Who We Are

About Ultimate

Since it began more than fifty years ago, the sport of ultimate has grown as a grass-roots movement that prioritizes mutual respect, joy and community. It combines the athleticism of running and quick changes of direction with the skill of throwing a disc that can fly gracefully through the air.

Ultimate is typically played 7 versus 7 on grass fields. Like American football, points are scored by catching the disc in an endzone, but unlike football, ultimate is a non-contact sport.

From small, local pick-up games to elite-level world championships, ultimate is played at many levels.

Spirit of the Game

A truly unique and defining element of ultimate, Spirit of the Game places the responsibility of fair play solely on the athletes themselves by requiring each player to know the rules and make their own calls, without the help of a neutral official. These underlying principles reinforce mutual respect and trust between opponents; communication and conflict resolution skills; and self confidence – both on and off the field of play.

Strengths of our Sport

  • Self-Officiation:The ability to make one’s own calls helps players learn to take responsibility for their actions, manage their emotions, stand up for themselves, and resolve conflicts. Self-officiation also has the perhaps unintended bonus of avoiding the cost and logistics of hiring a referee for games, which can make playing more accessible.
  • Community: Ultimate is community lead. Coaches of opposing youth teams are frequently teammates in the adult division, community volunteers drive the logistics to make our sport happen, and opponents often become good friends.  
  • Beginners welcome: Ultimate teams typically pride themselves on creating atmospheres that invite new players in.  Many athletes don’t begin playing the sport until their late teens or adulthood. Athletes who might not thrive in contact sports or in win-at-all-costs sports cultures often find refreshing and welcoming atmospheres within ultimate.
  • Gender inclusion: Ultimate players can play in whatever gender division (men’s/boys matching, women’s/girls matching, mixed) makes them feel most comfortable and safe.
  • Leadership: Because of the grass-roots nature of ultimate, players have opportunities to teach and lead within their local communities and beyond.
  • Joy: Ultimate has the prioritization of the joy of play written into our rules.  Within our tournaments, practices and games, we like to build in opportunities for exuberance, expression and fun!

Some of our new players come to Ultimate from other sports & it’s great to have SPIRIT put front and center. Well done.” 

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commitments

USA Ultimate, the national governing body of our sport, values the contributions and perspectives that a truly diverse community provides our sport and its culture. Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are critical to the integrity of our sport, and USA Ultimate is committed to increasing access to and participation in the sport, particularly amongst youth in underrepresented communities.

Let's stop sitting on the sidelines.

Make the ultimate difference and help us share ultimate and Spirit of the Game with our next generation.

Ways to get involved: