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Talent Determines Offense

by Jeff Eastham-Anderson


I would say that the absolute talents of your team will likely favor one offense over the other. If you cannot consistently complete passes greater than forty yards, a stack offense is more favorable than a horizontal. Any situation where the defense no longer has to defend the deep pass puts the horizontal stack offense at a significant disadvantage. This generality can be extrapolated to any situation, not just wind condition. For example, when the disc is on the goal-line, defenders can front the people in the stack, thus using their position to take away the in cut, and the back of the endzone to take away the deep cut. At any point in time your team finds itself unable to throw deep passes, a different offense is called for. Taking this example further, a stack offense, which favors lateral movement of the disc often with break-mark throws, would be more effective on the goal line than a horizontal stack. Conversely, as deep shots become more viable, the horizontal stack would be favored over a vertical one. 

Everybody knows that strong winds make throwing and catching more difficult. This fact is often exploited by defenses by running some sort of zone defense that forces the offense to execute many throws in the hope that somewhere along the line a mistake will be made (see the math section below). But what should be done if a team runs an effective man defense in windy conditions? Every situation is different, but there are a few generalities that can be helpful. 

First, the stack must change its position on the field to facilitate the offense's goals. A deep cut from the back of a vertical stack with a stiff upwind may not be viable if the back of the stack is 30 yards away. By the time the thrower recognizes a deep cut from that position is open, the receiver is likely too far way to complete a pass that is uncontested. On the other hand, if the back of the stack is 15 yards away, the thrower has more room to deliver a pass. Alternatively if you are on the downwind side of a stiff crosswind, not only does the stack need to be shallow, but also should move away from that sideline to facilitate line throws, or toward the sideline to facilitate break-mark throws. 

Second, in windy situations the ratio of risk to reward can be different than when it is calm. Let's say that if it is calm your team can complete 20 short throws at a 100% completion rate to score, or 1 deep throw at a 70% completion rate, then you should take the short throws. However, if you need 30 short throws at a 90% completion rate or 2 deep throws at a 30% completion rate, the math favors deep throws. These numbers are exaggerated to make a point; sometimes a couple big risks are more favorable to a lot of little ones. 


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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