What is Ultimate?

Ultimate is a spectacular team sport with elements from various other popular sports. As a sport, Ultimate is unique for various reasons, from the use of a disc instead of a ball to the absence of a referee and the social character of the sport.

​The ultimate game

Running, throwing, jumping, diving, catching. Ultimate has it all. That is why Ultimate is sometimes also called the ultimate game. Ultimate  is a team sport in which usually teams of 7 play against each other. Like in rugby and American football, points can be scored in a so-called ‘end zone’, and just like with handball and basketball you are not allowed to walk with the ball in hand, the difference being that Ultimate is not played with a ball but with a flying disc.

Sport of the future

Ultimate is a relatively young sport. The plastic disc, as it is used in Ultimate today, was developed in the 1950s, and Ultimate as a sport was born only in 1967. In 1983, the first Ultimate world championships took place in Gothenburg (Sweden). Besides the world championships for national teams that are organised every four years, there are also world championships for club teams. Within Ultimate, there are also world championships for youth teams, masters and grandmasters.

Previous World Championships Ultimate

  • Gothenburg, Sweden, 29 August – 3 September 1983
  • Lucerne, Switzerland, 2–9 September 1984
  • Colchester, United Kingdom, 25–31 August 1986
  • Leuven, Belgium, 29 August – 3 September 1988
  • Oslo, Norway, 8–14 July 1990
  • Utsunomiya, Japan, 17–23 August 1992
  • Colchester, United Kingdom, 21–28 August 1994
  • Jönköping, Sweden, 10–17 August 1996
  • Blaine, Minnesota, US, 15–22 August 1998
  • Heilbronn, Germany, 12–20 August 2000
  • Turku, Finland, 1–7 August 2004
  • Vancouver, Canada, 2–9 August 2008
  • Sakai, Japan, 7–14 July 2012
  • London, Great Britain, 18–25 June 2016

Ultimate worldwide

Ultimate is one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide. More than ten million people play it and this number is steadily increasing. At the moment, the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) has more than 85 members and is officialy recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2015. Ultimate is becoming more professional, as is shown by the fact that there is an increase in professional clubs, especially in the United States.

Ultimate in the Netherlands

More and more people in the Netherlands are discovering Ultimate as a sport. At primary schools and high schools, Ultimate is now regularly part of physical education lessons. The same applies to universities and colleges. Also, more clubs now join the Nederlandse Frisbee Bond (NFB), the Dutch Frisbee Association, which not only represents Ultimate but also Disc Golf. In 2019, NFB has about 1700 members.

Guts and Disc Golf

Ultimate is not the only sport that is played with a flying disc. During the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate & Guts Championships in Leeuwarden, they also play a game called Guts. Disc Golf is not played at the WFDF 2020 World Ultimate & Guts Championships in Leeuwarden.

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