What are the official rules for playing Ultimate?

By: Echo Surina

How to Play the Game of Ultimate

The flow of the game is simple. Offensive team members move the disc closer to their opponents' end zone by passing it from one player to another.

The disc can be thrown in any direction, but once a player catches it, she must come to a stop as quickly as possible and only move her pivot foot until she throws the disc. However, she may throw the disc in the few steps it takes her to come to a complete stop.


Players have to pass the disc to a teammate quickly. Once a player catches the disc, she must pass it within a 10-second window called a stall. A defender called a marker must stand within three meters of the thrower and count off each second, conducting a stall count. If no marker can get into this position (or if she forgets to count the stall), the player with the disc is allowed to hold it longer than 10 seconds, until a proper stall is counted.

Of course, every sport has a few rare, exceptional, crowd-pleasing plays, and Ultimate is no different. Like baseball's grand slam and golf's hole-in-one, Ultimate has a play called "the world's greatest," or "the greatest" for short. The greatest occurs when a player jumps from in bounds to catch a disc that is flying out of bounds and throws it back to a teammate before any part of her body or the disc itself touches the ground. It's as exciting as it sounds and is one more reason Ultimate has become so popular and continues to attract new fans and players.