RULES of Ultimate

MissUC games are generally played according to the USAU 11th Edition rules. However, we reserve the right to impose some modifications in order to improve the experience for members of MissUC.

Ultimate in Ten Simple Rules

These simple rules are enough to get you started in Ultimate.

Steve Courlang, UPA Juniors Director

Copyright © Ultimate Players Association, 1993

  1. The Field— A rectangular shape with endzones at each end. A regulation field is 70 yards by 40 yards, with endzones 25 yards deep.
  2. Initiate Play— Each point begins with both teams lining up on the front of their respective endzone line. The defense throws (“pulls”) the disc to the offense. A regulation game has seven players per team.
  3. Scoring— Each time the offense completes a pass in the defense’s endzone, the offense scores a point. Play is initiated after each score.
  4. Movement of the Disc— The disc may be advanced in any direction by completing a pass to a teammate. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc (“thrower”) has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower (“marker”) counts out the stall count.
  5. Change of possession— When a pass in not completed (e.g. out of bounds, drop, block, interception), the defense immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense.
  6. Substitutions— Players not in the game may replace players in the game after a score and during an injury timeout.
  7. Non-contact— No physical contact is allowed between players. Picks and screens are also prohibited. A foul occurs when contact is made.
  8. Fouls— When a player initiates contact on another player a foul occurs. When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained. If the player committing the foul disagrees with the foul call, the play is redone.
  9. Self-Refereeing— Players are responsible for their own foul and line calls. Players resolve their own disputes.
  10. Spirit of the Game— Ultimate stresses sportsmanship and fair play. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.

Comprehensive Rules

If you want to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding, check out the official USAU 11th Edition rules. This is a great resource, with many inline annotations explaining finer details, intended interpretations, reasons, etc. Other USAU resources include simplified and complete list of changes between the 10th and 11th edition rules, the What’s the Call column from their magazine, and the Rules Committee blog.

There is also a useful Visual Guide to the Rules, which presents simple flowcharts to help you determine the correct outcome in various situations.


The new dangerous play rule

The rule being implemented is the WFDF Dangerous Play Rule 17.1.1: (

Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players 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. If uncontested this must be treated as the most relevant foul.


Dangerous Play fouls can be called before an event to avoid a potential collision e.g. a defender runs/layouts in a way that an accident would occur if the offence were to continue. When this occurs it is correct to not make a play on the disc & to call a ‘dangerous play’ foul.


Players calling a Dangerous Play foul before a potential incident need to have reasonable grounds for doing so. They should actually be able to see the on coming player and have some reason to believe that player will not avoid contact – this could include a previous history of that player to not avoid contact. You cannot call Dangerous Play if you feel you could have made a play on the disc, but that would have resulted in you initiating contact. In that instance, you should just refrain from making the play.


Key Difference


USAU Dangerous Play Rule

WFDF Dangerous Play Rule

Contact must be made for the Dangerous Play Foul to be called. Contact need not be initiated for the Dangerous Play Foul to be called.
From the USAU rules (XVI C 3 annotations):

“Contact that occurs after the outcome of the play is determined cannot affect the play. For example, if a defender catches the disc before bumping into the receiver and knocking him over, that contact did not affect the play and the turnover will stand.”

From the WFDF interpretations (17.5):

“Non incidental contact that occurs directly after the attempt at the disc (i.e. a defender catches the disc and then collides with an offence player) is considered to have occurred during the attempt at the disc.


What is the outcome of a Dangerous Play Foul?


Disc returns to the last uncontested throw. Stall count +1 Disc is awarded to the player making the call.



Contact & feedback


MissUC welcomes all feedback with respect to existing rules, proposed rules and rules that you think should apply.  If you have thoughts on a rule, or just a guideline, that you believe would make the MissUC experience better, we would love to hear from you.