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Attack Both Sidelines

by Adam Goff

Offenses used to look to get the disc near the sideline and then attack from there. Teams didn't want to be right on the sideline—with a foot on the edge hoping to attack from there, but a vertical stack offense looks to move the disc to ~5-10 yards from one sideline, take a good long look up field and then swing it around and try the other sideline. This offense can still be effective and all teams should have the ability to use this, even as simply a change of pace. 

First, let me eliminate an obvious situation, as there is always a reason not to do something. When the wind is strong and blowing cross field, you do have to stay away from the downwind sideline. The wind becomes an extra defender and it allows the defense to overplay. 

All offenses have the same basic philosophy: you need to create space in a way that gives you the advantage over the defense. This is difficult to do, because there are 12 people upfield and it can get very crowded. On defense, it'd be great to have 8 or 9 people on your side. On offense, often you want to have about 4—big open spaces to throw into. Therefore, you have to make more of the field available. 

When using the sideline, you can afford at most 2 people in the area directly upfield of the disc. The others must keep the attention of their defenders, and keep them from poaching. This poaching is, of course, a big risk, because the players not upfield are usually a bit less of a threat, so their defenders can range off of them farther than usual. However, note two things about this: First- poachers only come from one side of the field. This is different than an attack that uses the middle of the field. Defensive help can come from both sides of the attack. Second- if they leave the players on the far side, those players do become threats. Immediately, the open offensive player is a threat to take off deep (if the poacher went in) or to come in (if the poacher went deep). So, movement and preparedness is important there. 

More importantly, an attack on the sidelines dares the defense to overplay it. The offense is all but begging the defense to come and take the sideline away. As an offense, send the disc around and take a ton of free yards. A sideline attack must plan to attack both sidelines. 

So, a few keys to remember:

  • Having an offense that attacks the sidelines is necessary—if for no other reason than to change the look
  • Attacking a sideline requires that the offense creates space—in, out, throw towards the middle or straight up field
  • The other sideline is the key to success—all players must be ready to swing, clear space, and use it


huddle Issue 16 Using The Sideline

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The Extra Defender
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

Attack Both Sidelines
by Adam Goff

No Room For Error
by Lindsey Hack

Three Lane Theory
by Greg Husak

Paraphrasing Parinella & Zazlow
by Ted Munter

Drilling For The Sideline Trap
by Charlie Reznikoff

Field Spacing & Offense
by Kirk Savage

Yardage Opportunities
by Chris Talarico

Depends On The Offensive System...
by Ben van Heuvelen




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