Ultimate is a seven-a-side team sport played with a flying disc. It is played on a rectangular field, about half the width of a football field, with an end zone at each end. The objective of each team is to score a goal by having a player catch a pass in the end zone that they are attacking. A thrower may not run with the disc, but may pass the disc in any direction to any team-mate. Any time a pass is incomplete, a turnover occurs, and the other team shall take possession and attempt to score in the opposite end zone. Games are typically played to 15 goals and last around 100 minutes. Ultimate is self-refereed and non-contact. The Spirit of the Game guides how players referee the game and conduct themselves on the field.
Many of these rules are general in nature and cover most situations, however some rules cover specific situations and override the general case.
Ultimate is a non-contact, self-refereed sport. All players are responsible for administering and adhering to the rules. Ultimate relies upon a Spirit of the Game that places the responsibility for fair play on every player.
It is trusted that no player will intentionally break the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent breaches, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach.
Players should be mindful of the fact that they are acting as referees in any arbitration between teams. Players must:
know the rules;
be fair-minded and objective;
explain their viewpoint clearly and briefly;
It is an essential component of good spirit that a player must be prepared, if asked, to explain concisely the objective evidence that led to making a call, or contesting a call.
After making a travel call, if asked, the defender might explain “I saw you lift your pivot foot while the disc was still in your hand.”
The objective evidence is evidence that can be tested for validity. It makes it clear that the call was not based on emotion or what the player wanted or expected to happen, but what they actually observed.If a player is not reasonably certain of the objective evidence, they should not make a call.
Players should be aware and understanding of the language limitations accompanying international play, however opponents should still be able to communicate, even through gestures, what they saw. Team captains and team mates should get involved if they think their team’s player is wrong or does not behave correctly.
allow opponents a reasonable chance to speak;
resolve disputes as quickly as possible, using respectful language;
make calls in a consistent manner throughout the game; and
Players should make calls without taking into account the context of the game. This means that players should not start making more calls just because the game is nearly over and the scores are quite close.
If at the start of the game minor travel infractions were not called, then they should not be called later in the game.
only make a call where a breach is significant enough to make a difference to the outcome of the action.
Players should allow for a reasonable degree of tolerance for minor breaches involving small discrepancies in distance and time.
If the thrower established a pivot one centimeter away from the correct pivot point then a travel infraction should not be called.
Highly competitive play is encouraged, but should never sacrifice the mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.
The following actions are examples of good spirit:
informing a team-mate if they have made a wrong or unnecessary call or caused a foul or violation;
retracting a call when you no longer believe the call was necessary;
complimenting an opponent for good play or spirit;
introducing yourself to your opponent; and
reacting calmly towards disagreement or provocation.
The following actions are clear violations of the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all participants:
dangerous play and aggressive behaviour;
intentional fouling or other intentional rule violations;
taunting or intimidating opposing players;
A player could be deemed to be engaging in intimidating behaviour if, for example, they yell loudly at an opponent with the intention of distracting the opponent as they are about to make a catch. Simply undertaking a normal action within the game, such as making a bid in front of someone, should not be seen as intimidation.
disrespectful celebration after scoring;
This includes spiking directed at an opponent and taunting of the opponent by “showing” them the disc. These actions must be avoided.
Opposing team captains should discuss all matters relating to violations of spirit and try to resolve them.
making calls in retaliation to an opponent’s call; and
calling for a pass from an opposition player.
Teams are guardians of the Spirit of the Game, and must:
take responsibility for teaching their players the rules and good spirit;
discipline players who display poor spirit; and
provide constructive feedback to other teams about how to improve their adherence to the Spirit of the Game.
In the case where a novice player commits a breach out of ignorance of the rules, experienced players are obliged to explain the breach.
An experienced player, who offers advice on rules and guides on-field arbitration, may supervise games involving beginners or younger players.
Rules should be interpreted by the players directly involved in the play, or by players who had the best perspective on the play. Non-players, apart from the captain, should refrain from getting involved. However players may seek the perspective of non-players to clarify the rules, and to assist players to make the appropriate call.
It is still up to the players involved to make the final call. Non players must not provide advice regarding a call unless they are requested to by the players involved.
Players and captains are solely responsible for making all calls.
If, after discussion, players cannot agree, or it is unclear:
what occurred in a play,or
what would most likely have occurred in a play,
the disc must be returned to the last non-disputed thrower.
Before the disc is returned to the thrower when players cannot agree, players should discuss what happened in the play. Both players involved should attempt to clearly explain what they think happened and listen to the view of their opponent, or other players with good perspective on the play.
If discussion is difficult due to a language barrier, then gestures or recreations of the incident can be used to indicate what was experienced during the incident (eg striking yourself across the back of the hand to show that your hand was hit as you were trying to catch the disc).
There are times where an event happens where it is not possible to be reasonably certain of exactly what happened (eg no one had a good view, or it happened too quickly). There are also times where it can be difficult to determine whether something ‘affected the play’. In those circumstance the disc should be returned to the last non-disputed thrower.
Discussions should be as brief as possible with the preferred outcome being either a retracted call, or an uncontested call. However once it becomes clear that no resolution will be reached, the disc should be returned to the last non-disputed thrower. The suggested maximum length of a stoppage due to a discussion is forty-five (45) seconds).
The playing field is a rectangle area with dimensions and zones as shown on Figure 1 (see above) and should be essentially flat, free of obstructions and afford reasonable player safety.
The playing field is one hundred (100) metres long by thirty-seven (37) metres wide. The playing field is broken up into a central zone that is sixty-four (64) metres long, and two end zones that are eighteen (18) metres deep at each end of the central zone.
All lines should be between seventy-five (75) and one hundred and twenty (120) millimetres wide, and be marked with a non-caustic material.
If space is not available to fit a full sized field, the end zones should be made shorter before the central zone is reduced. Refer to Appendix A.1.5.1 for more detail.
The perimeter lines surround the playing field and consist of two (2) sidelines along the length and two (2) endlines along the width.
The perimeter lines are not part of the playing field.
The goal lines are the lines that separate the central zone from the end zones and are part of the central zone.
The brick mark is the intersection of two (2) crossed one (1) metre lines in the central zone set eighteen (18) metres from each goal line, midway between the sidelines.
Eight brightly-coloured, flexible objects (such as plastic cones) mark the corners of the central zone and the end zones.
The immediate surroundings of the playing field shall be kept clear of movable objects. If play is obstructed by non-players or objects within three (3) metres of the perimeter line, any obstructed player or thrower in possession may call “Violation”.
Any flying disc acceptable to both captains may be used.
WFDF may maintain a list of approved discs recommended for use.
No player may wear items of clothing or equipment that reasonably could harm the wearer or other players, or impede an opponent's ability to play.
This includes wristwatches, bracelets, buckles and protruding jewellery. Fully metallic studs, long studs and studs with sharp edges are not allowed on footwear.
Equipment that impedes ability to play: This includes oversized items, long pieces of fabric etc. The types of gloves commonly worn by Ultimate players are allowed, but they must not in any way damage the disc or leave any residue on the disc.
A game consists of a number of points. Each point ends with the scoring of a goal.
A game is separated into two (2) periods of play, called halves. Half time occurs when a team first scores eight (8) goals.
The first point of each half starts when the half starts.
After a goal is scored, and the game has not been won or half time has not been reached:
the next point starts immediately;
the teams switch the end zone that they are defending; and
the team that scored becomes defence and pulls next.
A variation of the basic structure may be used to accommodate special competitions, number of players, age of players or available space.
Each team will put a maximum of seven (7) players and a minimum of five (5) players on the field during each point.
Refer to the WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017 - Appendix for a detailed description of team requirements for WFDF Events.
In Mixed games, where men and women play on the same team, both teams should have the same gender ratio as each other on the field for each point. Events should use one of the options in the WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017 Appendix to determine the gender ratio for each point.
A team may make (unlimited) substitutions after a goal is scored and before the team signals readiness for the pull.
Each team will nominate a captain to represent the team.
Representatives of the two teams fairly determine which team first chooses either:
Team representatives should ensure they have the authority from their team to make the decisions listed in this section. It is recommended that team representatives use the process described in the WFDF Rule of Ultimate Appendix to fairly determine the choices.
whether to receive or throw the initial pull; or
which end zone they will initially defend.
The other team is given the remaining choice.
At the start of the second half, these initial selections are switched.
At the start of the game, after half-time or after a score, play commences with a throw-off, called a pull.
Teams must prepare for the pull without unreasonable delay.
The following activities are considered reasonable prior to a pull:
- Celebrating a goal
- Determining who will play the next point
- Determining team tactics for that point, (e.g. who is marking whom, offensive positions, what type of defence and/or offence will be used)
As a guide, the pull should be released within 75 seconds of the start of the point (which starts at the start of a half, or when the previous goal was scored).
Refer to the WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017 - Appendix for a detailed description of the timing between points at WFDF Events.
The pull may be made only after both teams have signalled their readiness by having the puller and a player on offence raise a hand above their head.
After signalling readiness all offensive players must stand with one foot on their defending goal line without changing location relative to one another until the pull is released.
After signalling readiness all defensive players must keep their feet entirely behind the vertical plane of the goal line until the pull is released.
Note: The Rules of Ultimate Appendix contains specific rules about Offside that apply at WFDF Events.
It is recommended that the opposing team provide a warning to the captain of the team committing this violation before it is enforced. Team should also take into account that calls should only be made where a breach is significant enough to make a difference to the outcome of the action. Offside can only be called by the players on the field, and any call made by a non-player has no consequences. However non players may assist in monitoring offside and may provide advice based on their perspective, if offside is called.
As soon as the disc is released, all players may move in any direction.
No player on the defensive team may touch the disc after a pull until a member of the offensive team contacts the disc or the disc contacts the ground.
A pull hits the ground and starts rolling towards the defending end zone, so a defender stops the disc, even before an offence player has touched it.
If the pull is still in the air, no defensive player may touch it, even if it flies back towards the defensive end zone (e.g. because of the wind). If a player does touch it, offence may request a re-pull.
If the pull lands in the offence’s attacking end zone (i.e. a really short pull), the offence should take it on the goal line.
Any offence player can also stop the pull from rolling. That player is not required to pick up the disc after stopping it.
If an offensive player, in-bounds or out-of-bounds, touches the disc before it hits the ground, and the offensive team fails to catch it, that is a turnover (a “dropped pull”).
If an offensive player catches the pull they must establish a pivot at the point on the playing field nearest to where it was caught, even if that point is in their defending end zone.
If the disc initially contacts the playing field and never becomes out-of-bounds, the thrower must establish the pivot where the disc stops, even if that point is in their defending end zone.
If the disc initially contacts the playing field and then becomes out-of-bounds without contacting an offensive player, the thrower must establish the pivot where the disc first crossed the perimeter line, or the nearest point in the central zone if that point would be in the defending end zone.
If the disc does contact an offensive player before it becomes out-of-bounds the thrower must establish the pivot where the disc first crossed the perimeter line, even if that point is in their defending end zone.
If the disc contacts the out-of-bounds area without first touching the playing field or an offensive player, the thrower may establish the pivot either at the brick mark closest to their defending end zone, or at the spot on the central zone closest to where the disc went out-of-bounds (Section 11.7). The binding brick option must be signalled before the disc is picked up, by any offensive player fully extending one arm overhead and calling "brick".
If an offensive player signals and calls “brick”, a different offensive player may pick up the disc.
The disc is dead, and no turnover is possible:
After the start of a point, until the pull is released;
After the pull or after a turnover when the disc must be carried to the location of the correct pivot point, until a pivot is established; or
After a call which stops the play or any other stoppage, until the disc is checked in.
A player signals a foul or violation and yells “stop” or uses the incorrect name for a call.
The call should be dealt with as if the player has used the correct call.
It is clear that the player has seen a breach of the rules. This takes precedence over the technicality of knowing the correct term.
A disc that is not dead is live.
The thrower may not transfer possession of a dead disc to another player.
Any player may attempt to stop a disc from rolling or sliding after it has hit the ground.
If, in attempting to stop such a disc, a player significantly alters the disc’s position, the opposition may request that the pivot be established at the location where the disc was contacted.
The opposition request may be made by verbal request or by pointing to the correct location.
- Play does not stop and a check is not required to restart play (similar to an uncontested travel infraction (Rule 18.2.6)).
- If the offensive team is the team that significantly altered the discs position they should not move to establish the pivot at the location where the disc was contacted unless requested to by the opposition.
After a turnover, and after the pull, the team that has gained possession of the disc must continue play without delay.
An offensive player must move at walking pace or faster to directly retrieve the disc and establish a pivot.
A turnover has occurred and the new intended thrower is standing over the disc, waiting for their team to set up.
The defence should remind the player they need to put the disc into play. Intentional delay of game is against spirit of the game and should be discussed by the captains as soon as possible.
Rule 8.5 says that the new thrower must not delay when picking up the disc.
If other players are still moving towards the disc (a common situation after a turnover), the closest player can decide not to pick up the disc – this is not in itself a breach of the rules. If no player on offense has been walking towards the disc since the turnover occurred, this is a breach of the rules. It is recommended that the opposing team provide a warning to the opposition and make sure they are aware of the rule before enforcing any time limits.
In addition to 8.5.1, after a turnover the offence must put the disc into play within the following time limits, if the disc did not become out-of-bounds, and the discs location is:
To enforce the 10 and 20 second time limits the defence should loudly count down the time limit in 5-second intervals. The player who calls the time limits does not need to be the same player who becomes the marker.
For events where the “WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017 – Appendix” are in use, the penalties also apply to discs that are out-of-bounds, and for the pull. Refer to A5.8 for details.
It is recommended that the opposing team provide a warning to the opposition and make sure they are aware of the rule before enforcing any time limits.
If the offence believes that the time limits are being counted too quickly, they can call a fast count.
If the disc lands out-of-bounds and then rolls back and stops in the playing field, the time limits in 8.5.2 do not apply.
in the central zone – within ten (10) seconds of the disc coming to rest.
in an end zone - within twenty (20) seconds of the disc coming to rest.
If an offensive player is within three (3) metres of the pivot point and, after the verbal warning, the offence continues to breach 8.5 the marker may commence the stall count.
After the “delay of game” call the offence should be given two (2) seconds to remedy the breach before the stall count is commenced. Refer to the WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017 - Appendix for additional rules about a pre-stall.
The marker administers a stall count on the thrower by announcing “Stalling” and then counting from one (1) to ten (10). The interval between the start of each number in the stall count must be at least one (1) second.
The stall count must be clearly audible to the thrower.
The marker may only start and continue a stall count when:
Even if the thrower still has to stop, get up after a dive, or even come back into the field because they ran out of the field, the marker may start the count.
If the offensive player needs some time to recover because they had to avoid an object outside the field (for safety, there shouldn’t be any, but in practice this may be the case) the marker should not count until the player has had that time.
If the thrower regains possession of an accidentally dropped disc before it contacts the ground without another player touching the disc, that possession is considered continuous. If the thrower regains possession of an accidentally dropped disc before it contacts the ground and after another player touches it, it is considered a new possession.
If the thrower catches a pass in the central zone, but momentum takes them out-of-bounds, the marker can start/continue the stall count if they are within 3 metres of the pivot spot, even if they are not within 3 metres of the thrower.
The disc is live (unless specified otherwise);
They are within three (3) metres of the thrower, or the correct pivot point if the thrower has moved from that spot; and
If the marker moves more than three (3) metres from the thrower, or a different player becomes the marker, the stall count must be restarted at "Stalling one (1)".
After play stops the stall count is resumed as follows:
After an uncontested breach by the defence the stall count restarts at "Stalling one (1)".
After an uncontested breach by the offence the stall count restarts at maximum nine (9)
After a contested stall-out the stall count restarts at "Stalling eight (8)".
If "x" is the last number fully uttered prior to the call, then the stall count resumes at “Stalling (x plus one)” or “Stalling n”, whichever of those two numbers is lower.
If, after a call, a stall count is to be restarted at maximum 6 and:
- the stall count was stopped at 4, the stall count restarts on “Stalling 5”
- the stall count was stopped at 8, the stall count restarts on “Stalling 6”
There does not need to be a gap between “stalling” and the number of the count.
Whenever play stops during a point for a time-out, foul, violation, contested turnover, specified turnover, contested goal, technical stoppage, injury stoppage, or discussion, play must restart as quickly as possible with a check. The check may only be delayed for the discussion of a call.
A check is not required after the pull or after a turnover, even when the thrower must walk to the location of the correct pivot point. The thrower can make a pass, and the marker can start the stall count, as soon as the pivot is established at the correct position. If the pivot is not established at the correct position, this is a travel infraction. If the marker starts the stall count before the pivot is established, this is a fast count infraction. To ensure play is not interrupted, it is recommended that either the thrower or marker point to the spot where they think the pivot should be established, prior to it being established.
“Specified turnover” refers to those listed in 13.2
Player positioning after a call (except in the case of a time-out, and unless specified otherwise):
If play stops before a pass is thrown, all players must return to the location they held when the call was made.
If play stops after a pass is thrown, then:
if the disc is returned to the thrower, all players must return to the location they held when the thrower released the disc, or the time of the call, whichever is earlier.
if the result of the play stands all players must return to the location they held when either the pass was caught, or the disc hit the ground.
if a player other than the thrower gains possession as a result of an uncontested breach, all players must return to the location they held when the breach occurred.
All players must remain stationary in that location until the disc is checked in.
Any player may briefly extend a stoppage of play to fix faulty equipment (“equipment”), but active play may not be stopped for this purpose.
Faulty equipment includes, for example, untied shoelaces, a bent disc or a shoe that has come off. However, it is players’ responsibility to minimise such disruptions by ensuring their personal equipment is secure.
The person checking the disc in must first verify with the nearest opposition player that their team is ready.
If there is an unnecessary delay in checking the disc in, the opposition may give a verbal warning (“Delay of Game”) and, if the delay continues, they may check the disc in by calling “Disc In”, without verification from the opposition.
An unnecessary delay includes discussing team tactics (who is guarding whom, who should attempt to catch the next pass). A discussion to resolve the outcome of a call is not an unnecessary dela.
After a “Delay of Game” called against the defence where the unnecessary delay continues, the thrower may call “Disc In” and then immediately make a pass.Extra:The person checking the disc in must still ensure that all players are stationary and in the correct position before checking the disc in.
It is recommended that the opposing team provide a warning to the opposition, and make sure they are aware of the rule, before enforcing this rule.
To restart play:
It is recommended that the following steps be undertaken before checking the disc in:
• “Is the offence ready?”
• “Is the defense ready?”
• “The stall count is starting on ‘x’”
• “Disc In, in 3...2...1”
• Touch the disc, touch the disc to the ground, or say “Disc In”, as appropriate
when the thrower has the disc:
if there is a defender within reach, the defender must touch the disc.
if there is not a defender within reach, the thrower must touch the disc to the ground and should call “Disc In”.
If the thrower loses possession as a result of touching the disc to the ground, they can re-establish possession.
when the disc is on the ground, the defender nearest to the disc must call “Disc In”.
If the thrower attempts a pass before the check, or a violation of 10.2 is called, the pass does not count regardless of whether it is complete or incomplete, and possession reverts back to the thrower.
A player cannot call a violation of 10.2 because a player on their own team (including themselves) is in the wrong position, or is moving before the check.
The entire playing field is in-bounds. The perimeter lines are not part of the playing field and are out-of-bounds. All non-players are part of the out-of-bounds area.
The out-of-bounds area consists of the area which is not in-bounds and everything in contact with it, except for defensive players, who are always considered “in-bounds” for purposes of making a play on the disc.
An offensive player who is not out-of-bounds is in-bounds.
The 'Greatest': An offensive player realises that they cannot catch the disc in-bounds and jumps from an in-bounds position, catches the disc and throws it before they land out-of-bounds.
This is a valid pass.
Rule 11.3.1. states that an airborne player who jumped from in-bounds is still in-bounds. This lasts until the player lands out-of-bounds and by that time the player has already released the disc. Therefore, the disc is not out.
A player is allowed to throw the disc while in the air, according to rule 220.127.116.11.
A player may not catch their own “greatest” throw. That is a turnover (13.2.5).
If there is a contested call regarding the catch after a “greatest”, the player who threw the “greatest” should be treated as the last thrower. They should establish a pivot at the point on the field closest to where they released the disc (or on the goal line if this would result in a pivot in their attacking end zone).
An airborne player retains their in-bounds/out-of-bounds status until that player contacts the playing field or the out-of-bounds area.
A thrower in possession of the disc, who contacts the playing field and then touches an out-of-bounds area, is still considered in-bounds.
Contact between players does not confer the state of being in- or out-of-bounds from one to another.
A disc is in-bounds once it is live, or when play starts or restarts.
A disc becomes out-of-bounds when it first contacts the out-of-bounds area or contacts an out-of-bounds offensive player. A disc in the possession of an offensive player has the same in/out-of-bounds status as that player. If the disc is simultaneously in the possession of more than one offensive player, one of them being out-of-bounds, the disc is out-of-bounds.
The disc may fly outside a perimeter line and return to the playing field, and players may go out-of-bounds to make a play on the disc.
Players are allowed to leave the playing field to make a play on the disc and may enter the field at any point. However it is a turnover if an offensive player jumps from out-of-bounds and contacts the disc before they contact the playing field (Rule 11.3.1/ 11.5/ 12.3.1).
It is bad spirit to intentionally leave the playing field and use players/objects on the sideline to disguise your location.
The place where a disc went out-of-bounds is the spot where, prior to contacting an out-of-bounds area or player, the disc was most recently:
A long throw from the sideline doesn’t come back in field. Where do you set your pivot correctly and continue to play?
A defender is always in bounds when making a play on the disc (11.2). This means that if a defender touches the disc whilst out of bounds – the disc is then played from nearest point on the central zone (11.7.2).
Note: if a defender hits the disc but the wind takes the disc back in field - the disc is still live.
Offensive players can become out of bounds (11.5). This means in the same situation if offence touches the disc first then it is a turnover and the disc goes back to where it crossed the perimeter line (i.e. was last in-bounds). (11.7.1).
If an offensive player jumps from in-bounds and touches the disc before landing, then that establishes a point where the disc was in-bounds. If this results in a turnover ,without the receiver ever establishing possession, the disc will come into play at the point nearest to where the offensive player touched the disc. If the receiver catches the pass and throws it while in the air, and the disc lands in-bounds, then that establishes the disc as being back in-bounds.
If players who had good perspective on the play cannot agree on where the disc went out-of-bounds, the mid point between the two proposed locations should be used.
If a defender jumps, intercepts a pass, and then lands out-of-bounds, this is not a “double turnover” - the defender still retains possession.
partly or wholly over the playing field; or
contacted by an in-bounds player.
If the disc is out-of-bounds and more than three (3) metres from the pivot point, non-players may retrieve the disc. The thrower must carry the disc the last three (3) metres to the playing field.
A non-player retrieves an out-of-bounds disc and returns it to the thrower who is standing on the perimeter line
Rule 11.8 allows non-players to retrieve the disc, however the thrower must carry the disc the last 3 metres. Therefore the thrower should walk 3 metres away from the field and then return. They may then establish a pivot at the correct spot and continue play.
If the thrower commences play without going 3 metres away the opposition may call violation and play will restart with a check.
However if the opposition does not feel they have been disadvantaged by the disc being returned to the thrower, they can allow play to continue.
Non-players may also stop an out-of-bounds rolling disc that is more than 3 metres from the pivot point.
The team in possession may choose to substitute a disc if the disc is out-of-bounds, and it will save time to substitute it. The thrower must still carry the disc the last 3 metres to the field.
Non-players should not intentionally touch a disc until it has become out-of-bounds.
A player “catches” the disc by demonstrating sustained control of a non-spinning disc.
If the player loses control of the disc due to subsequent contact with the ground or a team-mate or a legitimately positioned opposition player, the catch is deemed to have not occurred.
The following are out-of-bounds turnovers, and no catch is deemed to have occurred:
If an opponent believes an offensive player has caught the disc out-of-bounds they should make a call immediately by saying “Out-of-bounds” or “Out” for short. “Check feet” is a not a call and this call does not stop play.
If it is unclear if the player was out-of-bounds then play should stop as the players with best perspective discuss the call. Players may ask for perspective from people on the side-line, however it is still up to the players involved to make the final call.
If the call is contested the disc shall be returned to the previous thrower.
For games played on unlined fields the receiver should be given the benefit of the doubt for close “Out-of-bounds” calls.
an offensive receiver is out-of-bounds when they contact the disc; or
after catching the disc, an offensive receiver’s first contact is out-of-bounds while still in possession of the disc.
After a catch, that player becomes the thrower.
If offensive and defensive players catch the disc simultaneously, the offence retains possession.
A player in an established position is entitled to remain in that position and should not be contacted by an opposing player.
Every player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by any opposing player, provided that they do not initiate contact in taking such a position.
If a player does initiate contact in taking such a position, this is a Blocking foul (17.8).
All players have a responsibility to avoid initiating contact, even if that means that they must pull out of making a play on the disc.
However when the disc is in the air a player may not move in a manner solely to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc.
Player A, who is making a play on the disc, is allowed to slow down and to impede a opponent’s movement to make a play on the disc. However Player A must not move in a way that the opponent could not reasonably avoid them – this is a Blocking foul (17.8).
Some incidental contact may occur in these circumstances but incidental contact is not a foul.
If Player A is not making a play at the disc, but is instead allowing a teammate to make a play at the disc, Player A may not move to impede an opponent. However if Player A is stationary, or does not intend to impede, this is not a violation, even if their actions do in fact impede an opponent.
The key word in this rule is ‘solely’. The intent of the player’s movement can be partly motivated to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc, so long as it is part of a general effort to make a play on the disc.
All players must attempt to avoid contact with other players, and there is no situation where a player may justify initiating contact. “Making a play for the disc” is not a valid excuse for initiating contact with other players.
A player can be deemed to be “making a play on the disc” (Rule 12.8) when the disc is in the air and they are attempting to make contact with the disc in anyway i.e. to catch it or block it.
When making a play at a disc, players need to insure that they will not cause non incidental contact with another player (neither their stationary position, nor their expected position based on their established speed and direction), before, during or after the attempt at the disc.
Non incidental contact is any contact that is either dangerous in nature or affects the outcome of a play, regardless of whether the contact occurred after possession was established.
A breach affects the play if it is reasonable to assume that the outcome of the specific play may have been meaningfully different had the breach not occurred – eg if the player would not have been able to intercept the pass without causing significant contact with their opponent, or the opponent would have been able to make a play at the disc had the player not caused contact with them.
The relative skill, height and/or athletic ability, of the players involved should not typically be taken into account when considering if something affected the play or not.
Resting a hand on an opponent
A defender is resting a hand in their opponents back to enable them to know where their opponent is, even if they are not looking at them
This is a violation.
It is not necessarily a foul, but it is a violation of rule 12.8 that says “All players must attempt to avoid contact with other players, and there is no situation where a player may justify initiating contact”.
Some incidental contact , not affecting the outcome of the play or safety of players, may occur as two or more players move towards a single point simultaneously. Incidental contact should be minimized but is not considered a foul.
Two opposing players are moving towards the same point in order to make a play on the disc. They are both aware of each other and are aware that minor body contact may occur. Minor body contact does occur.
Even though contact has occurred, this is not necessarily a foul.
In circumstances where one player clearly initiates contact with another, the person who initiates the contact is the person who caused the foul (ie one player is stationary and another runs into them, or one player clearly has a right to a space and an opponent changes direction and impedes that space in an unavoidable way).
However there are times when both players have a right to a space and neither player can be deemed to have initiated contact. In these circumstances, if minor body contact occurs (ie players bump shoulders or hips) this is not necessarily deemed a foul, as both players were responsible for initiating the contact and both players were aware that contact may occur.
These scenarios should only be taken into account when both players have initiated contact simultaneously. If one player clearly initiated the contact, that player has caused the foul.
If one player is not aware that contact is going to occur, the player who is aware that contact will occur should avoid the contact and call a Dangerous Play foul if appropriate.
Players involved in these incidents should be mindful that they often do not have the best perspective on who initiated the contact and should ask nearby players for their perspective.
Players may not use their arms or legs to obstruct the movement of opposing players.
No player may physically assist the movement of another player, nor use an item of equipment to assist in contacting the disc.
If a defender physically assists the movement of another, or uses an item of equipment to assist in contacting the disc (e.g. throwing a hat in the direction of the disc), this is a violation. The intended receiver should be awarded possession.
A turnover that transfers possession of the disc from one team to the other occurs when:
the disc contacts the ground while it is not in the possession of an offensive player (a “down”);
It is not a turnover if a player fumbles the disc prior to fully establishing possession when attempting to gain possession of the disc after a turnover, or after a pull that has already contacted the ground.
a pass is caught by a defensive player (an “interception”);
the disc becomes out-of bounds (an “out-of-bounds”); or
during the pull, the receiving team touches the disc before it contacts the ground, and fails to catch the disc (a “dropped pull”).
If a “dropped pull” is contested the pulling team may choose to repeat the pull or retract the call.
A turnover that transfers possession of the disc from one team to the other, and results in a stoppage of play, occurs when:
there is an uncontested offensive receiving foul;
the thrower has not released the disc before the marker first starts to say the word “ten” in the stall count (a “stall-out”);
the disc is intentionally transferred from one offensive player to another without ever being completely untouched by both players (a “hand-over”);
the thrower intentionally deflects a pass to themselves off another player (a “deflection”);
in attempting a pass, the thrower catches the disc after release prior to the disc being contacted by another player (a “double touch”);
The thrower accidentally releases the disc while pivoting, and then catches it again, without any other player touching the disc.
This is not a double touch turnover. The marker can continue the stall count. If the thrower has moved their pivot foot a travel infraction can be called.
A double touch turnover can only occur after the thrower has attempted a pass. A pass is defined (under Throw) as “A disc in flight following any throwing motion, including after a fake attempt and an intentionally dropped disc, that results in loss of contact between the thrower and the disc”. As the disc was not in flight after a throwing motion or fake attempt, no pass has occurred and therefore 13.2.5 does not apply.
If the disc is accidentally released during the throwing motion as part of a fake attempt, the thrower cannot catch the disc unless it has been touched by another player.
The thrower may touch a disc they have thrown, for example to prevent an opponent from catching it, or to tap it to a teammate.
If the thrower does catch their own pass, the turnover location is where the thrower is when they caught the pass.
an offensive player intentionally assists a teammate’s movement to catch a pass; or
an offensive player uses an item of equipment to assist in catching a pass.
If a player determines a turnover has occurred they must make the appropriate call immediately. If the opposition disagrees they may call "contest". If, after discussion, players cannot agree or it is unclear what occurred in the play, the disc must be returned to the last non-disputed thrower.
If the thrower contests a stall-out but also attempts a pass, and the pass is incomplete, then the turnover stands and play restarts with a check.
Any offensive player may take possession of the disc after a turnover, except:
If, in attempting to intercept a pass, a defender from Team A loses control of the disc due to ground contact, or accidentally drops the disc, then the catch is deemed to have not occurred and any player on Team A may take possession of the disc.
after an “interception” turnover, in which case the player who made the interception must maintain possession; and
after an offensive receiving foul, in which case the fouled player must take possession.
If the player in possession after a turnover intentionally drops the disc, or places the disc on the ground, they must re-establish possession and restart play with a check.
Player A intercepts a pass and then intentionally drops the disc, or places the disc on the ground to allow their teammate to become the thrower.
Player A retrieves an out-of-bounds disc and then intentionally drops the disc at the location of the intended pivot to allow their teammate to become the thrower.
This is not a “double turnover”. The opposition can call a Violation in which case play stops and Player A must take possession of the disc. Play must restart with a check.
If Player A attempts a pass directly after the interception, and this pass is incomplete, this is a turnover.
If there is any uncertainty as to whether the players’ loss of possession was due to attempting to allow a teammate to become the thrower, or that they were in fact attempting a pass that was incomplete, the player should be given the benefit of the doubt.
After a turnover, the turnover location is where:
the disc has come to a stop or is picked up by an offensive player; or
the intercepting player stops; or
the uncontested offensive receiving foul occurred.
If the turnover location is out-of-bounds, or the disc touched an out-of-bounds area after the turnover occurred, the thrower must establish a pivot at the spot on the central zone nearest to where the disc went out-of-bounds (Section 11.7).
The official spot is just next to the line (since the line is not part of the playing field), but a pivot foot on the line is also acceptable. Given the fact that perimeter lines are only a few centimetres wide, the “error” is too small to be significant. While the rules state that the pivot point should be established in-bounds, rule 11.3.2 also says that it is not a problem that the pivot foot contacts an out-of-bounds area.
If the disc flew out the side of the end zone, there is a cone on the spot where the pivot point should be established. Rule 2.6 states that the edge of the central zone must be marked by that cone, so the player should not move it. Therefore the pivot point should be established on the end zone line next to the cone. Players should not move the cone. Note that the player is allowed to have enough room to turn on their pivot foot (otherwise unsafe situations might occur during pivoting).
If the turnover location is in the central zone, the thrower must establish the pivot at that point.
The pivot should be as close to the disc’s location as possible. Players should not place their right foot at the turnover location and then use their left foot as their pivot. This is a travel infraction (18.104.22.168).
If the turnover location is in the offence’s attacking end zone, the thrower must establish the pivot at the nearest point on the goal line.
If the turnover location is in the offence’s defending end zone, the thrower may choose where to establish the pivot:
at the turnover location, by staying at the turnover location or faking a pass; or
at the nearest point on the goal line to the turnover location, by moving from the turnover location.
The intended thrower, before picking up the disc, may signal the goal line option by fully extending one arm above their head.
The goal line signal can be useful to communicate to all players that the goal line option will be taken.If the signal is made, the thrower must move to the goal line.
However it is a voluntary signal. The intended thrower may still establish the pivot at the goal line even if they do not signal the goal line option.
The defence may ask the intended thrower if they intend to choose the goal line option and it is good spirit to provide a response (via hand signal), however it is not required.
Immediate movement, failure to move, or signaling the goal line option determines where to establish the pivot and cannot be reversed.
If the thrower breaches rule 13.11.3, this should be treated as a travel infraction. Play does not stop, but the thrower must return to the correct pivot.
The thrower cannot pick up the disc, look and see if there are any players to pass to, and then move to the goal line.
If, after a turnover, play has continued unknowingly, play stops and the disc is returned to the turnover location, players resume their positions at the time the turnover occurred and play restarts with a check.
A goal is scored if an in-bounds player catches a legal pass and all of their first simultaneous points of contact after catching the disc are entirely within their attacking end zone (note 12.1, 12.2).
'Callahan' goal: The offence throws the disc, but a defender intercepts the pass in the Offence’s defending end zone (which is the Defence’s attacking end zone).
The defence scores a goal.
Rule 14.1 states that the goal is scored when a player catches a legal pass and the first contact with the ground is inside their attacking endzone. It does not state that the pass has to be from a teammate.
The term Callahan Goal is an unofficial term for this type of goal.
A player catches the disc in the attacking end zone, but does not know this and throws the disc.
It is a goal, no matter the result of the additional pass.
Rule 14.1 does not say that the player scoring the goal must be aware of it. So if somebody has a clear perspective on it and declares it a goal, it is a goal. The disc cannot be thrown away after a goal is scored, so that action can be disregarded.
If it is unclear if the player scored (ie there is no agreement on the player who had best perspective, and there are opposing view points on the play) the result of the additional play stands.
Players may ask for perspective from people on the side-line to determine if the pass was caught in the endzone, however it is still up to the players involved to make the final call.
If a player believes a goal has been scored they may call “goal” and play stops. After a contested or retracted goal call play must restart with a check and the call is deemed to have been made when the pass was caught.
After a contested or retracted goal call where the receiver maintains possession, all players should return to where they were when the pass was caught.
If a player could reasonably assume that they have scored a goal, and behaves as if they have scored a goal (for example, by celebrating a goal) this should be treated as a “goal” call. This “goal” call is a stoppage of play and the result of any additional play does not stand.
The time at which a goal is scored is when the disc is caught and the player in possession is in contact with the end zone.
If there is discussion about a goal, and after discussion the goal is confirmed, for the purposes of time cap rules, the point is deemed to have ended when the catch occurred and the player in possession was in contact with the endzone. However the time limits between points will not commence until the discussion is resolved.
A breach of the rules due to non-incidental contact between two or more opposing players is a foul.
Non-incidental contact that occurs accidentally is still a foul – it does not need to be intentional. In fact there should be no intentional contact in Ultimate.
A breach of the rules regarding a Marking or Travel breach is an infraction. Infractions do not stop play.
Every other breach of the rules is a violation.
Only the player fouled may claim a foul, by calling “Foul”.
If a breach is committed and not called, the player committing the breach should inform the opponent or their team. However play must not be stopped to do so.
Only the thrower may claim a marking infraction, by calling the specific name of the infraction. Any opposing player may claim a travel infraction.
Only the thrower may call marking infractions. If other players notice the marking infraction they may alert the thrower of this, however this call will have no affect. The thrower may subsequently make the call themselves, in which case the opposition should respond accordingly.
Any opposing player may make a travel infraction call, however if the call is not made by the marker, the call should be made loud enough for the thrower and marker to hear.
Any opposing player may claim a violation, by calling the specific name of the violation or "Violation", unless specified otherwise by the particular rule.
When a foul or violation call is made that stops play, players must stop play by visibly or audibly communicating the stoppage as soon as they are aware of the call and all players should echo calls on the field. If play has stopped for a discussion without any call having been made, a call is deemed to have been made when the discussion started.
Calls must be made immediately after the breach is recognised.
If a player who is unable to make the call recognises it, such as a receiver in the case of a double team, the breach can still be called once the player who can make the call recognises it (ie the thrower in this example). However if, for example, the marker recognises that the thrower has established a pivot at the incorrect spot, they cannot wait until the stall count gets to 6 before they call a travel.
If play has stopped for a discussion, a player can still make a call during the discussion or at the end of the discussion.
After a player initiates a stoppage incorrectly, including after mishearing a call, not knowing the rules, or not making the call immediately:
If there is disagreement over who initiated the stoppage incorrectly, then the disc should be returned to the last non-disputed thrower.
if the opposition gains or retains possession, any subsequent play stands.
if the opposition does not gain or retain possession, the disc must be returned to the last non-disputed thrower.
If the player against whom the foul, infraction or violation has been called disagrees that it occurred, they may call “Contest”.
If a player making the “Foul”, “Violation” or “Contest” call subsequently determines that their call was incorrect, they can retract the call, by calling "Retracted". Play restarts with a check.
If the foul or violation:
is called against the thrower and the thrower subsequently attempts a pass, or
is called when the thrower is in the act of throwing, or
If the thrower calls a foul before they are in the act of throwing, play must stop. If the thrower does incorrectly continue play, the disc must come back to the thrower unless 16.3 applies - this applies to both a completed pass, and a turnover.
If the thrower is fouled before throw, but the foul continues to occur during throw, then 16.2 applies. If the foul occurs before the throw, but the thrower waits to call the foul during the act of throwing, 15.9 applies.
is called or occurs when the disc is in the air, then play continues until possession has been established.
Once possession has been established:
If the team that called the foul or violation gains or retains possession as a result of the pass, play continues without a stoppage. Players recognizing this may call “Play on” to indicate that this rule has been invoked.
If “play-on” is called before possession is established, and then the team that called the breach does not gain/retain possession, the “play on” call should be ignored and play should stop. The players involved must still determine if the breach actually affected the outcome, before determining whether the play should stand.
If the team that called the foul gains or retains possession, but the foul has impacted on their ability to continue play, they can call an indirect foul once possession has been established. This will stop play and enable them to make up any positional disadvantage caused by the foul.
If the team that called the foul or violation does not gain or retain possession as a result of the pass, play must be stopped.
If the team that called the foul or violation believes that possession has been affected by the foul or violation, the disc will be returned to the thrower for a check (unless the specific rule says otherwise).
Regardless of when the foul or violation call is made, if play had not completely stopped and the players involved from both teams agree that the foul, violation or call did not affect the outcome , the play stands. This rule is not superseded by any other rule.
A foul, violation or call affects the outcome if the outcome would have been meaningfully different had it not occurred. For example, a call affected the play if a receiver is aware that the call has been made before the throw and therefore slows down and fails to complete the pass.
During a stoppage to discuss these situations it is reasonable for a player to ask the opposition if they think the foul, violation or call affected the outcome. If the opposition thinks that it was affected, they should be able to provide some form of valid justification.
If players have already stopped to discuss the call, and then play restarts incorrectly as per 10.6, then 16.3 does not apply.
There is no specific limit on how many passes can occur before 16.3 no longer applies. However once more than one pass has been completed, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the breach, or call, will not affect the outcome.
If the play resulted in a goal, the goal stands.
If the play did not result in a goal the affected players may make up any positional disadvantage caused by the foul, violation or call and restart play with a check.
Any reference in section 17 to ‘contact’ is considered to be a reference to non-incidental contact, as, per 15.1, a foul is specifically defined as “non-incidental contact”.
Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players is considered dangerous play and is to be treated as a foul, regardless of whether or when contact occurs. This rule is not superseded by any other rule. If uncontested this must be treated as the most relevant foul from Section 17.
Dangerous Play fouls can be called before an event to avoid a potential collision e.g. a defender runs/layouts in a way that an accident would occur if the offence were to continue. When this occurs it is correct to not make a play on the disc & to call a ‘dangerous play’ foul.
Players calling a Dangerous Play foul before a potential incident need to have reasonable grounds for doing so. They should actually be able to see the on coming player and have some reason to believe that player will not avoid contact – this could include a previous history of that player to not avoid contact. You cannot call dangerous play if you feel you could have made a play on the disc, but that would have resulted in you initiating contact. In that instance, you should just refrain from making the play.
Defensive Receiving (Defender) Fouls:
A Defensive Receiving Foul occurs when a defender initiates contact with a receiver before, while, or directly after, either player makes a play on the disc.
A player on offence is chasing after a long throw and is tripped over, while running, by the defence. It is unclear if the offence player would have been able to get to the disc had there been no foul.
If the offence player believes they had a reasonable chance of getting to this disc had the trip not occurred they can call a foul. If the defence player accepts that they caused the offence player to trip over, but they do not believe the offence player had a reasonable chance at catching the disc, they may contest the foul. The disc is returned to the thrower and the players return to where they were when the disc was released (rule 10.2.2).
If tripping over did not affect the play, then the contact is deemed to be incidental and therefore not a foul (rule 15.1).
If it is clear to other players that the offence player did not have any chance at making the catch had there been no foul, they should encourage the offence player to retract the call and let the turnover stand.If the foul is uncontested, the offence player gains possession where the foul occurred, not where they would have caught the pass.
Please refer Section A7 of the Appendix v4.0 for specific receiving foul rules that apply at WFDF Events in 2020.
Non incidental contact that occurs directly after the attempt at the disc (i.e. a defender catches the disc and then collides with an offence player) is considered to be a receiving foul. Minor contact with the opponent’s arms after the block occurs could reasonably be considered as incidental, and therefore not a foul.
If Player A initiates contact with an opponent (Player B) that is the cause for Player B contacting Player A’s teammate (Player C), then Player C cannot call a foul on Player B as they did not initiate the contact. If the disc is in the air but the players involved in the foul were running to receive or defend the next pass after possession has been established, this should be treated as an Indirect foul (rule 17.9).
After an uncontested defensive receiving foul the receiver gains possession at the point of the breach. If 14.2 applies, the disc is dead until a pivot is established at the nearest point of the goal line. If the foul is contested, the disc is returned to the thrower.
After an uncontested defensive receiving foul in the offense’s attacking end zone, the receiver gets possession of the disc in the end zone. The disc is checked in there, and they must then walk to the nearest spot on the goal line, as per 14.2. All players may move once the disc is checked in, and the marker may only start the stall count once the pivot is established at the goal line.
A Force-out Foul occurs when an airborne receiver catches the disc, and is fouled by a defensive player before landing, and the contact caused the receiver;
to land out-of-bounds instead of in-bounds; or
to land in the central zone instead of their attacking end zone.
If the receiver would have landed in their attacking end zone, it is a goal;
If the force-out foul is contested, the disc is returned to the thrower if the receiver landed out-of-bounds, otherwise the disc stays with the receiver.
Defensive Throwing (Marking) Fouls:
A Defensive Throwing Foul occurs when:
A defensive player initiates contact with the thrower, or there is contact resulting from the thrower and the defender both vying for the same unoccupied position, prior to the release.
If a Defensive Throwing Foul occurs prior to the thrower releasing the disc and not during the throwing motion, the thrower may choose to call a contact infraction, by calling “Contact”. After a contact infraction that is not contested, play does not stop and the marker must resume the stall count at one (1).
A defensive player initiates non-incidental contact with the thrower prior to the act of throwing, but the thrower does not wish to stop play.
The thrower can call a contact infraction as per rule 22.214.171.124. If uncontested, play does not stop, but the stall count must be resumed at 1.
The thrower may also choose to call a foul (rule 17.4) on this contact, in which case play stops.
If the thrower accidentally calls “Contact” when the contact occurred during the throwing motion this should be treated as foul as per rule 17.4.
Contact should only be called when the contact is non incidental – e.g. it affects the ability of the thrower to freely pivot, fake, or prepare to throw.
For incidental contact, the thrower may choose to call a disc space infraction.
A Strip Foul occurs when a defensive foul causes the receiver or thrower to drop the disc after they have gained possession.
If an uncontested strip foul occurs where the offence causes the defence to drop a pass they have intercepted in the defences attacking end zone, this should be treated as a goal for the defence.
If the reception would have otherwise been a goal, and the foul is uncontested, a goal is awarded.
Offensive Receiving Fouls:
A receiving foul can be deemed to have occurred if any player involved in the foul is attempting to make contact with the disc in anyway i.e. to catch it or block it.
Non incidental contact that occurs directly after the attempt at the disc (i.e. a defender catches the disc and then collides with an offence player) is considered to be a receiving foul. Minor contact with the opponent’s arms after the block occurs could reasonably be considered as incidental, and therefore not a foul.
If Player A initiates contact with an opponent (Player B) that is the cause for Player B contacting Player A’s teammate (Player C), then Player C cannot call a foul on Player B as they did not initiate the contact.
If the disc is in the air but the players involved in the foul were running to receive or defend the next pass after possession has been established, this should be treated as an Indirect foul (rule 17.9).
If the offense commits a foul after establishing possession in the air, but the foul was caused by actions not related to the process of making the catch (eg while attempting to intentionally land in the end zone), this should be treated as an indirect foul.
An Offensive Receiving Foul occurs when a receiver initiates contact with a defensive player before, while, or directly after, either player makes a play on the disc.
If the foul is uncontested, the result is a turnover, and the defensive player gains possession at the point of the breach.
If the pass is complete and the foul is contested, the disc returns to the thrower.
Offensive Throwing (Thrower) Fouls:
An Offensive Throwing Foul occurs when the thrower initiates contact with a defensive player who is in a legal position.
If the thrower moves into a non-moving marker who is legally positioned, this a foul by the thrower. i.e. if the thrower moves into a space the marker has already occupied when the thrower started the throwing motion, and the marker is not in breach of; straddle, disc space, wrapping.
If a thrower intentionally makes contact with a legally positioned marker this is an offensive foul and also a breach of the most important rule - Spirit of the Game.
If the marker is legally positioned and is moving their arm directly away from the thrower, and the thrower initiates contact with the markers arm, this is a foul by the offence.
Incidental contact occurring during the thrower's follow through is not sufficient grounds for a foul, but should be avoided.
A Blocking Foul occurs when a player takes a position that a moving opponent will be unable to avoid and contact results, and is to be treated as either a receiving foul or an indirect foul, whichever is applicable.
Every player has space reserved in the direction of their movement. The size of this space depends on a lot of things (speed, direction of view, playing surface, etc) and is as large as the answer to the question 'if a tree suddenly materialized in this space, could the player avoid contact (without a manoeuvre risking the health of their joints)?'
Moving in a way that this space becomes unreasonably large (running full speed with your eyes closed without checking frequently where you are going would be an extreme example) is considered reckless.
If two players have the same space reserved at the same time and contact occurs, whoever caused the conflict of reservations (i.e. whoever last moved so that their reserved space clashed with the other players reserved space - usually the player who got the reservation last) is guilty of the foul.
Players are free to move any way they like as long as this does not cause an unavoidable collision.
A collision is avoidable for a player if the player could have reacted in time and avoided it, given the circumstances involving their speed and line of sight.
An Indirect Foul occurs when there is contact between a receiver and a defensive player that does not directly affect an attempt to make a play on the disc.
An offensive player accidentally runs into a defensive player and knocks them over. The thrower has not released the disc. The defensive player calls a foul.
Play stops. The defensive player makes up any positional disadvantage caused by the foul (Rule 17.9).
The foul did not occur before, during, or directly after an attempt to catch the disc and is therefore not an offensive receiving foul.
If the disc had been in the air when the foul occurred, but the foul did not occur before, during, or directly after an attempt by those players to catch the disc, then play would continue until possession was established. If the offensive team retained possession, the defensive player should then make up any positional disadvantage caused by the foul and play would restart with a check (16.3.2).
If the offense commits a foul after establishing possession in the air, but the foul was caused by actions not related to the process of making the catch (eg while attempting to intentionally land in the end zone), this should be treated as an indirect foul.
If uncontested the fouled player may make up any positional disadvantage caused by the foul.
If fouls are called by offensive and defensive players on the same play, the disc returns to the thrower.
Non incidental contact that occurs as two or more opposing players move towards a single point simultaneously should be treated as offsetting fouls.
There are times when both players have a right to a space and neither player can be deemed to have initiated contact. In these circumstances, if body contact occurs that affects the outcome of the play, this is to be treated as an Offsetting Foul (17.10.2). The disc shall be returned to the thrower.
Incidental contact may occur as two or more players move towards a single point simultaneously but this should not be considered a foul.
Players involved in these incidents should be mindful that they often do not have the best perspective on who initiated the contact and should ask nearby players for their perspective.
Marking infractions include the following:
“Fast Count” – the marker:
starts the stall count before the disc is live,
does not start or restart the stall count with the word “Stalling”,
counts in less than one second intervals,
does not correctly reduce or reset the stall count when required, or
does not start the stall count from the correct number.
If a fast count infraction is called because the marker started the stall count from the incorrect number (e.g. when they are not within 3 metres of the thrower, or after moving more than 3 metres from the thrower) the marker should automatically reset the stall count at the correct number, even if that means reducing the count by more than 2 seconds.
If a marking infraction is called before the stall count reaches 2, the marker must reduce the stall count to 1 (it should not result in a “negative stall count”).
“Straddle” – a line between a defensive player’s feet contains the thrower’s pivot point.
“Disc Space” – any part of a defensive player is less than one disc diameter away from the torso of the thrower. However, if this situation is caused solely by movement of the thrower, it is not an infraction.
“Wrapping” – a line between a defensive player’s hands or arms intersects the thrower’s torso, or any part of the defensive player’s body is above the thrower’s pivot point. However, if this situation is caused solely by movement of the thrower, it is not an infraction.
The marker is allowed to stand with arms stretched out to attempt to ‘force’ the thrower to throw in a particular direction, as long as they are legally positioned.
The defenders head is considered to be part of their body.
"Double Team" –a defensive player other than the marker is within three (3) metres of the thrower's pivot point without also guarding another offensive player. However, merely running across this area is not a double team.
Two or more defensive players are within 3 metres of the thrower and are not guarding any other players.
The thrower may call “double team” unless all “extra” defenders can claim they are guarding (within three meters of an offensive player and are reacting to that offensive player) another offensive player, or if they are merely running across the area.
In zone defence it is common for a defender to come within 3 metres of the thrower when another offensive player enters into that same area. To avoid a double team the defender must be guarding that offensive player, which can include attempting to stop a pass to that offensive player.
If the defence does not believe they have committed a double team infraction they may call contest and play shall stop – they cannot just ignore the call.
Any number of defensive players are allowed to guard the same offensive receiver.
When a double team is called and is uncontested, the marker must first wait for the illegal positioning to be corrected (18.1.4) and then resume the stall count with the number last fully uttered before the call, minus one (1) (18.1.3).
“Vision” - a defensive player uses any part of their body to intentionally obstruct the thrower’s vision.
A marking infraction may be contested by the defence, in which case play stops.
After all marking infractions listed in 18.1.1. that are not contested, the marker must resume the stall count with the number last fully uttered before the call, minus one (1).
To resume the stall count with the number last uttered before the call minus one, is the same as subtracting two seconds from the stall count eg. Stalling One, Two, Three, Fast Count, Two, Three etc.
If more than one marking infraction is called during the same thrower possession it does not impact how the stall count is adjusted – the marker must still resume the stall count with the number last fully uttered before the call, minus one (1).
The marker may not resume counting until any illegal positioning has been corrected. To do otherwise is a subsequent marking infraction.
Instead of calling a marking infraction, the thrower may call a marking violation and stop play if;
the stall count is not corrected,
If the marker does not adjust the stall count the thrower should call a fast count infraction (126.96.36.199). If the marker still fails to adjust the stall count the thrower may call a Violation. Play stops and the breach should be explained to the marker.
there is no stall count,
there is an egregious marking infraction, or
This includes flagrant breaches such as four defenders being around the thrower, the marker completely surrounding the thrower with their arms, and the marker only taking two seconds to reach “stalling 6”.
there is a pattern of repeated marking infractions.
If the thrower calls a marking infraction, or a marking violation, and also attempts a pass before, during or after the call, the call has no consequences and if the pass is incomplete, then the turnover stands. However if the disc is returned to thrower for a separate breach, the stall count must be adjusted accordingly.
The thrower may attempt a pass at any time as long as they are entirely in-bounds or have established an in-bounds pivot.
However an in-bounds player who catches a pass while airborne may attempt a pass prior to contacting the ground.
After catching the disc, and landing in-bounds, the thrower must reduce speed as quickly as possible, without changing direction, until they have established a pivot point.
The thrower may release the disc while reducing speed as long as they maintain contact with the playing field throughout the throwing motion.
An offensive player catches the disc while running and passes the disc while still in the process of slowing down.
This is allowed, provided that the player was attempting to slow down as quickly as possible and they maintain contact with the playing field throughout the throwing motion.
Once the thrower has released the disc they do not need to come to a stop.
The thrower may change direction (“pivot”) only by establishing a “pivot point”, where one part of their body remains in constant contact with a certain spot on the playing field, called the “pivot point”.
A thrower who is lying down or kneeling does not need to establish a pivot.
A thrower lying on the ground will have several points that could be their pivot, but they do not have to declare which point is their pivot, unless they choose to. If they subsequently decide to stand up, they can choose which point was their pivot, and establish their foot as their pivot at that point.
If they stand up it is not a travel, provided the pivot is established at the same location.
A travel infraction occurs if:
The defence should not call travel under section 18.2 unless they have evidence that the player was not trying to stop while in possession of the disc. In particular:
- a player who catches and throws the disc while entirely in the air does not need to slow down
- the length of a player's strides should decrease as they slow down
- a player is not allowed to maintain a constant speed while catching and throwing the disc, unless they catch and throw in the air
- it should never take a player more than 5 steps to come to a stop
Unless the defence has evidence along those lines, they should not call travel.
Players should also take into consideration that a player may change direction after they have established a pivot – any change of direction after a pivot has been established should not be called a travel.
In some situations, a receiver may need to maintain speed briefly or change direction slightly to avoid contact with a diving defender or to jump over a player on the ground. This is expected in such situations and should not be considered a travel.
If the travel is caused solely by contact that is initiated by an opponent, this should not be considered a travel.
If play has stopped, the thrower may change the part of their body that they have in contact with the pivot spot. This is not a travel.
the thrower establishes the pivot at an incorrect point on the playing field;
the thrower changes direction before establishing a pivot or releasing the disc;
after a catch the thrower fails to reduce their speed as quickly as possible;
the thrower fails to keep the established pivot until releasing the disc;
the thrower fails to maintain contact with the playing field throughout the throwing motion; or
a player purposefully bobbles, fumbles or delays the disc to themselves in order to move in any direction.
Any contact with the disc that is not a clean catch can be considered tipping (the rules also use the terms bobbling, fumbling, and delaying).
If a player intentionally tips the disc to themselves into the endzone so that they can score, this is a travel infraction.If a player tips the disc so a team-mate can catch it in the end zone, this is a goal.
If a player fumbles with a disc while catching it and finally manages to get control over it in the end zone, this is a goal, unless the fumbling was intentional.
If they tip the disc solely in order to assist themselves to catch a disc that they otherwise would not have been able to gain possession of, that is not a travel.
After an uncontested travel infraction is called ("travel"), play does not stop.
An uncontested Travel infraction is called and the thrower has not released the disc.
Play does not stop. The thrower must establish the pivot at the correct spot as per rule 18.2.6.
If uncontested, all players, except the thrower, are free to move anywhere on the field.
If contested, play stops and players should return to where they were when the travel was called.
If the thrower fails to establish the pivot at the correct spot before throwing the disc, this is violation as per rule 18.2.7. If the pass is incomplete, play continues. If the pass is completed, play stops and the disc is returned to the thrower.
The thrower establishes a pivot at the correct spot, as indicated by the player who called the travel. This must occur without delay from either player involved.
Any stall count is paused, and the thrower may not throw the disc, until the pivot is established at the correct spot.
The marker must say “Stalling” before restarting the stall count.
If, after a travel infraction but before correcting the pivot, the thrower throws a completed pass, the defensive team may call a travel violation. Play stops and the disc is returned to the thrower. The thrower must return to the location occupied at the time of the infraction. Play must restart with a check.
After a travel violation the thrower must return to the location occupied at the time of the infraction, not to the spot they should have been at.
After a turnover out-of-bounds, if the thrower is called for a travel because they established the pivot on the side line, instead of on the goal line, and they have thrown a completed pass, play must stop. The disc must be returned to the thrower and the disc must be checked in where the infraction occurred, ie on the side line. Once the disc is checked in, they must move to the goal line to establish a pivot at the correct spot. All other players may move once the disc is checked in. The disc is considered to be dead until the pivot is established.
If, after a travel infraction, the thrower throws an incomplete pass, play continues.
After a contested travel infraction where the thrower has not released the disc, play stops.
If a defensive player is guarding one offensive player and they are prevented from moving towards/with that player by another player, that defensive player may call “Pick”. However it is not a pick if both the player being guarded and the obstructing player are making a play on the disc.
A pick should only be called if the obstructed player is within 3 metres of the player they were guarding at the time they were obstructed. However they do not need to be less than 3 metres away at the time of the call because the obstruction may cause this distance to quickly grow before the call can be made. Obstruction may result from contact with, or the need to avoid, the obstructing player.
A pick cannot be called by the offense.
After a pick the stall count should resume at maximum 6.A pick should not be called by a defender who was obstructed while attempting to make a play on the disc, that is not related to their ability to move towards/with the player they are guarding (ie they are poaching), however a defender may call a violation under Rule 12.7 if applicable.
If the offence retains possession after an uncontested pick, the picked defender may go to the agreed place where they would have been without the obstruction. All other players, including the offensive player that the defender was guarding, should be located according to Rule 10.2.
If the offence retains possession after a contested pick, all players, including the player who made the pick call, should be located according to Rule 10.2.
Prior to making the "Pick" call, the defender may delay the call up to two (2) seconds to determine if the obstruction will affect the play.
If play has stopped, the obstructed player may move to the agreed position they would have otherwise occupied if the obstruction had not occurred, unless specified otherwise.
All players should take reasonable efforts to avoid the occurrence of picks.
During any stoppage opposing players may agree to slightly adjust their locations to avoid potential picks.
An injury stoppage, “Injury”, may be called by the injured player, or by any player on the injured player’s team.
If any player has an open or bleeding wound, an injury stoppage must be called and that player must take an immediate injury substitution and must not rejoin the game until the wound is treated and sealed.
If the injury was not caused by an opponent, the player must choose either to be substituted, or to charge their own team with a Time-Out.
The injured player must choose one of the two options provided; however if their team has no time-outs remaining, they must be substituted.
To ‘charge their own team with a time-out’ means that a time-out is deducted from those allowed for that half, however the team does not get the opportunity to discuss tactics or have a break as per a standard 75 second time-out.
If there is a dispute over who caused the injury, then the 19.1.4 is deemed to apply.
If Player A is substituted for an injury, and then an additional injury substitution is required during the same point, Player A can return to play.
If an injury time-out is called during a team time-out, the opposing team must be notified as soon as the injury is discovered.
If the injury was caused by an opponent the player may choose to stay or to be substituted.
If the injured player had caught the disc, and the player has dropped the disc due to the injury, that player retains possession of the disc.
The injury stoppage is considered to have been called at the time of the injury, unless the injured player chooses to continue play before the stoppage is called.
If the disc was in the air when the injury stoppage was called, play continues until either the pass is caught, or the disc hits the ground. If the injury is not the result of a foul, the completion or turnover stands, and play restarts there after the stoppage.
If an injury is called while the disc is in the air, as a result of a serious injury, and players stop to care for the severely injured player, it is reasonable to treat this as a technical stoppage and allow the disc to be returned to the thrower.
Any player who recognises a condition that endangers players may call “technical” to stop play. Play must stop immediately.
The thrower may call a technical stoppage during play to replace a severely damaged disc.
A severely damaged disc is one that is cracked, torn, deeply gouged, creased, punctured or badly warped (“tacoed”); a slightly warped wet or dirty disc does not qualify. However an existing stoppage may be extended to correct a warped disc (rule 10.3).
After a technical stoppage call:
If the call or issue did not affect play, the completion or turnover stands, and play restarts there;
If the call or issue did affect the play, the disc goes back to the thrower.
If a player is substituted after an injury, or technical stoppage due to illegal equipment, the opposing team may also choose to substitute one player.
Substitute players take on the full state (location, possession, stall count etc) of the player they are substituting.
The player calling a time-out must form a "T" with their hands, or with one hand and the disc, and should call "time-out" audibly to opposition players.
Each team may take two (2) time-outs per half.
After the start of a point and before both teams have signalled readiness, a player from either team may call a time-out. The time-out extends the time between the start of the point and subsequent pull by seventy-five (75) seconds.
After the pull only a thrower with possession of the disc that has survived ground contact, may call a time-out. The time-out starts when the “T” is formed, and lasts seventy-five (75) seconds. After such a time-out:
The delay of game rules from section 10.4.1 also apply to the restart of play after a time-out.
If the thrower must/can move to establish a pivot at a different spot to where they established possession, they can call a time-out before they establish the pivot at that spot. This means that if the thrower picks up the disc after a turnover, and the turnover location is not in the central zone, they can call a timeout straight away. If they do so, they must place the disc at the spot where they will establish a pivot after the time-out.
Substitutions are not allowed, except for injury.
Play is restarted at the pivot point.
The thrower remains the same.
All other offensive players may then set up at any point on the playing field.
Once the offensive players have selected positions, defensive players may set up at any point on the playing field.
The stall count remains the same, unless the marker has been switched.
If the thrower attempts to call a time-out when their team has no remaining time-outs, play is stopped. The marker must add two (2) seconds to the stall count they would have restarted play on before restarting play with a check. If this results in a stall count of ten (10) or above, this is a "stall-out" turnover.
If a team calls 'time-out” between points but their team has none remaining, then the time-out call has no affect.