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Background Information

Ultimate, also and originally known as ultimate Frisbee, is a low-contact team sport played with a flying disc. It is a sport that is played with mixed teams of men and women. It is unlike most sports due to its focus on self-officiating, even at the highest levels of competition.

Ultimate is a sport that draws on concepts from American football, basketball, and soccer.


The aim of a team is to catch the disc in the opponent's end zone in order to score points. The game is finished and won, when a team reaches the score of 13 goals. 


- Two groups of four teams, Round-robin games in both groups.

- Teams finishing 3rd and 4th play crossed consolation play-offs.

- Winners of consolation play-offs, compete for 5th and losing teams play for 7th place.

- The two best teams from each group qualify for crossed semi-finals.

- Losing semi-finalists compete for Bronze. Winning semi-finalists compete for Gold and Silver.


At the start of the game, after half-time or after a score, play commences with a throw by the defence, called a "pull".

The player holding the disc cannot move, but only one foot (pivot) must be stationary. Stepping out with the other foot is allowed. A team can advance the disc to the opposing end zone with any number of passes, including one long throw (huck) to the end zone.

After a goal is scored and the game has not been won or half-time has not been reached, teams change sides. Once both teams are ready, the scoring team will "pull" the disc from its end zone to the other team’s side. The team that scored becomes defence when the next point starts.

A game is finished and won by the first team to score thirteen (13) goals. However, a time cap occurs after eighty minutes. Half-time (5 minutes) occurs when a team first scores seven (7) goals. Half-time cap occurs after 45 minutes.


Each team may take one (1) time-out per half. More information on time-outs can be found here.

A team may make unlimited substitutions after a goal is scored and before their team signals readiness for the pull.

Exactly fourteen (14) Players are nominated per team, consisting of seven (7) female players and seven (7) male players.

If the gender ratio for a point is 4 female players, a female player must undertake the pull at the start of that point.

If the gender ratio for a point is 4 male players, a male player must undertake the pull at the start of that point.


Ultimate is a non-contact, self-officiated sport. All players are responsible for administering and adhering to the rules. Ultimate relies upon a Spirit of the Game that places the responsibility for fair play on every player.

Even though the sport is self-officiated, there are rules and regulations to be followed.

Defenders cannot take the disc from an offensive player who has secured a catch. Contact is also not allowed for the defender marking the offence player with the disc, and they must allow the offence player a specified amount of space.

If a pass is incomplete (not caught before touching the ground), caught out of bounds, caught by a defending player or knocked out of the air by the defence, it is a turnover and the opposing team immediately gains possession, playing to score in the opposite direction.

More information can be found here.


- A goal is scored if an in-bounds player catches a legal pass and:

a. All their ground contacts are entirely within their attacking end zone, or for an airborne player, all of their first simultaneous points of ground contact after catching the disc are entirely within their attacking end zone, and
b. They subsequently establish possession of the disc and maintain the catch throughout all ground contact related to the catch.

- If a player believes a goal has been scored, they may call “goal” and play stops. After a contested or retracted goal call play must restart with a check and the call is deemed to have been made when the player established possession.

- If a player in possession of the disc ends up with their selected pivot point behind the attacking goal line without scoring a goal (as per the regulations mentioned above), the player must establish a pivot point at the nearest location on the goal line.

- The time at which a goal is deemed to have been scored is when the player established possession.

More information can be found here.


All fouls/violations (penalties) are called by players on the field. There is a system of acceptance or contesting fouls called.

Contact between players in the normal course of play is against the rules. If a defender contacts a receiver during a catch which results in a drop, the receiver may call "foul" on that play. If accepted by the defender, the receiver starts play from the place on the field where they would have caught the disc as if no foul happened. If the defender contests the call, the disc returns to the previous thrower and the play continues.

Similarly, the defender can not contact the thrower. If the defender contacts the thower during a throw which results in turnover, the thrower may call "foul" on that play. If accepted by the defender, the thrower gets the disc back and play is restarted with the stall count at zero (0). If the defender contests the call, the disc returns to the thrower and the play continues with the stall count at the number it was at the time of the throw or six (6) if the stall count was over six (6).

Other common fouls or violations are travelling, holding the disc for more than 10 seconds or making a dangerous play which could result in injury to another player.

Athletes and Teams to watch out for

Flying Disc - Ultimate first took place at the 2001 World Games, with the Gold Medal going to Canada. Since that time, the USA has won the Gold Medal at every subsequent World Games. (2005, 2009, 2013, 2017). As the 4-time defending Champion, playing on home soil for the first time, the USA is the favorite to win the competition. Colombia first qualified for the Flying Disc competition at the World Games in 2017. This upstart country managed to upset the USA team in round robin play and then took the Silver Medal after losing to the USA in the final. Colombia will certainly be a medal favorite and could upset the USA in 2022. After the USA, Canada is the most successful country at the World Games for Flying Disc, winning Gold in 2001 and most recently the Bronze in 2017. Canada will be looking to return to the finals in 2022. France is attending the World Games for the first time in Flying Disc, while Great Britain and Germany both failed to qualify in 2017. This trio of European teams will want to make their marks on the event in Birmingham.

Appearances in TWG 2017 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2013 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2009 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2005 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2001 Yes
Appearances in TWG 1989 Yes
Title holders in TWG 2017

Team Mixed

  1. Team USA
  2. Team COL
  3. Team CAN
Title holders in TWG 2013

Team Mixed

  1. Team USA
  2. Team AUS
  3. Team CAN
Title holders in TWG 2009

Team Mixed

  1. Team USA
  2. Team JPN
  3. Team AUS
Title holders in TWG 2005

Team Mixed

  1. Team USA
  2. Team AUS
  3. Team CAN
Title holders in TWG 2001

Team Mixed

  1. Team CAN
  2. Team USA
  3. Team JPN
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