VUL Rules - Exceptions and Additions to current USAU rules


  1. All players must complete the online Consent Agreements  and be on the team roster before playing any game.
  2. Teams must have a minimum of 12 players on their roster (or 10 players for 5-on-5 format).
  3. Teams must have a minimum of 6 players, 3 of each gender match, on the field to play (or 4 players, 2 of each gender match, for the 5-on-5 format).
  4. Gender ratio - Endzone decides: Choose an endzone at the beginning of the game that will be the "choosing endzone." Whichever team starts a point in that endzone may choose the gender ratio (4M/3W match or 3M/4W match), regardless of whether they are on offence or defence. The other team must match. This rule applies to 7-on-7 format only. (cf. WFDF A.7.3 - Ratio Rule B)
    • 4M/3W matching is still typical for most points, but teams should expect to play 3M/4W.
    • A team in the NON-gender choosing endzone may still opt to go 4W/3M, regardless of their opponents ratio. If you are unable to match the team in the "choosing endzone", you must play a person down (3W/3M).
    • Teams wanting to use different gender matching ratios MUST have agreement with the other team's captain before the start of the game or apply for an exception with the League Manager before the season begins.
    • Read more about the Gender Balance Rule below.
  5. Each team must have a light and dark uniform or distinctive jersey at each game.
  6. To be eligible for playoffs, a player must be on the team's roster and have played a minimum number of regular season games:
    • at least 5 games for Summer league and Winter Turf league;
    • at least 4 games for all other leagues

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Field Sizes

  1. 7-on-7: VUL uses 20 yard end zones and a 10 yard brick (field is 110 yards including endzones, and 40 yards wide)
  2. 5-on-5: The field is 25 yards wide and 70-72 yards long, with 10-12 yard end-zones. There is no brick.
    See Turf Field Layout - use other fields lines if feasible, without altering dimensions too much.

The above dimensions are the ideal field sizes. In some locations this will not be possible. Please do your best!

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Game Timing

  1. All Formats
    1. The Carbon Flip is the default mechanism for the pre-game flip.
    2. Games are to start at the scheduled start time. See the Summer League Times Graphic as an example for game times.
      1. Your team will forfeit if:
        1. You are unable to start the game within 15 mins of the scheduled start time
        2. Your team is unable to meet the gender ratio. 
        3. The forfeiting team will lose the game 3-0. 
      2. Your team will default if:
        1. You are unable to start the game within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time. 
        2. Your team does not show up and fails to cancel the game with 24 hours notice.
        3. The defaulting team will lost the game 6-0, and be charged a $50 default fee. 
    3. When the soft-cap occurs, the current point is completed. The game is then played to the highest score at that time + 2, except point caps still apply.
    4. When hard-cap occurs, complete the point in progress and stop. A point has started if one team has signaled to the other they are ready for the pull. Ties are OK (except in playoffs – play one more point).
    5. Timeouts are not allowed once a game has been capped. If a time-out is called during a cap, play stops, that team is charged with one time-out, and play immediately restarts with a check. Update: If a timeout is called when the team has no timeouts, it is no longer a turnover. The stall count is resumed with the number last uttered before the timeout call plus three. (Rule 7.B.5)
  2. 7-on-7 Regular Format ("double-header")
    1. Games are to 13 points with a point cap at 15.
    2. Teams are expected to be on the line and ready at the scheduled start time. Teams that are not ready to play 10 minutes after start time should receive a "poor" spirit rating in this category from the opposing team. Teams with 3 "poor" scores will be fined the equivalent to a default fee.
    3. Each team has 2 timeouts per game. There is no half-time.
    4. Hard-cap starts 65 min after the scheduled start time at maximum. Teams should consider an earlier hard cap time if time is needed to vacate the field.
    5. For weeks with one game (including Playoffs), if your game starts at 6:30 (or 7:10), please use 7-on-7 Single Format Rules (see below)
  3. 7-on-7 Single Format (one game)
    1. Games are to 21  points with a point cap at 23. This rule can be captained claused if weather is poor or in windy conditions. 
    2. Same rules for start times as 7-on-7 format.
    3. Each team has 2 timeouts per game. There is an optional 5-minute half-time when the first team reaches 11. There are no "mirrored-halves".
    4. Hard-cap goes on after 110 minutes.
  4. 5-on-5 format
    1. Games are to 21 points with a point cap at 21.
    2. Teams are expected to to be ready within 10 minutes of the scheduled start time. Default occurs if a team is not ready to play 30 minutes after the start time.
    3. Each team has 1 timeout per game. Half-time occurs when the first team reaches 11. There is no break, but teams switch ends and re-pull.
    4. Hard-cap goes on 5 minutes before the scheduled end time. Teams must be completely off artificial turf fields by the end time. 

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  1. Footblocks are not allowed. If a footblock is attempted (successfully or not) by a marker within 3 meters of the thrower, the thrower can call a foul.
  2. Fouls: A foul occurs when one player initiates contact with another before, while, or directly after either player makes a play on the disc. (cf. WFDF 17.2, 17.6, 15.1)
    • This means non-incidental contact immediately after catching or blocking the disc is a foul, where "non-incidental" is any contact that is dangerous or affects the play. 
  3. Dangerous Plays: Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerous behaviour (such as significantly colliding into a stationary opponent) is considered dangerous play and is to be treated as a foul, regardless of whether or when contact occurs. This rule is not superseded by any other rule. (cf. USAU XVI.H.4 and WFDF 17.1.1)
    • This means that if a player feels their safety was threatened, they can call a foul even if no contact occurred. We trust that players will be reasonable and honest when making a calls without contact. See the Rules FAQ for more information on Dangerous Plays.
    • If players on a team are dangerous (especially if injuries occur), the team may receive warnings and/or be suspended from league play. See Spirit Violations & Suspensions under League Regulations.

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Captains Clause

"A game may be played under any variation of the rules agreed upon by the captains of the teams involved."

Both captains must agree on any variation of the rules, and any rule change must not interfere with the games of other teams. In addition, pressuring another captain to change the rules against their will is a violation of the Spirit of the Game. To cite a common example: if your team only has 2 players to match one gender, it is not 'unspirited' for the other team to record a forfeit against you; it is unspirited of you to complain if they do. Captains are responsible for ensuring they have enough players at each game.

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Carbon Flip

This initiative was started in 2009 to promote sustainability, reduce our carbon footprint, and reward teams for carpooling and biking to games. It is a simple way of encouraging good community practices that reflect the spirit of Ultimate. Read our Sustainability Policy for more info.

How it Works

Instead of a traditional "pre-game flip", the team that uses the fewest number of vehicles to arrive at the game wins the flip.

Captains survey their team to get a straight vehicle count. The team with the fewest gas-powered vehicles at the field when the flip is performed wins the carbon flip and gains the traditional advantages associated with winning the flip. Some notes:

  • Vehicles arriving later don’t count
  • Size of vehicles or distances traveled don’t affect the result.
  • In the event of a tie, captains revert to the standard flip process. No points are awarded.
  • Should vehicles that carry kids or opposing players only count for half a car? We’ll leave that for captains to decide, but that discussion alone achieves one of our goals!

We understand that it isn’t as easy for everyone to carpool or bike, so some teams may have more trouble winning the Carbon Flip than others. We encourage teams to practice it as part of the spirit of the game. The flip shouldn't impact the integrity of the game.

Point System

The League tracks the Carbon Flip winners for each game, as captains submit their Carbon Flip results along with their game scores. The team with the highest rating at the end of the season are awarded prizes at our Annual Awards Banquet

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Gender Balance Rule

How it works:

We use “endzone sets”: one endzone is selected at the start of the game, and whichever team starts from that endzone gets to choose the ratio for men-matching players to women-matching players. Since teams end up switching sides after every point, the teams will alternate choosing the 4M:3W or 3M:4W ratio.

Instructions (updated Oct 2021):

  1. At the beginning of the game Captains choose which side is the Gender Endzone
  2. Both teams are required to have at least 3W/3M on the field to start play
  3. The team starting in the Gender Endzone before each pull chooses which ratio they are playing - 4W/3M or 3W/4M - and signals this to the other team. 
  4. The other team is required to match the 4W/3M ratio if the Gender Endzone team is playing 4W/3M and can choose either the 4W/3M or 3W/4M ratio if the Gender Endzone is playing 3W/4M.
  5. If there is a mistake in gender matching, the impacted team (team in the Gender Endzone) can choose to either re-pull the disc, or continue play from where the disc is after the mismatch is discovered, play stops and a substitution occurs. The stall count will either go back to 0 if on offense, or remain where it is (or "stalling six" if above 5) if on defence in accordance with other Violation rules. 

For a full explanation, please check out our page on our Gender-Balance Rule.

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