Level 1 – Lesson 1: Basic Game Play by Dominick Smyth

Arrive knowing nothing about ultimate - leave being able to play a game, throw a pass to a team mate and enjoying a new sport.

Level 1 – Basic Disc Skills Lesson 1 – Basic Game Play

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Objectives Introduce basic game play and first throwing technique.
Comments All participants should finish stage with a basic understanding of how a game of ultimate is played and experience of the basic throwing mechanics for a backhand throw.
New Concepts Catching, game play, backhand throw.
Skill Development Backhand throwing, catching
Rules Scoring points – catching the disc inside the endzone that the team is attacking.
Stationary thrower – the player in possession of the disc must safely come to a stop as quick as they can and establish a pivot foot (similar to basketball).
Non-contact – No player is allowed cause contact with any other player.
Turn over – Incomplete throws (disc hitting ground, being intercepted by defender, being knocked out of air by defender, being caught outside the pitch) results in a change of possession.


Name Duration Outline
Frisbee Fluency 10 mins Frisbee Fluency Each participant gets opportunity to practice a variety of catching techniques and overcome fears of being hit by a disc. This video might help: Clap Catch
Game – Simplified rules 5 mins Game – simplified rules Objective – pass disc to team mates and get someone to catch in scoring area (end zone) to get a point. This game is deliberately short as intention is simply to introduce basic concepts. By end of game, all participants should understand where they and their team is trying to get to (end zone) and how they get there (pass to teammates).
Use Rule 3-A or 3-B.
Review 5 mins Now that players understand the basic game play and objective, skills are challenged by removing ability to pick up after drops.
Game 10 mins Use Rule 3-C to challenge participants skills. Defenders should aim to prevent catching knowing they do not need to catch it themselves.
Review 5 mins Guide participants to acknowledging changes in: patience; decision making; defensive efforts; and what type of throws worked and didn’t work.
Backhand Throwing 15 mins Throwing in Pairs With a goal of giving partners a chance to catch, introduce the GSWAP concepts in stages giving participants time to practice each one before moving on to next. How to throw a disc – read the theory.
Game 10 mins Encourage participants to use the throwing they’ve practiced during this final game.

For a tutorial on how to throw a backhand, see Backhand

Game Play


Talking Points What skills from other sports can you use in ultimate?
What skills can be transferred from ultimate to other sports?
Further Study Introduction to ultimate
Ultimate highlights
WFDF Rules: Non-Contact


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