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Ultimate is a team sport played with a flying disc. The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football.
The basic rules of ultimate are as follows:
  • The two teams begin at opposite end zones and try to advance the disc to the other end zone. The disc is put into play by one team throwing off to the other team. This throw-off is called the pull. Once in play, the disc may be moved only by passing, so the player holding the disc must stay put (but may pivot on one foot). If a team successfully advances the disc into the end zone, that team scores a point, the teams swap directions, and the team that scored pulls to the other team.

  • If a pass is incomplete, intercepted, or caught out of bounds, the opposing team immediately gains possession and tries to move the disc in the other direction. Another way to change possession is that the player holding the disc, called the thrower, has a limited time to throw the disc: A defensive player within 25 cm - 1 feet of the thrower may loudly count to 10 (by seconds), and if the disc is not thrown by the 'T' of ten, the defense immediately gains possession. This defensive player is called the marker, and the audible count is called the stall count.

  • The game is played until an end condition is reached, typically a time limit or when one team reaches a certain number of points.
Spirit of the game:
  • Ultimate is known for its "Spirit of the Game", often abbreviated SOTG. Ultimate's self-officiated nature demands a strong spirit of sportsmanship and respect. The following description is from the official Ultimate rules established by USA Ultimate:

    • Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate adverse conduct from the Ultimate field. 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.

    • Many tournaments give awards for the most spirited team, as voted for by all the teams taking part in the tournament.