Spirit Of the Game

Spirit of the Game is one of the core elements in flying disc sports. It is similar to fair play and sportsmanship, but there is a much higher emphasis put on it in Ultimate. It is summarised in this preamble to the rules of play:

“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.”

Actions such as intentional fouling, cheating, dangerous plays, disrespectful conversations, and other ‘win at all costs’ behaviour are contrary to the Spirit of the Game. Often a player is in a position where it is to his/her advantage to foul or commit some violation, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of the sport depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly.

As Ultimate is a self-refereed sport, maintaining Spirit of the Game is essential. Players must know the rules, be fair-minded and truthful, explain their viewpoint clearly and briefly, allow opponents a reasonable chance to speak and resolve disputes as quickly as possible, using respectful language.

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

Video Explainers

Spirit Rules & Scoring

In a self-refereed sport such as Ultimate it is important to continuously teach and measure Spirit of the Game. For this reason a Spirit Scoring system was developed.

Directly after a game, players rate the other team, as well as their own team, on the five fundamentals of the sport:

  1. Did they know and abide by the rules?
  2. Did they avoid body contact?
  3. Were they fair-minded?
  4. Did they show self-control and a positive attitude?
  5. Did they communicate properly and respectfully?

How does Spirit scoring and management work?

Spirit Scoring is especially recommended for leagues and larger tournaments. In these events a team’s Spirit Captain should be responsible for collecting Spirit Scores and giving them to the Spirit Director. The Spirit Director reviews the scores for possible issues and determines what team has the highest score to be to be awarded the Spirit of the Game prize.



  • jose.amoroso@wfdf.sport

Jose Amoroso (POR)

Chair, SOTG Committee

José Amoroso is currently the Chair of the WFDF Spirit Of The Game Commission and Chair of the WFDF University and School Sport / Youth and Sport Commission He began his passion for disco sports in 2000 as an Erasmus student in Belgium (Bruges). He was previously President National Association of Ultimate and Sports Disc for 5 years, Over 20 years of professional experience in the field of Physical Education and Sport, having exercised activities in the areas of Education, Pedagogy, and Ethics in sports, PhD. in Physical education and Sports (thesis entitled "ULTIMATE FRISBEE PLAYERS: PLAYING HIGHLY COMPETITIVE WITH GOOD SPIRIT". and Author of: Parasport Wheelchair Ultimate (2021) and Ultimate at Schools Programme Teacher's File (2020)

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Chihiro Ono (JPN)

Chihiro "Senco" Ono started Ultimate in 2001 at University of Tokyo. Since her early stage she has been into Ultimate rules and loved to discuss on and off the field. In 2006 she met a diverse pick up community called "Tokyo Ultimate", which gradually formed itself into IKU, a mixed club team. IKU played WUCC 2010 in Prague. Senco also played WMUCC 2018 in Winnipeg, where she captained a master mixed team Wasabi and won Spirit Award. It was one of the most memorable tournaments for her and she started sharing the knowledge and experience in Japan Ultimate community. Around the same timing she founded JFDA SOTG Committee and joined WFDF SOTG Committee as well. She was also a Game Advisor and served at WU24 2019 in Heidelberg.

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Henrietta Papp (HUN)

Heni was introduced to Ultimate in 2012 in Hungary. She's been Spirit Director at different major Ultimate Frisbee Championships in Europe. (See also: https://ultimatecentral.com/en_us/u/henrietta-papp) Other than being Spirit Director she tries to do her best in helping to develop/maintain the Spirit of the ultimate players in Europe and as a member of the WFDF SOTG Sub-Committee, in the world. She is the Chair of the SOTG Committee of the European Ultimate Federation (EUF).

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James Moore (USA)

Jimmy Moore first played ultimate in 1983 at Georgia Tech. After some wonderful experience in the Atlanta Summer League, he spent three great years in the early 90s playing with the Geneva Wizards. Then 10 years in Miami playing mainly with Herniated Disc, which went to USA Nationals several times in the masters division, finishing runner-up in 1999. From there, he migrated to Texas, playing and coaching with various teams. His nomadic ways then led him to London, where he continued to play with Curve. His 29-year ultimate playing career came to an end at Beach Worlds in 2017, playing for GB Great Grand Masters. He serves as a Game Advisor, in addition to volunteering for the UKU and WFDF SOTG Committees.

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Kate Barabanova (RUS)

• 2001: Started to play ultimate in Veliky Novgorod, Russia • 2002: Moved to Moscow and played for No Nails, Moscow women's ultimate club • 2005: Moved to Kyiv, Ukraine and started a new team with her sister Victoria and friend Tatiana. The team Dyki Krali still plays Ultimate. • 2008: Came back to Moscow, Russia and joined Brilliance Moscow Ultimate Women's Club • 2015–2016: Played for Bivni, Russian mixed ultimate club and won silver and gold at Russian National championships • 2010: Attended her first World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic where she met a lot of international players. • 2011–2017: Organized 5 training camps, started with Seattle Sockeye, and involved elite coaches from USA, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Germany and Russia, which helped Russian Ultimate to grow and rise to the elite level. • 2011–2013: Volunteer at USA Ultimate. • 2011–2018: RFDF Development Director • 2014–now: Member of WFDF SOTG Committee • 2015–now: Member of RFDF SOTG Committee • Spirit Director at PAUC2015, WCBU2017, EBUC2019; Assistant Spirit Director at WCBU2015; WUGC2016.

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Kate Kingery (USA)

Kate started playing ultimate in college and has been playing and coaching ever since. She has had the honor of competing nationally and internationally over the past two decades. She values Spirit of the Game and hopes to find ways to share her passion through her work on this committee.

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Wolfgang Maehr (SGP)

After his first game of Ultimate in 1999 and struggling to organise local games, Wolf decided to make the availability of Ultimate one of the factors in his choice of location. Since 2004 he has played Ultimate in Europe (Sweden, Switzerland, Norway) and in Asia (India, Singapore) and been fortunate to be able to participate in tournaments at across the globe at all levels from fun tourneys to world championships. The community is what makes Ultimate special and SOTG is what creates the community. Wolf's views on SOTG had been reinforced by his time involved in building India's Ultimate community: Seeing how Ultimate and SOTG more than any sport teach (young) minds about conflict resolution, responsibility and not winning at all cost inspires how Ultimate can change mindsets, behaviour and thus society for a better. He's been an active member for the SOTG committee since 2018, aside from his involvement in Beach Ultimate and organising teams. His goal is to make sure that SOTG survives as an integral and reliable part of the game as the sport gets more popular and more professional. Professionally, Wolf is working as a product, system and organisations architect tackling the exciting challenges and opportunities that a globalised and digitalized world creates. He graduated a software architect from Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (AUT) and an interaction designer from Chalmers University of Technology (SWE).

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Guo Yang (CHN)

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Strelchyna Valeriia (UKR)

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Samir El Ajraoui (MOR)

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