Ultimate is a sport similar to football or rugby, played with a 175 gram flying disc (otherwise known as a Frisbee). 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 football or rugby.

Players may not run with the disc, and may only move one foot while holding the disc (pivoting). While originally called Ultimate Frisbee, it is now officially called Ultimate because Frisbee is the trademark, albeit genericized, for the line of discs made by the Wham-O toy company.

Ultimate was invented by Joel Silver in 1968, while he was a high school student in Maplewood, New Jersey. Silver proposed a school Frisbee team to the student council on a whim. The following summer, a group of students got together to play what Silver claimed to be the ‘ultimate game experience.’  The sport grew to become identified as a counterculture activity.

While the rules governing movement and scoring of the sport have not changed, the early games had sidelines that were defined by the parking lot of the school and team sizes based on the number of players that showed up. A foul was defined as contact ‘sufficient to arouse the ire of the player fouled.’) No referees were present, which often holds true today: most Ultimate matches (even at high level events) are self-officiated.

At higher levels of play referees called ‘observers’ are often present. Observers only make calls when appealed to by one of the teams, at which point the result is binding. 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 first intercollegiate competition was held at Rutgers’s New Brunswick campus between Rutgers and Princeton on November 6, 1972, the 103rd anniversary of the first intercollegiate game of American football featuring the same schools competing in the same location.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.