some incidental contact like in basketball.  But you cannot touch the arms or hands of the other team especially while they are throwing or catching.  You also cannot tackle or push other players.  Contact must be avoided.  Setting picks or screens (like in basketball) is also not allowed.


Substitutions:  Substitutions happen between points, not during a point.  The exception is if there is an injury.


This should be enough to help you get started.  There are a LOT of rules for frisbee for specific situations.  We're working on explaining the rules of ultimate frisbee in language that is easy to understand.

I'm ready for more, point me at the written rules!

If you want to read all the details on the rules, then

...hang on...two sets of rules?

Yes, sort of :) ...they used to very different, but in the last decade they've both made changes so that they are much closer.  Now the only significant difference is who has the final say.  For example...

A player on Team A says "I think you fouled me" to a player on Team B.  The player on Team B initially thinks they did not commit a foul.

How does this get resolved?

  • The US ruleset gives the power to a 3rd-party to decide.¬† This is like a referee in some sports.
  • The International ruleset gives tools to the players¬†to resolve it themselves.¬† This is like when you play sport with your friends down at the park.

If you want to read more, the full differences are listed here.

I've got a rules question!

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