Tuesday, July 12, 2005

sound ideas from crazy Frank

If Frank didn't exist, Idris would have had to invent him.

Our old friend Billy Berrou has actually had some good ideas (i.e., ideas that I agree with) mixed in with his rantings. Let's try to compile a list.

  1. West Coast teams travel too much.
  2. Some people hold on to the disc for too long.
  3. Elite teams cheat on the mark.
  4. You can be a triple threat by throwing the disc for yards, dishing it to someone who then makes a throw for yards, or doing the give and go for yards.
  5. Sometimes it is about position and not yards.
  6. The swimmy swim is the move of the future.


What am I missing?

I'll expound on just two of these for now.
Some people hold on to the disc for too long. We'll sometimes play a "three second O", where we pretend that the stall count is 3 (except it doesn't actually count as a stall if you get to 3). As you might expect, the disc moves quickly, but what you might not expect is that you can still make long cuts and other cuts for yardage. To play this O, you need to be able to anticipate, both as a cutter and as a thrower. Basketball stat geek Dean Oliver, author of Basketball on Paper and a good friend of some West Coast frisbee players, suggested that one good metric for the fluidity of an offense would be how long it takes to release the disc. And who can forget Jam's unstoppable Plinko offense?
The triple threat. Right now, there is a hierarchy in throwing options. You look to throw for yards, then if that's not there, you look to get the disc into better position, and then after that maybe you cut for the give and go. Perhaps it would make for a more efficient offense if throwers looked to dish it as a primary option.

Or, we can just continue to pile on, which is fun.

15 comments:

Tarr said...

In the offense I taught the Purdue women this year, if you caught the disc on a comeback cut, your first look was to throw a short pass to space, usually slightly back and out to the open side. One of the handlers bahind the disc would run on to the disc, and then look to throw deep (or forward anyway).

So basically, you catch the disc and your first look is to throw roughly in the direction you're already facing. A fairly Huguenardesqe concept, actually. But then again, Frank did not the first person to come up with this idea (and neither am I).

One idea that he did come up with that seems at least worth trying is the idea of having a representative of each team that is empowered to call travels from the sideline. I don't think travelling should be a turnover, but travelling (unlike basically every other violation) can be hard to notice while you're playing.

And I don't think you can give Frank and credit for the idea that "elite teams cheat on the mark". People have been complaining about this for at least five years.

long time reader first time poster said...

"Elite teams cheat on the mark" ... are you referring to the defensive tactic of running your man over as soon as he catches the disc, resulting in (uncontested) foul calls & disrupted flow? Or is it something else that I've never played 'elite' enough teams to see?

parinella said...

I am referring to the amount of contact initiated by the marker on the thrower.

Idris said...

7. becoming more ambidextrous.

short flick dumps (up or back) are rarily preferred, so cutting for the backhand, wherever that might be, is often the best place to go. if the thrower had a short lefty and righty backhand, cutting for him/her while standing < 8 yards away (in the upfield and backfield) would be easy. i liken it to being able to finish around the rim [or soccer goal mouth] with both hands [feet]. of course frank takes it to far with his off handed flat footed hucking... which is like shooting a 3-pointer with your off hand because the ball was in that hand.

8. use of "negative space"

I assume you are referring to this with the Sometimes it is about position and not yards. comment. Although Frank takes it a little to far for my taste (gladly tossing the disc 15-30 yards backwards when he has the disc on the goal line), the fact that people tend to not make use of the space behind the disc, especially when the defense concedes all passes there, is undeniable. how many times is a 10-15 yard dump backwards open, but instead we force something that loses fewer yards at stall 9.. resulting in a turnover?

luke said...

dude, idris is billy.

http://tinyurl.com/9glwe

or, wait, billy is idris?
http://tinyurl.com/chyq4

parinella said...

Does anyone not horrible besides Studarus routinely throw passes with both hands? And if you actually care whether you travel, can you easily position yourself to throw lefty? Maybe if you developed a pass somewhere between a push pass and a lift, you could use that in place of the forehand dump.

Re: position not space. I hadn't fully figured out what I meant. I think I considered it in terms of the second threat, getting it to someone who is in position to throw for yards. It also includes throwing the dump or just getting it off the line, when it preserves possession and/or gives you a better angle of attack.

Any pass that puts the receiver in a power position, as we call it, is a good one. A power position is one where you can huck it without a mark, generally occurring on leading passes with the cutter cutting straight toward the sideline or away from the thrower.

It seems that most yardage gains come from a series of low stall count passes, rather than from isolated comeback cuts. This is easier to picture in a good zone offense, where the handlers diddle until they can break the cup, and then the downfield players fast break as far as they can go.

So, getting back to Frank, he would like throwers and cutters to consider their throws and cuts in terms of offensive flow (the motion offense) rather than as strictly a yardage battle.

Jon said...

Quoth Idris:
short flick dumps (up or back) are rarily preferred, so cutting for the backhand, wherever that might be, is often the best place to go.

In the event that the dump cutter is too close for a good flick, I generally throw a push pass, and have been pretty successful with it. Most people write off push passes as trick throws, but when you need a little zip, a lot of float and precise placement, I think it's hard to beat a good push.

That's not to say I don't think being ambidextrous is worthwhile. It's just a lot easier to learn a good push pass than it is to learn to throw well with your off hand.

Anonymous said...

I'm a righty. But I throw lots of short lefty backhands. I find them much easier than short righty flicks. Very useful in a zone or on the goal line. Breaking with a high release also opens up a whole new little space to throw to- a short IO forehand with touch is tough.

I'm sure it looks silly, but I still keep my left pivot foot. Step with the right and throw across the body. Breaks all the "rules", I know.

I started doing this in coed as a response to facing male markers and their correspondingly larger wingspans. They don't expect the lefty backhand.

And then there was regionals in Wisconsin in 2002. There was such a fierce crosswind that the game dissolved into hucking for field position. The D focussed on taking away backhands... so I started hucking lefty. Then they started to think I was a lefty, so they switched the mark and I finally got off a backhand which actually got caught and eventually resulted in a score.

I think the off hand throw definitely has its uses.

-not horrible

Idris said...

Daryl (KAOS, Jam, Rhino) throws a ton of lefty break mark backhands... and unlike _most_ people, doesn't travel. Add to the fact he has a killer low forehand, he can pretty much get a 10-15 yard break mark pass of at will when forced forehand (no timing or faking required).

Personally, I throw push passes in most instances a lefty backhand would be usefull. W/O bothering with the details though, there are times when a lefty backhand can do more than a push pass.

Idris said...

one thing I do see recently with college players, many like to throw shorty lefty backhands... but it often comes at the expense of having any sort of short flick. And that is unacceptable... off handed passes should compliment, not bail out, situations where a flick might not be perfect.

Marshall said...

You probably didn't intend for this thread to degenerate to discussion of lefty throws, but...

Sometimes, it is more sure than a really short flick. But also, I throw them sometimes because it's easier based on my body position to get the lefty off quickly. When I've been facing the mark and something requires a quick throw, dumps against a backhand force (especially in zone) and short forward passes against a flick force are often faster. Most of the time, people don't realize that I made the pass lefty. That said, aside from the idea that it's good to be able to release a short pass quickly however you happen to be holding the disc, I'm not sure I'd encourage people to start by learning lefties. [And yes, that begs the question, "why are you holding it in your non-throwing hand", but that's a different issue.]

I still haven't got an answer on a) why Worm only hucks lefty backhands, or 2) why he never gets called for traveling.

Edward Lee said...

Establishing a ground game is the key to success. After all, three things can happen when you pass the disc, and two of them are bad.

parinella said...

Is that Woody Hayes who said that? This is a classic example of misunderstanding probabilities, like the person who thinks that if there are only two options available, it's 50/50.

luke said...

i thought woody hayes said, 'come over here, i want to punch you.'

Billy Berrou said...

You've missed a lot Jim but I'll just chime in here on what you've written.

1) West Coast teams travel too much. Yes and no. West coast teams travel more than east coast teams but you all travel WAY too much.

I think you're all missing the point here though. The reason I'm determined to fix this flaw in the game is that traveling is a symptom of poor balance. If you're not balanced on your snowboard, you're going to land on your ass and crack your head. If you learn how to play ultimate without any consequences for traveling (being off balance), you're not going to learn very well.

2) Some people hold on to the disc too long.

Wrong.

Everybody holds on to the disc too long. You've played Goalty with me and seen me play. I throw a lot of throws in the 50-100ms range and my target range is to average holding on to the disc around 1000ms. In general, not that I have statistics to back it up, but I would say that the general communitie's average is closer to 4000-5000ms. That's 4-5 times longer than what I think it should be. Playing with a 3 count is a superb idea and something I've also done (except I only make the rule for specific players who don't seem to 'get it').

3) Elite teams cheat on the mark. Hmmm. Elite teams cheat and yes they foul a lot. This has a huge impact on me personally since my stance/game is predicated on balance. Imagine trying to snowboard and having some oaf 'foul' you all the time. It's disgusting. Not fun.


4) You can be a triple threat by throwing the disc for yards, dishing it to someone who then makes a throw for yards, or doing the give and go for yards.

WRONG!

First, take yardage completely out of the equation. It does not belong. Yardage is irrelevent

You can be a triple threat by UNDERSTANDING that your ability to simultaneously be able to penetrate, or dish, or throw for a scrore has a profound effect on how a defense plays you.

5) Sometimes its about position and not yards.

Wrong.

It's always about position.

6) The Swimmy move is the move of the future.

Hardly.

The move of the future is a backhand lift give and go. I didn't get a chance to watch Idris' team at Labor day where I heard they were running some dominator but I didn't see any one with ANY penetration moves and you're talking about the swimmy as the move of the future? You guys need to learn an array of reliable give and go moves. That's the future.

7) Become more ambidextorous. Yes, thank you Idris. This is probably number 1 and Jim left it off his list entirely. As far as your 3 point analogy, hmmm, I hear what you're saying but I wouldn't take it that far. I don't huck much left handed but I do FAKE a lot with it and I find that useful. I'm not sure a left fake on a 3 pointer would be credible my my lefty huck fake sure is.

8) Negative space. Again, right on. This really should be number 1 now that I think about it. Thank you. I only take it 'too far' because of over compensation for an already skewed situation. In a nice balanced attack, I wouldn't be so extreme.
___________________

Other comments:
" Right now, there is a hierarchy in throwing options. You look to throw for yards, then if that's not there, you look to get the disc into better position, and then after that maybe you cut for the give and go. Perhaps it would make for a more efficient offense if throwers looked to dish it as a primary option."

This is entirely upside down. Usually the first thing I do when I catch the disc (and motion hasn't been established) is to establish my balance squarely over my pivot foot and begin to identify where I can break down the defense with a penetration move. I can't understand why nobody else plays this way. To always look first for an upfield throw for yardage is an egotistical, self-centered, selfish, narcisistic style of play. It is unwatchable, borish and dull. This is an easy game, don't make it harder than it needs to be.


"And I don't think you can give Frank and credit for the idea that "elite teams cheat on the mark". People have been complaining about this for at least five years."

I don't want credit for anything. I'd like someday to go watch some ultimate and be intellectually stimulated, which is something that does not happen now.

People have been complaining about elite teams cheating for at least 20 years.

Some of the conceptst that I've borrowed from basketball are over 80 years old. Nothing new.

As for your play at Purdue, Adam, that sounds like a simple back door play if I understand you correctly. It is a good play, don't get me wrong but I take it quite a bit further than that. I run an offense where some players on offense, depending on their roles/positions, are actually cutting, throwing, etc. as if they were attacking the opposite endzone. Nobody does that. Not even my PlinkO boys.

"Does anyone not horrible besides Studarus routinely throw passes with both hands?"

Not anybody I saw at Labor Day (except wiggins but only when he was playing Goalty). What do you mean by routinely? Oh, and by the way, I do take back what I said about wiggings. He is NOT a triple threat. Not only does he lack the understanding of the effect he is having on defense, but he doesn't have much in the way of penetration moves. He is, however, with his upright stance, very good at dictating tempo to the D but seemingly at a loss to know what to do with that edge.

"So, getting back to Frank, he would like throwers and cutters to consider their throws and cuts in terms of offensive flow (the motion offense) rather than as strictly a yardage battle."

sort of. But...there aren't throwers and cutters. There is the thrower (who is THE cutter) and an offensive structure that allows him to cut into spaces, not throw into spaces. Make sense? It's not quite that rigid but the point is in the motion offense that the thrower is also the primary cutter but then this ties in with your remark above about first look down field, then look to disc and then look to penetrate.

"...push passes.."

For 25 years, I rarely threw push passes until very recently. My girlfriend wanted me to teach her how to throw (1 day in GG park) and so I came up with Hippy Hill, a simple drill that's on my website (it's similar to what Idris said about the PlinkO line drill, looks easy but it's harder than you'd think--try throwing 100 throws with a friend at short range, as fast as you reasonably can, always throwing with your catching grip). In any event, the push pass over the past 12 months has become a complete staple in my diet. It's the most compact throw, makes for a great fake and can be outrageous in Goalty with the power skyhook!!

Push passes rule.

"Daryl (KAOS, Jam, Rhino) throws a ton of lefty break mark backhands... and unlike _most_ people, doesn't travel."

WHATTTTTT????? Daryl travels like a MOFO!!! Are we talking about the same guy? Seriously, I like Daryl and everything but he cheats massively. Like I told Daryl directly, he's such a good thrower and hard enough to get a foot/hand block on when he doesn't travel so please give me a fighting chance to make a play by playing fairly by the rules.