Competition Formats & Structure

Competition Formats

League Structure

League Formats


This is traditional ultimate played on a field 100 m long and 37 m wide with 7 players a side. Read the Rules of Ultimate for more info.


A popular variation on traditional ultimate played on a field 64 m long and 23 m wide with 5 players a side. The game is fast-paced and allows for substitutions on the fly. For more details, read the VUL 5 on 5 Rules.


Our most common competition type. Almost all registration is done on a team-basis, where most players register as a Team with their friends.

In some cases, if you don't have a team, you can still register as an Individual (or with 1-2 friends), and we will do our best to place you on a team with other individuals. Many of the teams we've formed over the years have continued to play together. However, we cannot guarantee a spot with this approach, as it depends on the number of people who register and the available space in the league, so we recommend you try to find a team first, if possible.


Our "mixer" programs. All players register as an individual or with 1-2 friends, and the VUL forms all of the teams. The traditional way of doing this is drawing names from hats, but we take a more systematic approach and form balanced teams to help ensure even games. These programs are a great way to meet new people.


Pick-up programs are our most casual league format. Players will register as individuals, and then teams will be formed each session on attendance.  Pick-up is also a great way to try Ultimate out without a major commitment.

League Structure


All leagues have one or more timeslots. A timeslot is a day and time when games occur (e.g. Monday evening, Saturday AM, Sunday PM). When you register, you will select the timeslot when you wish to play. Teams play in the same timeslot all season. 


In programs with sufficient registration, teams are placed into divisions with other teams of similar skill and experience. Division sizes range from 6 to 10 teams depending on the league.

  • In the Summer, there are 6-8 divisions on each night, so there is a wide variety of competition.
  • In other leagues, there are anywhere from 1-6 divisions in each timeslot, depending on the league.

A team's starting division (seeding) is based on information provided during registration, other teams' requests, and last year's results. Divisions can be roughly described as follows:

1Very experienced players (5+ years) and very competitive play
2-3Experienced players (typically 3+ years) and competitive play
4-5Players with some experience and a mix of competitive & recreational play
6-8Players with some or no experience and/or a focus on recreational play


Games are scheduled over 3-4 week periods called semesters. In one semester, teams will generally play all other teams in their division. There are 2 games on most weeks ("double-header"), and one game on some weeks ("single-header").

At the end of each semester, teams are moved between divisions (re-seeded) to provide for balanced games over the course of the season. Usually a few teams move up a division and a few teams move down, but teams may move more than 1 division if necessary. 


Playoffs last 1-3 weeks depending on the league.

  • In most leagues, teams have 2 weeks of playoffs with one or two games per night. 
  • For some of our more specialized leagues the number of weeks varies depending on the number of divisions & teams.

For a typical schedule, view the playoff brackets we use. Note the start times are just examples.

Statutory Holidays

Games are scheduled on most statutory holidays or statutory holiday weekends. 

If necessary, a team can contact their opponent to cancel on those nights.



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