Ultimate Frisbee Terms

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The sport of Ultimate Frisbee has grown in popularity in recent years and many have taken up the game. The game has developed its own culture and language that features jargon and slang that may confuse beginners, as is often the case with any sport. It will be helpful to familiarize yourself with these ultimate frisbee terms, especially when starting.

Ultimate Frisbee Terms

You are bound to come across a few unfamiliar terms when trying out Ultimate Frisbee for the first time. Some of the new terms you will encounter when watching or playing a game of Frisbee include:

A woman throwing a frisbee in the beach

Air Bounce – a throwing technique is aimed slightly downward but is then buoyed up by an air cushion. The disc bounces in the air and rises during the flight. It causes downward pressure on the top of the disc at the release point.
It is commonly done using a backhand grip and is a great way to create more of a floating disc flight.

Bid – a diving attempt aimed at catching or blocking a disc can be an offensive or defensive move. It is an essential part of either offense or defense.

Blade – a forehand pass (for right-handers) is often thrown with the disc released at a vertical angle. The disc remains on the flight path. The disc usually comes down very fast and can be extremely difficult to catch.

Break – the team that started on defense scores. It can result when the attempt to throw the disc in a certain direction fails and is thrown in the direction being guarded.

Clog – clogging means a teammate is standing in an open area preventing good cuts. It can happen when an offensive player does not clear from a throwing lane. Downfield offensive moves are blocked; hence other players can not get open.

Corkscrew the hammer has an awkward flight path due to a bad throw. The hammer curves twice and can create a hard play as it can be difficult to predict the movement and catch it. The Frisbee is held in a backhand grip instead of a forehand grip.

Cut – a player makes a sudden change of direction to get open and receive the disc. An out cut is when a player moves away from the thrower, while an in the cut is when the player moves towards the thrower.

Huck – it is a throw over a long distance, especially downfield.

Lag – the amount of float time a thrown disc achieves. The amount of time the disc stays in the air depends on the wind, type of throw, and spin. When the disc stays afloat for a long time, it provides more time for your team to get to the other side of the field.

Layout – when a player runs and drives forward with their arms sliding flat on the chest to block or catch the disc.

Leapfrog – when a player jumps super high to catch a disc and ends up jumping over another player in the process.

Legal Position – a position established by a marker that does not violate the outlined provisions.

Line – the boundary that defines the playing area limits.

Line Force – a situation where the thrower is close to either one of the sidelines and the marker forces towards the sideline.

Look Off – the thrower does not attempt a pass to an active receiver. The move is often signaled with a pump fake before moving to another option.

Low Release – the throw is released below knee level and can be added to both the flick and the backhand.

Mark – a move by the defensive side to prevent the thrower from passing the disc to a certain field area. A player may have to palace their body in the way to prevent the pass.

Reverse Curve: a forehand throw (for right-handers) to the right that curves to the left or a backhand throw( for right-handers) to the left that curves right.

Scoober – a throw that is fast and difficult to intercept. It is held overhead, similar to a hammer but with a backhand grip. It is often used in tight situations.

Skied – a situation where two opposing players jump to catch the disc, and a player jumps higher, making the catch.

Spirit of the game – it is the foundation of the game of Ultimate Frisbee and separates the game from other sports. It is a set of governing principles that place fair play on the players. Competitiveness is encouraged, but players must maintain mutual respect.

Travel – it is a type of foul where a player lifts their pivot foot off the ground before throwing the disc. When a player has a disc, they are not allowed to move. The rule is similar to the basketball rule.

Up – a call to signal the downfield players that the disc has been thrown into the air.

Vertical Stack – it is an offensive formation where the cutters are lined up vertically in the middle of the downfield space when playing.

Violation – an infraction of the game rules apart from a foul.

Zone – an offense or defense type where the players cover a certain area of the field instead of a specific player.

A woman playing frisbee in a field

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Types of Throws in Ultimate Frisbee?

The three types of throws used are:

  • Backhand
  • Overhead throw

They can be applied in different situations such as passing from short range to long range and scoring goals.

What Does an Airbender Mean in Ultimate Frisbee?

An Airbender refers to an adept handler who is good at manipulating the Frisbee. They can complete a pass with great accuracy and execution in different situations. They are also well versed in gameplays.

What Is a Brick?

A brick is a situation where the disc goes out of bounds, and the other team can either take it from where it went out on the sideline or bring the disc to the brick mark.


From the time it was invented, the game of Ultimate Frisbee is a fast-growing competitive sport, especially in the local college sports scene. It is a sport that is easy to pick up and provides a great workout. It is important to be well versed with the terms used, especially if you are a beginner.

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.