How to Play: The Basics

The Playing Field

Ultimate is played on a field that is 37 m wide and 100 m long. The length is further broken down into two 18 m end zones and a 64 m playing field. Many players find the measurements easier to remember in yards: 110-40-20 - 110 yards long, 40 yards wide, with 20 yard end zones.

How to Play

Ultimate is often described as a mix of three sports: football, soccer, and basketball. The objective of the game is for one team to catch the disc in the opposing team’s endzone, much like football. Each score is worth 1 point.

The person holding the disc is not allowed to run, but can pivot in place, like basketball. All other players can run, so the disc is moved by passing it back and forth from one player to another. This results in the disc moving forwards, sideways, and even backwards, similar to the way the ball is passed in a game of soccer.

When there’s a turnover, the team that was on defense immediately becomes the offense, and tries to score by catching the disc in their opposing team’s endzone. Note that the disc is still in play if it is in the air and goes outside of the sidelines, so long as it returns inbounds and then is caught. 

Games are usually played to 13 or 15 points. Read more about the rules of ultimate.

Equipment

It doesn’t take much to get started playing ultimate. All that each player needs is:

  • A jersey or uniform that distinguishes them from players on other team. Each player should bring a light and a dark-coloured jersey to every game (in case the other team’s jerseys are the same as yours);
  • A pair of cleats.  Most players use football or soccer cleats. Metallic cleats, spikes or studs with sharp edges are not allowed.

In addition to cleats and a jersey, each team should have:

  • A set of at least 8 field cones or markers.
  • At least one 175 gram disc in good shape (not warped!).

Need Gear?

Don’t worry, we can hook you up. The gear you need is available through the VUL and our partners.