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Adjustments & Positioning

by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

The easiest way to simulate bad-weather conditions in a drill or a game is to simply tell your players to not throw the throws you can't realistically complete in those conditions. The idea is to gain confidence in beating a zone with flat, crisp, high percentage throws. And if for some reason they decide to throw a cross-field hammer, or 10 yard push pass, stop the drill and reset, or just call it a turnover and continue playing from there. This will help with throw selection, but executing a throw in inclement weather requires practice in those conditions. 

In an ideal situation, I prefer a two-handler set that works together to create windows of opportunity to move the disc upfield. Two main options in this set are to go over the cup, or through the cup. A third option that is less frequently utilized option with two handlers is to go around the cup. 

Any time an offensive set is not working, the main responsibility to recognize this lies with the handlers. They should be in a position to see the entire field, and also to realize when the go-to look has been shut down five times in a row. If your zone offense is built around swinging the disc from one sideline to the other, and it gets stopped in the middle, that handler stuck with the disc is probably the person that will realize this first. At that point they can adjust their own spacing, or that of a teammate. If that fails to produce results, a timeout wouldn't be a bad call. 

Deep players in a zone offense are in a pretty unique position. If they do their job well, they rarely touch the disc, but are able to create space for the other players to gain yardage. If they don't do their job well by crowding closer to the disc, they'll end up touching the disc more. However, the offense will have a harder time overall moving the disc as the defense will be able to move in with the deep. Ideally, a deep player will touch the disc zero times or once on any offensive sequence, and will totally occupy one person's capacity (or more) to defend. Put another way, the offense is able to score with short, easy throws, because the deep defender is positioned so that no single defender is able to help defend other offensive players. 

The easiest way I know of to deal with a trap zone is to simply not throw it to somebody on the sideline. If you have a zone offense that depends on moving the disc across the field to get around the cup, think about learning another offensive set. If you must move the disc to a sideline, you want to impress upon the players on that sideline that their job is not to hold the disc, but to hit the first open player they see, even if that person just threw them the disc. Furthermore, everybody else on the field needs to provide a sideline thrower with immediate targets. The longer you hold the disc, the longer a defense can recognize and lock down on the available targets. 

huddle Issue 18 Zone Offense

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

The Condor Zone O
by Lou Burruss

Adjustments & Positioning
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

Prepping For A 4-Person Cup
by Lindsey Hack

Questions About Your Zone O
by Greg Husak

A Slow-Developing Chess Game
by Peri Kurshan

Wings & Poppers
by Ryan Morgan

Three Points
by Ted Munter

The Jailbreak
by Charlie Reznikoff

Effective Practice For Zone
by Miranda Roth

Personal Fundamentals Of Zone O
by Ben van Heuvelen





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