Spirit of the Game
"Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play." - Rule 1B - the most important rule
Maintaining Spirit of the Game is vital to ultimate. It's essential for our sport and helps make recreational leagues like ours more fun. VUL captains are responsible for Spirit on their team.
Core elements of Spirit include respect, integrity, sportsmanship, and fun. Playing with those elements helps keep disagreements from becoming more serious disputes that require additional steps for resolution.
Some ways to demonstrate Spirit for a game include:
- Being on time with enough players
- Playing by the rules
- Respecting other players
- Avoiding contact – see below
- Discussing and resolving disputes - see Conflict Management
- Removing dangerous players from the field
- Having fun!
Contact and Dangerous Play
Please ensure your team is aware of the Dangerous Play rule. The VUL runs recreational leagues, and it is paramount that all players play with safety in mind. We will give warnings to teams if their players injure others, and multiple warnings can lead to a team being suspended from league play. If anyone on your team feels unsafe, talk to the other captain. If anyone feels there is too much contact or physical play being used, they are right! If someone on your team is being dangerous, you have a responsibility to remove them from the field. We all have to work or go to school tomorrow, so play safe!
You can also focus on Spirit within your own team. Get creative with your team name or jerseys. Develop your own special spirit game or award for other teams. Focus on learning and fun, and work to include everyone in game play. Some examples for engaging your players:
- Pick one player for a point and try to have them be the player who scores
- Play a point where men can only pass to women.
You must have at least 3 male-matching players and 3 female-matching players to play (or 2 of each in 5-on-5 leagues). In addition, read about the Gender Balance rule we implemented as of 2017.
It is a sign of respect to your opponents and teammates to be on time. Delaying the start of a games is a sign of poor spirit, and that's just not good ultimate.
What does 'on time' mean? We expect games to start 15 minutes after the scheduled time. The scheduled time is when our permits start, so we allow a few minutes for warm-up. However, starting 30 minutes after the scheduled time is too late.
When you completed your game report, use this guide to answer the Timeliness question:
- “Excellent” - your opponent was ready < 10 minutes after game time
- “Good” - ready between 10-20 minutes
- “Fair” - ready between 20-30 minutes
- “Poor” - ready > 30 minutes after start time
Teams that get 5 “poor” ratings will be fined $25. Teams with higher scores will have a higher chance of winning a Division prize at end of season.
Forfeits & Defaults
If you will not have enough players for a game, be sure to contact the other team's captains well in advance of your game to avoid a Default Fee. See League Regulations for full details. Multiple defaults may lead to your team being removed from league play.
Adding players to your team is an attempt to win in playoffs is unfair to other teams and to your own players who've played for you all season. As such, to be eligible for playoffs, a player must be on your team's roster and have played at least 5 games in Summer League or Winter Turf, or at least 4 games in all other leagues.