For the most part, the Kingston Ultimate Summer League uses the The Official Rules of Ultimate (11th Edition). There are a few areas in which the league rules differ from the official rules, however:
Players and Gender Ratio
The gender ratio of players on the field is 4:3, with the team receiving the pull choosing whether there are 4 men or 4 women, and the throwing team matching.
Games must start within 10 minutes of the scheduled start time. A team can play with as few as 5 players without defaulting, but can never have any more players of either gender on the field than the receiving team has chosen. So if a team only has two women, and the other team is receiving and chooses to play 4:3, the team with two women can play 4:2. If the receiving team chooses to play 3:4, the team with two women must play 3:2. Late arriving players can join any team at any time.
Under extraordinary circumstances, the team captains may agree to change the above rules. If, for example, both teams had 8 women and 4 men show up, the captains could agree to play the game with 5 women and 2 men on the field to give players more equal playing time. However, any such changes must be agreed to before the game starts, and they should only be made if they are reasonable and mutually beneficial (for example, if one team has no women, it's not fair for them to expect their opponents to play without any women). It is extremely important that captains of the short handed team realize that the other team is under no obligation to make changes and that they should not be pressured into doing so. In fact it would be considered to be in poor spirit to criticize the team that has enough players, because they want to play the game the way it is intended.
- All games are played to 15 points or until the time slot ends; there is no soft cap. If neither team has reached 15 points at the end of the time slot, the current point is finished. At that point, if the game is not tied, the game is over. If the game is tied, one additional point is played to determine the winner.
- Games should start on time. Games should start as close as possible to the scheduled time. If a team doesn't have enough players to field a proper team at the time the game is scheduled to start, they can choose to play shorthanded, but they still can not have more than 4 people of one gender on the field at a time. Alternatively, they can default the game and play a pick-up game for fun (the score will be recorded as 1 to 0 against the defaulting team).
- Each team may take one timeout per half. Timeouts are 2 minutes in duration and may be called by the offense during play or by either team in between points. "Equipment" timeouts are allowed and do not count as an official timeout, but they may only be called when play is stopped. For example, if you notice that your shoe laces have come undone, you may call an equipment timeout to tie them up, but only during a stop in the play (e.g., when a foul call is made). Neither team can call a time out once the time cap has started. If offense attempts to call a timeout after they have used their one timeout for that half, they lose possession of the disc.
- Foot blocks are not allowed. To clarify, a foot block is when a defensive player tries to block the throw with a foot while marking the thrower (which can lead to broken wrists, fingers, etc.). This rule only applies when the defensive player is within 10 feet of the thrower (i.e., you can use your foot to block a low pass as long as you outside of the 10 foot perimeter, but please be aware of people around you and avoid injuring anyone who is reaching for the disc with their hand).
- Metal cleats are not allowed.
- One of the great things about ultimate is that it is self-refereed. However, this means that players need to be somewhat knowledgeable about the rules. I'd ask that experienced players/teams please take the time to explain the rules to newer players/teams, especially as infractions occur.
Tenth and Eleventh Edition Highlights
There were a few important rule changes that took place when the tenth and eleventh edition rules were released:
- Endzones are "live" on pulls. Previous to the tenth edition rules, if a player caught the pull in her own endzone she could walk it up to the front line of the endzone before initiating play. Now play initiates from where the pull is caught, even if this means that the player is trapped in the back of her own endzone. This rule also applies to pulls that land in the endzone and roll out (the disc shuld be taken to the place where it rolled out). This rule is designed to reward the defense for a good pull that stays in-bounds.
- Conversely, there is a "brick" rule to punish the defense for pulls that go out of bounds. The brick rule expands on the "middle" call which entitles the offence to bring a pulled disc that lands out of bounds disc to the middle of the field at the point at which it crossed the sideline to go out of bounds. Previously, teams could intentionally throw a long pull out of bounds and force the offense to start play on their own endzone line. To discourage this, the brick rule was established. Now, if a deep pull goes out of bounds (either across a sideline less than 10 yards from the endzone or out the back of the endzone) the offence starts play 10 yards from their endzone in the middle of the field (i.e., defense is penalised 10 yards for making a bad pull). Please note that the offence has the option of calling "brick" or "middle", whichever is more beneficial to them, or they may choose not to call either and to play the disc from the sideline.
- If the offence throws a pass that is caught by defense in the offence's endzone, it is a point for the defense. For example, if after a deep pull the offence starts from the back of their endzone and attempts a pass which is intercepted by a defender while still in the offence's endzone, the defense is awarded a point.
- It is now legal to throw from your knees. Prior to the tenth edition rules, it was considered illegal to throw unless you were standing (i.e., you couldn't throw from a sitting or kneeling position). This was due to another rule that stated that you must establish a "pivot foot" before you could throw. In the tenth edition, this was amended to read "pivot point" (i.e., not necessarily a foot, and therefore possibly a knee).
- Previous to the tenth edition, when there was a question about whether an offensive player was in bounds or had caught a pass in the endzone for a score, the offensive player in question had the final word regarding whether he was in or not. As of the tenth edition, the final word belongs to the player on the field with the best perspective. The player with the best perspective who was watching the play calls the catcher in or out. This accounts for the fact that an offensive player, particularly when making a difficult catch, is likely not paying attention to the exact position of his feet.
- Marking violations (disc space, fast count, double team, and vision blocking) can now be called an unlimited number of times during a stall count, without stopping play. Just like in the 10th edition, when these violations are called the marker has to drop their count by one. Furthermore, if a marking violation is called, the marker is not allowed to resume their count until he or she rectifies the violation.
- When a pick is called, all players return to where they were when the call was made (or when the throw went up, if the disc was thrown). After that, the picked defender then moves to regain the relative position lost due to the pick. Furthermore, if a picked defender did not have a play on the disc, the disc stays with the receiver. In addition, it is no longer relevant whether the pick occurred before or after the throw — only whether it affected or did not affect the play.
- The requirement of acknowledging a goal has been removed. In addition, if a player catches a pass in the endzone in which they're trying to score, but doesn't realize it and throws an incomplete pass, any player with best perspective can overrule the turnover and award the goal. However, if opposing players who both have best perspective can't agree on the call, the turnover stands.
- In the endzone, an uncontested foul on a receiver after a catch has been made that results in a loss of possession is a goal (this covers a strip, but is extended to all fouls that occur after possession is gained).
- Uncontested offensive violations other than picks (for example, travels) are now treated like uncontested offensive fouls, such that the stall count does not revert to 6 if it was over 6, but comes in at the last number uttered plus one (but never higher than 9).
- The requirement for a one-second pause between the word "stalling" and the first number of the stall count has been removed. In addition, the stall count can never come in higher than "stalling nine".
- A contested stall now comes back in at 8 instead of 9 (due to the removal of the requirement for the pause; see above). Furthermore, if a stall is contested more than once in the same possession, and if second and subsequent contests are a result of a fast count, the stall count reverts to 6 instead of 8.