Frisbee 101: Learning the Basics

If you’re looking for an outdoor sport that is fun to play with friends, then you should definitely try the Ultimate Frisbee. Not only is it exciting, but this game is also great for reducing excess fats and improving one’s motor skills.

This activity looks easy to do, but if you haven’t tried this before, you might find it a little bit challenging. To help you get started, check out this handy guide to learn more about the basics of Ultimate Frisbee.

(image source:
(image source:

Short History

Before we learn the mechanics of Ultimate Frisbee and run outdoors, let’s first travel back to the 1950’s and know the history of the famous disk.

Would you ever think that this game originated from a bakery? Well, the workers of Frisbie Pie Company actually came up with it. After the Civil War, William Russel Frisbie opened his bakery in New Haven, Connecticut and his workers tossed pie tins around the factory as a way to pass time. Eventually, tossing tin lids as an activity got popular and also got college students hooked.

Frisbee became a famous commercial product after Walter Frederick Morrison and Warren Franscioni made a plastic disk inspired by the flying tin lids. The disk made by Morrison and his partner has better accuracy and can fly further compared to the tin lids, and was called the Pluto Platter. Later on, the toy company Wham-O acquired the rights from Morrison and produced Frisbee.

Aside from being a boredom cure, the disk made its way into sports when Joel Silver, a student of Columbia High School proposed the idea of creating an “Ultimate Frisbee” team to the school’s student council. One of the very first players of the sport, Ed Summers, once noted that “The core of us were largely among the better students. There were also some druggie types. We were about evenly split between the better students and the half who smoked dope.”

The rules for the game were crafted and developed at the same school. The Ultimate Frisbee now flies high in several tournaments and is likely to be added as an official sport in the Olympics.

How to Play Frisbee

Now that we’ve learned the history and origin of the famous disk, it is now time to know its rules. Here’s a rundown of the basic things that you need to know:

Terms and Jargons

o   Handlers – designated throwers

o   Cutters – designated receivers

o   Pulls – long throw

o   Throw-away – term used to describe the incident when the disc falls into the ground because the thrower misses his target

o   Drop – term used to describe when the disc was not caught by the receiver

o   Block – term used to describe when the disc bounces into the defender causing it to drop into the ground

o   Interception – term used to describe when the disc thrown by the member of the offensive team was caught by a defender

o   Stall – term used to describe when a member of the offensive team was not able to release the disc before the ten second count

Game Play

There are two teams in this game – the defense team and the offensive team. The members of the two teams, usually seven, need to line up at their respective end zones. Defense team pulls the disc to the other team as a “kick off”.

Disc Movement

The Frisbee can be moved in any direction. It should be passed to a player but if the disc was not caught by another person, there will be a reversal of roles wherein the defense team will now play the offense and gain the possession of the disc.


A team will gain a point when a player catches the disc passed by his teammate in the end zone of their opponent.


Substitution is allowed if there are injured players, or if the team wants to try a different strategy. If a team wants to replace a non-injured player on the field, they need to wait for a point to be scored before doing so.


The Ultimate Frisbee is a self-officiated game. Players decide the foul, line calls, and disputes. A contact between players results to foul, except for incidental contacts. Players are responsible for everything that happens inside the game; therefore, they should be honest and respectful of each other.

Now, gather your friends or family and make two teams with equal number of members. Remember, in this game, the more the merrier! Just make sure that there is enough space for the players to run. Toss high with the ultimate disk!

How did you fare in your first Frisbee tournament? Share your memorable experiences in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>