ultimate frisbee zone defense

Zone Defense Analysis

Thanks to Ben Greene for breaking down this defense during the January 2011 USA Ultimate Level II clinic in Chapel Hill, NC.

This presentation attempts to answer the following questions about zone defense:

  1. What are the advantages for the defense in terms of space? What are the threats for the offense?
  2. What disc position is most advantageous for the defense? For the offense?
  3. What (lack of) thrower skills bring advantages for the defense? What skills bring the offensive threats?
  4. Under what field conditions does the defense have the advantage? … does the offense have threats?

Vertical Stack Endzone Defense

Defenders can act as a team to restrict a centre of the field vertical offence. The goal of team defence is to trap a vertical stack on one sideline or the other by forcing throws forward, aggressively preventing upline resets and taking away the huck option with a last back. The scenario is quite easy to setup from a dead disc but can take a team several practices or games before being able to execute during normal flow or game play. Most players will agree it is much easier to defend against an offence from a dead disc than it is to defend a team that is moving the disc well. To that end, it is quite easy to beat handler defenders up-line during normal flow, which results in well timed hucks to cutters with separation. So, at best you may trap a team successfully 10 times per game and force 3 or 4 turnovers. At some point, however, the offence will work the disc to within a few yards of their scoring end zone.