Aileen Thomas, president of the Atlanta Flying Disc Club (AFDC), wants you to know something about Ultimate.
STORY: Amy Meadows
PHOTOS: Stephen Payne
While it’s a sport that’s played with a disc or Frisbee, it’s not “the sport with dogs.” In fact, the game actually resembles a combination of soccer and football, with non-stop movement that results in teams striving to catch the Frisbee in the opposing team’s end zone for a goal.
The sport has grown in popularity in recent years. Thomas attributes that to the players. “As anyone who plays will tell you, Ultimate is a community. It’s a welcoming, open and accepting group of people who share the common connection of playing and loving the sport,” she says. “Players on an opposing team aren’t viewed as the enemy. Rather, we compete with mutual respect for the athleticism and competition. Subsequently, we feel a stronger sense of unity. This is called the Spirit of the Game, and it’s unique to Ultimate.”
The AFDC, which plays at Atlanta parks including Grant Park, Walker Park and Boulevard Crossing, follows the rules set forth by USA Ultimate. Check out the game and By the Numbers.
BY THE NUMBERS
1968 – the year Ultimate was created at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, according to USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport
750 – how many people are members of the AFDC
12 – the number of leagues within the AFDC
16 – the number of teams that typically register for the summer league alone (the most popular one)
7 – the number of players on each Ultimate team
175 – the weight in grams of an official Ultimate Frisbee (that’s less than one pound)
15 – the number of goals required to win the game
100 – the official time cap in minutes for an Ultimate game
70 x 40 – the area in yards of a regulation field
25 – the depth of each end zone in yards (more than twice the size of a football end zone)
2 – the number of time-outs each team can call during a half
70 – how many seconds each time out lasts
0 – the number of referees on the field (players call their own fouls and resolve their own disputes! It’s all part of the Spirit of the Game.)
2001 – the year Ultimate was added to the World Games as a medal-earning sport
10 – the average number of dollars you’ll spend on an Ultimate Frisbee. Now get out there and play!