I recently read a tourney report where they talked about a game that ended with 'universe point'. I don't exactly know what that is however.

So, what exactly is 'universe point', and when/how is it played?

3 Answers 3


A Universe Point is Ultimate's version of sudden death. When this is in effect, the team that scores a point, wins the match. This is usually put into effect when...

  1. There is no score/tie game after 40 minutes. Most schools/leagues have 40 minute long games. See explanation below.
  2. The game is being played in the "Game to goals" fashion and the score is tied at one goal less than the game total (The game total is the pre-determined number of goals required to win the game. In a "game to 15," the game total is 15). This method is made clear in the USA Ultimate Rule Book

When it comes to 40 minutes of playing time or ANY length of game debate, it depends on which league and which school you are playing for. Most league's game is 40 minutes in length (two 20 minute halves). Here are some links to other school rule books that state the same 40 minute game.

Florida Atlantic University

Angelo State University

New Mexico State University

  • I don't think the "40 minutes of play time" thing is correct - in my experience, time caps for ultimate games are usually 2 hours. It would be quite unusual to call a game over after 40 minutes.
    – David Z
    Sep 29, 2012 at 23:42
  • Edited my answer to explain the length of game more clearly. To sum it up quick, it's really a crap shoot when it comes to the length of an ultimate game.
    – Zack
    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:41

The term "universe point" applies to any situation in which the winner of the current point wins the game. This could be because of a time cap (soft or hard), or just because the score is tied at one less than the score that the game is being played to.

A team that is losing to an opponent that is 1 point away from the game-winning score may also use the term "universe point" the describe the situation their team (but not the opposing team) is in. In these cases, the members of the losing team might tell each other that it is "universe point" for several points in a row, in order to frame the importance of each play.


It's actually termed ultimate point, due to the fact the the game is called ultimate frisbee, not universe frisbee. Some young whippersnappers decided to change it to a useless "universe" point but in fact it's always been ultimate point! And ultimate point is the final point of a tie game, winner take all!

  • 2
    Where can I find reference to this original name?
    – Peter
    Jul 8, 2013 at 7:07

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