How to Play Ultimate Frisbee with Coach Scott Hastie

by | Oct 11, 2016 | Podcast

This week we explore the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. While you may not have had much exposure to this sport, especially at a professional or competitive level it is an intriguing sport that is very easy to get into as an adult with most towns/cities having co-ed leagues.

Scott Hastie, a past member of Boston and Toronto teams and current coach of the Toronto Professional team, joins us to tell us about the sport, why you should do it and the best ways to try it out.

Really cool thing is the ‘spirit of the game’ concept Scott tells us about … if you aren’t into the rules / fouls in other sports this might be the sport to enhance your movement variety with!

Social / links 

  => Connect with Scott at Twitter =  shooter_to 
=> toronto ultimate club to get started 




Raced bikes for ~8 years till road/velodrome , in team pursuit and points races = 1996 

 – Trexlertown Pa. track
  – cycling ended with collarbone injury 
  – Coached by Mazek Mazuur , played through engineering degree .
   = Master’s degree at around   

Tell us about your job. Where do you work and who do you work with?

=> Stopped racing and did a Masters Degree (has an engineering degree)

  => needed to do something in sport tried softball … friend said try Ultimate Frisbee (Hamilton / Mcmaster Uni) = Hamilton Ultimate Club
Currently Head-Coach of Toronto and a few other teams 
  •   Progress from thurs night co-ed team to 4 man / 3 women vs another group of 7 
  • then motivated players in club traveled to tournaments in Ottawa/Montreal etc.
  •  Age 26 – moved to Toronto to playing in Men’s only team. There are A/B/C teams , several seasons in B/C then made A team
  • Age 34 turn master and qualified for 2008 to represent Canada (something he pushed for in cycling) so was excited for this. Pushed training to new levels for this challenge (planned/Peaked)
  • After this Nationals exposure played on a Boston team – played for 2 full seasons (falls). This exposure outside of Toronto/Canada was formative in Understanding of game (coaching)
  • Goat – Toronto based team with ottawa/canadian players (Canada-East team)
  • Eventually the sport changed — The coach was added to alleviate previous jobs for ‘captain player’ to make calls (2010-2011) , this has gone down through Junior ranks.
  • in 5-10 years will see change with all the junior coaching and development available today.
What is Ultimate Frisbee- basic description / rules of game. 
  -> Spirit of the Game = Implicit assumption that no one will cheat for advantage. Know and respect the rules. 
  -> The pro leagues are played without a referee. This can be tough for those from other sports but also attracts others who don’t like the deception in other team sports (soccer/basketball) 
Field Dimensions are 70 yards by 40 yards. The 25 yard end zones the team on defense throws, or ‘pulls’ the disc to the other (offensive) team. Most games are played with 7 players per side. 
    ** half a soccer field is often used .
  = Objective: 1 group of 7 throws from one end to the other team at opposite end of field. The one who receives must pass the disc player to player up the field (no running). Throw the disc to the end-zone like American football/rugby.
    = like soccer in that if disc hits ground or interception the game goes on.
   => Think basketball without dribbling and football with endzone .
How to get started. 
   -> Most major centers have a club with regular pickup and perhaps leagues 
   -> Toronto Rush does a lot of outreach programs with explanations on gaining confidence in throws.

Is there a skill/area someone can practice at home to make those first few sessions more productive? 

  -> Throwing Frisbee / Catching Frisbee – unlike football , everyone is ‘quarterback’ 

  -> Solo aim for a lacrosse net or target at home . 

 Frisbee Golf ?

this helps learn to really launch disc (throw far) and accuracy but misses challenge of throwing to moving target 

Is there an early/easy ‘win’ a beginner could get before or at their first practice / pick-up game ? 

   -> Cheap to get started 

   -> Was a time when a dry-fit shirt, longer shorts but now pretty loose. Wear comfortable clothes similar to basketball 

-> Shoes ? Football receiver or corner back cleats have a toe Cleat (soccer don’t for ball control but work to get going )

   -> 5 things to bring –> Cleats (change directions), Water-bottle, Disc, Light and Dark Jersey (not Grey)
   -> DISC -> mostly DiscCraft. The mold to make disc is general difference – Key is that it is 175 grams and only a few are authorized suppliers. MEC sells these and often get for joining league

*bigger and heavier than normal/dollar store frisbee so can throw further and fly more stable. Cost is $12-$20 . 

What common mistakes do you see in beginners? How is this different then someone who has done 10+ sessions (intermediate)  vs. 100+ Sessions (advanced) ? 
   -> Ability to throw to moving targets (in all directions) 
   -> early players also rush to pick up a dropped disc. 2 People fighting for disc or picking up disc but they don’t go with a plan of where they are going to throw/go next. The spatial awareness and planning. 

   -> MAKING SPACE – very important to play at highest level. Team work and cutting/changing direction. Communication. 

Sports that transfer well to Frisbee

   –  soccer very good with understanding of being coached, strategy, team sports, field and movements (weight over center of gravity)  

   – tennis also seem transfer well – Lateral movements and foot work 
    – Badminton and especially squash are close to disc movements (wrist) 
What do you do that is different than most other people? Do you believe something different or teach a skill in a different way than is commonly done? 
-> Going to Boston and leaving Canada to play helped him learn that ‘Pole play’ (scripted movement after disc comes down) was not used in Boston as much (was basic/same each time) and much more on reaction to the defense movement .
-> Keep it simple : publish a play-book from 15 years ago . Concentrating on the fundamentals vs. fancy plays. Not taking unnecessary risks . More possession based vs. Huge throws/fancy throws.
-> Toronto was No Unders Defense – which area you can influence. Stop the easy ‘underpass’ to try to force mistakes whereas Boston focused on behind the offensive player.
-> Take-a-way have more than one play, strategy to respond to other strategies .
– Any social media or website links
  = toronto ultimate club to get started 

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