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Preventative vs. Deceptive

by Brett Matzuka

The most common mark you see on the frisbee field is what I would define as a preventative mark. The mark has each arm extended out fully, explicitly placed to take away a specific throw. This is a useful mark as it does prevent the intended throws and it is seen at every level of frisbee (see photo 1). However, though it is useful, it has certain disadvantages. It allows the thrower to know which throws you are trying to take away before they even attempt to throw or fake. This will allow the thrower to find the gaps in the mark and exploit them. Looking over the Japanese mark, you can see that the thrower has yet to initiate a throwing motion, or fake, and the mark already has her arms fully extended. The thrower can now find the gaps and use these for release points in her throw. 

Issue025 Matzuka photo1
Photo 1

What I find helps to apply more pressure to throwers on most levels is what I would call a deceptive mark. Instead of fully extending your arms out in a way that gives the thrower knowledge on what you are trying to prevent, keep your arms closer to your sides, ready to pounce out once the thrower has committed to a throwing motion. As can be seen, Thomas Ward of NC State, and Ring of Fire, has his arms close to his sides and ready to strike once the thrower has committed to an option. Since they are tight to his side while the thrower is not in a throwing motion, this does not allow the thrower to find holes and gaps in the arms to exploit as before. While it does not guarantee that you will prevent the respective throw you are trying to stop every time as the previously mentioned mark will (having your arm constantly up to prevent a high release will certainly stop it, but may give up other throws), it will force the thrower to work harder to get a throw off (they may try to throw a inside break backhand and your hand appears, which makes them work harder by faking multiple times to get the option they want). 

Issue025 Matzuka photo2
Photo 2

In general, a foot block is not earned by constantly holding your foot in the air where you think they will release it, but by executing right when they enter into their throwing motion. This same idea can be utilized with your arms, and is useful, to apply more pressure to the thrower. 


huddle Issue 25 Tips On Marking

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

by Gwen Ambler

Twice, No More
by Lou Burruss

Two Simple Steps
by Matt Dufort

by Adam Goff

Tips & Insights
by Peri Kurshan

Preventative vs. Deceptive
by Brett Matzuka

Tricks Of The Trade
by Patrick Mooney

Team Marking
by Charlie Reznikoff

Defending The Area Around The Thrower
by Kirk Savage

Beyond The Fundamentals
by Ben van Heuvelen





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