Tuesday Tips: 40 Fun Games For Timeouts, Bye Rounds, And Random Silliness

The inane games adopted or created by ultimate players to kill time and be competitive about everything.

Slow White and Steamboat play rock-paper-scissors during a timeout at the 2018 US Open. Photo: Natalie Bigman-Pimentel -- UltiPhotos.com
Slow White and Steamboat play rock-paper-scissors during a timeout at the 2018 US Open. Photo: Natalie Bigman-Pimentel — UltiPhotos.com

Tuesday Tips are presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and shop at Spin Ultimate

Ultimate players love games. Whether during timeouts or bye rounds, on pit stops on road trips, or as a celebratory climax once games are done, there are dozens and dozens of silly games adopted or created by ultimate players, for ultimate players. Fluctuating between utterly ridiculous and inanely intense, chances are high you’ve participated in at least one of these comical competitions — if not ten.

If you haven’t tried them all, now is your chance! Ultiworld has compiled a list of dozens for you to enjoy. Here is a list of silly sideline games for ultimate players.

1. Look Up/ Look Down

An absolute classic, especially great for huddles during timeouts. Simple and fun. Start by looking down at your shoes, on the count of three look up directly at the face of one of your huddle teammates. If you make eye contact with the other person, you are both out. Last person or pair standing wins.

2. Double Hands Roshambo

Huddled circle. Rock-Paper-Scissors shoot with both hands. Your opponents are those directly next to you on either side. You can either play where you’re only out if you lose o both sides in the same round or you can lose one at a time (put the hand behind your back). Not usually the best time for throwing your fire.

3. Bear-Ninja-Cowboy

The actor’s version of rock-paper-scissors. Stand back to back, walk five paces, turn and role-play. Cowboys (finger guns) beat the Bear, Bears (rawr) eat the Ninja, Ninja dodges those bullets and karate chops the cowboy.

4. Mac Line

Endlessly entertaining and somewhat related to disc improvement skills. Get a long line of people, throw a disc down the line, mac it from person to person, and see how far you can keep it flying.

5. Dance Off

Ever since circles were invented, dance battles have existed. Ultimate teams are no exception and dance circles have even made it to the big time of the AUDL All-Star game.

6. Sing-along

What better way to commemorate half-time than a rousing chorus of your favorite 80’s rock anthem or Disney song? A freestyle rap battle thrown in makes it even more of a “game.”

7. Chubby Bunny

Mind over body. How many items — grapes or marhsmallows are the best choices — can you fit into your mouth and still pronounce the wonderful phrase?

8. In-N-Out Box / Sky Box / Flinch

One inner box of people, one outer box for those who get eliminated. One thrower tosses a disc towards the box. If you catch it, you get a point. But if you move at all and don’t catch it, you are out, relegated to the outer box, and then can only go for discs when someone else moves. Testing both your nerves of steel and hops at the same time.

9. 500!

An excuse to see who can dunk on whom. Voted most likely game to be banned by captains worried about injuries.

10. Flutter Guts

Guts is a well-followed disc sport in its own right (although who really enjoys discs being whipped at your head?) while flutter guts is the milder cousin that helps improve your catching skills in a more relaxed way. Two teams stand a couple yards across from each other, spread out on either side of an invisible line. One team “serves” to the other with a wobbly disc flip above the head. The other team tries to catch — only one-handed, non-cradling catches allowed — but with each tip between teammates garnering an additional point.1 Serves can be stolen by the other team reaching (not moving) across the line once contact has been initiated by the receiving team. First to 21 wins.

11. Spikeball

It’s popular and most teams tend to have a kit. Watch out for the up-and-comer cousin Rampshot!

12. Shield-Load-Shoot

A huddle game, involving two claps to the thigh in a rhythm by the whole group. The next move can either be to load your weapon, shield yourself (you can only shield twice in a row), or shoot at an opponent. Anyone unshielded when targeted is eliminated. Last person standing wins.

13. Rock-Paper-Scissors Evolution

Everyone starts as an egg (in a crouch), but if you win a game of Ro-Sham-Bo, you evolve into a chicken, then a monster, and finally a soaring dragon (highest honor). Losing games de-evolves you.

14. Chugging or Eating Contest

Self-explanatory. Can be done with liquid in a disc for added “ultimateness.”

15. Odds or Evens

Take turns going around the huddle. One person has to call odds or evens and everyone throws a number (represented on fingers) into the middle. Success means you escape the huddle, defeat means you remain. Last person usually has a fun reward such as going to get the water bottles filled up.

16. Rhyme Time

Pick a word (one that can be rhymed, no orange or purple here) and the huddle has to continue to rhyme it. Fail to do so and you’re eliminated.

17. Maximum Time Aloft (MTA) and Variations

Another great game involving a disc that has some real skill to it. The goal is to throw the disc, keeping it in the air as long as possible (this is counted aloud), and then catch your own throw with only one hand. Great way to see lots of sharp blades. Fun variations include beverage in-hand and a personal favorite, the lawnchair, where one has to do an MTA, then judge the landing location and set a chair down to catch one-handed while sitting.

18. Monkey in the Middle and Variations

The classic game is a simple-time waster of three people. Add a circle of a dozen outside and two or three inside and the game actually has some use practicing zone defense. 

19. Odds

Odds you won’t play “Odds Are” on your next ultimate car ride?

20. Would You Rather?

Would you rather have three eyes or four arms?

21. Sneak Dragon

The point of this game is to get the other person to look at something that isn’t there. From a simple point to an elaborate ruse to get them to look away, once they turn their back to realize they’ve been fooled, you hold up imaginary dragon claws to score points.

22. Slackjaw

A battle of who can keep from laughing the longest while holding their face in a slacked jaw position. Good for massive dance raves or bad dad joke competitions. Who will break first? 

23. Cower

Two teams stand apart from one another in similar style to “Guts” but throwing high blades that must be caught with only one hand. If the blade is caught, play proceeds. If a blade is not caught, a redemption shot is allowed with the other team spreading their legs wide so that the new throwing group tries to hit a roller through the five hole. If the roll is good, proceed with play. If the redemption roll fails, the team that missed the original blade must curl up into a tiny ball (no peaking) while the other team throws another blade, this one attempted to rain down and hit them for points. It’s more fun than it sounds.

24. Make Your Own Disc Golf / Urban Disc Golf / Disc Bocce

Played with an ultimate disc you can play classic bocce, trying to get a throw closest to another disc, or you can create your own private disc golf course — common on college campuses. Bonus fun when you add strange rules about objects that must be thrown around / hit or different types of throws that are / aren’t allowed on various holes.

25. KanJam

Another of the “accessory required” ultimate games, but a decently fun purchase. Especially popular with the non-initiated muggles.

26. Double Disc Court

Two courts and two teams of two set up across from each other; courts are boxes of roughly 15 yards x 15 yards. Two discs are thrown — one from each side to start. You get a point if your throw lands in the opponent’s court or is dropped, likewise if the disc goes out of bounds outside the court. If you can get it so that the other team is touching both discs at the same time (“doubling them”) you get two points. A popular sport worldwide.

27. Cups / Sticks / Fricket / Polish Horseshoes

Classic lawn game with cups on a stick and beverage in hand. The goal is to hit the stick or knock the cups off for varying amounts of points / drinking consequences.

28. Goaltimate

Another game that has morphed into its own sport with leagues, national, and world championships. Some assembly of equipment required.

29. Milkjug

A game involving a circle of players first spiking a milk jug and then catching it off the bounce one-handed to earn a letter. First to spell M-I-L-K wins. It can also be played with an old disc that no one cares if you taco. Physical play encouraged. 

30. Honeypot

Not sure if people are still playing it, but they should.  Basically, it’s a 2-on-1 game where the two offensive players simply need to chuck the disc into a trash can. Here are some highlights from a Honeypot tournament in Boston in the aughts and some play from the sidelines of Nationals. 

31. Gritz

Played on a beach volleyball court, it is like volleyball but with a disc and with no player able to touch the ground and the disc at the same time. Cue the epic greatests and awkward passes.

32. Flatball

An amazing game that doesn’t get enough love. Two large trashcans on either side of a small space or court. One disc and two teams. Ultimate rules, but you get points by getting the disc into the trash can. Can have a two-point line for anything shot over ten feet, but most players pass, alley-oop, and dunk with speed and power.

33. Chopping Block / Redemption / Samurai Showdown

Another game that has morphed out of an ultimate drill. Basically this is breakmark but with a straight-up mark and a standing target. Two lines face off. If you complete the throw, you go to the next line. If the throw is not completed or blocked, you are on the chopping block and have to force a D or you are out.

34. Mini or Hotbox

Can be played true mini-ultimate style with endzones and 3 v 3, although that becomes more sport than game (play it on a beach). A different variation has only one endzone (a small hotbox) where you score by catching it inside. Good for practicing your scoobers and bodying out.

35. Gauntlet or Friz Dodge

A painful game better left in the past. Two lines or a circle, outsiders want to throw to hit, insiders want to escape and not be hit.

36. Tentball

Another volleyball-based game, it is a two-v-two match involving a shade-tent and a disc. The serving team throws a disc or spikeball such that it hits off the tent and pops into the air. The receiving team has to catch it with one hand. Failure to do so earns a point for the throwing team. Fun for all and a great reason to save that really beat-up shade tent. 

37. Disc Joust

Two opponents face off, each with a disc held flat and another disc upside down on top of that. A third disc is held in the other hand for offense.  You score by knocking your opponent’s upside down disc to the ground. You cannot touch your own upside down disc. There are no other rules. Best two out of three.

38. Fresh Trout

Players stand in a circle. Game is best played with a beverage in your dominant hand, and is played using an unopened can (or some other similar object). To start a round, somebody throws the can up in the air towards somebody and yells “Fresh Trout!”. The closest person to the throw has to catch and re-throw the can (using their off-hand, since the dominant hand has a drink), generally trying to get it in one fluid motion. A drop, trap, two-handed catch, or poor throw results in that player getting one letter of “TROUT.” If you spell out the whole word, you chug the drink. If the can breaks open during the course of the game, whoever caused that has to drink it as well.

One final wrinkle — if it is unclear whose fault a drop is (i.e. a questionable throw, but not bad enough to be sure it was the thrower’s fault), you can move to a “trout off.” Here, the two players stand across from each other and toss the can back and forth, slowly backing away from each other until one person drops it.

39. Notch

Often people speak in slight hyperbole when it comes to things they would do — Notch is a game that punishes that. The basic premise of the game is that anytime somebody says “I would do that” (whatever “that” is), you can say “notch.” There are different iterations of the game; in one example, the individual has to do that thing, otherwise you can shave a notch in their eyebrow. In another iteration, if the “notchee” doesn’t do the thing, they get slapped, but if they do, they get to slap the “notch-er”.

Example: Person 1: (jokingly) We should just play in hawaiian shirts. Person 2: I’d play in a hawaiian shirt! Person 1: Notch!

Person 2 now has to play in a hawaiian shirt, or else have a notch shaved in their eyebrow.

40. Miniature Tanks

The game that really has no point, but is joyous nonetheless. A large circle of players on their hands and knees march-crawl inexorably towards one another shouting “Mini-Tanks!” until a giant pile ensues. 

***

There you have it — 40 games of silly fun for the sidelines, timeouts, bye rounds, and car rides. We’re sure there are many regional or team-specific games that we missed, plus variations of the listed games that your team used that made them oh-so-special. Leave comments below and share the silliness for all to see.


  1. ie, if two people tip it, the third person catches, it is three points 

  1. Alex Rummelhart
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    Alex "UBER" Rummelhart is an Ultiworld reporter. He majored in English at the University of Iowa, where he played and captained IHUC. He lives and teaches in Chicago, Illinois, and has played for Haymaker, Chicago Club, and Machine. He currently plays for Chicago Wildfire. Alex loves writing of all types, especially telling interesting and engaging stories. He is the author of the novel The Ultimate Outsider, one of the first fictional works ever written about ultimate.

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