huddle banner

Cater to Your Team's Particular Skills

by Gwen Ambler


Any offense is difficult in the wind, so when conditions are windy a team should play the offense that it has practiced the most. Both vertical and horizontal stack offenses have advantages and disadvantages in the wind and the decision to play one over the other depends on how well your team can be on the same page while running it's O. 

When my team first made the transition from vertical stack to horizontal stack back in 2005, we struggled in the wind and often would switch back to the vert stack when it was windy and we were having difficulty scoring. However, that was comparing a vertical stack offense at which we were very experienced to a horizontal offense that we were just learning. At the time, I was convinced that a vertical stack was better in the wind because the emphasis on the lateral disc movement of dumping and swinging made it hard for the defense to overplay the open side, allowing opportunities for cutters to get open with timing and handlers to generate movement with break mark throws. It seemed to me that defenses were able to easily front cutters in our horizontal stack when it was windy and handlers were often left without many options. 

As my team's horizontal stack has matured and become more dynamic, I now think that it offers more possibilities to advance the disc confidently in windy conditions than the vertical stack. A horizontal offense allows more flexibility for handlers to aggressively attack and get the disc upfield. This not only serves to catch downfield defenders out of position, but it also provides an easy way to advance the disc down the field as the short throws and dishy passes to handlers remain largely unaffected by wind. Additionally, lots of handler motion combined with the coordinated movement of four cutters filling and vacating multiple cutting lanes can find holes in a poaching defense and isolate defenders without help deep. I have found vertical stack offenses to be less effective at breaking down the poachy and clammy defenses that wind invites. 

While I would rather play a horizontal offense now, I recognize that its strength lies in the complex combination of coordination and improvisation. I think this may actually take longer for a team to practice before it can effectively execute the offense in any condition than it does for a vertical stack. However, the rewards are greater. 


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




  • Issues

  • Features

  • Authors

  • About

      huddle issue034   huddle issue033   huddle issue032   huddle issue031   huddle issue030  
      huddle issue029   huddle issue028   huddle issue027   huddle issue026   huddle issue025  
      huddle issue024   huddle issue023   huddle issue022   huddle issue021   huddle issue020  
      huddle issue019   huddle issue018   huddle issue017   huddle issue016   huddle issue015  
      huddle issue014   huddle issue013   huddle issue012   huddle issue011   huddle issue010  
      huddle issue009   huddle issue008   huddle issue007   huddle issue006   huddle issue005  
      huddle issue004   huddle issue003   huddle issue002   huddle issue001      
      huddle feature026   huddle feature025   huddle feature024   huddle feature023   huddle feature022  
      huddle feature021   huddle feature020   huddle feature019   huddle feature018   huddle feature017  
      huddle feature016   huddle feature015   huddle feature014   huddle feature013   huddle feature012  
      huddle feature011   huddle feature010   huddle feature009   huddle feature008   huddle feature007  
      huddle feature006   huddle feature005   huddle feature004   huddle feature003   huddle feature002  
      huddle feature001                  


  • Authors

  • About / Get Involved