Rules & Strategy

Ultimate in 10 Simple Rules is a great introduction to the basics of ultimate (gratuitously copied from USA Ultimate). If you are more experienced, the links below are to the official USAU's rule book as well as some strategy tips.

  1. The Field - A rectangular shape with endzones at each end. A regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards, with endzones 25 yards deep.
  2. Initiate Play - Each point begins with both teams lining up on the front of their respective endzone line. The defense throws ("pulls") the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.
  3. Scoring - Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense's endzone, the offense scores a point. Play is initiated after each score.
  4. Movement of the Disc - The disc may be advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc ("thrower") has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower ("marker") counts out the stall count.
  5. Change of Possession - When a pass in not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
  6. Substitutions - Players not in the game may replace players in the game after a score and during an injury timeout.
  7. Non-contact - No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.
  8. Fouls - When a player initiates contact on another player a foul occurs. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone.
  9. Self-Refereeing - Players are responsible for their own foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes.
  10. Spirit of the Game - Ultimate stresses sportsmanship and fair play. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.

Additional Resources

Official Rules

Plays, Diagrams

Strategy, Discussion

  • The Huddle - This website contains some more advanced ultimate theory and is a fantastic resource. It features responses to certain questions made by some of the sport's elite players. 
  • Frizbay! - Less serious, more comical. This video comments on the absurdity of Frisbee and shows a glimpse of where ultimate came from.
  • How to Play Ultimate Frisbee - A comic that has nothing to do with how to play and everything to do with the community that surrounds it.
  • Jim Parinella articles
  • Conceptual Ultimate OneTwoThreeFour.


  • Ultimate Techniques and Tactics by Jim Parinella and Eric Zaslow
    This is a book on how to play ultimate. It has lots of basic information on how to make cuts, play defense, and run different theories/practices.
  • Ultimate: The Greatest Sport Ever Invented By Man by Pasquale Anthony Leonardo
    Simply hilarious. It should be read as an introduction to ultimate pop culture. (Yes, one does exist, and it really is pretty comical/awesome.)

Other Resources

11th Edition Visual Rules


Come-To Drill


Continuation Drill


Give-n-Go Drill


Zone Descriptions