12 Tips for New Players

Every year the VUL sees hundreds of new players come into the league…. If you’re of them, welcome to ultimate and the VUL!

Here are 12 tips to help you get the most out of your first season:

1.  Keep spirit in mind

Ultimate is one of the fastest growing sports in the world because of its fun and friendly nature. Bring that to every game. Play hard and play to win, but not at the cost of having fun and being that overly competitive person…Read more about Spirit of the Game.

2. Learn proper throwing techniques

See the throwing section of our Players Guide to learn forehand and backhand throws. You’ll find step-by-step instructions, photos and videos.

Learn from our experts at the free clinics we offer! You'll sign up and find more info via the calendar.

  • Spring Clinics – Held in January, April & May on evenings or weekends. Each clinic focuses on a specific skill set
  • Ultimate Day – Kick off to Summer Event that includes a beginner clinic and pick up games
  • Super Clinic –  Mid season clinic event held in June. 

3. Practice throwing often

Once you understand the technique, repetition is the only way to master it.

Rest assured this is fun learning, and you’ll make great strides if you put forth the effort. Throw several times a week if you can. Find a throwing partner on your team or by posting in our forum.

Don’t just practice throwing to a stationary partner. Practice throwing to someone running in stride. Practice throwing with a person marking you (defending your throw).

4. Learn how to throw when tired

Ultimate involves a lot of running, and you’ll play points where it’s the last thing you want to be doing. This deserves to be a tip on its own because of it. Mistakes happen most often in ultimate when players are tired.

5. Don’t feel like you always need to be making a play for the disc

Beginners are always trying to get the disc and it usually results in rarely getting it. Timing is so important in ultimate and a big part of playing is creating space for other players to get open. We explain this thoroughly in our Offensive Roles section of the Players Guide.

6. Understand the basic strategies and jargon

“We’re setting up in horizontal offense”.
"Who is going to be first in the vertical stack?”

Confused? Read our Offense section of the Players Guide.

As for jargon, there’s a fair amount in ultimate. You’ll be able to pick up most of it as you go, but why not skim through some if it now?

7. Ask lots of questions

There will be experienced players on your team that will be happy to talk as much as they can about ultimate. Ask them questions as they come up. Be a sponge and absorb as much as you can. VUL forums are also another great place to ask questions.

8. Learn the rules and the protocol of fouls

Since ultimate is a self-officiated sport, it’s important that all players do their best to learn the rules. We don’t expect new players to know all the rules when they start. This will take time. At the very least understand the 10 simple rules and be aware of what to do when a call is made.

9. Don’t be too hard on yourself

You are going to make mistakes, sometimes at an important time in a game. It happens to all of us. Shake it off and learn from it. What could you have done better? Now try that next time. Have fun no matter how you play, win or lose.

10. Observe the best players on the field

Watch your team and the other team. Observe the best players and what they do when they are trying to get open. Notice when they decide not to get open at all. Observe how they defend their opponent and where their eyes are at all times. You’ll start to pick up subtle tips just by paying closer attention to these players.

11. Consider Summer League Camp

We offer an 11 week League Camp for beginners from June – August. The first 6 weeks consists of skills based training followed by 5 weeks of league play. The instructors are the best for ultimate in Vancouver, we highly recommend this camp!

12. Stay Connected

Like the VUL on Facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on Instagram. Also, make sure you are subscribed to our email list by clicking on ‘Edit Profile’ in your MyVUL page.


We hope you enjoy your first season of the VUL!