Ultimate Frisbee Players: Characteristics according to Their Competitive Level and Spirit of the Game

Sports (Basel). 2022 Dec 2;10(12):197. doi: 10.3390/sports10120197.


In Ultimate Frisbee, players are responsible for administering and reinforcing adherence to the rules of the game. As a self-refereed sport, UF relies upon the Spirit of the Game (SOTG). This study aimed to profile the experience, to ascertain the training history of the sport, the participation and goal orientations of international Ultimate Frisbee players in the European Beach Ultimate Championship, and to evaluate the contribution of these variables in a discriminant function to classify players according to SOTG level and competitive level. The sample consisted of 160 players [females 33.8% (29.3 ± 7.2 years); males 66.2% (37.6 ± 9.7 years)] who competed in the European Beach Ultimate Championship, 2019. Factorial ANOVA was used to test the effect of sex, competitive level and SOTG level (measured by the sum of the scores obtained in five questions addressing the following domains: (1) Knowledge and use of the rules; (2) Fouls and body contact; (3) Fair-mindedness; (4) Positive attitude and self-control; (5) Communication. The results revealed that sex was not a consistent source of SOTG level variation among players. In each competitive level, those with high SOTG levels obtained lower European Beach Ultimate Championship classification (t = 5.73 to 6.55, p < 0.001, d = 1.28 to 2.06), higher SOTG classification (t = −13.21 to −7.04, p < 0.001, d = 1.28 to 2.85), and better evaluation for fouls and body contact (t = 2.76 to 9.23, p < 0.05, d = 0.86 to 1.99) and for positive attitude (t = 5.88 to 7.43, p < 0.001, d = 2.06 to 2.57), than regular SOTG level players. Players of different competitive levels demonstrated similar SOTG results. These findings provide important information to coaches, physical education teachers and sport consultants.

Keywords: competition; flying disc; self-refereeing; sportsmanship; teamwork.