TEAMPLAY: Ultimate Rules

Overview:

Teamplay.ca's K-W Co-ed Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact, self refereed league played with the spirit of sportsmanship, which places the responsibility for fair play on ALL players. Ultimate frisbee is an exciting, fast paced team sport that combines the best aspects of many sports played with a flying disc (aka frisbee). The following is a list of our rules. See "Quick Rules" for an abbreviated version but for a full, detailed explanation please see our "Extended Rules".

SPIRIT OF THE GAME - Paramount in all Teamplay Sports.

It is the responsibility of every player to play fair and make their own calls - there are no referees.ONLY players on the field involved in the play can make calls -- NOT players on the sideline. Implicit in all Teamplay.ca sports leagues is the assumption that no one will cheat to gain an unfair advantage no matter how competitive the game becomes. Players/teams can and will be ejected from the game/league, without refund, for not adhering to Teamplay.ca's "Fair Play Rule" (see LEAGUE WIDE RULES) .


Rule content links:


5-on-5 TEAMPLAY RULES

QUICK RULES for 5's:

  • MINIMUM PLAYERS: 5 players a side (min 2 males and 2 females on field at all times).
  • DISC FLIP (decides which team throws off first).
    • Team Captains flip a disc (like a coin) with one calling "heads" or "tails".
    • The winner chooses which end they want OR to throw-off or receive first.
  • STARTING OF GAME PLAY:
    • Start the game with a Throw-Off (aka "Pull" or "Huck" - similar to a kick off, this starts the game) by each team lining up on their respective goal line, the thrower raises the disc and the receiving team raises their hands to signal they are ready. Throw the disc as far as possible to the opposing team.
    • If the frisbee lands out of bounds on the throw-off, the receiving team calling "middle" or "centre" (while clapping their hands over their head) can take the disc into the middle of the field from the point where it went out of bounds.
    • If the receiving team attempts to catch the throw off and drops it (or touched in any way), this IS A TURNOVER at the point where it was dropped/touched and the throwing team gains possession at the spot of the drop/touch.
  • CHECK IN (by tapping disc on ground/let opponent tag in and announce "Disc In"
    • Must occur after every stoppage of play (foul, out of bounds, injury, or shoe lace tie).
  • MOVEMENT OF THE DISC:
    • The offense moves the disc towards their attacking endzone trying to score.
    • The receivers are not allowed to take any steps once you catch the disc.
    • You are allowed to pivot on one foot only (like basketball).
    • The thrower must first establish a pivot foot, is not allowed to "travel" when holding the disc and must be standing (off his/her knees) to make a throw.
  • DEFENDER(aka Marker):
    • Stays a minimum of one disc length away from the thrower.
    • Counts out loud to 10 STALLS (Stall 1, Stall 2, Stall 3...and so on). If the defender reaches Stall 10, the play is dead and it is a turnover to the defense at that spot. Stall counting can start when the marker is within 3 metres of the thrower.
  • SCORING(worth 1 point):
    • A score occurs when a completed catch is made in the opponent's endzone.
    • A completed catch is when 1 foot, toe or part of the upper body (knee & up) is the first point of contact in bounds within the endzone.
    • The teams then switch ends and then the teams line up for another throw-off.
  • FOULS(any INTENTIONAL, UNINTENTIONAL OR INCIDENTAL contact or rough play):
    • Fouls include: ANY contact. picks, foot blocks (REC only), and stripping the disk (from a players hand).
    • A foul is called immediately by the player fouled, NOT by someone on the sidelines. 
      • IN Recreational level play: Play is dead on the spot and redone from the original thrower when the foul was called.
      • IN Intermediate/Advanced play:  When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained.
    • A foul can ONLY be contested by the player involved with the infraction -- in this case the play is redone, minus 2 stall counts from where the count was prior to the infraction.

EXTENDED RULES for 5's:

  1. GAME LENGTH, TIMEOUTS AND SUBS
  2. MINIMUM PLAYERS
  3. STARTING PLAY - THE THROW-OFF
  4. CHECK IN TO START PLAY
  5. OUT OF BOUNDS
  6. SCORING
  7. FOULS
  8. TURNOVERS
  9. OFFENSE - "THE THROWER"
  10. DEFENSE - "THE MARKER"
  11. COMPLETED CATCH
  12. FUMBLES/INTERCEPTIONS
  13. TIE GAMES
  14. SPIRIT OF THE GAME & ETIQUETTE

1. GAME LENGTH, TIMEOUTS AND SUBS

  • Each week teams play 90 minutes - games can be broken down into 1 x 90 minute game with a 5-10 minute halftime; OR 2 x 45 minute games per week depending on league team numbers and/or field availability. 
  • Each team has one 60 second timeout per game but it cannot be called with 10 minutes left in the game. Timeouts can only be called when play is stopped.
  • Play can and should be paused if an opposing game disc comes onto your field and if a player needs to tie her/his shoes. Play will resume as soon as the field is clear or the player is set.
  • Player substitutions (subs) are only allowed after a point is scored. Subs are permitted if there is an injury. The opposing team is also allowed to substitute the same number of player(s) that are substituted due to injury. Play stops when there is an injury.
  • A team may bring in subs that are not listed on the roster. They must fill out and sign a Teamplay Sports waiver prior to playing. In the spirit of sportsmanship, captains are expected to replace players with a person of a similar skill level. Bringing in ringers for regular season is discouraged.

2. MINIMUM PLAYERS

  • The minimum of 2 males and 2 females must be maintained at all times.
  • If a team does not have 5 players and/or the minimum number of males and females at game time, the team forfeits. However, if both captains agree, the team may play shorthanded for up to 15 minutes while waiting for additional players but may not field more than 3 males or 3 females. If a forfeit occurs, teams are welcome to split up the teams and play for fun, but the score will not count.
  • Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum number of players but this should be specifically agreed upon before the game begins -- the score in this case will count if it has been agreed upon.
  • For forfeits, please refer to our GENERAL RULES FOR ALL LEAGUES.

3. STARTING PLAY - THE THROW-OFF (the "Pull")

At the start of each game and after each time a goal is scored a throw-off (aka pull or huck) is initiated. After a point is scored, teams switch the direction of their attack and the team that scored, throws off and the team that did not score walks to the opposite goal line to receive the throw-off. Teams line up on their respective goal lines and cannot cross until the throw off is made.

  • The throw-off may be made only after the thrower raises the disc and a player (or all) on the receiving team raise a hand to signal the team's readiness to begin play.
  • The throw-off consists of one player on the throwing team throwing the disc toward the opposite goal line to begin play. Once this happens all players can advance from their goal line in any direction.
  • The throw-off lands in bound untouched by the receiving team: the receiving team gains possession of the disc where it stops - the disc is live and a check is not required. If the disc initially lands in-bounds, then goes out-of-bounds, the receiving team gains possession at the point on the playing field nearest to where the disc first went out-of-bounds - a check is required at that point on the sideline.
  • If a member of the receiving team catches the throw-off in the playing field, that player must put the disc into play from the spot.
  • If a member from the receiving team goes to catch the throw-off and drops it or touches it with any part of their body but does not catch it -- THIS IS A TURNOVER and the disc goes to the team that threw off.
  • If the disc lands out of bounds on the throw-off, the receiving teams calls "middle, centre or "brick" while clapping their hands over their head. This signal must be done before the disc touches the ground, if so, the receiving team is then allowed to take the disc to the middle of the field from the point where it went out of bounds to initiate play. If this isn't done, the receiving team takes the disc from where it went out of bounds from the out-of-bounds-line. If the disc lands in bounds initially then rolls out of bounds, the disc is brought to the out-of-bounds line and is played from that point on the line.
  • If the disc travels out of the back of the opponents end zone on the throw-off, the receiving team is permitted to take the disc 10 paces up from the goal line. If the disc lands in the endzone on the throw-off - the disc is live from this pont as long as lands within the endzone or field of play and a check is not required.

4. CHECK IN TO START PLAY

A check in ultimate (similar to basketball) is a signal to everyone that the disc is now in play after a play stoppage. A play stoppage is when a foul, injury or out of bounds throw occurs. The thrower checks the disc by:

  • Allowing the defender to check in the disc by tagging the disc with their hand.
  • If there isn't a defender within 10 yards, the thrower checks the disc by tapping the disc on the ground. In the spirit of the game, the thrower should let the defender tag the disc in if they are within a reasonable distance from the disc.
  • Once the disc is checked, the thrower or defender should call out loud "Disc In" to signal to everyone the disc is now in play.

When a check in does not apply:

  • On the throw-off, the receiving team does not have to check the disc to start play. The disc is LIVE on the throw-off as long as it lands in bounds or within the endzone perimeter. If the disc goes out of bounds the disc will need to be checked in to initiate play.
  • On a turnover the disc does not have to be checked in as long as the disc is still in play on the playing field. The offense can pick up the disc and play immediately. If the disc goes out of bounds, the disc is required to be checked in to initiate play. The first player to pick up the disc is must put the disc into play (ie become the thrower).

5. OUT OF BOUNDS

  • The pylons mark the out of bounds perimeter on fields without line markings.
  • On fields where the white lines mark the perimeter, the white lines mark the out-of-bounds.
  • The disc may fly outside a perimeter line and return to the playing field, at which point the disc is still in bounds. If a pass does not come in bounds the opposing team gains possession of the disc where it left the field of play.
  • For a receiver to be considered in bounds after gaining possession of the disc, the first point of contact with the ground must be completely in-bounds. If any portion of the first point of contact is out-of-bounds, the player is considered out-of-bounds.
  • To restart play after the disc has gone out-of-bounds, a member of the team gaining possession of the disc must carry the disc to the point of the playing field where the disc went out-of-bounds, and put the disc into play at that point by a check in. On any out of bounds play, the player who first picks up the dics must put the disc into play (ie become the thrower).

6. SCORING

The offense moves the disc up and tries to score a point in the attacking endzone. If the catch is good within the endzone boundary, it is worth 1 point. After a score, teams switch ends and line up on their respective goal lines for the throw-off.

  • In order for the receiver to be considered in the endzone after gaining possession of the disc to score, his/her FIRST POINT OF CONTACT with the ground must be completely in the endzone. One foot, one toe, or any part of the upper body (knee and above) has to be in the endzone for this to count. If any part of the body is first out of bounds touching the ground when the catch is made this NOT a point.
  • A player cannot score by running into the endzone with the disc. Should a receiver's momentum carry her/him into the endzone after gaining possession, the receiver must carry the disc back to the closest point on the goal line and put the disc into play from there with a check.
  • A player must be completely in the endzone and acknowledge that s/he has scored a goal. If that player plays the disc unknowingly into a turnover, then a goal is still awarded.
  • There is a "NO HALF" rule in effect which means you are not allowed to cherry pick. If the disc is thrown before mid field and caught by the same teammate within the endzone, the point doesNOT count and this is a turnover. The disc is then given to the defense (which then becomes offense) and the disc is taken to the goal line where it is checked in to start play.

7. FOULS

A foul is called by the player fouled against - NOT by someone on the sidelines. A foul can ONLY be contested by the player involved with the infraction -- in this case the play is redone, minus 2 stall counts from where the count was prior to the infraction.

  • A foul is called immediately by the player fouled, NOT by someone on the sidelines. 
    • IN Recreational level play: Play is dead on the spot and redone from the original thrower when the foul was called.
    • IN Iintermediate/Advanced level play:  When a foul disrupts possession, the play resumes as if the possession was retained.
  • ANY CONTACT is a foul. A foul is any intentional or unintentional or incidental contact and isNOT permitted. The foul must be called immediately. Both offense and defense can cause the foul and vice-versa, both can call the foul.
  • PICKS ARE FOULS. A pick is any time an offensive player blocks or impedes (EITHER INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY) a defender's path from covering their offensive player and is a foul and called at the point where it occurs. Picks are fouls because this is a safety issue as players crossing can collide. Play is stopped immediately and resumed back to the thrower at the time the pick was called and the stalls resume at the point when the pick was called. The defender is allowed to regain their coverage with the offensive player before play is resumed.
  • STRIPPING THE DISC IS A FOUL. A strip is when the defender knocks the disc out of the thrower's hands. If this happens the offensive player picks up the disc and play resumes with a new stall count by the defender.
  • FOOT BLOCKS ON FLYING OR ROLLING DISCS ARE FOULS in RECREATIONAL ONLY - (Foot Blocks: are permitted in intermediate/advanced play ONLY).  this is when a player extends or lifts their foot or leg to block or stop a disc in the air or to stop a disc that is rolling on the ground. This rule is in effect for safety (to prevent someone from inadvertantly tripping/kicking another player) and also to prevent players from stepping on or damaging game discs. If a foot block occurs by the marker (defender), the disc goes back to the thrower to be replayed. If this occurs on a throw-off, the throwing team has the option to replay the throw or keep the disc in play from the spot where it was blocked with the players foot.
  • If a defender hits the disc, hand or arm in an attempt to prevent a throw, IT IS A FOUL. Remember that the defender's hands may only block the path of the disc, not the throwing motion itself. Following through and hitting someone is not a foul but it should be avoided.

8. TURNOVERS

An incomplete, intercepted, knocked down, a no-half pass or out-of-bounds pass results in a loss of possession and a turnover. The following actions result in a turnover (loss of possession) and a check of the disc IS required:

  • If the marker reaches and says "ten" in their out loud stall count (See "Defense - Marker");
  • If the disc is handed from player to player;
  • NO HALF RULE - If the disc is thrown before half and caught by the same team in their attacking endzone - the defense then gets possession from the goal line;
  • If the thrower intentionally deflects a pass to him/herself off another player;
  • If the thrower catches his/her own throw. However, if the disc is incidentally touched by another player during its flight it is considered a complete pass and is not a turnover.

The following actions result in a turnover (loss of possession) and a check of the disc IS NOT required:

  • An interception by the defense is a turnover as long as the interception was a completed catch within the inbounds field of play. A check is not required by the intercepting team at this point.
  • An incomplete or knocked down pass or interception by the offense results in a turnover to the defense. As long as the disc did not go out of bounds a check is NOT required. If the disc did go out of bounds a check is required to put the disc back into play.

9. OFFENSE - "THE THROWER"

The person on offense with possession of the disc is known as the thrower.

  • Once the thrower picks up/catches the disc, a pivot foot must first be established.
  • The thrower is not allowed to "travel" or take any steps when they have possession of the disc.
  • The thrower is allowed to pivot on one foot (like in basketball) but cannot take a step or make an advancement in any direction with the pivoting foot - this is a travel. If a travel occurs the defender can call "travel" on the thrower, and the thrower must go back to their original point when the "travel was called." The stall count will resume once the thrower is back to their original position.
  • The thrower has the right to pivot in any direction. However, once the marker has established a legal defensive position, the thrower may not pivot into him/her.
  • If a disc goes out of bounds, the player who picks up the disc must put the disc into play (ie. become the thrower).
  • The thrower must be off her/his knees to make a throw. If the thrower's knees or upper body are on the ground while they throw the play is called dead and the disc comes back to the thrower.
  • The thrower has 10 stalls to throw the disc. If "ten" is said by the marker, then a turnover occurs.

10. DEFENSE - "THE MARKER"

The defender who guards the thrower is known as the marker.

  • The marker has to stay the width of the disc (aka frisbee) away from the thrower's body.
  • The marker counts Stalls up to 10 (Stall 1, Stall 2, Stall 3.....and so on) in a steady pace - each stall is equal to 1 second.
  • The thrower has 10 stalls to throw the disc. If "ten" is said by the marker, then a turnover occurs.
  • If the defender's count is too quick the thrower can call "quick count" and the count goes back 1 stall and resumes.
  • The count must be OUT LOUD for everyone to hear. If the defender is counting in their head this does not count.
  • To start counting stalls the defender must be within 3 meters away from the thrower.
  • The stall count can be started as soon as the offensive player has possession of the disc and has established a pivot foot. The thrower is permitted a reasonable amount of time to pick up the disc and initiate play.
  • The defense can block the disc with any part of their body EXCEPT WITH THEIR FEET! No foot blocks allowed. If a foot block occurs by the marker, the disc goes back to the thrower to be replayed.
  • Only one marker is allowed to guard the thrower.
  • The marker may not straddle the pivot foot of the thrower.
  • The marker can not position his/her arms in such a manner as to restrict the thrower from pivoting.

11. COMPLETED CATCH

A completed catch is good as long as the receiver retains possession of the disc with the first point of contact in bounds at the time of the catch (no bobbling allowed).

  • FIRST POINT OF CONTACT determines if it is a completed catch. A player is out-of-bounds when she or he steps on an out-of-bounds area (lines marked by pylons are out of bounds).
    • When a player jumps and catches the disc, the out-of-bounds is determined by where the first point of contact is when they land on the ground. If any portion of the first point of contact is out-of-bounds, the player is considered out-of-bounds. IE for it to be a completed catch the first foot, toe or part of the upper body (knee and up) must land in bounds FIRST, if the first point of contact is out of bounds, it is not a completed catch. The player closest to the play makes the call and cannot be disputed once the call is made.
  • The ground can cause an incomplete pass.
  • You are not permitted to take any steps once the disc is caught. If you catch the disc in motion, you are suppose to step back to the point where you caught the disc.
  • If the disc is caught simultaneously by offensive and defensive players, the offence retains possession.
  • If it is unclear whether a receiver was in or out of bounds at the point of making a catch, the player ON THE FIELD with the best perspective makes the call. Players on the sideline cannot make the calls.

12. FUMBLES/INTERCEPTIONS

  • There are no fumbles. If the disc is fumbled or dropped the play is dead and this is a turnover to the other team. The new offense retains possession at the spot of the turnover.
  • An interception is a turnover and the intercepting team now becomes the offense and play begins at the spot of the turnover. The disc does not have to be "checked in" on a turnover if the disc is still within the field of play -- only if it goes out of bounds.

13. TIE GAMES

A tie can occur in the regular season and will count as a tie in the standings. A tie cannot occur in the playoff game - play must continue until the final point is made. All teams make the playoffs, which occur the final week of the season.

14. SPIRIT OF THE GAME & ETIQUETTE

Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship, which places the responsibility for fair play on the players. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the fun-first, winning second motto. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other win at all costs behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players. If a foul is committed and not called by the opposing player, the player committing the foul should call it on themselves. If there is a dispute or confusion about the rules or a particular play on the field, it is good practice to stop play and resolve the matter. If a novice player commits a foul out of sincere ignorance of the rules, it should be common practice to stop play and explain the foul in a friendly manner.



OUTDOOR 55 MINUTE GAME RULE EXCEPTIONS for 5's:

All extended rules apply except for the following rules that will take effect for outdoor 55 min. games:

  • Game lengths - teams play one 55 minute game each week. Teams are allowed one 60 second timeout per game but must not be taken in the last 10 minutes of play. The clock runs continuous once the first whistle sounds.
  • Subbing on the fly - teams can sub in players on the fly. This is to maximize game time in a 55 minute game format. Changes must be made on your team's side of half, by a hand tag (that must be applied at the sideline location - out of bounds) by the player coming off and player coming on for the change to be legal. A player cannot proceed onto the field until they have been "tagged in" by the player coming off.
  • The throw-off (or "Pull") is only initiated at the start of the game and at half time. After subsequent points, the throw-off will not occur. Instead the new offense will get possession of the disc at their 10 yard line. This is to reduce play stoppage.
  • Half-time switch at the half way mark, the whistle will sound to notify all fields that at the next stoppage of play, teams will switch ends and line up for a throw-off (or pull). This is so that neither team has an advantage/disadvantage the entire game with the wind direction. The team that threw off to start the game will receive after half time.
  • Tie games - can occur in the regular season and playoffs. In the semi or quarter rounds, time is of the essence, if there is enough time, a 2-5 minute sudden death should be played with the first point winning. If after this 2-5 minute extra time no score is made, then the higher seeded team will advance in these (semi & quarter) playoff rounds only. This rule is in effect due to restrictions on field lighting and rental times (only in 55 minute game format).


INDOOR 55 MINUTE GAME RULE EXCEPTIONS for 5's:

All extended rules apply except for the following rules that will take effect for outdoor 55 min. games:

  • Game lengths - teams play one 55 minute game each week. Teams are allowed one 60 second timeout per game but must not be taken in the last 10 minutes of play. The clock runs continuous once the game starts. The Game ends at exactly 55 minutes past the hour. DO NOT PLAY OUT THE POINT. TEAMS SHOULD LEAVE THE FIELD IMMEDIATELY. Removal of cleats and team discussions should take place off the field!
  • Stalls are based on 8 for indoor (NOT 10).
  • Subbing on the fly - teams can sub in players on the fly. This is to maximize game time in a 55 minute game format. Changes must be made on your team's side of half, by a hand tag (that must be applied at the sideline location - out of bounds) by the player coming off and player coming on for the change to be legal. A player cannot proceed onto the field until they have been "tagged in" by the player coming off.
  • The throw-off (or "Pull") is only initiated at the start of the game and at half time. After subsequent points, the throw-off will not occur. Instead the new offense will get possession of the within the endzone where the point was scored. After a point is scored, the disc is turned over to the new offensive team, a self-check with the pivot foot at the spot where the point was scored. This is to reduce play stoppage and due to the mini field size.
  • There isn't a half time called in indoor, but if captains agree, one can be called for a 2-minute maximum. 
  • Tie games - can occur in the regular season and playoffs. In the semi or quarter rounds, time is of the essence, if there is enough time, a 2-5 minute sudden death should be played with the first point winning. If after this 2-5 minute extra time no score is made, then the higher seeded team will advance in these (semi & quarter) playoff rounds only. This rule is in effect due to restrictions on indoor field rental times (only in 55 minute game format).

Any area not covered above, USAU 11th EDITION to be used




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