Take your time: Don't feel like you have to
throw the disc immediately after your receive it. You have lots of time.
Look for a lateral throw: A key strategic
tool is to make a lateral throw (across the field rather than down field).
This will usually open up a good down field throw. This is especially
powerful near the end-zone. It forces the defenders to change which
side of their mark they are playing on. Typically, they cannot do
this quickly enough and it is an easy job for the new thrower to find an
open player. If you've got the disc, listen for a teammate to call
"Swing" (see below).
Fake: Before you make the real throw
you intend to, give a fake throw to the oppposite side to give you a better
chance of getting off a throw without it being hit down by your defender.
When you are a receiver.....
Cut toward the disc: The best way to
get the disc is to run away from the thrower then stop and run directly
back toward the thrower. Keep in mind where your teammates are also
cutting so that you don't clog the middle of the field.
Complete your cut: After you have made a cut
toward the disc and have not received it you need to move to the side-lines
or to the end-zone so that your defender is not left hanging out in the
middle of the field able to cut off a throw to another player. You
might here a teammate say, "Clear" or "clear-out". That means they
think someone is clogging the middle of the field.
When you are defending the thrower.....
Force middle when near the end-zone: When you
are defending the thrower near the end-zone (on our field that is nearly
half-field) you most always want to keep them from throwing down the side-line
or toward a corner. You may hear your teammates yelling "No line"
(see below) to remind you of this.
Call your force: When you are marking
the thrower give your teammates a good indication of which way you are
forcing the throw. On a turn-over it is always a good idea to call
out where your force is (i.e "forcing north", "forcing south").
Listen: When you are defending the thrower
you cannot see what is going on behind you, so you need to listen to your
teammates. They can tell you where to force. Listen for someone
to say "No line" (indicating don't let the thrower throw down the line
or toward the line).
When you are defending a receiver.....
Talk: When you are on defense help your
teammates by telling them what you are doing (where are your forcing the
disc or where they should force). This is especially helpful when
you are available to back-up the defender on the disc (when your offensive
player is still behind the thrower). Take up a location 5-10 yards
down field and off to one side of the disc then talk to the player marking
the disc so they know that they can try to force the disc in your direction.
Lazy throws: This typically happens when
the thrower is throwing backwards or on a short lateral. Thinking
that the throw is unimportant, the throw is made too slowly and the defender
easily slaps it down, or the disc doesn't have enough energy to make it
to the intended receiver. The backward or lateral throw is just as
important as any other throw.
Clogging: This is when you are hanging out
in the middle of the field in front of the thrower. This leaves your
defender in a perfect location to block a down-field throw.
Some terms you might hear on the field.
"Leave it", "Go by" or "Go through" - you hear this
on a turnover. It means that generally you should not
stop to pick up the disc... but should leave it for another player behind
you. The point being that the player furthest back will have more
down-field receivers when they get to the disc. Of course if you
are near the disc and see an open receiver in the end-zone then by all
means take the opportunity to score.
"No line" - You might hear someone call this when you are marking
the thrower. It means the caller wants you to force the thrower to
the middle of the field because there is an open receiver in the end-zone
near the line.
"Swing" - The caller is indicating that they are open for a lateral
throw. See "Look for a lateral throw" above.
"Forcing (line, middle, north, south, Harmony)" - The person defending
the thrower will generally call this to indicate which side of the field
they are attempting to force the thrower toward. This helps the other
defendersknow which side of their man to play on. By calling "Forcing line"
you are saying that you are attempting to force the thrower to throw down
the side-line... taking away a throw toward the middle of the field.
On our field some people call "forcing Harmony" to indicate they are forcing
the thrower to the south.
Stack - This is when the offensive players arrange themselves in
a line straight from the thrower to the end-zone. Usually the stack
is formed after a turn-over. Then when play resumes various of the
offensive players sprint out of the stack toward the side-line or toward
the thrower. You'll hear people say "Stack up" to try to organize
the offense after a turn-over.
"Broken" - The player marking the thrower may call this if they
were, say forcing line and the thrower got off a throw to the middle of
the field. This tells the other defenders that they should adjust
how they are covering their man. Typically if the force is broken
the offense can advance the disc rapidly down field with a couple of throws
diagonally across the field.
Handler - a term for a player that is designated to stay back and
"handle" the disc instead of going long (of course, players with the strongest
throwing skills). In formal play a team will typically have 2-3 designated
handlers whose job it is to move the disc around looking for a good down-field
throw. During our pick-up games we generally do not have designated
handlers... though a few players tend to prefer handling the disc, and
others tend to prefer going long.
Poaching - a defender that drops off of his man and plays closer
to the thrower in hopes of blocking a mid-field throw is said to be poaching.
If you are throwing and hear one of your teammates call this it means that
there may be someone open (not being covered).