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Ultimate Frisbee is one of the easier sports to get started with because there are not many equipment needs.
All it takes is a frisbee and a few of your friends to get out there and get practicing.
While there are not many specific needs, there are a few items that are ideal to have because they can help make you more comfortable and therefore enhance your game.
As a result, we will talk about the ultimate frisbee equipment that you need as well as some suggestions for other equipment that you may find beneficial.
Types of Ultimate Frisbee Equipment
The most obvious but most important piece of equipment you need to play Ultimate Frisbee is a disc.
While there are a lot of different frisbees you can choose from, your best bet is to get a disc that meets the Disc Technical Standard set by USA Ultimate.
The USA Ultimate creates the official rules and guidelines by which the game of Ultimate Frisbee is played.
According to their Disc Technical Standard, each has to be 175 grams, plus or minus 3 grams.
The diameter must be 274 millimeters (mm), plus or minus 3 mm, and the height must be 32 mm, plus or minus 2 mm.
If a disc does not meet this standard, then it cannot be used in official play.
On their website, the USA Ultimate also has a list of discs that have been approved for official play.
In order to make this list, a disc goes through a multi-step review process that ensures the size, flight characteristics, and grip are all up to standard.
The discs on this list also must be reviewed and reapproved every three years to ensure they still meet the standard.
Because these discs have been vetted through such an intense review process, you can be sure that you are choosing from the best.
Currently included on this disc are discs from Discraft, ARIA, and Eurodisc, among others. You can view this full list here.
If you are going to be playing Ultimate Frisbee in a smaller league or recreationally, you do not necessarily have to choose a disc from this list or that meets these specific standards.
These are quality discs, though, and they will ensure that you have been practicing with the right kind of disc if you ever do decide to enter official game play, so it is generally a good list to follow anyway.
In addition to your disc(s), you are also going to want a bag for transport.
This can be a duffle bag, a backpack, or a specific disc bag depending on your preference.
The size and type of bag that you get will depend on how many discs you have and how much other equipment you carry with you for games.
Too cramped of a bag could lead to scratched or dented discs, so make sure you have something big enough to accommodate all of your gear.
As a general guideline, you want a bag big enough to fit your discs, a water bottle, your shoes, and any other personal gear you will have with you.
Another important equipment item is some type of clothing that will make it easy to identify your teammates during gameplay.
Clothing should be easily identifiable so that you do not accidentally pass to a member of the opposite team or end up stall before passing to ensure you are passing to the right person.
A more formal, professional team will typically have a full matching uniform for all members to wear so that they are easily identified as members of the same team; these uniforms also typically have numbers so that it is easier to identify them as well.
For a more informal recreational team, simply having all team members wear the same color would suffice.
Players could also wear a scrimmage vest, also known as a pinnie.
This item of clothing is often made of mesh and is worn over a player’s shirt; all teammates wear the same color pinnie to identify themselves as members of the same team.
While there are not specific requirements on the other clothing worn during a game, there are certainly articles of clothing that would be beneficial during play and help enhance your game overall.
One very important thing to have for Ultimate Frisbee is a good pair of shoes that will keep you comfortable even through all the running and jumping.
Regular sneakers are not ideal for this sport because sneakers are designed for more casual everyday wear, not for high impact and constant activity; they also do not provide the type of traction that you will need.
As a result, you are going to want a pair of athletic shoes that is designed for the type of terrain on which you will be playing.
If you are playing outdoors on a field, a pair of cleats will be the most beneficial.
There are not currently cleats that are specifically designed for Ultimate Frisbee, but cleats designed for sports with similar movement will do just fine.
Where sneakers have a flat sole, cleats have studs on the bottom that dig further into the ground and help you gain traction.
Cleats are great for grass because they will grip down into the dirt and prevent you from slipping, allowing you to be steadier on your feet.
Cleats are also designed to absorb shock, which will take the stress of your feet when you are jumping and sprinting.
The type of cleats that you choose depends on your specific needs.
If you want a cleat that goes up past your ankle for additional ankle support, football cleats are probably best for you.
These cleats are a little heavier, but they offer more protection, and the studs are designed to provide traction for forward motion which will be helpful when you are running.
If you are wanting cleats that allow for more flexibility and agility, soccer or lacrosse cleats are a better choice.
These two types of cleats hit lower on the ankle, taking away some of the ankle support, but allowing for full range of movement.
They are designed with rounded studs on the bottom that provide stability when you are running.
Soccer and lacrosse cleats are very similar, with the main difference being that lacrosse cleats are slightly heavier and come up a little higher on the ankle than soccer cleats.
If you will be playing Ultimate Frisbee indoors, you will need a different shoe option.
For a gym court, basketball shoes will be helpful because they are designed to withstand movements that are common in Ultimate Frisbee, including quick sprints, sharp turns, and hard jumps.
Basketball shoes can be high cut for more ankle support or low cut for more agility, so you can choose a pair based on what feels better to you.
Alternatively, if you are playing indoor Ultimate Frisbee on artificial turf, indoor soccer cleats will do the trick.
The gum rubber soles are great for traction and the low-cut design will ensure you have full movement and agility.
Whether or not you choose to wear gloves during Ultimate Frisbee is a personal choice.
Some feel that they are beneficial, but others feel that they are unnecessary or feel awkward to use.
There are a few advantages to wearing gloves that could help enhance your game.
One advantage to wearing gloves is it protects your hands from the elements if you are playing outside.
In cold weather, gloves are beneficial because they provide a barrier from the wind and cold and help prevent your fingers from going numb.
In rainy conditions, gloves are extremely helpful with grip.
The water causes the disc to be slicker, making it more difficult to hold onto with your hands and thus harder to throw with control.
Ultimate Frisbee gloves are designed with a grippy material on the palms and fingers so you can get a better grip on the disc even when it is wet.
Gloves are also advantageous for morning games when the disc can get wet with dew and on hot summer days where your hands are sweatier and cause you to lose your grip.
Wearing gloves can also help with soreness that can result from repeatedly catching high speed discs.
The gloves form a protective barrier over your hands that helps lessen the impact.
Some are even designed with additional padding to give more protection.
If you are interested in trying out a pair of gloves during a game, go for a pair that is made from a thinner material so that you can still feel the disc through your gloves.
Also choose a pair that have good grip and maybe even some padding on the palms to help you with consistency across different weather conditions.
It is also recommended that you practice in your gloves before ever wearing them into the game because you will need to get used to the added grip and the way it feels to throw the disc with the gloves.
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