Introduction To Ultimate
Time 60 mins

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites What is Sport?
Departments Physical Education
Authors Ross Parker
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


Ultimate is a team sport played with a disc. In this unit you will learn about some of the history and basics of this young, exciting sport.


This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC


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10 mins
What Is Ultimate?
Not Frisbee
  • Ultimate is a fun, fast, intense, non-contact team sport played with a flying disc.
    • We don't call it "Ultimate Frisbee" because the word Frisbee is a trademark owned by Wham-O.
    • Oddly, most serious ultimate players prefer Discraft discs to Wham-O ones.
  • Watch the video below to get a sense of what ultimate feels like as a sport:

  • Ultimate developed at Amherst College in the US, where students enjoyed a long cultural tradition of playing games with the lids of pie tins:

  • In the 1960s, some students at Amherst developed and codified the rules of ultimate, and began playing with a plastic disc.
10 mins
How Is Ultimate Played?
Pitch Meets Disc
  • Ultimate is generally played on a long (100m), narrow (37m) grass pitch, with an end zone at either end:

  • Teams consist of 7 players (5 for indoors or beach ultimate), and are often mixed in terms of gender (some leagues are men- or women-only).
  • The aim is to score by catching the disc in your opponent's end zone: you cannot move with the disc, so you must advance it by throwing and catching.
  • The video below gives a good summary of how the game works:

20 mins
What Makes Ultimate Special?
Spirit Of The Game
  • Spirit of the game

“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. It is trusted that no player will intentionally break the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for breaches, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach.

Highly competitive play is encouraged, but should never sacrifice the mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.”

    • There is no referee.
    • Watch the video below to learn more about spirit:

  • Crazy mix of sports
    • Ultimate draws on many other sports for inspiration.
      • Like netball, you cannot move with the disc
      • Like American football, you score in an endzone
      • Like rugby or football, you pass and catch
    • Yet it is unique in its use of a disc, and many of the strategies used.
  • Mixed genders
    • Ultimate is very often played as a mixed-gender sport, making it open to all.
  • Super welcoming & very cheap
    • Ultimate has long been a sport for outsiders from the world of hyper-competitive, mainstream sports, so it is very welcoming of all sorts of people.
    • As discs are cheap, and you can play in many different spaces, ultimate is also accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Life changing
    • Some people say that ultimate is life changing:

20 mins
Finishing Up
Your Thoughts
  • Your may or may not have already played the sport of ultimate, but either way, you can complete this task.
  • Spend some time now thinking about ultimate:
    • Your own experience with the game
    • What you have learned here
    • How you want to progress in this sport
  • When you are ready, use Photo Booth on your Mac to record a 1-minute video of yourself talking about ultimate.
  • Aim to record this in a single shot: it does not need to be perfect, just speak your mind.
  • Once the video is ready, submit it as evidence of your learning.
There are no records to display.
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