Learn the Basic Rules of Ultimate Frisbee

Learn the Basic Rules of Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee, also known as Ultimate, is a non-contact sport played with a circular flying disc, called ‘Frisbee’. Decades before plastic discs were invented, the game was played using pie tins and lids of the cake pan. There are a bunch of rules that go into this game. Let us have a look at them one by one.


Two teams of six players each are made. The teams consist of three men and three women in co-rec. A minimum of four players are required on the field per roster, to avoid penalties. No more than three and no less than two payers of each gender are allowed to participate at any given point of time.


The disc needs to weigh 165 grams. The players aren’t allowed to wear shoes with metal cleats. The clothes worn by the players must be made of soft fabric. To find some of the best Ultimate Frisbee discs, you can check out our other article.

Field Specifications

Field Specifications

The length of the field will be 70 yards and the width will be 40 yards.


The game lasts for 36 minutes. It’s divided into two halves of 18 minutes each. There’s a half time, which lasts for 5 minutes. The clock will only be paused during the game in case of fouls, injuries, disc flying outbound, and after every goal. It is resumed after the disc touches the inbounds, and after every throw-off when a member of the receiving team touches the disc.

One time-out is permitted to each team during each half of the game. The time-out lasts for a minute. Time-outs can be called by the teams after a goal and before the next throw-off. The disc should be in possession of a member of the team for them to be able to call for a time-out during the game.

In case of a score tie at the end of the 36 minutes, a sudden-death overtime period is provided. The team that scores first is the winner. The captains flip a coin and then the team that will do the throw-off, defends or receives is determined.

Movements of the Disc

The disc can be thrown in any direction; however, the members cannot run with the disc in their hands. The person who has the disc in his/her possession only has ten seconds after which they have to make a pass.


Players on the field can be substituted after a score or an injury timeout.


No two players are allowed to make any physical contact. Picks and screens are not allowed, too.


It is considered a foul if there has been physical contact between players. If the foul takes place when the disc is in the possession of a player, then the game is resumed as if the possession was not disrupted in the first place.

On spotting any violation, the member may call it out by saying ‘violation’ or the name of the specific violation out loud immediately. The players accused of any infraction can contest that call if he/she dissents the call. 


Each member of both teams is entitled to occupy any position on the field that is not occupied by a member of the opposing team. Care should be taken that the position does not permit any physical contact with any other member.

Behavioral Misconduct

Movements of the Disc

There are three types of behavioral misconducts – TMF, i.e., Team Misconduct Foul (Blue Card); PMF, i.e., Personal Misconduct Foul (Yellow Card), and Ejection (Red Card).

A Team Misconduct Foul (TMF) will be issued against a team if repetitive actions of violation are displayed by a team, irrelevant calls are contested, or if there is a general disregard for rules. The initial two TMFs are not associated with penalties.

A Personal Misconduct Foul (PMF) is issued to a member of a team for any sort of unacceptable behavior as stated above while discussing TMF. A PMF issued to a team member automatically gets a TMF issued to the team. If the member receives three PMFs, he/she is suspended from the remainder of the tournament.

A team member may be ejected from the game for any egregious act. A team member may be ejected from the play without any prior warning, TMF or PMF. Receiving more than one ejection will get the member suspended for the remaining part of the tournament.

These are the basic rules of Ultimate Frisbee. Overall, a mettlesome spirit is what the game demands. Save this article for when you and your pals come together for a game.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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