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Advantages Of Either Offensive Set

by Dan Heijman


First and foremost I will say that I am completely biased in favor of a horizontal based offense in a non-windy environment. While there are certain advantages in starting out of a vertical, I believe that a horizontal flow gives players the maximum amount of freedom and space to run the offense. However, in windy conditions (depending on the severity) vertical, if run correctly, does have its advantages. 

Provided that the wind isn't brutal (i.e. less than 20 MPH), I think horizontal is the way to go. Given the athletes that are playing the game today, I think you need to put them in space and let their legs do the work. This offense, when run correctly, is incredibly difficult to stop because it allows tremendous freedom for all players. Cutters can choose to go in or cut deep on a whim, and can also adjust mid-cut if they see a break lane open up. 

When attacking downwind defenders are often so worried about getting beaten deep that smart cutters can take twenty-yard unders whenever they choose. And if the defense adjusts, you can let the hucks rain. Obviously any huck-happy offense will face a rise in turnovers, but depending on the wind, and the level of competition, this could be a risk worth taking. Few D-lines will be able to effectively move the disc upwind with any consistency if they have to go the full 70 yards to score. 

When attacking upwind you could choose to go either way, but I still like horizontal. For starters, with a correctly run flow you are receiving the disc in the center of the field, not on the sidelines. Even with no wind, the possibility of turnover rises exponentially once the disc gets on the sideline, and with some wind, that percentage gets even higher. Obviously, the disc will eventually find its way to a sideline, but the frequency in which that occurs goes down when flowing horizontally. I also believe (although I know some don't) that throwing break-marks is actually easier in a horizontal, as long as cutters standing on the break side keep potential poachers occupied. And getting breaks going up-wind is huge for eating up chunks of yardage and for allowing the possibility of a break-mark huck. Most likely defenders will be fronting, and if you can get the disc to one of your big throwers on that break side, bomb away. 

When dealing with a crosswind, it is imperative that the disc gets to that upwind side (i.e. the side that the wind is blowing from). Again, my bias will be towards horizontal, because I think with a vertical (where the open spaces are towards the outsides of the field) you will find yourself trapped on the down-wind sideline more often that you would like. 

The vertical stack is true to its name in that it attacks the field vertically. This can be helpful when attacking up wind. For most windy games O-lines will typically find themselves attacking down wind, while the d-lines (provided they force turnovers) will be going up-wind. This means that a team's less offensively talented players (usually) will be asked to score given more difficult circumstances. In this case having an offense that relies on numerous throws, dumps and swings significantly hurts that sides chances of scoring. When attacking the upwind end zone with consistent 20+ MPH gusts, you may want to go vertical. Having played on a team with a very big thrower, this offense can be your best bet to actually get the disc down the field. Try isolating your best deep threat for your biggest thrower and pull the trigger. Obviously this won't work every time, but the chance of completing one longer thrown is often higher than completing 15-20 shorter ones, depending on the personnel. Without the threat of deep throws, defenses will sit on the unders and make it nearly impossible to move the disc, unless your handlers can break the mark consistently. 

The windier it is, regardless of whether attacking upwind or downwind, but especially upwind, the less likely you'll be to string together dozens of passes to score. Often times the chances of completing one "risky" throw are higher than completing 20+ "safe" throws. Take the shot when its there, even if it doesn't pay off the defense will know you're willing to jack it, which will allow for easier unders later in the game. 

And, when attacking downwind with a 20+ MPH wind, never turn the disc within your brick. It doesn't matter if the disc goes 80 yards out the back of your opponent's end zone; make them go the full 70 yards to score. 


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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