Who would have thought that cake pans thrown through the air would one day develop to so many different Frisbee games? Whereby one could certainly come up with one or the other idea on one’s own. Because regardless of whether it’s a solo or team sport, whether it’s a throwing or running-oriented game, whether it’s played on the grass, in the hall or at the beach … Throwing and catching discs is always an entertaining leisure activity. But who knows? Do you know all of the following 14 popular Frisbee game variations that I would like to introduce to you right now?
What you will learn in this article:
- Which Frisbee games are most popular?
- How do their rules work?
- What accessories do you need for the games?
- How many players are needed on the court to play according to the rules?
Although Ultimate is not the mother of all Frisbee games, it is by far one of the most popular Frisbee disciplines. The basis for this is, among other things, the fairly straightforward rules. They include…
- the way of scoring,
- the display of foul plays and how to deal with them,
- the change of discs,
- the possibilities of movement of the players and the disc (no running with the disc in the hand) and
- the personal responsibility (because there is no referee).
In other words, consistently fair play is the order of the day. And with seven players per team (14 players on the field), that’s saying something. If seven players per team seem to be a decent troop strength … you will be amazed how much space a field the size of a soccer field (328 ft. long and 121,4 ft. wide, divided into two end zones with a depth of 59 ft. each and a main field of 210 ft. long) offers.
- The world standard for the sport of Ultimate
- Official and exclusive disc of the USA Ultimate Championship Series since 1991.
- 175 grams
It is also logical that the individual players have to do a lot of legwork. In principle, it is the disc (175 Gram) which has to move. In addition, a game lasts 13, 15 points or (also gladly made) 2 × 25 minutes. So you have to be in good shape if you want to keep up your energy with this mixture of basketball, football and Frisbee.
But Ultimate Frisbee* is perfect to train skills like coordination, teamwork or tactical-situational sense in a way that brings a comparatively low risk of injury. But Ultimate is not only played in leagues all over the world, including European and World Championships. Several persons play it also in more and more schools. Not only on a field – also as an indoor and a beach variation.
You’re up for a round of golf – but always picking up a club has become too boring for you? Time for a game of Disc Golf! Similar to golf, you play on 18 different courses (length between about 164 and 656 ft.). Thereby you curve your discs around various obstacles and difficulties. The only difference is that at the end there are no holes but baskets waiting for you to putt. To get a step closer to this goal, you need the right accessories. These are various discs*, which are available in different variations.
- Putter (for the finish),
- midrange discs (for approaching the basket by throws over 131 to 197 ft.) and
- drivers (for the long flights between 167 and 328 ft.)
can be distinguished. They bring diameters from 8,3 to 9,1 in. in legth and weights from 4,6 to 7,1 oz. in weight. And that’s not all: depending on your personal throwing skills, you can get the most out of the discs, taking into account the …
- Disc Golf Discs: 2x Drivers, 2x Mid-Ranges, 1x Mini Disc Marker
- 12" x 12" Black Towel
- Dis Golf Bag for 6 to 8 Discs
- speed (velocity),
- glide (hovering ability),
- turn (drifting to the right at the end of the flight),
- fade (drift to the left at the end of the flight) and
- Hyzer (left or right turn).
…once again valuable meters out. Apart from that, the rules are largely the same as those of golf. The players attach great importance to fair play and try to that no one else endangered by their throws. This is very important, because playing disc golf is the most fun when played with good friends.
Where it says freestyle on it, there is freestyle in it. Therefore, you have the opportunity to really let off steam and present your best tricks – the main thing is that they are as creative as possible and contain many different movement elements. Solid and often played examples of this are
- delays (you let the disc rotate on one or a few fingernails and balance it skillfully),
- brushes (the disc gets additional speed by a hand or foot strike),
- body rolls (whether on arms or on legs – or maybe even on other parts of the body – the disc starts rolling) and
- catches (catching the disc behind the head or back or under the leg).
- 165 Gram
- responds to your every tip, brush and bodyroll
- Clear disc with open center (perfect for delays)
But also with several other players (one or two in tournaments) together in the form of coops (joint tricks) a lot of fun is pre-programmed. Further more boni: You don’t even need a particularly defined playing field and elaborate further equipment. Instead, you can start spontaneously wherever you feel like it and the situation allows it. And if you are enthusiastic about competitions, that’s no problem either. Let your imagination run wild when it comes to the combination of tricks. Who knows, maybe your mixture of difficulty, artistic expression and technical execution is exactly the one that impresses the jury the most?
As the name suggests, Kan Jam is played by two teams of two players on two barrels. The latter are a good 50 ft. apart, they have a target slot and they are open at the top. Due to the set-up (subfield 1 is occupied by one person each from team A and B and subfield 2 by the same persons) there are different possibilities for scoring up to 21.
- 1 point: The disc touches the outside because the deflecting person from the team steers it against it.
- 2 points: The person who throws achieves the same effect – but without the help of the deflector. Alternatively, the disc hits the target slot but spins back out.
- 3 points: The slam dunk. Here, the deflector putts the disc, which otherwise would not have touched the barrel and would have flown by.
- direct win: The disc comes to rest in the barrel unassisted and without flying out. Regardless of whether it was thrown in from above or through the target slot.
- Great for Outdoors, Beach, Backyard and Tailgate
- Made in the USA
Sounds entertaining and easy-going, right? It is! Of course, there are a few additional rules, but you’ll learn them pretty quickly. Besides, you don’t need a lot of equipment for Kan Jam* – if you disregard a suitable disc and the two barrels (which you can manufacture yourself). And
also the playing field shows its flexible side. Whether at the beach, in the park, on the street or in the gym; as soon as there’s enough space and players, you can start directly. So it’s not surprising that Kan Jam has become a popular school sport. And even various offshoots like Kan Jam Mini, Splash (in the water) or Illuminate (with illuminated discs in the dark) are becoming more and more popular.
Double Disc Court
While various other Frisbee games like Ultimate are quite running-intensive, DDC (as Double Disc Court is also often abbreviated) depends a lot on your throwing skills. First of all you need …
- a court – 141 ft. long and 42,7 ft. wide ,
- two special Double Disc Court discs* (9,45 in. in diameter, 3,88 oz. in weight)
- and four players forming two duos.
But the playing field is not just a rectangular structure. No, it is actually two 42,7 ×42,7 ft. squares separated by a 55,8 ft. wide strip. The section for this can be set up quite easily with flutter tape, for example. And also the scoring and the other rules are comparatively easy to understand. If you are interested in Disc Flip in more detail, I would like to recommend the more detailed article. But for a first impression it is enough that you know that…
- 110 Gram
- Diameter: 24 centimeters
- You need two discs to play this game
- in Double Disc Court you always fly with two discs at the same time. The goal is to force the opposing team to have both discs in their court at the same time and to touch them.
- you are allowed to “tap” (play up) the discs to prevent this from happening. Will say: One disc comes and is brought into the air by player A, so that the other disc can be caught in the meantime and quickly played back to the other side.
- in a 1-set game, the disc is played to 21 (with a two-point difference) or to a maximum of 25, And in a 3-to-5 set game, the disc is played to 15 each time.
This variation of the Frisbee games is perfect for adult dogs which weigh not too much and their human team mates. From the layout, the sport is similar to various other Frisbee disciplines. One throws, the other catches. Okay, that doesn’t impress you that much? Just give it a try (of course with a disc specially suited for the dog*) … Then you’ll see hat you have to be able to throw really well. And you’ll see that you need a good team-timing for the whole thing to be really successful. You have already mastered various basic throwing techniques such as roller, floater, forehand and backhand? Then you can decide which exact disc dogging style you actually want. Whether …
- freestyle (two-minute choreography to music with seven to ten discs which have to be thrown and caught),
- Mini-Distance (catching and retrieving as many discs as possible in 60 to 90 seconds off a field with different scoring zones) or
- Long Distance (throwing as widely as possible with three discs. It counts the disc which flew the longest distance before it was catched by your dog)
- Durable Rubber Flying Disc Dog Toy
- The natural rubber makes for a softer, forgiving catch during fetch
- Made for large dogs size 30-65 lbs (13-30 kg)
All variants have in common that they strengthen the trust between man and dog. They also provide a solid physical and mental workout of the quadruped player. However, the basic requirements are that …
- you find a suitable playing surface (not too hard, safe environment),
- you choose the right disc (must not splinter and attack the teeth or gums of the quadruped) and
- that you do not overload your animal.
But if all these points fit, going out and playing will be a real fun.
Guts translates as “guts” and is played by two teams of 5 players each with a 110 Gram disc*. The teams stand parallel to each other with a distance of 46 ft. so that the members of a team can touch each other with outstretched arms at the fingertips. Now the task is to throw the disc as hard as possible.
Points are scored by the opponent either not being able to catch the disc at all or being able to catch it with both hands only. In return, a point is scored if the disc does not land in the catching area. In addition, the disc may be tipped up and caught by another team member. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the other team member has already had contact with the disc and can therefore move freely. Popular are 1-set games, which go up to 21 points. Sometimes, however, a 2-set variant is also used. In it, a set counts as won after 15 points have been scored.
- For Hard throws, clean catches
- Weight: 110 grams
- 24 cm in diameter
Friskee (Frisbee Basketball)
Unfortunately, the exact origin of the name is not known. But the fact is that Friskee, like Beach Ultimate, is an offshoot of Ultimate Frisbee – and I guess that the name Frisbee Basketball points out everything important. For a game, you need at least three players plus a team, a playing field and several large rings hanging at a height of 7,9 ft.
The size of the court and the duration of the game depend on the strength of the teams, but either way there is no referee. This means that fouls are immediately shown and associated penalties are taken directly.
The winning team is the one that scores the most points in the end – without running across the court with the disc in their hands. That would be a wrong step, just like in basketball.
The player who has caught the disc must stop and, as in basketball, he may pass to any region of the field by means of a star step. (Ideally, of course, forward …). As the name suggests, Ultimate is played on a goal Two teams with four players each (plus two people on the substitutes’ bench) are needed. The playing field is circular (180 ft. in diameter). Points are scored when a player of the offensive team catches the Frisbee after throwing it through the archway of the end zone (a small semi-circle). That counts 1 point – or 2 points if the pass is made from behind the 2-point line:
- The whistle is blown for a check behind the clear line, which is almost opposite the end zones on the other half of the court. After that the game is played through without a break.
- The player who has caught the disc must stop and, as in basketball, he may pass to any region of the field by using pivot.
- In contrast to classic Ultimate, the disc must be passed on after five seconds and not after ten seconds.
- In addition, it is possible to score from anywhere.
Once a point is scored, the attacking team retains possession of the disc, but must pass it back behind the clear line. If the Frisbee lands out of bounds or is intercepted, the defenders also turn into attackers after a pass back behind the clear line. From this point of view, there is a similarity to streetball in basketball. And the duration of the game? A total of potentially five sets are played, with the “best of 5” rule applying. Whoever scores five points first wins the set – and whoever successfully completes three sets wins the entire game.
Ultimate Beach is one of the most popular Frisbee games that can be played at the beach. In this team sport, the rules of the game are basically the same as in the classic hard-field Ultimate. Except that …
- the playing field is smaller and therefore only 75 × 25 meters and
- there are usually four to five (more common variant) players per team on the field …
…which results in certain differences in tactics. Nevertheless, learning to play the two Frisbee disciplines is comparatively uncomplicated. The fact that Beach Ultimate is becoming more and more popular as a game variation is not only due to the sun, beach and waves, which are virtually free of charge. It also has to do with the fact that the ground causes less injuries. This means that even older players can continue to play for a few years longer. As a consequence, many clubs have decided to set up extra teams that compete in their own tournaments and championships. From this can be derived an impressive career of the beach – frisbee game idea:
- 1986 in Texas the first tournament ever
- 1989 the first tournament in Europe (Italy, Rimini, Paganello Beach)
- 1999 foundation of the Beach Ultimate Lovers Association
- 2009 already more than 100 tournaments in more than 25 countries
- 2010 recognition of Beach Ultimate as a Disc sport by the WFDF (World Flying Disc Federation)
And you? When will you try ultimate beach*?
The Field Events consist of different disciplines, which I would like to introduce to you now in a little more detailed way.
Self Caught Flight
The self caught flights include three main variations:
- Maximum Time Aloft (MTA): “Maximum Time Aloft” is about throwing the disc in sucha way that it stays in the air as long as possible before catching it. The world records for this event are 16.72 seconds in the open division (Don Cain, USA, 1984) and 11.81 seconds in the women’s division (Amy Bekken, USA, 1991).
- Throw, run and catch (TRC): The name says it all – throw as far as you can, run parallel to the flight and finally catch it with one hand! Not so easy, because you have to be able to throw as well as run. The fact that Judy Horowitz (USA 196,916 ft., 1985) and Christian Sandstrom (Sweden, 308,399 ft., 2003) can do this has bee rreflected positively in their world records.
- Self Caught Flight (SCF): In this Frisbee game form both above mentioned game variations are combined – so both time and distance are considered as parameters. The world records are held by Anni Kreml (USA, 10.49 seconds at 1732,736 ft., 1994) and Niclas Bergehamm (Sweden, 14.63 seconds at 281,234 ft. 1996).
Accuracy is also described as “target throwing” and, like the SCF Games, is a sport in which solo players compete against other solo players. The center of the game is an area with seven different throwing stations*, where the distances and throwing angles to the target
differ from each other. The target is a 1.5 × 1.5 meter frame located one meter above the ground.
The distances range from 44,3 to 103, ft.; the throwers have two minutes per throw (four throws per position in total). Since each hit counts as one point, a maximum of 28 points can be scored. The current world record is 25 out of 28 possible hits in the open
division (Mike Cloyes, USA, 1991) and 19 out of 28 points in the women’s division (Yukari Komatsu, Japan, 2003).
But of course, it doesn’t have to be the big time. Even in school sports, various Frisbee games like this one are great warm-up games that call for different skills like concentration, agility and body control.
Last but not least: In the long throw, the focus is on the distance between the drop line and the first contact of the target with the ground. Christian Sandstrom (Sweden, 820,21 ft., 2000) and Jennifer Griffin (USA, 452,76 ft., 2000) clearly found the ideal curves – both world records!
For Discathon you have to be good on your feet. The aim is to run and throw a one-kilometer course as fast as possible as a solo player in competition with other soloists. The trick is that you have two discs with you, which you throw alternately. While the first disc is flying, you run after it, catch it up and then throw the second one. How many throws you need is up to you. The main thing is that you move quickly and throw around the obstacles so skillfully that you don’t have to walk long distances. The time is counted from the first throw until one of the discs has crossed the finish line.
Frisbee Baseball / Burnball
You still remember Brennball from physical education in school? Great! So it won’t take you long to warm up to the following Frisbee variation. You need:
- an indoor field,
- a Frisbee disc,
- a small gym box.
- a stopwatch,
- four gymnastic mats,
- seven marking cones and
- 14 players (seven per team).
Now one team is attacking and the other is defending. For the attackers, the gymnastics mats are laid out as safety points at equal intervals around the perimeter of the playing field. On each of them there may be a maximum of three offensive people. The small gymnastic box for the ‘burner’ (from the team of defenders) is placed in the middle of the field. The putting person stands in a 3 × 3 meter square, which he is not allowed to leave. Part of the objective of the game is to have as many attackers score as possible. Offensive scores can be achieved by…
- a runner reaches the goal (1 point) or
- a home run (going around the field without stopping on a mat).
The defense must prevent this by hitting the disc into the box or catching it directly. Here, one point is awarded for each ‘burned’ offensive person (not standing on a safety zone while scoring defensively). Each team is attacker for one half (nine minutes), the other defender. After the changeover, the points are counted on in each case, so that in the end the team with more points on its account wins.
Nobody said that Frisbee games are too serious fun, right? And so Beersbee (alternatively known as Frisknock)* has become a particularly popular sport among students. What do you need to play?
- A set of materials, including the bottle holders (you can buy them online or build them
- yourself with the help of instructions available online),
- a frisbee,
- two bottles,
- two teams with at least two players
- and a playing field with soft ground (where you really only need a place where you can place the poles at least 27 ft. apart).
Here’s how it works: Both teams stand behind their own post, on which a bottle is positioned. Then, with one throw per team (always alternating), they try to throw down the bottle on the opponent’s post. The defenders (the other team) must prevent this by catching or knocking the disc away. The following points are scored:
- 1 point offense: The defense cannot catch the disc. However, the bottle does not fall to the ground either.
- 3 points offense: The defense fails to catch the Frisbee and the bottle kisses the ground.
- 3 points defence: The disc and the bottle that fell from the pole can be caught before the bottle touches the ground.
- solo (as potentially in Discgolf, Freestyle, Discathon or the Field Events),
- as a duo game (as in Dog Frisbee, the Kanjam or the Double Disc Court) or
- in more or less big teams (like from Friskee over Goaltime and Guts to Ultimate) –
Frisbee games always challenge your fitness, coordination, tactical thinking, communication skills and fair play attitude. At the same time, they require little in the way of expensive equipment or special sportswear – except for a little space – and can be played by people of all sizes and ages. (A certain basic fitness level is a prerequisite).
In combination with various locations such as public places, green spaces like parks, beaches or gyms, this results in sports that actually deserve much more attention and are rightly conquering it more and more step by step. After all, due to the often quite low risk of injury and the fresh air while playing, they contribute quite clearly to your fitness and health. Which of them are ideal for you? Just try it out – because in
this case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!