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Frisbee 5's SOTG

Spirit of the Game (SOTG) is best defined as: Play hard; play fair. Spirit of the Game is at the heart of Ultimate and is a defining characteristic of the sport. With no referees, Ultimate relies on the Spirit of the Game, placing the onus of sportsmanship and honourable play on the players themselves.

The players are solely responsible for following and enforcing the rules, even at World Championship level. Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules or the basic joy of play. 

The purpose of the rules of Ultimate is to provide a guideline which describes the way the game is played. It is assumed that no Ultimate player will intentionally violate the rules; there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions but, rather, a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no infraction.

Spirit of the game is essential to allow self-refereed game play and is one of the key elements that sets Ultimate Disc apart from other team sports.

Learning to resolve differences of opinion with opponents and to take personal responsibility for playing honestly are lessons that carry over into all aspects of life, and Ultimate can help to learn and practice those skills.

Ultimate also provides a unique approach to officiating, allowing the players themselves to resolve disputes. The Spirit of the Game (SOTG) is the governing rule of the sport that trusts players to play within the rules in an honest and friendly-yet-competitive environment. SOTG allows players many opportunities for leadership as well as situations for players to practice conflict resolution that can easily be transferred to other areas of life.

Actions such as intentional fouling, cheating, dangerous plays, disrespectful conversations, and other ‘win at all costs’ behaviour are contrary to the Spirit of the Game. Often a player is in a position where it is to his/her advantage to foul or commit some violation, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of the sport depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly.

How Does it Work?

1) An offensive player jumps up to catch the high floating disc, in an attempt to stop them, their defender also jumps up to catch the high floating disc. The defender makes un-necessary contact with the offensive player while both in the air, this causes both players to miss the floating disc as it sails past their hands and hits the ground.

The offensive player calls 'Foul', every player on the field hears this call and play stops immediately so the offensive player and defender can discuss the call. The offensive player explains that they believed they would have been able to make the catch if the contact did not occur from the defender. The defender feels as though this is true and agrees. They will say that the foul call is 'Un-contested'. The offensive player will gain possession of the disc, from where they would have caught the pass if the foul had not occured. To resume play after this stoppage, all players must be ready and a the defender will tap the disc in the throwers hand to signal the restart of play, this is called a 'Disc Check'.

2) An offensive player jumps up to catch the high floating disc, in an attempt to stop them, their defender also jumps up to catch the high floating disc. The defender makes un-necessary contact with the offensive player while both in the air, this causes both players to miss the floating disc as it sails past their hands and hits the ground.

The offensive player calls 'Foul', every player on the field hears this call and play stops immediately so the offensive player and defender can discuss the call. The offensive player explains that they believed they would have been able to make the catch if the contact did not occur from the defender. The defender feels as though that the contact did not affect the outcome of the play and explains that they both would have missed the frisbee even without the contact that was made, resulting in the disc sailing past their hands. The defender will say that the foul call is 'Contested'. The offensive player can a) retract their foul call, if they agree with this statement and the turnover will stand OR b) The call will remain contested, the disc will return to the previous offensive thrower to gain possession of the disc, from where the original pass was made. To resume play after this stoppage, all players must be ready and a the defender of the thrower will tap the disc in the throwers hand to signal the restart of play, this is called a 'Disc Check'.

Spirit of the Game

How to improve the Spirit in your team

  • Know the rules really well.
  • Adopt a team code of conduct that outlines expected behaviour and penalties.
  • Talk to players on your own team if you think they have problems with their spirit and discipline teammates who continue to break the spirit.
  • In the case where a novice player commits an infraction out of ignorance of the rules, experienced players should explain the infraction.
  • Realise that there are always different perspectives to every situation, and everyone’s judgment is clouded somewhat by the outcomes they desire.

Contact Us

Postal Address:
PO Box 222
LEEDERVILLE WA 6902

Street Address:
180 Charles Street
WEST PERTH WA 6005
(located within the Volleyball WA offices)

E-mail: contact@waultimate.com
Phone: 0434 370 954

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