Ultimate is a non-contact team sport played with a flying saucer, similar to American football. It was created by Joel Silver in 1970 and is governed by the Ultimate Players Association. The game is played with two teams of seven players on a field with the objective of scoring points by catching passes in the opposing team’s end zone. No contact is allowed, and players are responsible for calling their own fouls. Ultimate is gaining popularity in schools and organizations can visit the UPA website for more information and starter kits.
Ultimate is a competitive team sport that parallels American football, except that Ultimate is a non-contact sport played with a flying saucer. Credit for creating the sport goes to Joel Silver, who first organized a collegiate finals team when he attended Lafayette College in 1970. Today, in North America, finals is an intercollegiate sport and has been governed by its own organization, the Ultimate Players Association, or UPA, since 1980.
Ultimate is sometimes referred to as the Ultimate Frisbee. The frisbee is a branded flying saucer manufactured by Wham-o and frisbees are sometimes used to play Ultimate, flying saucers manufactured by Discraft are more commonly used. Following the rules of the sport, the final regulation must be played with a puck weighing 175 g (6.173 oz).
A regulation game of Ultimate is played with two opposing teams, each consisting of seven players on the field at the same time. The field measures 70 yards (64 meters) long by 40 yards (37 meters) wide and includes the end zones. The object is to score points by catching passes thrown by teammates into the opposing team’s end zone. While the playing field and goal of American football definitively parallel, the similarities of the two sports essentially end there.
Ultimately, teams typically play to be the first to score a predetermined number of points rather than playing until time runs out. No contact is allowed in Ultimate, but play is only officiated by players, not referees. Players are responsible for calling their own fouls in the spirit of good sportsmanship. In fact, Ultimate’s biggest game premise is based on the “spirit of the game,” making it a game played as much for fun as it is for competition.
In addition to collegiate and league play, Ultimate is rapidly gaining popularity in schools across North America and other areas of the world. Because the equipment used to play it is inexpensive, it is a great addition to both physical education programs and as an extracurricular sport for schools. Organizations interested in learning more about Ultimate can visit the official UPA website, where low-cost or no-cost starter kits are available. Some organizations are eligible for a grant to promote sport in schools and communities where it does not yet exist or has not been organized.