laboratory assistant

(443) 697-2212








(800) 469-8614





(806) 413-2593






(646) 603-3845







2018, so far

Just comparing Summer League results from the last 3 seasons.  “pd” is Point-Differential, and pd/g is Point-Differential-per-Game (i.e., season-average):

  • 2016: 1-11 with a -50pd/10g, or a -5.00 pd/g – losing record
  • 2017: 0-7 with a -26/7, or a -4.36 pd/g – losing record
  • 2018: 2-2 with a +13/4, or a +3.75 pd/g – WINNING RECORD (so far)

So, 2018 has started off the best season yet, with 2016 and 2017 having no more than 1 win per season, according to the “official record”.  Let’s improve this record.  Every team we’ve played has looked quite beatable.

Picks (and other team’s bad interpretation of the rules)

Lately, I’ve heard a bunch of people talk a bunch of crap about picks.

The main issue is our opponents saying this:

“Hey, man, you can’t set up in a way that creates a pick if I start to cut!”

This couldn’t be more wrong.  Here are the relevant rules:

18.3.3. All players should take reasonable efforts to avoid the occurrence of picks.

12.6. A player in an established position is entitled to remain in that position and should not be contacted by an opposing player.

12.7. Every player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by any opposing player, provided that they do not initiate contact in taking such a position. . Every player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by any opposing player, provided that they do not initiate contact in taking such a position.

In other words, you’re allowed to be wherever you want to be, as long as you didn’t push anyone to stand there.  The easiest way to resolve this is to simply say to the opponent (before the disc is put into play),

“Hey, this is going to result in a pick.  You may want to setup in a way that avoid it; otherwise, you won’t be able to move freely.”

The offense, as much as the defense, must avoid picks.  But since you are allowed to take any legal defensive position, the onus is on the offense to not set picks from a “static” position.  It is just as much their responsibility.  You are simply reacting to where they stand, and because it is the offense’s choice about where to stand, they should avoid standing in positions that are like to cause picks.


It’s World Cup season.  And, as you know, I like analogies.  So, here’s one about playing defense.  When you are last back, there is no one on your team “behind you” (between you and the end zone).

When there is no one else behind you, you are the GOALKEEPER.

Letting your receiver get behind you is the equivalent of you, the keeper, letting a forward get between you and the goal.  Look at #9, when Ronaldo gets past the keeper.


And that brings us to Cardinal Sin #1 of playing defense:

If you are last back, you DO NOT let yourself get scored on by getting beat deep.  YOU MUST PUT YOURSELF IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN, AT LEAST, CONTEST A SCORING ATTEMPT.



Core, Mantle, Platoons

Meridian 2017 Core

2017 has seen some good progress.

We’ve built some good momentum lately.  Let’s close out the rest of our first season strong.

Regionals is the “big competition” we’ve been gearing up for.  It’s the first time someone is going to take our temperature, so let’s get as “healthy” as we can.  To do this, we need to focus our efforts.

We need to identify our core group of players, which are people who are:

  1. Attending Regionals
  2. Have (consistently) attended Tour
  3. Have (consistently) attended Training
  4. Otherwise contribute to the team

Some of you are obviously in that core:

  • Sara
  • Polly
  • Ana
  • Will (M)
  • Sam (Corbett)
  • Paddy
  • Yohann

If you’re in this group, thank you for helping to define the team with your dedication, commitment, and hard work.  One of the hardest parts to starting a team is to get it off on the right foot with people who are team-focused, willing and able to learn, and give their full effort.

If you have any issues, ping the people who are bolded.  They’ll either work on it with you, or let me know you have a concern or question.

Meridian 2017 Mantle

There are some of you who are just outside of that core, meaning that you’ve attended Training, attended Tour, plan on going to Regionals, but just have had some issues with consistency.  Maybe injuries preventing attendance, maybe a shift in job schedules (not your decision, obviously) or sometimes not wanting to participate in various events.

The team is really grateful to you, needs you, and would love to see you move into the core group.  That’s probably just you making a bit more of an effort (or get just a bit luckier with work schedules) or simply deciding to join us in competition.  You know who you are:

  • Russell*
  • Pip
  • Elvera
  • Nat
  • Pottsie
  • Matt
  • “Jr” (Will W)
  • “Pete” (Sam Cryan)
  • Jaan
  • Max
  • Toks
  • Alex
  • Andy

[The rest of you are most likely just new or just haven’t had the time or inclination to be more involved.  For those who are new, thank you for coming out and participating: Sian, Ryan, and Benjamin.  A BIG bonus thank you to Sian for filming the summer league games, and to Ryan for recording them.  Hopefully we’ll see you in the core for next season.

And for those of you who form the “crust”, (i.e., Jaan, Max, Toks, Alex, and Andy), I think I speak for all of us when I say that we hope you’ll bring your hard work from training onto the pitch at Regionals!]


Substitution Platoons

For now, I want the core of Sara, Polly, Ana, Will M, Sam, Pottsie, Yohann, and Paddy to get PT (playing time) at Summer League, which means I want them to stay on the pitch on until they’re ready for a sub.

Core, please set the right example, and please take a sub as soon as you’re not at 100%.

Let’s get that intensity ramped up ASAP.  Summer League is an amazing opportunity to get time to get us prepared.  We have subs!  Let’s try to get used to going all-out.  I’d rather we were having to call time-outs because we’re playing so hard we need a rest, rather than feeling like we haven’t left it all out on the pitch.

Let’s use a platoon strategy for subs.  That means having groups, and making substitutions from that group.

  • Sara, Pip
  • Ana, Polly
  • Nat, Elvera, Sian
  • Will M, Toks
  • Sam, Pete, Will W, Jaan
  • Paddy, Pottsie, Matt, Ryan, Sean
  • Yohann, Russ, Max, Alex, Andy, Benjamin

For example, if Will needs a sub, Toks should come in.  If Sam needs a sub, Pete or Jr. should come in.  If Ana needs a sub, Polly should come in.  For our next game, I’d like to have at least one person from Sara’s, Ana’s, Will’s, and Sam’s platoon on the pitch, starting with the core.  Then, add more core members to fill 7.  Then, if we still don’t have 7 on the line, then add anyone who hasn’t played the last sequence.


Formless & Positionless Offense

From a live disc (not in-play):

Stacks are for kids.  Off a live disc not in play, whether a pull or a turnover, the primary objective is to make space.  Not to set up in an arbitrary position like a stack.  Often, being in-motion is enough to clear defenders and make space.  The reason we don’t want weak(er) throwers picking up the disc is because they can’t throw deep, meaning that  weak(er) thrower doesn’t present the threat.  A strong thrower will force the defense to stay honest and follow a receiver clearing–which is also a deep cut.  It’s why you have to commit to the clear by clearing out powerfully.

There are two ways receivers should think about moving off a live desk (but not in-play):

  1. If there is a clear mismatch, simply allow the mismatch to go 1:1, and everyone else should move into the shadow.
  2. If there isn’t a clear mismatch, either create one, or be in-motion and clear until one receiver can get clear separation.

In the first way, everyone just drifts into the shadow while one receivers goes 1:1 against her defender.  Generally, this should result in huge gains.  Most of the offense will stay still, and once the throw is in the air, one or two (generally the receivers farthest back) should be moving for a continue cut.

In the second way, We want our cutters to be in-motion about 3 to 5 seconds before the thrower reaches the disc.  In other words, you should be open when the thrower is ready to throw.  2 or 3 cuts should be enough to make a huge amount of open space, and it will also set up the continue-cuts further down the field.

Technical Considerations:

You should move as soon as there the defender “will allow”.  In other words, you move as soon as you know the defender must follow you.  Moving too soon will sometimes just result in a switch.  This is undesirable if you’re just trying to make space, but done intentionally, you can use this to your advantage to create mismatches.

If your defender is playing an aggressive poach, either attack or abuse that poach.  Attacking the poach means to move toward the poacher, and generally underneath, to pull the poacher with you.  This will result in a need for you to finish your cut by going behind the thrower.

Abusing the poach means to move into an immediately-open space.  Either you’ll present an unguarded target for the thrower, or you will move the poach.  Either is a good outcome.

In Flow (the disc is in-play):

Here, the objective is…you guessed it…to CONTINUE TO MAKE SPACE, to identify mismatches, and to create separation.

Please DO NOT CLEAR THROUGH.  Can’t emphasize this enough.  It will become clear when there is a need for more receivers in front of the disc.  Generally, if you’ve just thrown, while it’s good practice to upset your defender by moving immediately after, you should not be immediately moving into the open space.  This shuts down all the cutters that have been setting up their cuts.

If you’re going to clear, move quickly, and do so away from the play.  You absolutely SHOULD NOT BE DRAGGING YOUR DEFENDER THROUGH THE PLAY.  DO NOT bring your defenders to the thrower, either, for an easy double-team by the defense.

It is your responsibility to improve the team’s field position when you are The Matchup  (or The Mismatch); i.e., your are better than your defender, and the talent/athleticism/skill gap between you and your defender is larger than every other matchup.

For everyone else, (who is not “The Matchup”), your objective is to make space for the mismatch, and, for yourself, to create imbalance and gain separation.

Making space is about moving away from the play. This takes time and experience.  But if you are reacting to throws, chances are you are mentally behind the play and probably getting in everyone’s way.  Learn to make movements about 2 or 3 throws BEFORE you want to receive the disc.

How much time you need to set up your cut–and therefore how early you need to start planning your movements–is a function of how good you are in creating imbalance and gaining separation.

One way of creating imbalance is to catch the defender resting.  Try continually move out of the line-of-sight of your defender.  This will make them mentally tired.  Also, get your defender to look away from the disc.  Position yourself so they can’t see you and also see the disc.  This is very mentally exhausting.  Also, use both soft movements and sudden and powerful movements to physically exhaust the defender.  Switching between those movements not only requires them to stay mentally alert, but it also activates both muscle systems, the quick-twitch and the endurance muscles.  Don’t let your defender get comfortable.

Once your defender is uncomfortable, then use cuts to create separation.

Try these progressions.  Walk, then quickly change direction toward a new location (even if you’re just making space and moving in the shadow).  Or, stop, then quickly burst for a few meters, generally away from the space you want to go.  Or, just jog to where you want to place the defender, then move powerfully toward the open space.  And, while doing that, always change your positioning relative to the thrower, to keep changing their line-of-sight.

Be unpredictable.  Be annoying.  You win when your defender gives up.

The goal is force your defender to give you something.  Then take what you are given.


Learn these:

away, backhand, bender, break, break-side, “Chilly!”, clear, clog, contest, cut, deep, “Disc-in!”, double team, dump, “Fast count!”, flick, force, forehand, foul, handler, high-side, home, huck, I/O, iso, layout, low-side, man defense, mark, mismatch, , OB, open side, O/I, pick, pivot, poach, pull, run through, slot, SOTG, stack, strike, strip, swing, switch, travel, under, violation, zone


General Phrases (R-Z)

read  – The act of determining the trajectory of the disc.  See: library card.

run through – Not stopping to throw the disc because it happens to lie at your feet.  Often done to allow receivers to get in front of the disc.

scoober – A type of throw that looks like a hammer, but without a backswing.  Often used as a short throw to break the mark–or to score.

sky – The act of getting the disc at a higher-point than someone else.

slot – The position in the stack nearest to the thrower.

spirit of the game / SOTG – The most fundamental precept of the game of Ultimate.  Ultimate is self-officiated.  It means that even in the heat of competitive play, the requirement for objectivity remains the highest priority.  It requires a unique mindset when playing, to not abuse the rules while competing at the highest levels.

This is a HUGELY IMPORTANT SUBJECT, and we’ll come back to this in later posts.  The most important take-away is to be as objective–and fair–as possible while playing and officiating yourself and others.

stack – An offensive tactic where the receivers line up in a straight line, often along the long axis of the field.  There are variants of this, like the “side-stack” (where the offense generally lines up on the break-side sideline), or the “L-stack” (a misnomer where the offense lines up like an “L”, with a short arm composed of two handlers and the long arm composed of the receivers.

The primary strategy to this style of play is to create as much open space on the field along the two main throwing lanes: the break-side throwing lane and the open-side throwing lane.  A good stack-based offense is built around throwers who are able to break, and cutters who can quickly clear the distance of the field.  Bad stack-based offenses have throwers who cannot break and cutters who like to clog the under spaces.  See: under.

stall count – The utterances from the mark while stalling.  If the mark commits a violation of counting too quickly, the thrower can counter by calling “Fast count!”

stalling – The act of counting stall, which is the responsibility of the mark.  The thrower gets 9 seconds, between the calls of “Stalling, one!” to the first utterance of the first sound (i.e., “t-“) in the call “Ten!”  There must be one second between each number uttered between one and ten.

strike – A communication where the defense asks for the mark to temporarily switch the force.  It can be a good call when used on a team which is playing excellent team defense.  It’s often a call when a down-field defender is lazy–or gets beaten to the open side.

strip – A violation where someone (generally a defender) physically forces the disc out of the receiver’s or thrower’s hand while the disc is in the receiver’s or thrower’s control (non-spinning possession).  Call: “Strip!” when this occurs.

swill – Garbage.  Any throw that has poor stability, an predictable trajectory, or otherwise thrown badly or in a manner difficult to catch.  Or, 50% of throws at pickup.  See: hospital pass.

swing – The act of moving the disc across the field.  A GOOD THING, almost universally.  Teams which swing (sometimes referred to as swinging-the-disc) are able to more effectively use the full width of the field.  See: 8-year-old-soccer.

switch – The act of two defenders exchanging their defensive responsibilities, generally to exchange the receiver which they are defending.

taco – The condition of a disc when a fold has developed.  A folded disc looks like…a taco.  Often the result of a bad throw.  Sometimes the result of an amazing catch, where the speed of the disc combined with the speed of the receiver causes the disc to bend when caught.

trap – The act of forcing the disc along the sideline.  Sometimes referred to as the sideline-trap.

travel – When the pivot foot loses contact with the pivot (or pivot point).

turnover – a change in possession.  A VERY BAD THING when you’re playing offense.   A VERY GOOD THING when you are playing defense.

under (or underneath) – Used to describe a position where the defensive player is between a given receiver and the thrower.  While the under position is advantageous against a weak thrower, a good huck will defeat this positioning, and often result in a score.  An under positioning is best utilized in a switching man or or a zone.  See: deep.

up-wind – When the wind is blowing in your face.  Throws will get lifted, and require a shallower angle of attack.  On defense, when the wind is in your face (i.e., you are “going up-wind”), make sure you are positioned to prevent the deep threat.

Also, the side of the field from which the wind is blowing (also referred to as the “high-side”).  Live on the high-side!  If the wind is diagonal or cross, being on the up-wind side is GOOD, because it allows your throws to drift back into the field.  On the down-wind sideline, your throws are always being pushed out–which means a bad throw might never even come into the field.

violation  – Any violation of the rules.  Is often called on the field, as in: “Violation!”.  Some teams are pedantic and force this call for things which are not explicitly called (e.g., travel, pick, foul, fast-count, etc).  Others are fine with a call of “foul”.

zone – A defensive tactic used to take away open spaces on the field.  The general strategy behind this tactic is to force the opponent to either make numerous throws or to make very precise throws.  Often employed in the wind, which magnifies the decision-making of throwers, often because throws are harder in the wind.  Often played when the defense has the wind at their backs (so the offense is going up-wind).  Having the wind at their backs also prevents hucks, so with the wind playing the position of a “deep-deep”, the defense essentially gains an additional defender, allows them to take away space, instead of being forced into a man-on-man matchup.

The first part of this strategy is simply playing the numbers game.  Many throwers exhibit inconsistency, especially on low- and mid-level teams.  By forcing the offense to make numerous throws, you can count on that inconsistency to cause a turnover.

The second part of this strategy is to prey upon thrower stupidity; in other words, it tempts throwers into making poor decisions.  These poor decisions arise when a thrower overestimates their ability to place a throw in a very precise space-time location.

The throwers for whom this is an insidious trap are throwers who believe they are much better throwers than they actually are.  They suffer from generally 2 or 3 main deficits:

  1. They cannot estimate the success-rate (i.e., consistency) of a particular throw.  For example, suppose an open receiver is standing on the inside-break side, 10 meters away, requiring an I/O flick at 25-degrees with a 15-degree up-slope and a maximum-5-foot-rise.  A stupid thrower will say to himself: “Yes, I’ve successfully completed this pass 3 times over the last 4 years, 1 time in competitive play, and over the course of 87 attempts.  Despite the 3.4% completion-rate, I will choose this opportunity to make this throw.”
  2. They cannot estimate flight-time.  For example, suppose an “open” receiver is standing 25 meters down-field, 1 meter from the sideline, and the stupid thrower is standing on the sideline, trapped, being forced backhand.  The defender is standing 2.5 meters from the sideline.  An elite thrower might make this calculation: “My receiver is 1.83 meters tall.  If he keeps his toe in and extends BEYOND the sideline, when he is at 45-degrees, he’s about 1.8-divided-by-1.4 meters away from the sideline (and also up above the ground).  His reach gives him about another half-meter.  1.3 + 0.5 = 1.8 meters.  If I’m able to throw just under 2 meters high and 2 meters out-of-bounds, the defender will have to 4.5 meters while my receivers will travel 0.8 meters and then begin his fall.  Looks like 5 seconds for the receiver, and 1.5 seconds for my receiver; I can place this throw to arrive in 2 seconds.  *THROW*”  Your typical stupid thrower thinks: “RECEIVER IS POACHED. I MEAN, HE’S SCREAMING ‘POACH’ AND WAVING HIS HANDS IN THE AIR! I CAN DEFINITELY THROW THIS THING EVEN THOUGH THERE’S A DEFENDER THAT’S ONLY 1.5 METERS AWAY, BECAUSE DESPITE ITS NON-ZERO MASS MY DISC CAN ACHIEVE INFINITE VELOCITY. *TURNOVER*
  3. They cannot see the field.  At least in example 2, our stupid thrower sees the defender.  Sometimes, in a  zone, stupid receivers simply DO NOT SEE ALL THE OPPOSING PLAYERS.  We wear kit not because it is flashy and we are braggarts and all the little-kiddies-who-don’t-have-jerseys-aren’t-cool.  We wear them so we can QUICKLY identify the enemy.

Teams play zone either 1) as a way to test your mental focus (“Can these people adapt to our changes?”) and 2) as a way to bait low-level teams into constantly making mistakes.

Phrases Used in Competition

These phrases are related to the admin part of games or tournaments.  But they are a standard part of Ultimate culture.  In case you ever wonder what’s going on before a game starts (i.e., what the captains do before the first pull), read through these.

flip – The act of deciding who first pulls, who first receives, on which end each starts, and the colors to be worn by the teams.  In most other sports, a coin is used to flip.  In Ultimate, since there is no referee, a fair approach using two players is used.  See: game theory.

You’ll often see a method used where each captain flips a disc much like you’d flip a small coin.  Then, one of the players is asked “same or different”.  A choice of same means that her chose outcome is that discs land in the same orientation (either both face-up or both face-down).  A choice of different means that the discs will land in different orientations (i.e., one face-up, the other face-down).

If you WIN the flip, you choose wind-direction first; i.e., you want the wind to your back.  Why?  If there are an even number of total points scored up to half, you’ll have the down-wind (good) direction exactly half the possessions–making it at worse, a neutral choice.  If there are an odd number of points up to half,  you’ll have the disc in the advantageous direction for one additional point.  Think of it this way.  You get the good-wind-direction on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and so-on.  All the odd points.  If there are an odd number of points, then you’ll get the disc with a good wind for the majority of those points.  Why does this matter?  Wind can be fickle.  It can die down.  Or, it can change.  And, of all the environmental factors, wind is the biggest and the only one you can “make a choice” over.

Your choice: same.




hard-cap – A new winning score.  Games are often played by 15.  However, many games are too unimportant to allot the time necessary to reach 15.  In those cases, the winning score will be changed to be lower once a certain amount of time has passed.  For example, a particular tournament may decide games are played for 70 minutes to 15.  In the event one team reaches 15 before using all 70 minutes, the game ends, and the team to reach 15 wins.  However, upon the end of those 70 minutes, if neither team has scored 15, then a new winning score is chosen, generally high-score-plus-one.  See: soft-cap.

mirror half – A rule which mandates that after half-time, once play resumes, the teams take the opposite starting end than the one with which they began the game, and the pulling team at the start of the game becomes the receiving team.

The mirror-half system was put in place in the 10th edition of the UPA (now USAU) rules to prevent the Flip from dominating the game.  Before mirror half, nothing special happened at half-time.  It meant that the team which won the Flip would always be the one toget an extra down-wind possession.  This had the effect of greatly influencing outcomes.

ro-sham-bo – rock-paper-scissors.  Used to resolve virtually every dispute in Ultimate outside of the rules.  Sometimes even used to resolve conflicts on the field.  Definitely used to decide eating games, shotgun disputes, and who has to put up the tent.

Also referred to as simply “ro-sham”.  No one in North America calls it “rosh”.  IDK about Europe.  There is a strong etiquette to ro-sham (e.g., throwing vertical paper is frowned upon).

road disc – A disc that has been thrown onto the road too many times.  Road = blacktop/concrete/pavement; IOW, a disc that has been badly scuffed and bent.  Generally a result of too much disc golf.  Or you suck as a thrower.  Or, you have an inability to judge how good your throws are, and you throw too close to the pavement, and your disc is constantly eating gravel.  A BadThing.

Used for: disc golf, marking holes on the pitch, make-shift cones, cower, guts, and milk.

Not used for: throwing, training, practice, games.

savage – Playing exactly 7 people for some given duration.  Examples:

“Holy mackerel, you guys played savage the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT??”

“Wow, ladies, thank you for playing savage for the second half at MT2!”

soft-cap – A point in time, generally decided by time, when the game needs to choose a new, lower, score to win.  For example, a game-to-15 means one side needs to score 15 goals to win.  However, if a games goes on too long, then it means that the game will end sooner.  In the UK (and perhaps WFDF), a hard-cap is signified by a blast (or two) of an air-horn.

The order of events is:

  1. Finish the current point (if the disc is in play, and not between points).
  2. Take the high score (after resolving the current point).
  3. Add one to that high score.
  4. Play the game to that new score.

Generally, a hard-cap gives the leading a huge advantage.  It’s also why winning the Flip is important; outside of very high level tournaments (i.e., Nationals, Worlds) do games go to completion (i.e., 15).  That’s why it’s an advantage to have the wind in the first half–you’ll maximize the opportunity to have the wind at your back.

universe point – When a game is tied, and the hard-cap is the next point.  The next team to score will win the game.  Often the most exciting end to a game.

(260) 599-4429

General Phrases (G-P)

greatest – A completed throw from a receiver in the air, thrown by the receiver before landing (generally out-of-bounds) who lept from an in-bounds position.  Called so because it is, literally, the greatest thing that can happen for a player.

hammer – A type of throw where the disc is held in the forehand (flick) grip, thrown in an overhead position, where the disc is generally inverted when it leaves the hand.  Considered an “over” throw.  Also, often considered a BadDecision when it’s incomplete–especially when the disc helixes. See: helix.

handler – A position.  Generally, a player who has good throws, solid decision making, and can get open at will.  Often correlates to the “best throwers” on the team.  Generally someone who can present every threat, including open-side under, deep, inside-break, around-break.

high-release – A type of throw where the disc is released at–or above–shoulder height.  A backhand high-release is typical, and used in an around-break situation.  A forehand high-release is less common, and often used in an inside-break or short throw situation.

high side – The “preferred” side for the offense.  In a cross-wind situation, the preferred side is the upwind side (the side of the field from where the wind comes).  In a windless situation, the preferred side is the break side.

ho – Short for “horizontal”.  Originally used to describe the ideal body position when bidding for a disc (as in: “Get ho!”)–when the body is complete horizontal and both feet (and the rest of the body) is off the ground.  Today, also short for a type of offense called “horizontal stack” or “ho stack”.  Often used by mid-level club teams, or as an occasional diversion by high-level teams.

Ho stack was designed to be more resistant to “junk D”, which often utilizes poaches in the throwing lanes.  It does this by creating triangles (or squares), which are harder to poach.  The downside is the loss of conventional break-side lanes and open spaces.  Often employed when there is a heavy talent imbalance in the team, and there a few strong players, who will take up the handler positions.

home – One side of the field.  “Home” is where your stuff is; it’s where you’ve put your bags down, generally with your teammates’ stuff.  “Away” is the other side (where your stuff is not).

hospital throw – A throw, generally high in the air, with an unstable (or helixing) descent.  Called so because of the propensity to put players in the hospital as multiple players are able to legally make a play, often resulting in bad, sometimes career-ending, leg injuries as players land on top of each while while accelerating upward, forward, and maybe laterally.  Literally TheWorstThing to do as a thrower.

huck – To throw the disc a long distance.

inside-out (I/O) – A shape of throw.  The first part of the motion of the disc crosses the body, then reaches its apex on the side of the body opposite to the throwing hand, then moves back toward the side of the body of the throwing hand.  Used often as a break, and generally flies further than other throwing shapes (see: outside-in (O/I) and bender).

iso – Short for “isolation”.  Generally a type of play where a single receiver is matched up in open space against a single defender.  (Generally considered VERY GOOD).

laser – Short for “awful throw”.  Just kidding!  Seriously, though, it’s a high speed throw, generally considered too fast to be comfortably caught.  Used in high-level play for precise disc placement.  Often used in low-level play due to a lack of ability to throw the disc softly or with touch.

layout – A movement where the player leaves her feet, and stretches out horizontally while in the air.  A common movement in baseball catches and volleyball digs.  Often featured on ESPN when it occurs in other sports.  Happens daily on the Ultimate field.  The most spectacular form of catching or defending.  Generally considered THE VERY BEST THING EVER.

library card – In antiquity, a token given to a member of a community which entitles that person to retrieve a tome of knowledge out of a vast collection of bound collections of paper.  Useful only for the educated elite who are literate and able to consume that knowledge through a process called “reading”.  Often used by child members of that community in efforts to improve their literacy.

Used pejoratively to mock someone who cannot read the trajectory of the disc, as in: “Get a library card!”

low-release – A type of throw where the disc is released at–or below–calf height.  Low-releases on both sides are typical, and are used to escape lazy marks.  Generally considered A GOOD THING to have in ones repertoire, and A NECESSARY THING for mid-level play.

low-side – The disfavored side of the field for the offense.  In a cross-wind situation, the disfavored side is the downwind side (the side of the field to where the wind goes).  In a windless situation, the disfavored side is the open side.

man defense (man D) – A type of defense where each defender choose a single player to guard, and does do for the entirety of the point.  The objective is to reduce confusion by establishing and maintaining matchups.

“Man on!” – A call to indicate to an offensive receiver that a defender is about to catch up.  Often used to communicate to that receiver that he not be lazy and stand around waiting for the disc.  Sometimes used to let the receiver know that contact is about to occur, so he can brace.

man-on-man – See: “man defense (man D)”.

mark – The defensive player guarding and counting stall against the offensive player in possession of the disc (i.e., the “thrower”).  Also known as the “marker”.  The “mark” is also used to refer to the act of defending the thrower. When the need for both usages occurs at the same time, use “marker” to explicitly refer to the person, and the “mark” to explicitly refer to the act.

The mark is the only player allowed within 3 meters of the thrower (barring some exceptions) and is the only person allowed to count stall.  Once the mark leaves the 3 meter radius of the thrower, the count resets to zero.

However, the mark may not prevent the thrower from pivoting, straddle the thrower, cradle the thrower (no two points anywhere on the marks body may intersect the thrower’s body), or be closer than a single disc width away from the thrower.

Contact between the mark and the thrower is most often a foul on the mark.  Learn to call: “Violation! Illegal contact!” or even just “Foul!” when you are the thrower, and the mark touches you.  Even contact on the follow-through is considered illegal contact.  The main exception is when the mark is completely still, and the thrower throws into the mark.

mismatch – A matchup which favors one or the other player.  Used to inform an offensive player that she should the primary receiver, or to inform a defensive player that either switching is necessary, or to give much more room to prevent an easy score.

OB – Short for “out-of-bounds”.

offense (O) – The team which is in possession of the disc.  Also can be used to describe a particular offensive style or strategy.

open side – Otherwise known as the “force side”, or the side of the field to where the defense is encouraging the throw.  It is called the “open side” because the mark is allowing the throw to go to that side; however, the defense is positioned on the open side, to intercept the open side throws and prevent them from being completed.

out-of-bounds (OB) – Any area outside of the playing field, including the lines which mark the outer boundary of the field.  Because the lines are considered OB, a receiver whose foot is on the line at the time of the catch is also considered out-of-bounds.  A catch out-of-bounds results in a change of possession.

outside-in (O/I) – A shape of throw.  See: bender.

pancake – A way of catching the disc, where one hand is placed above, the other hand placed below, and a clamping motion is made when the disc is in between both hands.  Used when the disc is “between the eyes and thighs” or when the disc is “in between nipples and knees”.

pick – A violation which involves a defender in a valid position (within 3 meters of an offensive player) and the path of the guarded player takes–or would take–the defensive player through the body of another person on the field, whether that body is stationary or in motion.  ALWAYS A BAD THING.

NOTE – Stop doing it.  All of you.  This isn’t basketball or rugby.  DO NOT WEAVE THROUGH PLAYERS ON THE FIELD.  Do not create picks on offense.  IT’S WRONG, IT’S AGAINST THE RULES, and most importantly, IT’S DANGEROUS.  Not only is it disadvantageous because the defense gets to stop play and look around and catch up, it’s also dangerous–AND IT WILL GET YOUR TEAMMATES HURT.  STOP IT.  AND LEARN TO CALL IT WHEN THE OTHER TEAM’S OFFENSE DOES IT TO YOU.

pickup – A game of Ultimate which is played without predetermined teams.  Generally open to most people, though some games will have their local etiquette.  Often employs lights vs. darks in terms of differentiating people on the field between teams.  Also generally respects last-back as a method for substitution (the general theory being that if your team lost the point, you were too tired to succeed on defense, and now need a replacement because you are tired).

Twenty years ago, pickup groups often respected–and occasionally enforced–winners-stay, an etiquette where the scoring team gets to stay on the pitch, immune from sideline substitution (the general theory being that your team successfully scored, therefore you aren’t too tired to continue).  Today, that etiquette is rarely observed outside of the US East Coast (or some high level games on the US West Coast).  Seeing someone do this is either a sign they don’t know how last-back works, or they’ve been around the game for a long time.  An example exchange of this type:

“Hey, man, it’s just last-back here. Jump on any time.”
“That’s cool, man–I just don’t like taking out winners.”

pivot – The point (literal, as in, a one-dimensional location in space) where a thrower must maintain contact with the ground.  “Pivot foot” is often used to describe the foot which must remain in contact with the pivot, but the pivot can be maintained with a single spot on the foot–and does not require the entire foot to be planted on the ground.  Generally, a thrower pivots on her toes, which allows the foot–and knee and upper leg–to move naturally as the body moves around this point.

It is equivalent to, conceptually, a pivot in basketball.  The non-pivot foot can move freely in any direction, but the pivot foot must remain in contact with the ground.

poach – The act of a defender positioning herself to deny a throwing lane or open space instead of actively defending her receiver.  Can be an explicit movement or occupation of space, or can be done as a part of a deception, which includes quickly stepping into (“flashing”) into the lane or space just before the throw or once the disc is in the air.

Sometimes, “Poach!” is used as a call on the field by an offensive player to indicate that she is being poached; i.e., left-open, and that the thrower should utilize this to reset the stall count and move the disc.

However, often, “Poach!” is used by inexperienced players who perceive they are being poached when, in fact, the defense has simply established a superior position, and are able to deny the inexperienced player the disc from a distance away.  Often is strongly correlated with inexperienced players who find it difficult to estimate flight times.

point block – The act of blocking a thrown disc by the mark(er).  A GREAT THING.

popper – A temporary “position” taken up by a member of the offensive team, generally employed against a Zone Defense, when she moves in between the mids and the Cup.  It allows the disc to “pop” through the Cup.

pull – A throw which begins the point.  It is a throw from the defensive team, behind their goal-line, in their end zone, toward the offensive team (also behind their own goal-line, in their end zone).  No one may cross into the field proper until the disc has been released.

Generally, as long as the pull lands anywhere from within the field-proper, the disc must be played where it lands (or it is caught).  And, the pull should be considered a live disc; in other words, a dropped pull is a turnover.  A dropped pull is A VERY BAD THING and YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD if you do it.  However, should the pull be allowed to land, the offense retains possession.

There are a lot of rules surrounding pulls (with WFDF rules, those used in the UK, being more complex than the USAU rules).  Refer to those rules here:

WFDF Rules of Ultimate – 7. The Pull


push pass – A type of throw where the hand imparts an “inward” force (the hand moves clockwise for right-handed throw from the proximal edge to the distal edge, CCW proximal-distal rotation for a left-handed throw).  Generally used to get off a short pass when there isn’t time (or space) for a wind-up.  A “push pass” is so called because it is not a “spin pass” like most normal throws, so it has much less spin.

It is a medium-difficult throw, and requires solid mechanics.  It, much like the Hammer, looks good when it works, and will generally be considered A TERRIBLE DECISION when it doesn’t work.  It won’t work most of the time you do it.  You should feel bad when it doesn’t work.  Because you shouldn’t have thrown it.


As of 4 Jun 2018:

Jaan: going (needs jersey + UKU membership)

Elvera: going (needs jersey + UKU membership)

Sian: injured (all set)

Toks: undecided (all set)

Sean: wants to go (needs jersey + UKU membership)

Max: not clear about schedule

Nat, Will W., Yohann, Will M., Ryan: Assuming you’re going, but haven’t heard back.

Andy, Zara, Alex: ???