What Equipment Do I Need To Play Ultimate Frisbee?
Ultimate frisbee is a fun, active sport that is accessible to all ages. One of its advantages is that the only equipment needed to play ultimate is a frisbee or disc. Like any sport, there is plenty of optional equipment; keep reading for a complete list.
Ultimate Frisbee Equipment
As of now, there are about seven million people of all ages playing ultimate frisbee (now known also as “ultimate”) in around 80 countries. Even though that sounds like a lot, people outside of the community of players typically have never heard of the sport. There is no need for heavy loads of equipment, but there is a necessity to learn the art of throwing the disc, which most people do not know before starting out on the sport. Here’s a list of equipment needed for ultimate:
Discs and Frisbees
Unlike many other sports with spherical, inflated game balls, ultimate uniquely uses a “flatball,” or disc-shaped ball, for competition.
The original disc was called an “Ultimate Frisbee Disc” produced by the company Wham-O. The term “Frisbee” is the product name given to the discs used in Ultimate, but Wham-O discs are typically looked down upon because their original standard cannot be assimilated into the game. There are Wham-O discs that are official size and weight, but it is recommended not to invest in them since they are not the regulation discs that most of the community uses.
A white base color to a disc means that every part of the disc is white, including or apart from the top, which typically has a design. There are discs that are different colors, but white is the most popular because of its day and nighttime visibility.
The same discs are used for all levels of play. The disc is the centerpiece of the game; without it, there would be no sport. Players throw and catch the disc so that it ends up in the hands of a player in the other team’s end zone to score a point.
If you are going to buy your own disc, here is the most popular and recommended type:
- Brand(s): Discraft Ultra-Star
- Material: Plastic
- Color: White base color
- Weight: 175 grams
- Width: 10.75 inches diameter
Cleats are essential for being able to run properly on the field and give you great ground support. If you wear tennis shoes, it can be very easy to slip when making a cut or even when throwing. The style of cleats you get depends on what you want in a shoe.
Soccer cleats are great for beginners. Compared to other cleat types, soccer cleats are lighter, which makes it easier to run on the field. It is suggested to get a half-size bigger than your size so that you don't suffocate your foot, but not so much as to allow your foot to slide around while you run.
Football cleats are good for ankle support when playing ultimate frisbee. As a beginner, they are great cleats to start off with.
Lacrosse cleats are the best type of cleat for experienced players who know how to control their body and are knowledgeable in the rules and structure of the game.
It’s suggested not to wear cotton shirts, but to wear breathable and light shirts when playing ultimate.
Shorts should be flexible, lightweight, and breathable, but tight enough so that they do not get caught on your legs while you run.
Leggings should be comfortable and athletic, but not too tight, so that you have steady circulation in your legs. They are good to protect from scratches.
When playing on the beach, you don’t need more than a disc and basic beach essentials, like sand socks. Sand socks protect one’s feet from extreme sand temperatures and from little rocks and items that could scrape one’s foot.
Compression wear consists of skintight, but flexible articles of clothing meant to increase circulation and protect against scrapes. Compression shorts are good to go underneath regular shorts as to add another layer of protection. Knee compression sleeves support your knees under the pressures of running and prevent scrapes from landing on your knees. Ankle and foot compression sleeves help to keep your ankle from twisting when running.
These are not required pieces of equipment, but they are good for players who are comfortable with their catches and throws. They are used to provide an extra grip, especially in wet or cold weather.
Although any duffel bag will work, many players use a specialized ultimate frisbee bag. The main distinguishing feature of an ultimate-specific bag is disc-carrying straps, which keep ultimate discs protected and organized. Other common features include weatherproof materials, cleat compartments, and cooler partitions.
This is a clip that attaches to the outside of a bag so that you can clip it to the rim of the disc. It is typically used when the player doesn't want to put the disc in a stuffed bag, which could ruin it.
Eye black is useful for eliminating glare from the sun or lights. Like athletes in many sports, ultimate players use eye black to help their vision in high contrast situations. It can also be used for self expression, helping athletes look tough or including special symbols or messages. Eye black comes in stick form or as self-adhesive strips.
Powder bags are canvas bags filled with absorbent powder and used to keep ultimate player’s hands dry during a game. Wet conditions and sweat can build up on a player’s hands, and using a powder bag is the perfect remedy. Players simply squeeze the soft bag, often coated in microfiber, to quickly dry their hands anytime they get damp.
Plastic cones are necessary to set up the dimensions of the field so that players can see where the end zone and the sidelines are, and so that, if a player lands on them, it will not seriously injure them.
Target nets are mounted nets that ultimate players can use to practice the accuracy of their throws. You can place them at any distance in order to practice throws of varying lengths and styles.
Sky trainers are training tools designed to help players improve their accuracy when skying and practice their footwork during jumps. A sky trainer is designed like a boom arm atop a tripod, which holds the disc in place. Players can set the trainer at the desired height for personal training or compete with teammates.
Injury Prevention Equipment
When playing Ultimate, or any sport for that matter, you need the right equipment to help you stay together before, during, and after a game so that your body can be at its optimum performance as often as possible.
- KT Tape
- Pads and Braces
- Foam Roller
- Roller Stick
- Ice Bags
KT Tape is also not required, but many players use this tape to support injured muscles and joints, but only enough so that their movements are not totally restricted. If someone sweats easily, using another form of support is recommended, because the tape will fall off because of the moisture.
Pads and Braces
Pads and braces aren’t required pieces of equipment, but are recommended to protect players. Braces are used after a player has gone through an injury or surgery and needs support to continue to play the game. Pads are used for players who do not want to get scrapes or receive major bruising while they play. There are knee and arm pads that can be worn so that if one lays out or gets bumped by another player, the impact will be softened.
Ultimate frisbee can be played on either grass fields or sand fields. When playing on grass, there are some things that are necessary to have and others that can help but aren't required.
List of Ultimate Frisbee Equipment
- Discs and Frisbees
- Sand Socks
- Compression Wear
- Disc Clips
- KT Tape
- The Field
What is the necessary ultimate frisbee game equipment?
The only equipment that is necessary for a game of ultimate frisbee is a disc or frisbee and a group of players. Any grassy field or sandy beach of sufficient size can be used as a playing surface.
What ultimate frisbee equipment do players need?
Ultimate frisbee players need a jersey, shorts, cleats, and a disc. Cleats and a jersey are only needed for competition and are optional for casual play. Likewise, only one disc is needed among the players for a pickup game.