How to Play Frisbee Football

Man jumping to catch flying disc

Like any sport that evolved from another activity, the rules of Frisbee football are somewhat fluid. Further enhancements to the basics of Frisbee football have developed into an internationally recognized sport called Ultimate Frisbee. You can enjoy the basic fun of team sports with a flying disk while modifying the rules to fit your circumstances. Once you have the basics in place, you can add new rules or tailor your game to fit the playing area or number of players.

Assign an equal number of players to each team. A standard number is seven players to a side, but you can expand the teams to accommodate everyone who wants to play, as long as the field is large enough.

Define the boundaries of the field and the location of the end zones before beginning. The game plays out much like regular football, so if a youth league football field already is marked off at a local park, use that. Otherwise, use natural boundaries in an open field like walkways or tree lines to indicate out-of-bounds areas, and set out four cones or markers to denote the end zones.

“Kick off” by throwing the Frisbee down the field to the receiving team. Each team should line up at a specified point, either at the goal lines if you are on a small field or at the 20-yard line if you are on a marked football field. No player may cross that line until the Frisbee is in flight.

Mark the line of scrimmage at which the receiving team catches the Frisbee. If the “kick off” travels out-of-bounds, the “kicking” team must try again after marking off a five-step or five-yard penalty.

Advance the Frisbee by throwing a pass to a teammate just as you would in football. The quarterback is permitted to move around behind the line of scrimmage while looking for an open receiver.

Mark the spot of the Frisbee at the point of the catch if the offensive team makes a completion. The offensive and defensive teams line up again at the new line of scrimmage, and run the next play. Teams have four downs in which to score a touchdown, though variations to this rule exist. You may grant the offense a new set of downs following four completions, even if that team doesn't score.

Score a single point for touchdowns for simplified play, or score the game like regular football, or six points for a touchdown, if you happen to have goalposts available for an extra point attempt. The point after should be challenging enough so that it is not automatic, so set the line of scrimmage for the try at midfield. You may also incorporate field goals for three points if you have the goalposts available.

Set time limits for each quarter, and designate a time keeper. Regulation football times of 15 minutes per quarter with a short half-time break work well.


Ultimate is played without stopping for downs. Receivers are permitted three steps after a catch, at which time they must throw again to another player.