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What Kind of Team Are We?

by Chris Ashbrook

I want to first analyze what type of team we are and what type of team we are playing in determining which offense (and defense) to run. 

Here I generally prefer the horizontal stack, regardless (and variations), as I feel you a thrower is given more choices from nearly every position. Players also tend to overplay defensively when guarding an O that is going downwind which I feel tends to open up cutters underneath and away more often. Additionally, there is usually plenty of space to put throws out like hammers or scoobers if needed. 

With the Ho set I prefer to be a bit more aggressive going downwind with hucks (smart hucks though). The reason is that on a huck incompletion, you are now making the defensive team, whose throwers are usually not the best throwers on the team move the disc 70 yards for a goal. Watching the Sockeye/JAM 07 Semi, this appeared to me to be one of deciding factors in the game. Although JAM would generate turns against Sockeye, they were unable to move the disc well against the D and turned the disc back over to Sockeye. 

Here is where I like to see a hybrid of the two offenses. 

Last year our team focused on playing a horizontal stack to begin the point and moving the disc to the upwind side immediately if there was a crosswind. We did this is because most teams force the disc to the 'downwind' sidelines so that to break the mark you have to throw into the wind. However, if you start on the upwind side, the throws are generally easier, and you are able to move the disc to mid-field before you are stopped. Secondly, the option is there to get off a big throw with a crosswind. 

What we didn't do well is then transition to a vertical stack from the horizontal stack after crossing midfield. 

The reason for moving to a vertical stack near the goal line is that I believe the Ho stack is less effective in scoring goals than the vertical stack in a short field (this could just be dogma as well). I tend to believe that the horizontal stack is better with a lot of field space and that a vertical stack is better with a short field. The reason for this is that teams are able to maintain possession better in a vertical stack offense near the goal line than other offenses as they focus on possession. 

Here I believe you have to go with your strength as a team, which requires an honest assessment of your team's skills and abilities. Two teams stick out over the years is DoG and Furious George, both used different types of offense, but both were very successful. 

In my view, and from the couple years I saw, DoG ran a stack/iso offense. DoG took the throws that were given to them and were very disciplined in their throws and decision-making. Each player knew their role and executed their offense efficiently, which allowed them to move the disc and take the big throw on what they considered a high percentage throw. 

Furious, on the other hand, had some great throwers who are able to make outstanding hucks upwind to very good receivers and were not afraid to make the big throw. By having great throwers, they were able to maintain the disc until they were able to put up a huck that was a high percentage. (Maybe I'm arguing for Ho, but I still feel that both are effective and it depends upon personnel). 

Where I think that both DoG and Furious are the same is that they ran the same offense on pretty much every possession. Both were excellent and disciplined in executing their strategy. 

Another team I feel that did both well was JAM 04. Watching the tapes, they were equally adept at running both vertical and a stack offense. The players on the team knew their roles and how to execute their roles very well. This worked to their advantage throughout the series, though whether that hurt them is a question in and of itself. 

1a. See Crosswind. I believe the strategy for the crosswind can be equally effective, if not more effective 

huddle Issue 1 Horizontal vs Vertical

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Cater To Your Team's Particular Skills
by Gwen Ambler

What Kind Of Team Are We?
by Chris Ashbrook

My Thoughts On The Stack Debate
by Tully Beatty

Advantages Of A Spread Offense
by Lou Burruss

Talent Determines Offense
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

Advantages Of Either Offensive Set
by Dan Heijmen

Experience & Coordination
by Greg Husak

Horizontal Stack In Windy Conditions
by Ron Kubalanza

Which Type Of Offense Fits Your Team?
by Ryan Morgan

Some Thoughts From Australia
by Jonathan Potts

Vouching For The Vert Stack
by Miranda Roth

Why The Ho-Stack Is Currently In Favor
by Chris Talarico




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