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Zone Observations From The NYNY Days

by Tully Beatty

Pike ran an imposing 1-3-3 for a number of years, a set that may or may not have morphed into a 4-man cup at times. Mike Jaeger (formerly of Michigan, currently of Sockeye) was great at the one spot. 

The Warrior squad I played for in 2001 ran a 1-3-3 as well and that look got us to Nationals. Rhett Russ also the right man for the one spot. I'm a fan of the 1-3-3. I also like a 4-man cup but that set is extremely difficult to run more than one or two times a game/tournament. With the right sideline and the right wind, it's a test to see what those back three can do. 

However, I'll go with the "2-3-2 configururation." In the semis of College Nationals in 1991, UNC-Wilmington was down 4-10 to Cornell at halftime. UNCW ended up winning 19-11. Much of what those UNC-W teams did at the time was done so at the altar of NYNY, especially our zone defense. 

NYNY ran their zone up wind or down wind, breezy or calm They always ran 2-3-2. It's been well-documented that we studied '89 finals tape. Down 14-16, NY slaps on the 2-3-2. 16 all. At 17 all, they roll 3 for 20-17. Final 21-19. In 1988 versus Sweden in a game to 17, Sweden is receiving and up 16-15. 2-3-2. 18-16 NYNY. In 1990 versus the Iguanas, the results were similar, and although their completion percentage was high, Southern Cal still lost by five. And again in 1993 at Worlds versus Rhino, NYNY I think was down 9-14 before their 2-3-2 won the game. (And certainly that game was a statement game for Rhino. They faced NYNY in the 92 semifinalss; NYNY with zero first half turns, and 2 for the game). 

And then the Greatest Game Ever Played: NY Cojones vs Boston, semifinals 1994. 2-3-2 from each team throughout much of the contest; obviously 1-3-3 and Clam from Boston as well. Cojones scores upwind vs zone to tie at 17s. Boston going upwind with no timeouts. 28 passes later they are up one and pulling downwind, game to 19. 2-3-2 set and Boston's cup: John Bar and Jethro points, and Lenny at the all-important middle-middle. 38 passes later, Lenny swats down a laser through the cup, game over. 

Great 2-3-2s aren't seen very often anymore. Perhaps this is due to the fashionable spread offenses or the 175 gram that nearly everyone can rip 90 yards. And maybe it's just because teams simply can't play it or the fact that DoG's "death to dump swing zone offense" has erased it as an option. Perhaps a little bit of all. 

The meat of the set begins with the cup. It's not random selection. NYNY role players earned their play time here and they were conditioned to play these positions: Andy Scheman, Walter van der Schraaf, Blair O'Conner, Paul Shields, Jon Gewirtz, Ken Dobyns. Scheman and O'Conner were meant to play the points and it's clear they resigned themselves to suffer until the point was over; good for one or two blocks a game. 

Dobyns and Walter, and Boston's Lenny Engel played the middle-middle position that always demonstrated why this set is called 2-THREE-2, and not 3-2-2. Those three along with Chain's Stu Downs were more than artistic in this slot. The middle-mid is the drummer, the venerable Charlie Watts. 

I think the short-deep is good for one sneaky block. One or two members of the cup will get a one block, but more than likely they will force a bad throw by playing the stall count. I don't want the deep-deep to get any blocks, unless it's coming under and he is the guy I talk to in the time-out. Too often you see a deep-deep come under with the O player ¼ to ½ in and then stop. A block is being given up here. Let the sideline call for help and get a wing to drop back. 

My team-wide adjustment: In a perfect world, I'd have a pair on each sideline talking to the wings. A1 is watching the field talking to the wing while A2 is looking across the field at the opposite wing and waiting for the time he has to tell A1 to tell their wing to drop back. Got that? 

The weaknesses are your wings getting sucked in, a deep-deep getting too cocky and baiting, or getting bored like a 6th grade goalie, and your points having their lower body give out on them. Break marks on high counts, lunging at fakes, and being out of step with the middle-mid; otherwise you'll have an overzealous handler jack a hammer for a block, a wing look upfield that second prior to his catch, or a popper run a give-and-go right in to the sod.

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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