Horizontal – Break Force Funnel

The Break Force Funnel is a simple horizontal play that is initiated by a handler on the open side making a break force cut.   This play can be effective for teams that have strong throwing abilities as it requires each player throwing a potential break force throw.  The main focuses of this play are the initial break force cut by the handler, the flooding out of the lane cutters, and quick passes.

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Defense – Vertical Switching

Following the last post on Horizontal Defense Switching, this post illustrates another important defensive strategy, Vertical Defensive Switching.   The setup of vertical switching is more or less the same as playing standard 1-on-1 defense.  It can vary a bit with the defensive players covering the front and end of stack poaching in the lane.

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Horizontal Defense – Switching

With horizontal offense becoming more common among intermediate level teams, it is very important that all teams develop a good defensive strategy against it.  Even if your team does not use horizontal offense, you should adopt strategies to defend against it.  It’s actually not that hard to defend against, in fact it can be easier, but it does require good communication.

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Tips for Improving Your Huck

We’ve had a few questions lingering in the UltimateHandbook Discussion Forum that have turned into a great topic to write about here in the main blog. You can check out the original thread here: a Hucking Question. The two main questions that emerged were:

  1. What are the most common mistakes when people huck?
  2. Any technical tips to help improve my hucks?

jake60 offered up a checklist of how he approaches backhand hucks, thinking of the ankle, knee, waist/hips, shoulder, elbow and wrist. This is a similar approach I’ve taken when trying to teach new players how to throw any throw, and it’s also helpful to break down your own throwing as you get more advanced. So to help everyone out, here are a few tips for hucking the disc.

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Offence – Horizontal Flood Out

This play, the  Horizontal Flood Out, demonstrates how easy it is to create space on the field if players work together.  This play is very accessible to all skill levels but it should be used in rotation as the defence can catch on to this one quite easily.

The general idea behind the horizontal flood out is to have one pair of lane cutters cut deep (6 and 7).  In this play, the lane cutters on the open side are cutting deep.  When the two lane cutters are half way down their cut the inside cutter (5) from the other pair should cut to the open side.  With the amount of open space available, the inside cutter (5)  should be able to get open even with a defender marking this side.   Once this lane cutter receives the disc, the other inside cutter (6) that struck deep should reverse cut back in.  This reverse cut should be easy if the defender is covering the deep throw.   Following the 2nd inner lane cutter receiving the disc, the opposite lane cutter (4) cuts up field right away to receive a break force throw.  Although this is a break force throw, lane cutter (6) should could have a second or two when the defending mark is not there.   The last step involves lane cutter (7) striking to the endzone on the breakside.
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7 Phrases for Ultimate Team Defense

One of the keys to playing strong defense in Ultimate is team communication. No matter what level you’re playing at whether it’s a recreational league game, a national championship, or even just practice, there’s always a place for strong team-wide communication. One way to communicate is through short simple phrases that sometimes sound a little like a mantra or motto. Here are 7 such phrases you can use to improve your Ultimate team’s defense.

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Offence – L Stack Isolation Part 2

Following the first article on the L Stack this article looks at the flow of this offence in more detail.  As stated before, the L stack is a flowing offence that is best suited for advanced teams where any player can be a lane cutter or handler.  That being said, it doesn’t mean that every player needs to be equally good at lane cutting or handling, but the gist of it is that if you watch any top level team you’ll notice every player can huck, break the force, cut, dump and get open.

The L Stack can form the long “l” on any side of the force, the demonstration below shows the stack forming on the open side.   By forming on the open side, the handler must make a break force throw to the first lane cutter who should have a lot of room to cut.   From the first break it will be very hard for the defence to adjust, unless they are already practicing a high degree of poaching.  The animation below shows the perfect scenario where the first break, leads to an easy second break pass up the field.  Following this, the stack adjusts back into the L formation still leaving the defence in no position to cover an end zone goal.  These passes must be run at a very fast pace such that the defenders are scrambling to reorganize and keep the force away.
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Update: @Ultihandbook on Twitter, Re-org in the works

Just a short update to keep you all in the loop with some work we’re doing and changes we’re going through.

@ultihandbook on Twitter

We’ve signed up a Twitter account for the UltimateHandbook. You can get the latest updates and find other ulti-folks in the Twitterverse by following us @ultihandbook. If you’re on Twitter, let us know and we’d be happy to follow!

Reorganization and Revival

We’re also in the process of reorganizing the content on the site, most notably moving some of the plays into their own posts so that you can comment on the individual animations on a single page instead of referencing one of two or three plays above.

Over time we’ll also be resurrecting some of the older content from earlier versions of the UltimateHandbook as we continue to add more articles and new features to the site.

More Ultimate Plays and Drills on the Way

We have more plays coming soon, hopefully just in time for the coming summer seasons!

Have an Idea?

Is there something you’d like to see on the UltimateHandbook? Maybe a play or drill, or advice on a particular topic? Let us know! Leave us a comment or send us a Tweet @ultihandbook.

Offence – L Stack Isolation

The L Stack is a newer type of offensive strategy that has being used sparingly by few teams.   It’s very uncommon to see an L Stack for beginner teams and is best suited for experienced teams with a speed advantage.  A L Stack is exactly what it sounds like, a stack that is shaped like a L.  There are many ways to create a L Stack and this example below is just one way of using the strategy

The formation consists of 2-3 handlers back and then a stack of players that are slightly slanted and isolated from one side of the field.  The L Stack gives lane cutters and handlers a lot of space to cut on the field.  It’s almost like a vertical stack but with much more emphasis on having the cutting player isolated on one side.  The demonstration below shows a typical vertical stack turning into a L stack.
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New Play for Horizontal Offence – Isolation

I have just posted a new horizontal play that covers isolation of lane cutters.

This is a very generic play that is meant for teams that have an athletic advantage over their opponents. The general premise behind this play is to isolate lane cutters to one on one battles with their defenders. By using the room a horizontal setup can provide, it should be easier for your lane cutters to get open. The major challenge with this play is keeping the remaining defenders busy so they do not poach. The best way to deal with poaching players is to make the play very dynamic, and allow other lane cutter “fake cuts” to become real viable options if their defenders do not cover them.

Check out the flash play here.