Photo by Scobel Wiggins –

These Don’t Lie

The McCutcheon #1 Spinners jersey should be a top-seller.

Not only is McCutcheon a hungry defender permanently set to seek and destroy in the opponent’s backfield, the jersey itself is aesthetically pleasing. From a suitable distance, the back looks like a giant white T. Nothing else like it for density of letters across the top (though we miss the absurdity of names like Montgomery-Butler and Stinebrickner-Kauffman twisting on backs) and similarity of color from top to bottom.

Charlie Jersey

Photo by Sean Carpenter –

The Results of Hucks into Double Coverage

Sometimes the game is as simple as “Throw disc into air and see what happens.” In these occasions, the best thing that the throwing team can hope for is an easy open receiver. The second best thing the throwing team can hope for is a one-on-one matchup. While throwing into double coverage is not the worst (That would be throwing something uncatchable), it is at most the third-best option.

Which is why it was surprising this past weekend to see so many throws into double coverage.  

New York huck into triple coverage (New York offense wins)
New York huck into double coverage (Philly defense wins)
Seattle huck into double coverage (Seattle offense wins)
Vancouver huck into double coverage (Seattle defense wins)
Seattle huck past triple coverage (Seattle offense wins)

Vancouver huck into double coverage (Vancouver offense wins)

San Francisco huck into double coverage (Portland defense wins)
Portland huck into double coverage (Portland offense wins)
Portland huck past double coverage (Portland offense wins)
San Francisco Huck into triple coverage (Portland defense wins)
Portland huck past double coverage (Portland offense wins)
Portland huck into double coverage (Portland offense wins)
San Francisco huck into double coverage (Portland offense wins)
Portland huck into double coverage  (Portland offense wins)
Portland huck into double coverage (Portland offense wins)
Portland huck into double coverage (Portland offense wins)
Portland huck past double coverage (Portland offense wins)
San Francisco huck into triple coverage (Portland defense wins)

Out of the the 20 tracked throws into a space with at least two defenders, only seven worked out in the favor of the defense while there are a while 13 which worked out for the offense. Whether this is credit to the advantage the offense holds or discredit to the quality of the defenders, the numbers are surprising. However, if we take another tack, the team which won the game won 18 out of 20 throws into double coverage. 

If you win the hucks into double coverage, you win. Just ask Portland.

Wait a second… Did we check Reydams for hand-enhancers?  

He’s holding that disc up the wrong way in his “spike”. Definitely the wrong way.

The Return of the Suppnick No-Step

No, Dan Suppnick did not invent the no-step backhand. But he is one of the most consistent practitioners of this specific dark art. As a welcome back to the field with the Stags, we’ll tip our hats with a few nice no-step around backhands from the rest of the MLU this past weekend:

David Bloodgood from the Spinners
Steven Rice from the Stags 
Steven Rice (again) from the Stags

Putting apart my penchant for persistent alliteration, “The Suppnick No-Step” has a nice quality to it.  As a tool on the field, it allows the thrower to control the timing of breaks as well as the ability to break tight marks before the mark can respond. Now, as we imagine a world of throwers who have this throw in their arsenal, let us remember that we should also be imagining a world of throwers with 15-25-yard backhands with both hands. No-step throws depart hands quickly and generally obviate travel calls as the thrower has not found it necessary to pivot before throwing. Add in a powerful dominant hand forehand, and we now have a very dangerous breed of thrower.

Often, when we think about throws, we consider the specific problem a specific throw is meant to solve rather than the overall effect of having a specific throw available to solve potential problems. That is, if the only throw in your toolkit is a backhand because that’s all you know and that is the only way you’ve ever seen anyone throw a frisbee (yes, I can still remember being this person) you will solve all problems with a backhand. If all you have is a backhand and a forehand on one side with one specific pivot, you will solve all problems with those tools. If you are taught from the very beginning how amenable to flying a frisbee is, you will likely develop a fluid style which does not presuppose which problem it is meant to solve, yet presupposes that it can solve all problems.

Look at how quick the no-step backhand is. See how little space it needs? How little time? This is such a powerful tool and that I hope as ultimate goes forward, I can see no reason it should not be standard.

These Do Lie

Marking at Distance

A solid and far-away mark from New York’s Andrew O’Connor takes away the throw to Mehta.

The drop-off mark from San Francisco’s Saunkeah forces the Stags offense back to the other side of the field.

By increasing the distance between the mark and the thrower, the defense can be at an advantage as there is more space and time to react to potential throwing lanes, and it is very unlikely to cause a foul. This is the sort of defense which is could/should be explored more as teams continue to find scripted ways to counter offensive design.

In-cuts or horizontal cuts turned into away cuts by the throw:

Lindsey’s soft upline cut turned into a full away cut
El-Salaam swing-cut that turns into an away cut

This is one of the ways that throwers can not only throw their receivers open, but lead their receivers into the next throw or portion of the offense or even goal.  To do so requires trust in your own throws as well as the ability of your teammate to read the pass and trust your judgement.

Stone Blind Love

There is trusting your teammates and offense, as above, and then there is overtrusting your teammates and offense. This throw from O’Connor to Weaver. Finkler, the defender, has the inside line and has committed his hips and vision to playing defense on the under on the forehand side. The disc goes up anyway, and Finkler makes a very strong, if easily foreseen, bid on the disc.

Rabbit vs. Meatball

Mieser is faster then Damiano
McCutcheon is faster than Price
Dewey-Valentine is faster than Vancouver’s offense
Woodside is faster than not only his opponent, but his teammate

Midfield Heave as Time Expires

Seattle gets up to within 35 yards of the end zone with 17 seconds left in the first quarter, and then is a little late on the delivery, so the Nighthawks get the block. Vancouver gets one throw up, but Seattle’s Brink immediately gets the block and, in one motion, sets a backhand into the end zone which misses by inches. Twice.

About The Author

Dusty played college ultimate for New York University from 1998-2002, captaining for his final three years. From 2003-2009 he filled various roles for New Jersey's Pike from deepest bench to O-line cutter, D-line handler, O-line handler, and captain before concluding his club career with an opportunity in 2010 to represent New York City on PoNY's D-line. While never qualifying for college regionals, Rhodes played at six Club Nationals in the Open Division (finishing from dead last to tied for third) and coached Drew University to a fifth place college regional finish in 2005. Dusty earned a degree in English and American Literature from NYU and spent all of his remaining energy playing pickup basketball and writing for NYU's Washington Square News.

Related Posts