Ultimate Frisbee Rules

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the Intramural Handbook. Unless specifically mentioned below, play is governed by USA Ultimate rules. By participating in Intramural Sports, the participant agrees to abide by all Intramural rules and policies. 


Following each game, each team will receive a sportsmanship rating between 0.0 and 4.0.


Any unsportsmanlike actions may be forwarded to Judicial Affairs and may include revocation of intramural sports and/or Campus Recreation privileges.

Sportmanship Rating
Score Player & Team Behavior  
4.0 Always respectful to officials and opposing team.
No complaining or arguing.
Does not comment about officials’ calls.
3.0 Usually respectful to officials and opposing team.
Minimal arguing or complaining about officials.
Maximum one unsportsmanlike penalty issued.
2.0 Consistent dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Consistent arguing and/or complaining about officials’ calls.
Maximum of two unsportsmanlike penalties or one ejection.
1.0 Excessive complaining, dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Contact or provocation of officials or opposing team members not inherent to the sport.
Any player involved in a fight.
Maximum of three unsportsmanlike penalties or two ejections.
0.0 Team and/or players are unsafe/out of control.
Multiple players on team fighting.
Destruction or abuse of UC property.

* A team that receives a "0" rating will be suspended from competition until its captain meets with the Assistant Director or Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The team may be removed from competition.


To be eligible to play intramural sports at the University of Cincinnati, a participant must be a current UC student (taking classes in the same semester), faculty, or staff AND possess an active membership to UC Campus Recreation Center.


Uptown, full-time UC students receive a Campus Recreation membership through full payment of the Campus Life Fee. All other populations will need to purchase a membership in order to be eligible to play.


A captain may not add players to his or her roster once playoffs have begun.


An ultimate frisbee team may have up to 20 people on its’ roster.


Per sport, per season, individuals may play on one (1) non-mixed gender team (i.e. open, men's, women's, Fraternity, Sorority) AND one (1) mixed gender team.


Each team may have a maximum of seven (7) players on the field at one time.


Mixed gender team requirements:

  • If playing with five (5) or six (6) players on the field, there can be no more than three (3) players of a gender.
    • Legal examples
      • Three males + two females
      • Three females + two males + one non-binary
    • Illegal example
      • Four females + two males
      • One female + four males
  • If playing with seven (7) players on the field, there can be no more than four (4) players of a gender.
    • Legal examples
      • Four females + three males
      • Four males + three females + one non-binary
    • Illegal examples
      • Five females + two males
      • Six males + one female


Additional players may be added until the start of the second half.


A team may begin a game with a minimum of 5 (five) players. A team may not continue to play with less than 5 players.


Players may freely substitute after a goal/prior to the ensuing pull, before the beginning of a half, or to replace an injured or ejected player.


Jewelry is not allowed at any time.


UC Intramural Sports will provide a game disc and pinnies. Teams may bring their own if they wish.


No helmets or any type of hard or padded headgear, tied bandana, or baseball cap may be worn. Stocking caps are legal, provided there are no knots or exposed strings.


Casts are not permitted. No pads or braces are allowed above the waist. Players who wear a knee brace with exposed metal or metal hinges are required to cover it with at least one-half inch of closed cell slow recovery rubber or other material of the same minimum thickness and physical properties. Kneepads of a soft pliable nature (e.g., basketball or volleyball pads) will be allowed below the waist.




Each player must wear closed-toed shoes. They must be made of a soft pliable upper material (canvas, leather or synthetic), which covers the foot, attached to a composition bottom.


No combat or hiking boots or hard-soled shoes.


Shoes that have metal, ceramic, screw-in, sharp points or detachable cleats are illegal.


This simplified version of Ultimate rules is especially for intramural play. However, if there is any discrepancy between this version and the Official Rules of Ultimate, the official rules govern. It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus, there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method to resume play simulating what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction. In Ultimate, an intentional infraction is considered cheating and an offense against the spirit of sportsmanship. A player may be in a position to gain an advantage by committing an infraction, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. Each player is responsible for upholding the Spirit of the Game™ (see below), and this responsibility should remain paramount.


Ultimate is self-officiated – there are no referees; players are responsible for making their own infraction and boundary (including scoring) calls. Each game will have a scorekeeper/timekeeper. This individual is not responsible for officiating or making judgment calls.


Spirit of the Game: Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other “win-at-all-costs” behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.


Game Timing


The game consists of two 20-minute halves with a 3-minute half time.


Time is continuous for each half, except when there is an injury time-out or a team calls time-out.


A game called due to inclement weather with at least one half completed constitutes a completed game and will not be made up.




Each team has one (1) 1-minute time-out per half. Unused time-outs do not roll over to the next half.


A time-out may be called only by the team in possession of the disc. Either team may call a time-out between points (after a goal, but before the ensuing pull).


There are no time-outs during overtime.




There is NO overtime in the regular season.


For playoff games that end regulation in a tie, a captain’s meeting and coin toss will be conducted prior to overtime. The winner will choose to receive the pull or which end zone to defend. The first team to score after the overtime pull will win the match.


Starting and Restarting Play


Prior to the start of the game, a coin toss, will be conducted by the scorekeeper with both captains.


The winner chooses to either receive the initial pull, or select the end zone they wish to defend.


The other team is given the remaining choice.


After a turnover, a player on the team becoming offense may immediately pick up the disc and put it back in to play by establishing a pivot foot in-bounds.


The second half begins with an automatic reversal of the initial choices.




A goal is scored when an in-bounds player catches a pass in the end zone of attack and retains possession of the disc throughout all ground contact related to the catch.




A goal is scored when an in-bounds player catches a pass in the end zone of attack and retains possession of the disc throughout all ground contact related to the catch.


Each time a goal is scored, the teams switch their direction of attack and the team that scored pulls to the opposing team.


On a pull, players must remain in their end zone (not cross the goal line) until the disc is released.


A pull may not be made until a player on the receiving team indicates readiness to play by raising a hand.


After the disc is released, all players may move in any direction.


No player on the pulling team may touch the pull in the air before a member of the receiving team touches it.


If a member of the receiving team catches the pull on the playing field, that player must put the disc into play from that spot.


If the receiving team allows the disc to fall untouched to the ground, and the disc initially lands inbounds, the receiving team gains possession of the disc where it stops if in-bounds or at the point on the playing field, excluding the end zone, nearest to where it crossed the out-of-bounds line.


If the pull lands out-of-bounds the receiving team puts the disc into play at the point on the playing field, excluding the end zone, nearest to where it crossed the out-of-bounds line.


In and Out of Bounds


The perimeter lines themselves are out-of-bounds.


A disc is out-of-bounds when it first contacts an out-of-bounds area or anything which is out-of bounds.


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 to be out-of-bounds.


If a player makes a catch in-bounds and momentum then carries him/her out-of-bounds, the player is considered in-bounds (to continue play, the player carries the disc to the point where s/he went out-of-bounds and puts the disc into play at that point).


The thrower may pivot in and out-of-bounds, provided that the pivot foot is in-bounds.


Turnovers occur when:


A pass is incomplete (dropped, hits the ground, is caught out of bounds, blocked, intercepted). A receiver must retain possession of the disc throughout all ground contact related to the catch (if a player falls to the ground during a catch and drops the disc, it is incomplete).


The marker’s count reaches the maximum number (10) before the throw is released.


When a turnover has occurs, any member of the team becoming offense may take possession of the disc.


To initiate play after a turnover, the person picking up the disc must put it into play at the spot of the turnover. If the disc landed out of bounds, the offensive player puts the disc into play at the point where it crossed the out-of-bounds line.


Any member of the offensive team may take possession of the disc.


The thrower must establish a pivot foot and may not change that pivot foot until the throw is released.


The thrower may pivot in any direction, but once the marker has established a legal defensive position, the thrower may not pivot into him/her.


Only one player may guard the thrower at any one time; that player is the “marker.”


The marker may not straddle the pivot foot of the thrower.


There must be at least one disc's diameter between the bodies of the thrower and the marker at all times.


The marker cannot position his/her arms in such a manner as to restrict the thrower from pivoting.


Stall count: The period of time within which a thrower must release a throw.


A player in possession of the disc has 10 seconds to release a throw.


The marker must be within 10 feet of the person with the disc before beginning the stall count.


The stall count consists of the marker counting to 10 audibly at one second intervals (e.g. “stalling one, two, three . . . .”).


If the thrower has not released the disc by the count of 10, a turnover results. If this call is disputed, the thrower gets the disc back with the stall count coming in at “stalling 8.”


If the defense switches markers, the new marker must restart the count at one.


After catching a pass, the receiver may take only the fewest number of steps required to come to a stop and establish a pivot foot.


Exception: If the receiver catches the disc while running, s/he may throw a pass without coming to a stop, but only so long as s/he releases the disc before the third ground contact after catching the disc.


If offensive and defensive players catch the disc simultaneously, the offense retains possession.

A foul is the result of physical contact between opposing players; a violation generally is any other infraction of the rules. When an infraction (a foul or violation) occurs:


The offending player loudly calls out the infraction (e.g., “Travel,” “Foul,” etc.).


A player called for an infraction may contest that call (by loudly calling “contest”), if that player believes that s/he did not commit the infraction.


After a call, play stops and players remain stationary until the parties involved have resolved the call.


If a call is not disputed, play resumes in a way simulating what most likely would have occurred without the infraction. E.g., 1) If a thrower was fouled while throwing and the pass was incomplete, the thrower gets the disc back with a new stall count, or 2) If a receiver is fouled on a reception attempt and the pass is incomplete, the receiver gets the disc at the point that the foul occurred.


If a call is disputed and the players cannot come to a resolution, the play is redone with each player returning to the position s/he occupied when the disputed infraction allegedly occurred.


Infractions include:


Foul: Contact between opposing players.


Fast count: When the marker counts at intervals of less than one second.


Double-team: When more than one defensive player is guarding the thrower within 10 feet.


Disc space: If the marker touches or is less than one disc diameter away from the thrower.


Travel: When a thrower fails to establish a pivot foot at the appropriate spot on the field, and/or to keep in contact with that spot until the throw is released.


Strip: When a defensive player knocks the disc out of a thrower’s hands.


Pick: Obstructing the movement of a player on the opposing team.


Each player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by another player.


Picks: No player may establish a position, or move in such a manner, so as to obstruct the movement of any player on the opposing team; to do so is a pick.


When the disc is in the air, players must play the disc, not the opponent.


Each player has the right to the space immediately above him/her. A player who has jumped is entitled to land at the same point of take off without hindrance by opponents.