huddle banner

Defending The Area Around The Thrower

by Kirk Savage

I really enjoy marking—particularly in the zone of a 1-3-3. Marking is a very important part of the game that often goes unnoticed or is an afterthought in defensive play. Teams usually pay some lip service to marking strategy (forcing flick or middle or straight-up), but that tends to be about it. Unfortunately, common practice is that the marker will rest on the mark. They use the mark as a chance to get their breath and prepare for another defensive run. This is a big mistake and passes up a great opportunity to create added defensive pressure. 

I am not tall—at 5'9" I do not have a huge wingspan to shut down throwing options. However, I do have a few little tricks when it comes to marking to improve my success rate. 

My favourite strategy is to start counting calmly...stalling 1, 2, 3, 4, and then once the count starts to get higher, I start to count louder and more frantically. By the time I get to stalling 9, and hopefully 10, the thrower is freaked out and everyone knows the count. This makes it much harder for the thrower to call a "fast count" when everyone on the field has heard it. For those who play goaltimate, you understand how this can work as stall outs are much more common. I believe that this is not really because of the shorter amount of time (5 seconds), but because everyone on the field hears the stall count—taking away the cheap "fast count". 

Another little trick that I like is to start close to the thrower at stall 1-3 and then back up as the count gets higher. This eliminates the cheap foul call at a high count to bail a thrower out. When I say back up—I really step off so that the thrower cannot even reach out and touch me. 

When marking a very adept low break-force thrower I back up a lot as well. This cuts down on their throwing angle and helps me take away down field cuts. Some will argue that you need to be close to the thrower, but I have found over the years that top level throwers will have no trouble stepping through a close mark, throwing a perfect throw, and getting insurance on a cheap foul call. 

For hammer throwers, you need to be very close and in their face so that they cannot survey the field effectively. 

For huckers, you need to be very close as well—in their "kitchen", so to speak, to prevent the big wind up and release. 

Finally, and maybe most importantly, I have found as a marker I can help play downfield defense. All you have to do is keep half an eye on the downfield cutters. You can see when someone is coming in wide open, and your added vision of the field makes that throw more difficult. This works the best at a high count on a handler. You know that the thrower has committed to the dump. Instead of standing like a lump "forcing flick", get active and help your teammate shut down the dump. Remember that you only have to be within 10 feet of the thrower to be "marking". You can play a lot of defense in a 10-foot radius. 

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





  • Issues

  • Features

  • Authors

  • About

      huddle issue034   huddle issue033   huddle issue032   huddle issue031   huddle issue030  
      huddle issue029   huddle issue028   huddle issue027   huddle issue026   huddle issue025  
      huddle issue024   huddle issue023   huddle issue022   huddle issue021   huddle issue020  
      huddle issue019   huddle issue018   huddle issue017   huddle issue016   huddle issue015  
      huddle issue014   huddle issue013   huddle issue012   huddle issue011   huddle issue010  
      huddle issue009   huddle issue008   huddle issue007   huddle issue006   huddle issue005  
      huddle issue004   huddle issue003   huddle issue002   huddle issue001      
      huddle feature026   huddle feature025   huddle feature024   huddle feature023   huddle feature022  
      huddle feature021   huddle feature020   huddle feature019   huddle feature018   huddle feature017  
      huddle feature016   huddle feature015   huddle feature014   huddle feature013   huddle feature012  
      huddle feature011   huddle feature010   huddle feature009   huddle feature008   huddle feature007  
      huddle feature006   huddle feature005   huddle feature004   huddle feature003   huddle feature002  
      huddle feature001                  


  • Authors

  • About / Get Involved