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Why the new Ulti-Mates Frisbee program will change how your students think about game play

Written by Emma Willacy, edited by Kelly Wynn

Ultimate Australia is our newest Sporting Schools partner! Ultimate Australia’s Ulti-Mates program develops the skills and confidence for children to get involved in Ultimate Frisbee in SA.

Ultimate Frisbee is a unique sport where all students are responsible for managing and following the rules of the game, this is known as ‘self-refereeing’. Students must have a strong understanding of the rules of the game, and be ‘fair minded’ and honest. They also need to be able to articulate their point of view and why they made their decision, and communicate with their teammates and the opposition team in a respectful manner.

Stay Active uses the Game Sense approach, meaning students will engage in minor and modified games, which introduces them to movement skills including throwing and catching a frisbee, and tactics of the game. Students will also develop a strong foundation in teamwork and fair play skills through an introduction to Ultimate Frisbee’s unique ‘Spirit of the Game’ concept.

Ultimate Australia defines the ‘Spirit of the Game’ concept as:

“All players are responsible for administering and adhering to the rules. Ultimate relies upon a Spirit of the Game that places the responsibility for fair play on every player. It is trusted that no player will intentionally break the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for breaches, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach.

Highly competitive play is encouraged, but should never sacrifice the mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.”

Some examples of Good Spirit:

· Informing a team-mate if you think they have made a wrong or unnecessary call or caused a foul or violation

· Retracting a call when you no longer believe the call was necessary

· Complimenting an opponent for good play or spirit

· Introducing yourself to your opponent

· Reacting calmly towards disagreement or provocation

At the end of a game, both teams form a Spirit Circle with alternating players. This circle can be used to highlight some positives and/or discuss issues that might have occurred during the game. You can see why actions such as intentional fouling, cheating, dangerous plays, disrespectful conversations, and other ‘win at all costs’ behaviour would make for some very awkward eye contact in the Spirit Circle!

When running an Ultimate Frisbee program in your school it is strongly recommended that you purchase Ultimate Australia’s unique Discs. These unique Discs are modified rubber Discs that are safe for use by primary school students. Purchasing these Discs will help promote ongoing participation in Ultimate Frisbee after the program has concluded. Alternatively, depending on availability, Stay Active can lend you our own pack of 15 Discs to use during the program.

Let us come to your primary school and run an Ultimate Frisbee program for FREE through the Sporting Schools initiative. Head to to find out more.

We used the Spirit of the Game and the Spirit Circles resources in writing this blog.


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