Los Angeles Organization of Ultimate Teams

Goalty Rules

Here are the official rules of the LAOUT 2012 Goaltimate League.


This version of the rules utilizes most of the Official IGO Goaltimate rules written by Rick Conner. The primary intent of this new version is to provide a framework within which Goaltimate can be played without observers. A game without observers requires players to be heavily governed by their own personal integrity. Goaltimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship, which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.

In Goaltimate, an Intentional Foul would be considered cheating. Often a player is in a position where it is clearly to the player’s advantage to Foul or commit some Violation, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of Goaltimate depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold the guidelines of the rules.

I. Introduction

  1. Description: Goaltimate is a non-contact sport played by two, four-player teams. The object of the game is to score goals. The disc may be moved only by throwing it from player to player. The Thrower is not allowed to take any steps. Any time a pass is incomplete, intercepted, knocked-down, or contacts an Out-of-Bounds area, a turnover occurs, resulting in an immediate change of possession of the disc. A Goal is scored when a player successfully passes the disc through the arched Goal Post to a teammate in the End Zone.
  2. Captain’s Clause: A game may be played under any variations of the rules agreed upon by the Captains of the two teams. In tournament play, such variations are subject to the approval of the tournament Director.  Such things as length of game, dimensions of the field, and stall count can easily be altered to suit the level of play.

II. Clarifying Statements

  1. A player is any of the persons who are actually participating in the game at any one time.
  2. To put the disc into play means the Thrower establishes a pivot foot and is ready to throw. To put the disc into play at a particular point on the field means to place the pivot foot at that point on the field.
  3. Where the disc stops refers to the location where the disc is caught, comes to rest naturally, or where it is stopped from rolling or sliding.
  4. A Check disc is when an Offensive player offers the disc to the Defensive player to tap, in order to start and restart play.
  5. The Clear Line is the line from which play starts. After each turnover and after each score the disc must be worked to behind the Clear Line. No straddling the Clear Line, i.e.: one-foot in, one-foot out.
  6. The Goal Post is a 32’ section of 1″ PVC pipe that arches 11 feet into the air. It is 18 feet wide at the Goal Line.
  7. The Goal Line is the line in which the disc must clear, going through the Goal Post and being caught by a player with at least one foot in the End Zone. In order to score a Goal, the player can not straddle the End Zone Line or the Goal Line, i.e.: one-foot in, one-foot out.
  8. Ground Contact takes place when a player makes contact with the ground, directly related to a specific event or maneuver, including landing or recovery after being off-balance, i.e.: jumping, diving, leaning, or falling.
  9. Possession of the disc means sustained contact with, and control of, the non-spinning disc.
  10. To catch a pass is equivalent to establishing possession of that pass.
  11. Loss of control due to ground contact related to a pass reception negates that Receiver’s possession up to that point.
  12. There are no scrimmage lines or off sides in Goaltimate. The disc may be passed in any direction.
  13. A rolling or sliding disc can be stopped by any player; however it may not be purposefully advanced in any direction. Possession is gained where the disc stops.
  14. No Defensive player may ever pick up the disc.

III. Field of Play

  1. The grass playing field measures 30 yards deep and 40 yards wide, which is centered in the middle of a 60 yard circle that encompasses the Perimeter Line. At one end of the field is the “Clear Line” curving 40 yards wide toward the Goal. At the other end is the “End Zone”. The End Zone forms an arc, which measures 24 feet by 24 feet. A variation of this basic field layout may be used to accommodate special competitions, number of players, age of players, available space, etc. Lined fields are not necessary for the purposes of practice or other non-formal games of Goaltimate.
  2. The Perimeter Lines encase the playing field and can vary upon size of playing area available (60 yard diameter). Outside the Perimeter Line is considered Out-of-Bounds and results in a turnover.
  3. Cones made of a brightly colored, flexible material mark the Clear Line, End Zone and Perimeter Lines.
  4. The Substitution Box is set up for the 2 substitute players to conveniently sub in, without interfering with play. Both teams substitute from the same box. A substitute player must touch hands with a player wishing to leave the field of play before participating in the action. A player can sub at any time during play. The tag can take place outside of the Substitution Box, however, it can not interfere with play. An exiting player must initiate his return to the game through the Substitution Box.

IV. Equipment

  1. Any flying disc may be used as long as it is acceptable to both team Captains. If the Captains cannot agree, the current Official Disc of Goaltimate, the 175-gram Discraft disc, shall be used.
  2. Cleats which have any metal exposed are not allowed.
  3. Each player must wear a uniform or other clothing that distinguishes that player from the players on the other team. Players may wear any soft protective clothing as long as it does not endanger the safety of any other player.

V. Length of Games and Matches

  1. Games are played to 5 Points. The first team to score five points wins. It is not necessary to win by 2 points.
  2. A Goal is worth 1 point if thrown from the playing field. A Goal is worth 2 points if thrown from behind the Two Point Line.
  3. Matches are played in “Best-of-5” game series. When a team wins 3 games, the Match is declared over.

VI. Time-Outs

  1. Each team is permitted three Time-Outs per Match.
  2. During play, only a player who has established a pivot foot and who has possession of the disc can call a Time-Out.
  3. The player calling the Time-Out must form a “T” with their hands and call “Time-Out” loudly.
  4. An official timeout occurs at the end of each game. This timeout is not charged to either team. Each team may substitute freely in between games. At the start of the next game, any offensive player may put the disc into play.
  5. A Time-Out lasts for two minutes.
  6. Play resumes after a Time-Out:
    -The player who had possession puts the disc into play.
    -The disc is put into play at the location where the disc was when the Time-Out was called.
    -Play is resumed through the use of a Check disc. Players may set up in any position on the field.
  7. It is a turnover if a player calls a Time-Out when their team has no Time-Outs remaining. There is a Check disc and play continues. See section VIII/3.

Injury Time-Out

  1. Any member of the injured player’s team can call an Injury Time-Out. The Time-Out call is in effect at the time of the injury. The call is retroactive to the time that the injury occurred. If the disc is in the air during the Time-Out call, the play is completed.
  2. Injury Time-Out results in a team Time-Out if the injured player does not leave the game. An exception is made when the injury is caused by an opposing player.
  3. When play resumes after an Injury Time-Out:
    -The player who had possession of the disc when the injury occurred puts the disc into play.
    -If that player leaves the field due to injury, the replacing player puts the disc into play.
  4. If the disc was in the air at the time of the injury, play continues until the disc is caught or it comes in contact with the ground. If the disc is caught, the player who caught the disc puts the disc into play after the Injury Time-Out.
  5. The disc is put into play at the location where the disc was when play was stopped.
  6. The play is resumed through the use of a Check disc and all players must assume their respective positions on the field when the Time-Out was called. Players may not set up when restarting play after an Injury Time-Out, unless it is also a team Time-Out.
  7. VII. Substitutions

    1. Substitutions can be made at any time.
    2. Substitutions must originate from the Substitution Box. The player leaving the playing field must touch hands with the incoming player in order for the substituting player to enter play. The tag can take place out of the Substitution Box providing it does not interfere with play.

    VIII. Starting and Restarting Play
    Starting the Game

    1. Before a game starts, each team designates one Captain to represent that team in disagreements and arbitration.
    2. Representatives of the two teams each flip a disc simultaneously. The representative of one team calls “Odd” or “Even” while the discs are in the air. If both discs land the same way it is “Even”. If the two disc land opposite of each other it is “Odd”. The team winning the flip has the choice of:
      -Starting the series with the disc from behind the Clear Line.
      -Starting on Defense defending the Goal.
      (The team losing the flip is given the remaining choice.)
    3. Play starts from behind the Clear Line with the Offense player (Thrower) offering the disc to be touched by the Defensive player (Marker). This is called a “Check disc”. The Thrower starts play.
    4. After each score, the Offense maintains possession at that position and must work the disc behind the Clear Line in order to proceed for the next score. The Team scoring the fifth point in a game maintains position for the start of the next game.

    The Check disc:

    1. When play stops, the player who was in possession retains possession.
    2. All players must come to a stop as quickly as possible when play is halted, and remain in their respective locations until play is restarted.
    3. The Marker restarts play by touching the disc in possession of the Thrower. If the Thrower attempts a pass before the Marker touches the disc, the pass does not count regardless of whether it is complete or incomplete, and possession reverts back to the Thrower.

    IX. Out-of-Bounds

    1. Any area not on the playing field is Out-of-Bounds. The Perimeter Lines themselves are Out-of-Bounds.

    2. A disc is Out-of-Bounds when it first contacts an Out-of-Bounds area or contacts anything Out-of- Bounds.

    3. The disc may fly outside a Perimeter Line and return to the playing field, and Defensive players may go Out-of-Bounds in order to make a play on the disc.

    4. A player is Out-of-Bounds when they make contact with an Out-of-Bounds area. When a player is in the air, whether they are In or Out-of-Bounds is determined by where the ground was last contacted by the player.

    5. For a Receiver to be considered In-Bounds after gaining possession of the disc, the first point of contact with the ground must be completely In-Bounds. If any portion of the first point of contact is Out-of-Bounds, the player is considered Out-of-Bounds.

    6. Should the momentum of a player carry them Out-of-Bounds, after making a catch and landing In-Bounds, the player is considered In-Bounds. The player carries the disc to the point where they went Out-of-Bounds and puts the disc into play at that point.

    7. To start or restart play after the disc has gone Out-of-Bounds, a member of the team gaining possession of the disc must carry the disc to the point of the playing field nearest where the disc last crossed the Perimeter Line, and put the disc into play at that point.

    8. The Thrower may pivot In and Out-of-Bounds, providing that some part of their pivot foot contacts the playing field.

    9. If a pass does not come In-Bounds, the opposing team gains possession of the disc where it left the field of play only if the Defense did not contact the disc. If the Defense contacted the disc, the disc must be put into play at the point on the playing field proper, closest to where the contact occurred.

    X. End Zone

    1. There is only one End Zone. It is 30 yards from the Clear Line. It forms an arch that measures 24 feet wide and 24 feet deep. It is marked with cones and lined with a non-caustic material. The lines are between two to four inches wide.

    2. The Goal is the entrance to the End Zone. It is 18 feet wide and vaults 11 feet into the air forming an arch. The disc can never be thrown through the backside of the Goal or it is a turnover. The disc must go through the front of the Goal in order for a goal to be scored..The Receiver can jump and catch the disc in the air or reach outside the Goal for the disc. As long as their first contact is the End Zone, it is a Score. If the Receiver’s first contact is the Goal Post then no goal is awarded and the receiver must play the disc where he lands.  There is no Check disc.

    XI. Scoring

    1. In order to Score, a player throws the disc through the front of the Goal and the Receiver must have at least one foot in the End Zone when making the catch. It is not a Goal if the Receiver hits any part of the Goal Post prior to the Receiver catching the disc. If a Defender deflects a pass and it continues though the Goal, and the Receiver in the End Zone catches the disc, it is a Score.

    2. In order for the Receiver to be considered in the End Zone after gaining possession of the disc, their first point of contact with the ground must be completely in the End Zone. If the Receiver is in the End Zone and reaches through the back of the Goal to make a catch it is a Score, even if the disc does not fly freely through the Goal. If the disc is caught outside of the Hoop, he must bring the disc through the hoop, while maintaining his position in the End Zone.

    3. A player cannot Score by running into the End Zone with the disc. Should a Receiver’s momentum carry them into the End Zone, after gaining possession, the Receiver must play the disc from where he stops.

    4. After a Score, play is continuous. Team that Scores maintains possessions. The Offense must work the disc back to the Clear Line in order to advance for another Score. The disc cannot pass through the back of the Goal or it is a turnover.

    5. If a Goal is thrown from behind the Clear Line, 2 points are awarded.

    XII. Turnovers

    1. An incomplete, intercepted, knocked down, or Out-of-Bounds pass results in a loss of possession.

    2. A pass is considered intercepted if a Defensive player catches a pass. If a Defensive player catches a pass and accidentally loses possession of it, before or during ground contact, the Defender is considered to have blocked rather than intercepted the pass.

    3. The following actions result in a loss of possession and a Check disc:

    a. If the Marker’s Stall count reaches the maximum number, which is 5-seconds.

    b. If the disc is handed from player to player;

    c. If the Thrower intentionally deflects a pass off other players, to themselves.

    d. If the Thrower catches their own throw. However, if the disc is touched by another player, or contacts the goal post during flight it is considered a complete pass and is not a turnover. Intentionally throwing the disc off of the pipes or another player is not allowed.

    e. If the disc is thrown though the backside of the Goal Post.

    XIII. The Thrower

    1. The Thrower is the Offensive player in possession of the disc, or the player who has just released the disc.

    2. If the disc is on the ground, either In or Out-of-bounds, any member of the team becoming Offense may take possession of the disc. Once an Offensive player has picked up the disc, that player is required to put the disc into play.

    3. The Thrower must establish a pivot foot and may not change that pivot foot until the throw is released.  The exception is in the case where the Thrower has just received a pass and is throwing the disc before their momentum has allowed them to stop, before the third ground contact.

    4. The Thrower has the right to pivot in any direction. However, once the Marker has established a legal defensive position, the Thrower may not pivot into the Marker, XIV.

    a.        If the thrower pivots into the end zone he can no longer throw a score.

    5. If the Thrower drops the disc, without Defensive interference, it is considered an incomplete pass.

    6. The Thrower may throw the disc in any fashion or direction they choose.

    7. If a Defensive player gains possession of the disc, thus becoming the Thrower, they may not throw the disc before a legal pivot foot is established. To do so is a Traveling Violation.

    XIV. The Marker

    1. Any Defensive player may guard the Thrower at any time; that player(s) is the Marker(s).

    2. The Marker may not straddle, i.e., place their foot on either side of, the pivot foot of the Thrower.

    3. There must be at least one disc’s diameter between the upper bodies of the Thrower and the Marker at all times. It is the mutual responsibility of both players to respect each other’s position and not encroach into this area once it is established.

    4. The Marker cannot position their arms in such a manner as to restrict the Thrower from pivoting.

    5. Stalling:

    a. A Defensive player may initiate a Stall count from anywhere within the playing field. If an Offensive player moving into the throwing position stands over the disc, i.e., within 3 yards, without putting the disc into play, the Marker may issue a “Delay of Game” warning. If the disc is not picked up, the Marker may initiate a Stall count.

    b. The count consists of the one (1) Marker or other Defensive player calling “Stalling” or “Counting” and counting at one second intervals from one to five, (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) loud enough for the Thrower to hear.

    c. In the event that two defensive players are stalling, the stall count reverts to the lower of the two counts.

    d. If the Thrower has not released the disc at the first utterance of the word “Five”, a Turnover results.

    e. In the event of a Stall, the once Marker, now Offensive player, does not have to take the disc. The once Thrower, now Marker, drops the disc to the ground for a turnover. There is no Check disc.

    f. The Thrower may contest a Stall call if they feel that they released the disc before the first utterance of the word “Five”.

    1. In the event of a contested Stall, play stops if the pass is completed, and possession reverts back to the Thrower. After a Check, the Marker starts the Stall count at three (3).

    2. In the event of a contested Stall, it is a turnover if the pass is incomplete, and play continues without interruption.

    3. If the Marker counts too fast, the Thrower may call “Fast Count”. The first Fast Count call is a warning. On the first fast count call, the Marker must subtract two (2) from the Stall count. If Fast Count is called again within the same 5 seconds, play stops, then is resumed after a Check with the count reset to zero (0).

    XV. The Receiver

    1. The Receiver is any Offensive player in the act of catching the disc, or not in possession of the disc.

    2. Bobbling to gain control of the disc is permitted. Purposeful, controlled bobbling to oneself, i.e., tipping, delaying, guiding, or brushing in order to advance the disc is considered Traveling and is not allowed.

    3. After catching a pass, the Receiver is only allowed the fewest number of steps required coming to a stop and establish a pivot foot. No more than third contact with the ground.

    4. If the Receiver is running or jumping as they catch the disc, the Receiver may throw a pass before the third ground contact. The Receiver does not have to come to a complete stop. However, change in direction or increase in speed while in possession of the disc is a Traveling Violation.

    5. If the Offensive and Defensive players catch the disc simultaneously, the Offense retains possession.

    6. If a pass arrives in such a manner that it is unclear whether a catch was made before the disc contacted the ground, the player(s) with the best perspective, usually the Receiver, makes the call. If the catch is contested, the disc reverts back to the Thrower. Play resumes with a Check disc.  Grass is considered part of the ground.

    7. If it is ever unclear whether a Receiver was In or Out-of-Bounds at the point of making a catch, the player(s) with the best perspective should make the call.

    8. Force-Out Foul: If an airborne Receiver catches the disc, and is contacted by a Defensive player before landing, and that contact caused the Receiver to land Out-of-Bounds instead of landing In-Bounds, the Receivers must call themselves Out-of-Bounds, or call a Force-Out Foul on the Defensive player.  If this Foul occurs in the End Zone and it is uncontested, a Goal is awarded.

    XVI. Fouls

    1. Fouls are the result of physical contact between opposing players. A Foul can only be called by the player who has been fouled and must be announced by calling out the word “Foul” loudly. The Foul call must take place immediately after the Foul has occurred.

    2. The player initiating contact is guilty of a Foul.

    3. Throwing Fouls:

    a. A Throwing Foul may be called when there is contact between the Thrower and the Marker.

    b. Contact occurring during the follow through, which is after the disc has been released, is not sufficient grounds for a Foul, but should still be avoided whenever possible.

    c. When a Foul is committed by a Thrower or the Marker, play stops and possession reverts back to the Thrower after a Check disc.

    d. If the Thrower is fouled in the act of throwing a pass, and the pass is completed, the Foul is automatically declined and play continues without interruption.

    e. If the Marker is fouled in the act of throwing and the pass is not completed, play continues without interruption.

    4. Catching Fouls:

    a. Catching Fouls may be called when there is contact between opposing players in the process of attempting a catch, interception, or knock down. A certain amount of incidental contact during or immediately after the catching attempt is often unavoidable and is not a Foul.

    b. If a player contacts an opponent before the disc arrives and thereby interferes with that opponent’s attempt to make a play on the disc, that player has committed a Foul.

    c. If a player’s attempt to make a play on the disc causes significant impact with a positioned stationary opponent, before or after the disc arrives, it is considered “Harmful Endangerment” and is a Foul.

    d. Dangerous, aggressive behavior or reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players is a Foul.

    e. If a Catching Foul occurs and is uncontested, the player fouled gains possession at the point of the infraction. If the call is disputed, the disc goes back to the Thrower. If an uncontested Foul, with the exception of a Force-Out Foul, occurs in the End Zone, the player fouled gains possession at the closest point on the Goal Line to the infraction.

    XVII. Violations

    1. A Violation occurs when a player violates the rules in a manner that does not result in physical contact. e.g. illegal guarding position by the Marker, not establishing a pivot foot on the Goal Line after carrying the disc into the End Zone, etc.

    2. Any player who recognizes that a Violation has occurred may call a Violation. The player must immediately call “Violation” or the name of the specific Violation loudly.

    3. Traveling:

    a. The Thrower must keep all or part of the pivot foot in contact with a single spot on the field. Should the Thrower lose contact with that spot, the Thrower has Traveled.

    b. If the Receiver obviously takes more steps than are required to stop after catching a pass, that player has Traveled.

    c. If a Receiver, after receiving a pass on the run, releases a pass after the third ground contact and before coming to a complete stop, that Receiver has Traveled.

    4. Strip:

    a. No Defensive player may touch the disc while it is in possession of the Thrower or Receiver. If a Defensive player does so, the player in possession calls “Strip”.

    b. The player in possession then picks up the disc and play is continued from the point where they regained possession of the disc.

    c. If a count was in progress as the disc was stripped, the count is halted, and when the player in possession regains possession, the count restarts at zero (0).

    d. A contested Strip of the Receiver is treated the same as a contested Foul; an uncontested Strip in the End Zone is a Goal.

    5. Illegal Defense: Each defensive player is required to stay within 6 feet of any offensive player at all times. If any defensive player is not within 6 feet of an offensive player, any offensive player may call violation. The result of the violation is that play stops and that any violating defensive player must move to within 6 feet of an offensive player.

    XVIII. Positioning

    1. It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in any way possible. Violent impact with legitimately positioned opponents constitutes harmful endangerment, a Foul, and must be strictly avoided.

    2. Every player, excluding the Thrower, is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by any opposing player, provided that the player does not cause personal contact in taking such a position.

    a.        The exception to this rule is that an offensive player may set a stationary pick on an opposing defender.

    b.       Moving picks constitute harmful endangerment, and are illegal.

    3. When the disc is in the air, players must play the disc, not the opponent.

    4. The Principle of Verticality: All players have the right to the space immediately above them. Thus, a player cannot prevent an opponent from making an attempt on a pass by placing their arms above an opponent. Should contact occur, the player restricting the vertical area is responsible.

    5. A player who jumped is entitled to land at the same spot without hindrance by opponents. They may also land at another spot provided the landing spot was not already occupied at the time of take-off and that the direct path between the take-off and landing spot was not already occupied.

    XIX. Clarifying Statements on Fouls & Violations

    1. Cardinal Rule:

    Whenever an infringement of the rules or a Time-Out occurs, play is halted and the disc is put back into play at the point of the last possession before play was stopped. The exception is a Catching Foul, XVI/4.

    2. Continuation Rule:

    a. Disc in the Air:

    1. If a Foul or Violation is called while the disc is in the air, the play is always completed.

    2. If the team which called the Foul or Violation gains possession as a result of that pass, i.e., an incomplete pass following a Traveling Violation, or Offensive Foul, play is continuous.  In this situation, players should call “Play On”.

    3. If the pass is completed, but the Defensive effort on the pass was affected by the violation, the pass does not count and possession reverts back to the Thrower.

    b. Disc not in the Air:

    1. If a Foul or Violation is called while the disc is not in the air, and a player attempts a pass before play has stopped, and the pass is incomplete, it is a Turnover.

    2. If a Foul or Violation is called while the disc is not in the air, and a player attempts a pass before play has stopped and the pass is completed, the pass does not count and possession reverts back to the original Thrower.

    c. It is the responsibility of the player who made the call to call out “Play On” to indicate that this rule has been invoked.

    4. If offsetting Catching Fouls are called by Offensive and Defensive players on the same play, the disc reverts back to the Thrower. Play continues after a Check disc.

    5. Any time the Marker’s count is interrupted by the call of a Foul, Violation or Time-Out, the count is resumed as follows:

    Defensive Foul Uncontested 0
    Defensive Foul Contested 2
    Offensive Foul begins where left off
    Time Out begins where left off
    Strip 0
    Contested Strip begins where left off
    Fast Count –
    – first call subtract 2; no Check disc
    -second call 0
    Travel begins where left off
    Contested Stall 3

    6. When play resumes after a Time-Out, the Stall count is continued from where the Stall count was when Time-Out was called. The Marker must initiate the count by calling “Stalling” or “Counting”.

    7. If the Marker counts too fast, the Thrower may call “Fast Count.”

    a. The first Fast Count call is a warning. On the first Fast Count call, the Marker must subtract 2 from the Stall count.

    b. If Fast Count is called again within the same 5-seconds, play stops, then is resumed after a Check disc with the count reset to zero (0).

    c. The Continuation Rule, XIX/2, applies to Fast Counts.

    d. If the Fast Count occurs in such a manner that the Thrower does not have a reasonable opportunity to call Fast Count before the utterance of the word “Five”, the play is treated the same as a contested Stall, XIV/5f.

    8. Should a Foul or Violation result in possession reverting to a Thrower who was airborne while releasing the disc, play shall be restarted at the point on the playing field proper closest to the location from where the throw was made.

    XX. Etiquette

    1. If a Foul is committed and not called, the player who commits the Foul should inform the infracted player of the Foul.

    2. It is poor etiquette for a Defensive player to call for a pass from the Thrower.

    3. Should a dispute or confusion arise on the field, it should be common practice to stop play. Then resume play with a Check disc once the matter is resolved.

    4. In the case where a novice player commits a Violation out of sincere ignorance of the rules, it is common practice to stop play and explain the Violation.

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