Ultimate Frisbee is known for its ‘Spirit of the Game’. Ultimate’s self-officiated nature demands a strong spirit of sportsmanship and respect. The following description is from the official Ultimate Rules established by USA Ultimate:
Ultimate Frisbee has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate adverse conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.
Ultimate is unique in that it is refereed by the players themselves, even at World Championship level, according to a code of conduct known as “the Spirit of the Game”. This places the responsibility for fair play on the players themselves. In that respect, playing Ultimate is a completely different experience to playing other sports. And believe it or not, Ultimate’s system of self-refereeing works. Beautifully.
Many tournaments give awards for the most spirited team, as voted for by all the teams taking part in the tournament.