Ultimate and disc golf are self-officiated. At first, you may be asking yourself, “Won’t the kids just cheat?” It turns out that when every athlete on the field becomes the referee, they learn the value and power of competing with integrity more quickly than in other sports. Gone is the mindset of “It’s not a foul if the ref doesn’t see it.” Ultimate gives young athletes the opportunity to learn how to advocate for themselves and resolve conflicts through discussion in competitive situations.
In Ultimate, one athlete physically cannot do it alone. In other sports one athlete can dribble up the court and dunk it, or skate end-to-end and score a sweet goal. You are not allowed to run with the disc so athletes must pass to, and rely on, their teammates to score a point. There is no need to worry about ball-hogs in our sport! Instead, athletes learn the value of trusting their teammates, and learn how to win and lose as a team.
Ultimate and disc golf are progressive and strives to create an intersectional, inclusive, and safe space for all its athletes. Upwind Ultimate is a great example of an organization that is breaking boundaries in sport and pushing Ultimate athletes in a positive, equitable direction. We are proud that, in the United States, all middle school ultimate and younger is mixed-gendered with a ratio of 4:3, either girls to boys or boys to girls.
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