Spirit of the Game

20131109_ultimate_150Spirit of the Game is one of the fundamental tenets of ultimate, making it unique in the world of competitive team sports. As a self-officiated sport, the game is in the players’ hands. What that means in practice is that there are no referees, and that players call infractions and adjudicate disputes themselves in the moment on the field of play. It demands a high level of integrity, trust, and self-awareness. At all levels — from middle school to international championship events — it is up to players to maintain a high level of sportsmanship and ensure fouls are called appropriately. Of course, Ultimate players are only human and, as in any other sport, there are those who take advantage of the rules. However, more often than not, Ultimate highlights the integrity of athletes fostered in an environment that promotes mutual respect and the basic joy of play.

Ultimate has grown and thrived for over 40 years following these principles, and Spirit of the Game remains alive even in the highest levels of competition. Though rapidly expanding, the Ultimate community is small enough that you will encounter the same faces over and over again throughout your playing career. Often your opponents today could end up being your teammates tomorrow. This adds an extra level of accountability, nurtures Spirit of the Game and often leads to lasting friendships that span the country and even the globe.

Altitude Youth Ultimate is working hard to spread Spirit of the Game and rules knowledge to the next generation of Ultimate players. As part of this effort, Spirit and Rules Clinics are available for any interested teams. If you would like to set up a Clinic for your team or have any questions regarding rules or spirit, please contact the AYU Spirit and Rules Coordinator:

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