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The Four-Person Cup

by Miranda Roth

For most of my teams (coaching and playing) we have been most comfortable in a 4-person cup recently. The goal with this zone is to prevent throws through the cup or around it with yardage gainers—we want to force the throws backward and we want to force a lot of them. I was taught to see this as a math problem—even the simplest throw will only be completed 99% of the time (.99 possibility of completion). Two of these same passes will be completed .99*.99 times (.9801 possibility of completing both passes). So you can easily see that with more passes, the chance of turnovers increases and, of course, if you or the conditions are forcing more difficult throws the completion rate for each pass goes down which translates to an increase in chance of turnover (i.e. the same throw on a windy/rainy day is only .8 possibility of completion). 

In addition to the math, I feel very comfortable with this zone with the personnel that I've had on my recent teams—lots of tall people with strong marks that are difficult to throw over. Sometimes we also run a variation of this in the 1-3-3 trapping zone that forces the same looks as the 4-person cup, but also encourages the disc to go toward typically weaker throwers (side poppers/wings instead of primary handlers) in a trap situation. 

In both of these zones, the weak points are always creating numbers advantages behind the cup/1-3. If two handlers can easily break it through a 4-person cup, then there is a 5 on 3 downfield advantage for the offense. If this happens, then we typically transition out immediately (on a yardage-gaining break), or after it happens more than once (on short breaks). 

From a team-wide standpoint, the adjustments that we like to make after teams start breaking through this is to transition to a similar but different zone—dropping one of the cuppers back into a very short short-deep position if they are gaining from short breaks or perhaps a box-and-one if one handler in particular is breaking through the zone repeatedly. 

Often times the positions that have to work the hardest and need the most feedback in both of my favorite zones are the wings—they are in charge of covering the most field and based on the offense we are playing against they will get very different looks. I think that the wings in the zone can make or break the defense—making it with hustle, communication, and awareness. 

huddle Issue 7 Zone Defense

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

The Wham!
by Jaime Arambula

Addressing Zone Questions
by Chris Ashbrook

Zone Observations From The NYNY Days
by Tully Beatty

A Tweak To The 1-3-3
by Matt Dufort

What Should We Contain?
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

Adjustments To The 2-3-2
by Adam Goff

Redistribute Their Resources
by Greg Husak

Trap Hard & Smart
by Kris Kelly

The Four-Person Cup
by Miranda Roth

A Couple Of Thoughts On Zone D
by Ben Wiggins




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