How to Lay Out Safely in Ultimate Frisbee


Major League Ultimate players lay out at full extension, hit the ground, slide and then pop up as if nothing happened. They continue playing at full speed while you're left marveling at the catch you just witnessed. And they make it look so easy, like it's choreographed. But laying out safely in Ultimate Frisbee is an acquired skill with proper form. You can master this impressive move with a little practice.

  • Inspect the playing surface before laying out. Make sure the ground is even, firm and free of debris, and that the grass is well kept and soft. You cannot lay out safely on rough terrain.

  • Identify a play in which you can lay out and commit. The disc should be flying just beyond your running reach. Stay at full speed and do not hesitate or stutter-step.

  • Lean your chest forward and bend slightly at the knee about four paces before leaping for the disc. You should begin to lose your balance out in front of yourself.

  • Jump forward off one foot while in stride before completely losing your balance. If you intend to catch the disc in your left hand, jump off your right foot. If you catch discs right-handed, jump off your left foot.

  • Extend both hands out in front of you, keeping them shoulder width apart. Catch the disc with your palm up and quickly turn the hand over so the wrist is facing the ground. Make sure your non-catch hand is facing palm down.

  • Keep your arms loose and put a slight bend in the elbows, keeping your hands and elbows out in front of your face. Make sure your chest and forearms are parallel with the ground. Your legs should be extended back behind you.

  • Hit the ground hands first, sliding up onto your forearms. Allow your forearms to collapse back into your chest before your chest hits the ground. Keep your chin up through the impact and slide on your hands, wrists, forearms, chest, thighs and the laces of your sneakers.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can practice laying out without a disc. Start on your knees. Once you're comfortable with that, move to standing layouts; then walking; and finally, running. Then you can practice laying out for a stationary disc being held out by a friend until you're finally ready for full-speed layouts with flying discs.
  • Slowing down or using a stutter-step to time your layout may cause you to lose momentum and the ability to slide safely.

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  • Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images
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