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Up-tempo Offense

It is almost always to the offense's advantage to get the disc into play as fast as possible, and to keep it moving once in play. The offense has the advantage in disc, but that advantage lessens when the defense has a chance to choose their favored position. This is one of the flaws with the stack. As the offense gets into a stack, the defense has time to arrange themselves as well. Of course, the advantage is still with the offense, but it is less of an edge than it would be if the defense were out of position.

The simplest way to express it is that the offense can begin attacking as soon as only 2 players are ready (a thrower and a receiver), while the defense is not effective until all 7 people are in position. While even one is not in position there is a hole to attack.

On a turnover the nearest person should run, not walk, to the disc, and put it in play as fast as possible. When the disc hits the ground the defense will begin to prepare, moving into their selected position given the location of the disc. The goal of the offense is to get someone to the disc *before* the defense can finish their setup, find the flaw in the unfinished defense, and throw the disc through it before the defense can plug it. When this is done the defense has to regroup yet again, and if the disc continues to fly around too fast to give them time, they will not ever get their defense set, and will never seriously challenge the offense.

Notice this challenges the idea of a stack. If the offense takes the time to set up, the defense will in all likelihood be set up as well, and the offense then need break the defense to advance the disc.

Especially on teams with mixed skill level, some question whether only a handler should be allowed to pick up the disc. I think not - why wait for a handler to cross the field when the first one to the disc can pick it up and get a free throw to the handler across field? This has the result of getting the disc in play faster, starting the offense with the handler, and changing the location the defense is setting up for.

It also helps develop the newer players. They should be instructed to pick the disc up only if they see the throw they are going to make - that is, if they see a handler calling for the disc they can pick it up and throw, if they see an upfield break within their range they can pick it up and throw that. If they do not see a destination they should go past the disc and supply one for the next player.

Of course there will be mistakes, but asking new players to use their initiative will help them develop faster, and get their heads into the game faster.

Once the disc is in play it should continue to move. If the stall count reaches 4 the offense has failed. It is never in the offense's interest to hold onto the disc. (I repeat: it is *never* in the offense's interest to hold onto the disc.)

The reason outlets and swings are worthwhile is that each one changes the angles that the defense is working with. Someone covered with the disc at point A may find opportunities when it swings to B. Constantly shifting the origin of the offense means the defense is always off balance.

It is important to stress that outlets are not just for weaker players. For everyone, on receiving the disc the first look should be upfield. If nothing is there or developing, there should be an immediate outlet to someone else.

This holds for breakaway passes as well - after catching a pass ahead of everyone near the end zone, the best pass is usually to throw back to a teammate rushing upfield, and then proceed into the endzone to cut for the goal. As in other cases, standing holding the disc waiting for people to run by and get into the endzone gives the defense more time to force a mistake.

A team that has played together for some time should be able to anticipate each others' positions without even looking. I attended the Princeton undergrad-alumni ultimate game in 1998 (I think). The entire starting team was my year or older, but even after 20 years the offense flowed - when catching a pass we could just turn and throw, confident that the continuation we expected would be there. The alums won easily.

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