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Summary of Differences from Ultimate

Summary of Changes:

Major Differences  between Ultimate Frisbee and Dischoops:

The two major differences between Dischoops and Ultimate are the introduction of penalties and a rational and collaborative form of enforcement.  Much has been taken directly from basketball and the fuzzy, subjective and inconsistencies of Ultimate have been replaced by firm boundaries.

Every effort has been made to make the reduce the amount of physical contact in the game.  While some of the changes below may give the impression that Dischoops is a more physical version of the game, experience thus far indicates that these guidelines reduces physical contact significantly rather than increase it.

  • [1] Change of the field configuration from a 'Football' like field with endzones to that of a smaller court with the goals in the interior.

    In Dischoops, the two goals are only separated by 20 yards, compared to the 70 distance between endzones on an Ultimate Frisbee field.   Similar to how Hockey has some space behind the goal, Dischoops has an additional 10 yards of court space beyond the goal lines.


    When a team scores, they maintain possession the disc (as opposed to Basketball where the possession goes to the other team).  Every time a team scores, the attacking goal for either team is reversed.  

    The longest dimension on the field, corner to corner diagonally is slightly over 70 yards so there's plenty of room for big throws and long strides and with the full court designed with two goals, there is plenty of room for running.


  • [2] New Official Goal Equipment

    The Dischoops Goal kit consists of shock corded, high precision, aluminum tubing (shown assembled above).  These new kits are high tech/high performance, precision sporting equipment.  The poles, with their elastic shock cords and 15 segments, have substantial elasticity to them and are capable of withstanding severe collisions without the need for mid-game realignment.

    The entire kits (including two goals) are compact and weigh in at less than ten pounds.  The carrying bag used in this photo was taken from a portable canvas chair.





These two goals,  using the new aluminum goals (and enough cones), fit neatly into a single canvas bag.

If your interested in purchasing one of these new kits, please visit our merchandise page.

  • [3] Elimination of on field players making calls, replaced by referees.

    Rather than having the active players performing the roles as referees, an impartial third party takes responsibility for making calls and enforcing them.  Oh the joy of being able to just play.

  • [4] Disc no longer needs to be cleared.

Clearing the disc is a legacy left over from playing half court basketball.  Now that Dischoops is a full court game, the need for clearing the disc has been eliminated..

  • [5] In-Bounding the disc from the sidelines has been changed.

When bring a disc in bounds, the offensive player need not set a pivot foot and may move around but the disc must enter the field where it went out.  The defensive player, if there is one, must be entirely in the In-Bounds part of the field.  When the disc is coming in play, as soon as either referee has raised a hand after the player who is throwing the disc in is ready, the play begins.  The player has five seconds to throw the disc.  [basketball]

  • [6] On change of possession penalties (traveling, offensive fouls, illegal throws, stall count violation), the disc is played from Out-of-Bounds

Any time there is a call that results in change of possession, the disc gets Checked at the nearest sideline [basketball]

  • [7] Elimination of 'continuation' rule

    There is no more 'play on'.  A foul is a foul.  However, if a foul is called on the throw and it is caught for a score, the score counts AND possession reverts back to the thrower.


  • [8] Self Caught Scores can not be thrown from within the End-Zone


  • [9] Traveling penalties result in a turnover

Just like it sounds.  [basketball]

  • [10] Removal of the concept that you can't set up after calls

After fouls, travels, etc. it is now legal to move around on the field prior to the disc being put back in play [basketball]

  • [11] With two hoops, any throw through any hoop that is not the attacking goal, in either direction, is a turnover.

Additionally, if the attacking team throws through the front of the non-attacking goal and it is caught in that goal, a point (or two if the throw was behind the two point line) is awarded to the defensive team.

  • [12] Removal of The Captains' Clause

There's only one set of rules for Dischoops .

  • [13] The addition of both personal and team fouls

If we have yellow cards for hard fouls, do we also need personal fouls?  Yes. The sense of personal fouls can give us the provision for placing attention on areas of the game where there is a large quantity of contact but nothing that is excessive or flagrant.  Marker/Thrower contact comes to mind but there are also other problem areas where this may prove to be a useful mechanism. The concept of team fouls is also useful in addressing teams that in general play a more physical game. [basketball]

  • [14] Players have 5 seconds to pick up a disc after a turnover that is In-Bounds

As soon as a incomplete pass that is in the field of play comes to a stop, the offense has 5 seconds to put the disc in play.  If the incompletion ends up out of bounds, the offense has 20 seconds.

  • [15] The addition of scorecards and the notion of an official scorer per game

    It is understood that there is a need for an independent person to  maintain score to to handle the administrative overhead of yellow/red cards and both team and personal fouls,so assigning an individual  to manage this task is a requirement.


  • [16] Clarification--Double (triple) teaming either throwers or receivers in the crease is completely legal.

There is no limit on how many defenders can be playing in the crease, as long as they are within 3 meters of an offensive player.

  • [17] Offensive fouls result in a turnover

    Just like it sounds. [basketball]


  • [18] 'Jump' passes have been added.

    A thrower can jump up in the air to throw the disc as long as he releases it before hitting the ground. [basketball]


  • [19] Elimination of on field 'Check Discs'

All cases where there is a disc check situation have been moved to the sidelines. [basketball]

  • [20] Addition of blocking fouls/charges visa vi basketball

The Dischoops set of rules should not be seen as a basis for encouraging more physical play, it is not.  Teams, to varying degrees are employing offenses and defenses that push the envelope in these areas and therefore, attention needs to be paid to making clarifications in the rules to delineate what is and isn't legal with regards to either a blocking foul or a charge.  Currently, the risk reward ratio for players on both sides of the disc in skewed in favor of more contact, not less. [basketball]

  • [21] Clarification on acceleration in traveling for less than 3 steps (i.e., if the thrower has contact with the ground he may accelerate but must release the disc prior to that ground contact coming up)

    There is a hole in the V1.0/1.1 set of rules regarding acceleration in situations where less then three steps are used prior to the release of the throw.  An attempt was made here at addressing this confusion.  It is now legal to accelerate under the provision that the foot used to accelerate must not leave the ground prior to the release of the disc.


  • [22] Rewording of preface, description and a clarification that there is no such thing as 'spirit of the rules'.

The phrase describing Dischoops as a non-contact sport has been removed.  That said, the description has not been changed to say that Dischoops IS a contact sport, but it doesn't seem to make sense to go out of the way to describe the game in terms other than what it is.  Dischoops is a dangerous game and there is a lot of contact.  Also, from the description, the phrase that says 'its illegal to run with the disc' has been removed.

Also, one of the great urban legends about the V1.0/1.1 rules is that there is something called the 'spirit of the rules'.  This opens the door for anybody to layer on any kind of twisted logic to whatever rule they want and distort the game.  This type of ideology does not promote a single standard.  The rules are black and white and not open to interpretation.

  • [23] Elimination of Injury Timeouts

The etiquette in soccer has been copied here for Dischoops .  If there is a serious injury, the disc is thrown out of bounds to allow for a player to be helped up.  Anything less than a serious injury and the hurt player should sub out.  I've seen far too many grass burns and leg cramp 'injuries' called on fast break points that have worked in the defense's favor.

  • [24] Strips are no longer illegal (although you're not allowed to grab the disc while it's in the thrower's hand and yank it from him/her)

    This is another controversial alteration in the rules but in reviewing from practical experience where in the game some of the most subjective and therefore erroneous calls are made, strip calls are at or near the top of the list.  The preponderance of these questionable calls come at the point where the defender hits the disc simultaneously with the receiver catching it.  Therefore, the strip call gives teams/players who run offenses that result in a lot of these plays an unfair advantage over other teams that do not.

    It is still illegal to grab the disc and pull it out of the thrower's hand after he/she has established a pivot foot but whoever comes down with the disc retains possession. [basketball]


  • [25] 'All Ball' blocks are legal blocks and not fouls (and the hand is part of the 'ball')

Currently, the ultimate frisbee rules go out of the way to protect the thrower and therefore are not fair to players who possess superior marking skills or throwers who are able to routinely beat the marker without the marker touching the disc.  The ultimate rules were drafted to reduce contact in the game and at the same time make the game more fair so while the thought of hand blocks on the disc while it is still in the thrower's hand elicits visions of a more violent game, remember that safeguards have been put in place to deter players from over physical play or reaching in excessively.

The notion from basketball that the 'hand is part of the ball' is also valid here to an extent.  While the fingers and thumb are 'fair play', if the defender slaps hard enough to get the whole hand, it is probably a foul.  This is up to the 'refs' discretion. [basketball]

  • [26] Any number of players may substitute on Time Outs and any player on the offensive team may resume play as the thrower

Just like it sounds.

  • [27] Players may call a Time Out to preserve possession if they are going Out-of-Bounds or about to Travel.

If a player's momentum is about to result in a traveling violation or is taking the olayer Out-of-Bounds or a player catches the disc in the air, with their last point of contact on the field, they are allowed to call a time out prior to them coming to the ground, even if they land Out-of-Bounds.  They must call the T.O. loud enough for the refs to hear. [basketball]

  • [28] Substitutions must occur at the substitution box

To allow for substitutions on the field of play means that a team can have five players on the field at once.  The Substitution box has been augmented (see diagram below) to include on on field 'crease' as well for the tagging to occur.

  • [29] Size of the Crease increased.

At only two meters and curved towards the poles, the size of the crease in Goalty V1.0 made it far to easy to legally goal tend.  The crease has increased to four meters and curves to the outside cones of the endzone markers rather than the poles (shown as the black line in the photo above).

  • [30] Goal Tending has been clarified

As with basketball goaltending, if called, a score is counted for the offensive team that was goal tended against.  In Goalty 1.1, a three second time limit was placed on defenders and/or offenders loitering in the crease and endzone.  In Goalty, we have rewritten Goal Tending to more closely resemble what was termed 'illegal defense' in the NBA.  The three second rule made it far too easy for a defender to rotate from one receiver to the next while maintaining a position in the endzone.  The new rule makes it closer to a one second time limit.

Also, players are allowed to straddle the crease to be considered not standing in it.  A foot must be out of the crease and/or goal in order to be legal.  [basketball]

  • [31] Self caught passes Legalized

The special provisions for this rule are as follows: the stall count begins once an offensive player touches the disc for the first time and continues until he throws it to another teammate so while a player can throw to himself, the stall count does not get reset.  Additionally, it is legal for a thrower to throw to himself for at score BUT in order for it to count as a score, the thrower must travel around the outside of the goal and cannot travel underneath it to catch the score.

  • [32] Ground strips in the endzone count as a score

If a player catches the disc in the endzone, the moment they touch the ground, it counts as a score.  If a subsequent drop then occurs, the result is a turnover but the score counts.  Possession must have been established prior to the ground contact.  It is up to the refs discretion to decide whether the receiver had possession prior to the losing control of the disc.

  • [33] Players no longer have to say 'score' for a score to count

Just like it sounds.

  • [34] Momentum carrying a receiver Out-of-Bounds results in a turnover.

A receiver must come to a complete stop in bounds and is not allowed momentum out of bounds.

  • [35] Momentum carrying a receiver through the goal backwards after a score results in a turnover.

    Because there is no longer amnesty for taking too many steps into places you don't belong, taking too many steps after a score but backwards through the endzone (it's illegal for the disc to travel backwards through the endzone) results in a turn.  The disc is put back in play with a RefCheck at the nearest Out-of-Bounds.

  • [36] Tipping and air brushing legalized (delaying the disc is illegal)

    Tipping and air brushing has been legalized.  As with self caught passes, the stall count initiates immediately upon first contact.  As with self caught passes, it is legal for a thrower to tip or airbrush to himself for at score BUT in order for it to count as a score, the thrower must travel around the outside of the goal and cannot travel underneath it to catch the score.

  • [37] Momentum carrying a receiver into the endzone results in a turnover.

In other words, a receiver who initially lands outside of the goal but has his momentum carry him in causes a turnover.  A pivot into the goal is a turnover.

  • [38] A thrower may not twirl the disc around his finger

While air-brushing and tipping ARE legal, having your finger on the rim and twirling it around (held on by centrifugal force) is illegal.

  • [39] The Thrower can  break the plane of the goal with the disc when throwing for a score.

The thrower can cross the plane of the goal line with the disc but if he pulls the disc back through again, the result is a turnover.

  • [40] Players who commit fouls must sub out of the game

Any time a player commits a foul, the player is required to sub out of the game.

  • [41] Elimination of 'blocking out' rule

    Just like it sounds (nb--this has also finally been eliminated from the 11th edition of ultimate).

  • [41] Addition of free throws

    1. The player fouled must place a portion of both feet at the top of the key and must keep at least on pivot foot on the line until a throw is made.  The disc is placed at his feet on the ground.
    2. The defensive team selects a goalie from the three remaining players (not including the replacement player for the perpetrator of the foul).  The goalie places both heels on the goal line.
    3. The offensive team selects one of their three remaining players to be the receiver and this receiver must put a portion of both feet on the back of the goal line.
    4. All five other players must stand outside of the crease area and on the crease side of the goal line.  Upon a check, the thrower may pick up the disc to initiate the play; both defender and receiver are allowed to begin movement and the thrower then has five seconds in which to make a throw.
    5. If the thrower fails to get off a throw within this time limit, the disc is awarded to the defensive team at the nearest sideline.
      1. This does not count as an official stoppage of play and therefore no substitutions can be made at this time (i.e. the perpetrator of the foul may not re-enter the game at this point).
    6. If the thrower does successfully get off a throw in the allotted time, the disc is then live.  After the three seconds is up, any of the remaining five players may also enter the crease area.

Free throws are awarded for yellow/red card fouls, teams over the limit, shots on goal and fouls within the crease area (but not the goal area).

  • [43] Official Disc Changed

    The official Dischoops  disc has been changed to the Wham-O 165G 82e mold.  The 82e mold is a finesse disc and Dischoops is a finesse game.  In Dischoops, you simply don't need that extra 10-15 yards you can put on a Discraft, or any other Ultrastar knock-off and so therefore the tradeoff of less finesse for more distance does not constitute a valid enough reason for playing Dischoops with an Ultimate disc.  To purchase, please visit our merchandise page.

  • [44] Removal of the requirement to say the word "Stall"

Just like it sounds.  The ref handles the stall count.

  • [45] Games changed from best 3 out of 5 games to five, to games of two 30 minute halves (4 fifteen minute quarters).

The new field configuration along with teams not required to clear the disc after each score paves the way for runs of many scores at once and higher scoring games.  Games to five are too short.

  • [46]  Two Point Line

The opposite goal line is also considered the two point line.  Any throw for a score that is from behind the opposing goal line (extended out towards both sidelines) counts as two points.

  • [47] Elimination of the 3 Meter requirement for issuing or maintaining the stall count.

If there is not a referee handy and the game is self managed, the stall can come from anywhere.   The provision in the ultimate frisbee rule that you need to be within three meters of the thrower to maintain the stall count have been removed.

  • [48] Addition of yellow/red cards for abhorrent behavior and hard fouls

    It is useful to be able to have a distinction in the rules between an ordinary foul and a hard, excessive or flagrant foul and to be able to react accordingly.  Having the ability address verbal abuse, etc. is also useful.

  • [49] Elimination of Pick rule

    While there are no hard statistics on this, it is estimated that at least 50% of all pick calls are unjustified and furthermore, probably over 95% of pick calls are made on plays where there is no danger of injury.  That said, the kind of picks that you see on a basketball court could lead to someone getting seriously injured in an ultimate game.  [basketball]

  • [50] Elimination of Double Team rule

The double team rule is unfair on players who have the ability to break a double team.  Also, the double team is also called frequently under dubious circumstances and is another very subjective part of the rules. Also, in the  version, it is legal to double team throwers or receivers even if the defender is in the crease or endzone. [basketball]
  • [51] Enforced Roster limits

    Now that we have both team and personal fouls, it makes sense to limit the size of a team but also, by reducing the size of the rosters that teams can have, we can encourage growth in the game by ultimately having more teams.


  • [52] A hard cap on the number of steps for traveling.

    Saying that 'stop in a reasonable amount of steps' or 'as quickly as possible' is far too subjective.  In Dischoops, there is a hard cap of three steps to establish a pivot foot. [basketball]


  • [53] Five Count

The ten count in Ultimate is way too high.

  • [54] Hoop Deflections are Legal

It is legal for a throw to deflect off of the hoop and be caught for a score.

  • [55] Players are not allowed to get up if they end up on the ground after a catch

To do so results in a traveling violation.  They need to keep at least one knee on the ground.

  • [56] Removal of clauses added to the Tenth addition regarding marking fouls (i.e. reverted back to 'the player who initiates the contact commits the foul')

    Once again, the evolution of the description of the marking fouls in ultimate frisbee rules was done under the auspices of ultimate being characterized as a non-contact sport.  With our ability to rationally address unwarranted contact by either player around the disc, we can determine in real time who is at fault in any particular play.