Ultimate Frisbee, or “Ultimate” for short, is a football-like sport that has grown exponentially since its invention in 1968. If you’ve been to a college campus recently you’ve probably seen students playing on the quad - these players make up almost half of all Ultimate participants. The sport’s accessibility, simplicity, and collaborative culture are all behind its meteoric rise. So if you’re interested in joining the Ultimate community, just follow these three simple steps.
STEP 1: Get ready
The first thing you need is a frisbee or disc. You’ll want to practice how you play, so make sure your disc complies with size and weight regulations (you can find USA Ultimate’s list of approved discs here). Now is also a good time to start learning the rules of the game. Here is Ultimate explained in 10 simple rules to the rules of ultimate and here is a more detailed handbook.
You should also find some friends to play with, even if not enough for a team - frisbee is hard to practice alone.
STEP 2: Learn the basics
Before you step on the field, you should master the basics. Start by playing catch with a few friends and practicing different throws and catches. There are three main types of throws: forehand, backhand, and overhead (also known as hammer). There are also two main categories of catches, one-handed and two-handed. Within the two-handed category, there are three more types - pancake, crocodile, and rim catches.
We recommend starting with the backhand throw and one of the two-handed catches, as these come most naturally. You can also go jogging or do some other form of moderate cardio to build your endurance. Some Ultimate games can last over an hour and a half!
STEP 3: Let’s Play!
Finally, it’s time to get in a game! If you have enough people for two teams and your practice grounds are large enough for a full game, that's great! If not, you can visit websites like https://pickupultimate.com to find pickup games near you. It is worth noting that Ultimate does not use referees, but rather relies on self-officiating.
When you play, remember that honesty and integrity are the core values of the sport. Respect the spirit of the game!
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