How to Play Ultimate Frisbee (with videos)–Rules, Strategies, and Throws

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The object of Ultimate Frisbee is to score points by getting a player from your team into the opposing team’s end zone (similar to how end zones work in American football or rugby) with the disc–since you can not run with the disc (one foot must remain planted while you have possession of the disc) this has to be accomplished by getting the player into the end zone first, and then having them catch the disc. Now, the way that Ultimate Frisbee got started was that in the

fall of 1968, Joel Silver (a student at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey) proposed the idea of a school Frisbee team, got the administration to sign off on the idea, and the next summer him and a group of students got together to play. Silver called it the “ultimate game experience,” hence the name. He got the inspiration for the sport from

a form of Frisbee football which he had played before. Gracefulness, sportsman-like conduct, and gentlemanly behavior were held in the highest regard: the way they defined a foul was as “contact sufficient to arouse the ire of the player fouled”, and they never used referees, which is a practice that is still done today: all ultimate matches are self-officiated.

How to play

Today I’ve got Reid Attaway here who is going to be showing you (literally, he’ll be demonstrating and instructing at the same time on video for you so you can see precisely how it’s done) how to play Ultimate Frisbee, plus teach you a few tricks you can start using immediately out on the field. Reid played four years of collegiate competitive Frisbee on the JMU Flying Hellfish Ultimate Frisbee team and he is now part of the JMU Madison Bumblers Alumni Ultimate Frisbee team. Let’s get started.

Part 1: Introduction, which throws we’re going to learn, and necessary equipment

As far as Ultimate discs go, right now the most popular brand, by far, is Discraft, and their most popular official Ultimate disc, which I also recommend, is this: Discraft 175 gram Ultimate Ultra-Star disc

Part 2: Basics of how ultimate frisbee is played (field layout, positions, rules, etc.)

Part 3: Throws! Backhand, forehand (“flick”), the hammer, and the scoober

Part 4: Strategy

Part 5: Drills

Additional Resources and Further Reading

If you’d like to delve more deeply into Ultimate, an excellent book that I recommend is Ultimate Techniques and Tactics–it has more than the mechanics of the game; it presents in-depth instruction on using key skills such as throwing, cutting, and catching in game situations.

You should also check out UPA, the Ultimate Players Association, as well as UltiTalk.com, which is currently the most popular Ultimate Frisbee forum which is the best place to ask questions.

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