How Many Players in Ultimate Frisbee?

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The sport of Ultimate Frisbee has seen a recent rise in popularity with an estimated five million players in the United States alone. There are several established Ultimate Frisbee leagues in the UK and other European countries. The game has significantly grown from its humble beginnings as a sport played for fun to a competitive sport attracting better athletes.

How Many Players in Ultimate Frisbee

The number of players vary depending on the tournaments rules. Most tournaments allow a team to field 4 to 10 players on the playing field. An average roster for the team could consist of 6 to 18 players. 

Most tournaments impose a minimum number of players required to be on site to avoid a forfeit. Teams are generally mixed with both men and women in one team. Most teams roughly field a higher ratio of men to women on the field. 

Men reaching the disc

There are also rules that apply regarding players on the team. In some cases where there’s not enough girls on the team, both teams may agree on “offense dictates”. This implies that a defending team has the option to not field a girl when playing defense while the offense is required to at least have one. 

Rules Regarding Team and Players

There are various rules surrounding management of the team and players. Tournaments may vary on these rules so it is not absolute. However, some of the rules we’ll show are commonly practiced in most tournaments. 

Teams can only do player substitutions between points, after a goal or before the team wishing to make a substitution has signaled readiness. The rules and regulations do not permit substitutions following a re-pull call unless there are specific conditions. Substitutions often happen to:

  • Replace injured players
  • Fix incorrect personnel violations
  • Replace players with illegal equipment

Player Positions in Ultimate Frisbee

Like most sports, ultimate frisbee also have designated positions for ever player. Most positions are determined by the skillset and skill level of a player. Player positions are categorized in two, offensive and defensive positions. 

Offensive Positions

For offense, there are only two positions to play. Depending on your abilities, you may be designated to one of these two positions. 

  • Cutters – most amateur players start off by being cutters since their ability to throw and field awareness is still developing. Cutters only need to be fast, agile and quick in cutting, a good eye, and a knack for catching the disc. Cutters should also be aware of the player who is holding the disc and move accordingly. 
  • Handlers – handlers are generally assigned to experienced players who have excellent skills in backhand and flicks. Handlers have great field awareness and communicates with cutters to set up the offense. If you want to be a handler, you need to work on your throw accuracy, speed, communication, field awareness, and quick decision making. 
Frisbee players in a game

Defensive Positions

There really is no position when you’re in the defensive end. There are defensive schemes that players can do. If you’re on the defensive end, your objective is to stop the offense from scoring and gain back possession of the disc. 

Most teams use man to man as a defensive setup. Defensive players each mark their own target and guard them. Your role as a defensive player is to stop them from receiving or throwing the disc or make it hard for them so they commit a turnover

Roles in Ultimate Frisbee

CaptainIn charge of decisions
CoachIn charge of strategies and tactics
Event OrganizerIn charge of logistics
Support StaffIn charge of different areas of the event
ObserverIn charge of helping with disputes (only if asked to)

Aside from player positions on the field, some players also have roles that are related to ultimate frisbee. 

  • Captain – a captain is also a member of the team and can participate in games. The captain’s role is to represent the team in decision-making for the team during and after a game. 
  • Coach – Also a team member. However, some event organizers impose requirements such as certification, screening, education, and registration in order to be a coach. As a coach,  it’s your responsibility to manage the team during the game and formulate strategies to win. 
  • Event Organizer – these people are responsible for the competition like tournaments and leagues. If you are an event organizer, your responsibility includes safety, implementing rules, event registration, and event logistics. 
  • Support Staff – support staff includes scorers, medical staff, security, media, and other jobs related to the event. Some events hire people to do these jobs or have volunteers for them. 
  • Observer – observers supports the players and help implement a safe, fair, and efficient game. You have to be a non-player to be an observer. Observers usually help with resolving calls and help with officiating and Spirit of the Game.
Two opposing teams playing frisbee

Related Questions

How Many Players Are on a Regulation Ultimate Frisbee Team?

In most regulation games, each team has seven players. That is applicable to the majority of schools in the United States. Other countries, however, may have a different number of players. After all, countries like Australia and Canada have different rules.

How Many Players Can Guard the Thrower of the Other Team at One Time?

When it comes to guarding, only one player is allowed to do it. This player is known as the marker, who needs to count from one to ten. If the thrower retains the frisbee for more than ten seconds, the marker can call for a stall violation.

What Is the Minimum Number of Players in the Ultimate?

Although the game is professionally played with seven players on each team, it can be played with a minimum of four players. If a professional team doesn’t present themselves with more than six players, they can be disqualified.


The sport of Ultimate Frisbee has been an attractive option for many new players and fans. It requires minimal equipment, and the rules are relatively easy to understand, and beginners can master and enjoy the game in no time.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.