Spirit of the Game (SotG) is the most important rule in Beach Ultimate. It is similar to Fair Play in other sports but there is a much higher emphasis put on it in (Beach) Ultimate. It is summarized in this preamble to the rules of play:
All players are responsible for administering and adhering to the rules. Ultimate relies upon a Spirit of the Game that places the responsibility for fair play on every player. It is trusted that no player will intentionally break the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for breaches, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach.
Highly competitive play is encouraged, but should never sacrifice the mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play.
As Beach Ultimate is a self-refereed sport, maintaining spirit of the game is essential to making the game work.
Spirit of the Game Scoring System
The Spirit of the Game Scoring system enables teams to rate each other (and themselves) in five categories:
- Knowing the rules
- Avoiding fouls and body contact
- Being fair-minded and respectful
- Having a positive attitude and showing self-control
Each category is rated “Excellent”, “Very Good”, “Good”, “Not so Good”, or “Poor”, and are awarded 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0 points respectively, yielding a score range of 0-20 points per team per game. At the end of each event a prize is awarded to the team with the highest score. Illustrative examples of Good, Poor, and Excellent Spirit can be found in the Spirit Example Document.
In addition, each team is encouraged to self-evaluate their Spirit during the game. They can do this using the Self-Scoring System.