Rule Highlights

Goaltimate has evolved very differently in each community since the official rule set was codified by Rick Conner in the mid 1990’s. USA Goaltimate is in the process of solidifying a universal rule set that incorporates the best of what’s been developed in each locality and combines it to form a game that is fast-paced and fun to play at all levels. For now, the highlights of that rule set are listed below in the form of a FAQ:

SETUP AND BASICS

Where does the offense start at the beginning of a game?
The team that wins the pull will start with the disc at the top of the key (the cone marking the back of the endzone). The other team will start with the disc after half.

How does one sub in USA Goaltimate
A player subbing must touch hands with the subee in order to be considered live on the playing field. Subees may not leave the sub box until they are touched. Violations of this will result in a 15 second penalty in which the offending team plays with only 3 players.

What happens to the clock if the hoop gets knocked down?
The clock continues to run if the hoop is knocked down for any reason, but observers may elect to add additional time to the clock (penalty time) to compensate for time lost in re-setting equipment. If penalty time is added, the observer will announce how much at the end of regulation, and play will continue uninterrupted until that additional time expires.

Are there time outs?
There are no timeouts in USAG games. Teams will need to use the half-time to make strategic adjustments.
What happens if a game ends in a tie at the end of regulation?
During a regular season game, the game is over as soon as the whistle sounds to signal end of time. If the disc is in the air when time expires, it is still live until caught or results in a turnover. Therefore a goal thrown before time expires is counted as a goal. Consider this the “buzzer-beater” rule.

For USAG Championship events, games that end regulation time in a tie will go to sudden death. Play continues with not stoppage until such time as one team scores to end the tie.

IS THIS LEGAL?

Are double teams legal?
Double teams are completely legal. Triple teams are not.
Are picks legal?
Picks are definitely legal, but just like basketball, you must be stationary with both feet planted to be a legal pick. Moving picks may be called by the defense. Play stops and players reposition themselves back to the time of the call.
Is goaltending legal?
Goaltending is not allowed. Defenders must be within 10 feet of any offensive player to remain in the scoring area. If there is no offensive player within 10 feet of the scoring area, the defender may not remain in the scoring area.

Where does the count resume on a contested stall?
Count resumes at “stalling 4”.

What happens if you throw backwards (toward the clearing box) through the goal?
Throwing backwards through the goal results in an immediate turnover. Disc is put in play from where it lands.

SCORING

Can you break the plane of the hoop when passing for a goal?
No, throwers may not break the plane of the hoop when passing for a goal. If so, a violation is called that invalidates the goal. The receiver starts with the disc with a fresh stall count.


Some more details about scoring and “Breaking the plane”

In order for a catch to result in a score it must

  • Fully break the plane of the hoop. All parts of the disc must pass through
  • The receivers first point of contact must be within the scoring area.

Catches where the receiver has a first point of contact within the goal area, but does not break the plane of the hoop (momentum carries them out) are not considered a goal.

What about the two point line?
Any goal thrown from the clear box is worth two points. A two point goal that is mac’ed by either an offensive or defensive player is still worth two points.

What’s the 3 second rule
Offensive players may only remain in the scoring area for 3 seconds at a time. The 3 seconds reset once a offensive player has removed all points of contact from within the scoring area (both feet). If a 3 second violation in the hoop area is called on an offensive cutter, they must clear the hoop area before they are eligible to score. A player catching a goal after a 3 second violation results is a non-score and a stopped disc. The receiver starts with the disc and a fresh stall count. 

Is goaltending allowed?
Goaltending is not allowed. Defenders must be within 10 feet of any offensive player to remain in the end zone. If there is no offensive player within 10 feet of the scoring area, the defender may not remain in the scoring area.

If the disc or your body hits the goal during a score, does the score count?
Yes, the goal counts. Reasoning behind this is that there’s no perceivable offensive advantage to banking a body or a disc off the hoop.

What happens if an offensive players knocks sthe hoop down while scoring?
No goals can be thrown or received while the hoop is down (or falling). The team with possession maintains the disc, and the stall count will drop 2 counts (a la a fast count call).

  • If a player catches a disc in the goal that has hit the hoop but passes through, the catch is a goal.
  • If a player hits the hoop (but does not destroy it/move it out of position to the point of pausing play to readjust) on his way to scoring a goal. The catch is considered a goal.
  • If a player catches the disc in the air and lands in the endzone, the catch is considered a goal as long as the disc travels through the hoop either before it was caught or after it was caught but before the receiver lands (i.e. player is allowed to carry the disc through the goal in the air).
  • Throwers may not break the plane of the hoop when passing for a goal. If so, a violation is called that invalidates the goal. The receiver starts with the disc with a fresh stall count.
  • A two point goal that is mac’ed by either an offensive or defensive player is still worth two points.
  • Moving picks are illegal and may be called by the defense. “Violation” must be called. “Pick” is not a legal call so as not to prevent defense from communicating picks. Play stops and players reposition themselves back to the time of the call.
  • If an offensive 3 second violation in the hoop area is called on an offensive cutter, he must clear the endzone/hoop area before he is eligible to score. A player catching a goal after a 3 second violation results is a non-score and a stopped disc. The receiver starts with the disc and a fresh stall count.
  • Defensive 3 second violation or goaltending may be called by the offense on a defensive player who is in the endzone, but not within 10 feet of an offensive player. The offending player must leave the endzone/hoop area or regain 10 ft positioning from offensive player.
  • Stall count is 5 and can be counted by any person on the field from anywhere. Only one person can count at a time. If two stall counts are initiated, the lower of the two is official.
  • A player subbing must touch hands with the subee in the subsitution box in order to be considered live on the playing field. Subees may not leave the sub box until they are touched. Violations of this will result in a 15 second penalty in which the offending team plays with only 3 players.

We at USA Goaltimate are fully committed to making sportsmanship and Spirit of the Game™ an integral part of our rule sets.

If you are interested in being part of the conversation on USAG rules, we invite you to contact us at rules@usagoaltimate.org

Rules Committee

Our rules committee brings a wealth of experience from members previously involved in influencing the current USA Ultimate and AUDL rule sets.

Learn more about who’s involved in the process by checking out the Meet the Team section of our site.