Ultimate Intelligence – The Power is Yours…. The O advantage

September 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm 2 comments

I have received a lot of advice about Ultimate Frisbee in the years that I have been playing. Due to the nature of our community much of this advice has been welcome and positive. I’ve definitely been able to develop my game based upon things that other players have said to me.

That said, certain pieces of advice have stuck in my head more than others and over time I’ve been able to experience the relevance of those gems and also come to appreciate how accurate and important certain advice can be.

In this post I want to share some of the most prominent advice I have received. It’s not necessarily revolutionary or some sort of hidden advantage. Like most good advice, it’s common sense but the trick is in adopting it and making sure you use it.

So here it is: When you have the disc in your hand you control the outcome of the point.

I don’t think these are the exact words as they were told to me but the idea is there. In a broader sense the point is that there is no better time to make decisions with a cool head than when the disc is in your hands. It’s up to you to take the best option in order for your team to score the point.

Often this may go against your instincts. Just two days ago I attempted to huck a backhand well before the stall-count had even started. The cut was great and there was a player to throw to but alas my skill and patience were not up to scratch. Perhaps if I had taken a second to settle myself the throw would have hit the target. Even more likely is that I would have re-assessed and waited for a cut that better suited my throwing capabilities. This could well have been a dump-cut.

Thinking about this in a broader sense recently I realized that this particular piece of information is part of the fundamental balance of the game of Ultimate Frisbee. There are lots of factors that contribute to the “fairness” of every sport. If it was overly unfair between offense and defense then no-one would play, or rules would be adjusted to remove the swing.

In Ultimate Frisbee a large swing in favor of the fairness for offense is the fact that they have the disc in their possession. This is a huge advantage! A team with a reasonable skill level of throwing and catching could potentially dominate a higher skilled team providing they kept their heads cool and focused. I have seen the success of teams be very hampered by their desire to play with a flourish, rather than in a focused, team oriented frame of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I love risky throws and huge catches. They make the game all the better and fun to play. The point is that these opportunities will still occur due to other factors, you don’t have to create them.

So after all that here is my spin, my advice. Next time you have the disc in your hand and you are staring up the field looking for an option, try and remember that the outcome of the point you’re playing depends on what you do next. You’ve got your 10 seconds, you should have a dump cut just waiting behind you. Make your move.

On top of that, approach any offensive point in a positive way. Your team has been handed the advantage and it’s up to you to make it work in your favour.


Entry filed under: General Thoughts, Ultimate Frisbee, Ultimate Intelligence. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shteve  |  September 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Average turn over rate in a high level game is about 1 turn per team every 5-6 points… Not 5-6 turnovers in 1 point! As was the case on one occasion last night..

    • 2. Jase  |  September 29, 2010 at 7:32 am

      Really? Not sure I have ever seen a game played that successfully! Decent aim though.

      Meanwhile, thanks for commenting. It was you who gave me the advice in the first place. 🙂


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