Words & Meanings

Most important words and meanings in Ultimate:

BLADE

A (failed) throw that comes down vertically, fast and hard – like a blade (often when trying to throw a hammer). Not only is such a throw very difficult to catch, it also may damage the disc, so let’s try to avoid blades in general.

BREAK / BREAK SIDE

Ultimate - the force - break side - open side

The “marker” (defense player on a thrower), instead of standing in front of the thrower (in which case a good thrower would still be able to throw on both sides of the field) is rather trying to force the thrower to throw the disc to a certain side of the field (left or right), which then is called the “open-side” (sometimes also “force side“). Consequently the defense player will try to prevent any throw onto the other side, called the “break-side. If he/she fails and the thrower can manage to throw the disc onto the break-side, it is called a “break” (breaking the mark).

BRICK

When the “pull” (the pulled disc) goes out-of-bounds before even touching the ground, the receiving team is free to bring the disc to the “brick-mark” in the center, 20 yards/18 meters from the first end zone. This decision is to be signalized by clapping the hands over the head and/or calling “brick“.

CALLING LINES

Before a pull, each player on the defense team is choosing a player from the opposing team, who they will cover for the entire point (man-on-man defense). Both teams are lined up at the front line of the end zone. To make it easy the opposite team’s players get the numbers 1-7 (left to right). To start, anyone can call “zero”, after that the player that wants to cover player no. 1 will call “one”, another one calls “two” and so on until everyone has someone covered.

Another way to shorten the whole process is to call “across“, which means that everyone is supposed to cover the player opposite of him/her, or “gender across“, which means men and women each take the next person of their gender in line. (Players who are not happy to cover the player across, may simply change their position.)

CLEAR / CLEAR-OUT

If a player in your team is calling “clear” or “clear-out“, it usually means that someone is clogging the lane or important space by standing or moving around with a DEFENSE player too close. So that space becomes unusable both for the thrower and for the other cutters. So whenever you hear this call, make sure that you’re not the one who is clogging the lane (or space) and if you are, quickly run back into the “stack” (probably in the middle between the thrower and the end zone).

CLOGGING

Clogging means blocking space, being in the way or making a certain space unusable for other players of your own team. If a team mate does that, you can yell “clear!”.

CONTEST

Most calls (e.g. foul-call) can be contested by the involved or nearest opponent player if he/she does not agree on that call. If that happens (no agreement) the disc goes back to the last (undisputed) thrower.

CUP (CUP DEFENSE)

Apart from the common man-on-man defense, there are multiple other defense tactics. A popular one is the zone-defense – players don’t cover a single person but a specific zone on the field. The zone-defense is usually played with a cup, most commonly the 3-man-cup: 3 defense players will chase the disc. They will cover the current thrower together (2 players have to keep a distance of min. 10 feet / 3 meters though), making it difficult for the thrower to make an easy or precise throw or forcing him/her to go for a risky throw instead. The challenge is to keep chasing the disc from one to the next thrower and keep the defense tight and the pressure high.

CUT / CUTTING

A run to get open to receive the disc. A cut usually starts with or contains a juke, a sudden change of direction or a fake motion to lose the defender. Running towards the thrower is called an in-cut, and running away from the thrower (deep) is called out-cut.

CUTTER

On offense there are mainly two positions: 2-3 handlers and 4-5 cutters. A cutter has to find or create open space to be available. Once a cutter gets the disc he/she can either throw to another cutter (up-field, swing, give-and-go, …) or dump the disc (throw it back to a handler) and then continue cutting. The ultimate goal for a cutter of course is to catch the disc in the end zone and score. A cutter should avoid to get too close and never behind the handlers (except if a cutter switches position with a handler). After an “unsuccessful” cut (not receiving the disc) a cutter should not linger or try all over again – he/she will only clog (block) the space, since his/her defender will be close. Instead a cutter should hurry back into the stack (usually middle of the field) to make space for other cutters and then go again. Beginners will most probably always start as a cutter, since a cutter does not necessarily need high throwing skills.

CHECK FEET

Whenever a player catches the disc on or very close to the sideline or the back line of the end zone, any player can call “check feet“. This is merely asking the catcher to check if the disc has actually been caught in or out-of-bounds. 

D

D” is short for “defense“. You will often hear phrases like “great D” (good job, good defense) or “catch your D’s” which means you should rather catch the disc instead of just slapping it away, when it quite often still can be caught.

DANGEROUS PLAY

DISC IN

After any stop of the game, the disc HAS to be tapped by an opponent player or (if there is no opponent player) to the ground to resume the play. Yelling “disc in!” is optional but helps both teams to be aware and ready to go.

DOUBLE TEAM

Only one defense player is allowed to be closer than 10 feet / 3 meters to the player with the disc. If there is more than one player within that space, you can call “double team” and the stall-count has to start again from zero. Exception: When another defense player is actually covering another offense player. In this case it would be the offense team mates job the clear out.

DUMP

Instead of throwing up-field or swing the disc to the side, a dump is a pass to someone (anywhere) behind you. There is no shame in doing so, quite the opposite, it often allows to keep the disc going instead of interrupting the flow by waiting too long for a possible opportunity to throw deep. Very effective are dumps involving a “give-and-go” or “dump-swing-put“.

DUMP-SWING-PUT

The dump-swing-put is a really great play to turn an unfavorable situation into an advantage or even a quick score. It’s actually quite simple: 1. Dump the disc to a player behind you. 2. That player immediately throws the disc to the opposite sideline. 3. The player at the sideline immediately throws the disc deep (or anywhere down-field) …

END ZONE

Flying Disc Ultimate Field sizes measurements

Similar to American Football and Rugby, instead of a goal, there are two end zone on each side of the field. Before the play starts (after every point) both teams line up on opposite end zones. To score the disc has to be caught in the end zone. The team that scored can stay on that side for the next play. The team that “lost” has to walk back to the other end zone. That way after every point the two teams switch side!

FAST STALL (FAST COUNT)

After a player caught the disc, his/her defender can (and will) call “stall-count…” and then count aloud from 1 to 10. One should not count faster than the interval of seconds, but in the heat of the game that sometimes happens. When it does, the thrower may call “fast stall” (or “fast count“). If the “staller” (defense player who stall-counts) accepts the call, he/she has to re-start from zero. If the call is contested, the stall-count starts again minus 2 numbers from when it has been interrupted (if it had been interrupted at stall-count 6, it would have to continue with stall-count 4).

FLICK

Flick means forehand-throw (only sounds fancier and sure is shorter). The backhand-throw and the flick are by far the most common and most important throws. If you are a beginner, you really need to work on your flick, because defenders might force you to use it. Only with a decent backhand AND flick you will be able to pass the disc on as you wish.

FORCE / FORCING

Ultimate - the force - break side - open side

You (as defense) won’t be able to prevent a thrower from throwing. When you’re standing right in front, a good thrower will always be able to throw around you, nearly to any sport on the field. But by standing on one side instead, you can take away that whole side (which is then called the “break side“) and force the thrower to throw onto the other side (then called the “force side” or the “open-side“) of the field. Your team mates should know what you’re doing and position themselves exactly on that “open-side“, hence having an advantage over the offensive team. It’s important to “hold the force” (and not try to block a throw on the side you actually wanted the thrower to throw), because when the thrower manages to fake and throw on the “break side“, all offensive players now have the advantage (the defense is standing on the wrong side).

FORCE HOME / FORCE AWAY

There is always one side of the field, where players leave their bags, water bottles or where the substitute players are lingering. That side is “home“. The other side is simply called “away” To communicate to which side you or your team will force the throwers of the opponent team to throw, you just say either “force home” (force opponent throwers to throw to the side where all your stuff is) or “force away” (force opponent throwers to throw to the other side). Another similar phrase is “force backhand” (force the opponent player to throw a backhand throw) or “force flick” (force the opponent player to throw a forehand throw) – especially amongst newer players this call might lead to confusion (one has to know without thinking on which side the opponents backhand or flick is) and it’s actually inaccurate when the thrower is left handed.

HAND BLOCK

This is actually self-explaining: Blocking or deflecting the thrown disc with your hand. The important part though is that the disc must have left the throwers hand completely before being blocked, otherwise it would be a foul. Btw., it is also legal to block a thrown disc with your foot (or other body parts – avoid face blocks though! 😉 ).

HANDLER

On offense there are mainly two positions: 2-3 handlers and 4-5 cutters. While the cutters rather move down-field to find or create open space to be available for a pass or to score in the end zone, the 2-3 handlers rather stay (close) behind. A handler should be experienced enough and confident with many throws (at least have a good backhand, flick and hammer). A handler should also be able to make a huck (deep pass) into the end zone from at least mid field or further away. When the disc goes out of bounds or after any other turnover – if there is no immediate opportunity to quickly play on – it will be one of the handlers job to pick up the disc, while the cutters line up in a ho stack (horizontally) or vert stack (vertically) down-field. For cutters: Think before picking up a disc! If there is not an immediate opportunity or at least 2-3 other team mates ahead of you, leave the disc for the handlers and make yourself available. It is irksome when a cutter picks up the disc, but there is no one ahead, so he/she has to wait for his team mates to catch up (and time for the defense to do the same). On the other hand, if there is a good opportunity (like a team mate in the end zone without a defender), don’t wait for a handler further away, just pick up the disc and give it a go. (Beginners will most probably always start as a cutter, since a cutter does not necessarily need high throwing skills.)

HAMMER

A very useful throw, held like a flick (forehand throw) but thrown over the head. A hammer is supposed to fly upside-down or turn around in the air and land upside-down, usually in a curve from left to right. A hammer is NOT supposed to come down like a blade!

HARD CAP / SOFT CAP

Official games and tournaments are limited either by points or by time or both. Normally a game would end when one team reaches 15 points. BUT it also needs a 2 point lead over the other team, so if the score is e.g. 14 – 15, they would need 1 more point (14 – 16) to end the game. Now there can be a “point cap“, let’s say 17, which means, after one team reaches 17 points the game is won and over no matter what.

Then there are “time caps“. If for example the score is still low, e.g. 9 – 10 but the game is already going for an hour or more, the time cap comes into place. There is a “soft cap” and a “hard cap“. Both allow to end the game before a score of 15 has been reached. The soft cap still demands a 2 point lead though, while a hard cap ends the game after the very next leading score. As an example there can be a soft cap on 70 minutes and a hard cap on 80 minutes. That means after 70 minutes both teams only need a 2 point, no matter if 15 points have been reached or not. After 80 minutes (10 minutes later) the leading team will automatically determined winner. If the scores are tight, the game goes on until the very next point.

HIGH RELEASE

Another useful throw, as the name implies, released high with a nearly straight arm (possibly over your defense’s heads). There is both a high release backhand throw and a high release flick. This throw is not necessarily thrown very far or strong, but rather short-range – very helpful on a tight defense, like in or close to the end zone.

HO STACK

The stack is something like a line-up for the cutters during the whole offense play. The intention is to create open space to cut and throw to. The idea is that the 4-5 cutters only cut into that open space to become available. If they don’t get the disc though they should clear (get out of that space and back into the stack) asap. The stack is a fictional line which of course is moving during the play. Naturally the stack is always somewhere between the handlers or the disc and the opposite end zone. The most common stacks are “ho” (horizontal) or “V” / “vert” (vertical). The ho stack is usually played with 4 cutters (and 3 handlers). These 4 cutters line up on a horizontal line not too close and not too far from the handlers. The open space is now between handlers and cutters (smaller area) and between cutters and the opposite end zone (bigger area). The cutters make their cuts mostly down- and up-field and rather not sideways (as with a vert stack). The two outer positions are called “wings” and the two in the middle are called “poppers“. The two wings should have their back close to the sideline facing the whole field. Very simplified the two wings should make space, when the disc comes to their side, meaning running deep, and come closer to the handlers line when the disc goes the other way. As a second guideline the 4 cutters should avoid cutting in the same direction as the next cutter. So when the cutter next to you cuts deep, you should rather cut inwards (towards your handlers) and vice versa. The poppers usually don’t cut as deep as the wings and they can also switch sides either with another or including a handler in a circle or “diamond” motion (1. popper is cutting inwards, the 2. popper cuts outwards, but instead of running back to their previous position the would run to the previous position of the other popper respectively handler if included). Sounds complicated? You can still keep it simple until you get used to the whole motion of a ho stack.

HUCK / HUK

A huck or huk is a long throw down field. A good thrower can easily huck (throw) the disc from one end zone to the other.

LAYOUT

When you dive / jump forwards and land on your belly in order to catch a disc, it’s called a “layout“. Hitting the ground is not so much the problem as fraction on a dry ground. So best practice on a wet grass field. Perfectly executed you would catch the disc with one hand, quickly turn it around and touch the ground with your hands first, followed by your belly. Players often use their hand to push the body (sliding) forwards a bit. In reality though, layouts often are not as straight and there is a risk of hurting shoulder or hip when landing sideways. Never mind, with adrenaline rushing and mates cheering you won’t feel the pain until later.

LOW RELEASE

This is an extremely effective throw to break a mark (defense/force). As the name implies the disc is released low (as low as possible) by lunging to the side with the same foot/leg you are holding the disc (right handed players would lunge out with the right foot/leg). Perfectly executed, the release hand nearly touches the ground. There is both a low release backhand throw and a low release flick. Both throw are similar in technique to the “normal”  throws but the angle of the releasing hand is very different, so this throw really need practicing on its own. Another difficulty is that when thrown straight, it will not go far, so you need to throw up a little, but not too much.

MAN ON MAN

Man on man is the standard defense tactic. Before starting a new point with a pull, every defense player picks a player from the other team (trying to match gender and levels of experience, speed, body size, etc. as well as possible) and stick to that very player during a whole point at all costs. You alone are responsible for that player, so stay close and if that player manages to catch the disc anyway, put up a tight defense and make the next throw as difficult as possible. When playing other defense tactics, e.g. zone defense, it can be changed back to man on man by shouting “fire” (often when the disc comes close to the end zone).

MARK

A mark is simply the defense on a thrower. The common mark types are forehand mark, backhand mark and straight-up mark. The forehand and backhand marks are similar to “force flick” and “force backhand“. By not putting the mark (defense) straight-up in front of the thrower but sideways, you can force the thrower to throw to the other side only. (Click here for more details about the force.) Don|t get confused: A mark is generally the action of defense on a thrower but “the mark” can also be used for the thrower that is “marked” and the defender is called the “marker“.

O

O is short for offense. It’s not being used very often though.

OPEN SIDE

Ultimate - the force - break side - open side

The “marker” (defense player on a thrower), instead of standing in front of the thrower (in which case a good thrower would still be able to throw on both sides of the field) is rather trying to force the thrower to throw the disc to a certain side of the field (left or right), which then is called the “open-side“. Consequently the defense player will try to prevent any throw onto the other side, called the “break side. If he/she fails and the thrower can manage to throw the disc onto the break-side, it is called a “break” (breaking the mark).

OUTSIDE-IN

Discs often do not fly straight but bent like a curve or an arch either on purpose or by accident. A decent thrower will be able to deliberately throw the disc with a curved flight path to get around opponents or for several other reasons (e.g. for a cutter running deep it is much harder to catch a disc coming from behind his back than a disc coming in sideways where he/she can watch it while running). An outside-in backhand throw (for right handed ppl) would be on the left side of your body (releasing the disc on the left side) and the disc would fly in a curve on the left side and hit it’s target in front of you. An outside-in forehand thrown respectively would be released on the right side of your body and flying in a curve on the right side and coming back to the center in front of you. The opposite for both throws is an inside-out

PICK

This might well be the most occurring violation call during a game – picks simply do happen very often and easily. When defending / covering an opponent, you should be able to follow that person at all times without obstruction. If an offensive player moves in a manner that causes his/her defender to be obstructed by any other player (no matter if opponent or team mate), the defense player may call “pick“. Every player on the field has to stop moving immediately. The defense player is allowed to catch up to the same distance with the person he/she is guarding as before the pick happened. The disc goes back to the last thrower to repeat the play. To continue the play the disc has to be tapped in by the defense player of the thrower.

PIVOT / PIVOT FOOT

You’re not allowed to run or walk after you caught the disc but you can “pivot” around your “pivot foot“. After you caught the disc you are allowed about 3 steps to slow down and come to a stop. After that one of your foot’s sole MUST stay in contact with the ground by all means until the disc has left your hand. So when you lift one foot, the other automatically becomes the pivot foot. When you throw with your right hand, the pivot foot should be your left foot. Now you can step around in a circle forth and back as you please as long as the pivot foot stays on the ground. If you lift it, bend it over (so that the sole has no contact to the ground) or only slide away from that pivot spot it would be a “travel” violation and can be called by anyone on the field.

POPPER

Poppers are the 2 cutters in the middle when playing Ho stack. (The other 2 cutters at the sidelines are the “wings“.) Please read Ho stack for more details.

POACH / POACHING

A poach is a situation when an offense player gets far away from his/her defender and thus is wide open. A defender may sometimes deliberately let an opponent poach in order to temporarily cover a more important zone or an other more dangerous player who’s defender couldn’t catch up yet, but most often it results from negligence by the defense. When you hear someone yell “poach” it is either the offense player him/herself to make his/her team mates aware of his/her open position, or it is someone from the defense team warning his team mates and telling the sloppy defense player to get to his/her man immediately.

PULL

Every game and every round starts with a pull. This is the only throw where the thrower is allowed to move both feet as long as he/she doesn’t step out of the end zone. The pull is thrown by a defense player – the play starts where the disc is caught by the offense team or wherever it lands inside the field. If it does not land inside the field, the play starts from where it went out of bounds. The perfect pull would be into the back end of the opposite end zone and floating as long as possible in the air. That way the offense team has the furthest way to score and the defense team might have enough time to run across the whole field and even set up their defense before or when the disc is caught, thus putting up pressure right from the start.

READING (THE DISC)

Reading the disc means to accurately predict where, when and how it will come down. This can be quite difficult when curved throws or wind come into play. Reading the disc while running also doesn’t make it easier. An experienced player might be able to read the flight path of the disc accurately in a wink while running, while beginners sometimes have to run forth and back to correct their guess or even fail catching the disc at all.

SCOOBER

The scoober (throw) is an equivalent to the hammer, but while the hammer comes around in a curve from left to right, the scoober comes around in a curve from right to left. Like the hammer it is supposed to land upside-down. The scoober is not thrown from over your head but rather on head-level. When you throw with your right hand, you would hold the disc like a forehand or a hammer and take your arm bent around to the left side, then straighten your arm to the front as to throw it over the head of a defender (no matter if there actually is a defender or not). The release is rather straight than upwards since the scoober tends to go up a little anyway. (Another throw with a similar flight path – curved from right to left in contrast to the hammer – is the less popular thumber.)

SOFT CAP / HARD CAP

Official games and tournaments are limited either by points or by time or both. Normally a game would end when one team reaches 15 points. BUT it also needs a 2 point lead over the other team, so if the score is e.g. 14 – 15, they would need 1 more point (14 – 16) to end the game. Now there can be a “point cap“, let’s say 17, which means, after one team reaches 17 points the game is won and over no matter what.

Then there are “time caps“. If for example the score is still low, e.g. 9 – 10 but the game is already going for an hour or more, the time cap comes into place. There is a “soft cap” and a “hard cap“. Both allow to end the game before a score of 15 has been reached. The soft cap still demands a 2 point lead though, while a hard cap ends the game after the very next leading score. As an example there can be a soft cap on 70 minutes and a hard cap on 80 minutes. That means after 70 minutes both teams only need a 2 point, no matter if 15 points have been reached or not. After 80 minutes (10 minutes later) the leading team will automatically determined winner. If the scores are tight, the game goes on until the very next point.

SPIRIT OF THE GAME

SOTG is like the foundation of Ultimate, some call it the heart or the core. Being a self-refereed sport, Ultimate puts the responsibility to play fair and honorable and also make fair and honorable calls and decisions on every single player. This reinforces sportsmanship and mutual respect and trust between opponents. Ultimate is still a very competitive sport and winning is every teams goal, but not to the expense of sportsmanship. A player making a call to his/her own disadvantage (the disc slightly touched the grass before stopping rotation in the catchers hand and the catcher drops it to signalize a turnover even though the score is critical, or a player calling a foul on him-/herself, these are highlights of this sport and show the beautiful spirit of the game.

STACK

The stack is something like a line-up for the cutters during the whole offense play. The intention is to create open space to cut and throw to. The idea is that the 4-5 cutters only cut into that open space to become available. If they don’t get the disc though they should clear (get out of that space and back into the stack) asap. The stack is a fictional line which of course is moving during the play. Naturally the stack is always somewhere between the handlers or the disc and the opposite end zone. The most common stacks are “Ho-Stack” (horizontal) or “vert stack” (vertical).

STALL / STALL COUNT

A defense player within 10 feet / 3 meters of a thrower can stall or stall count from 1 to 10 (in second intervals): “Stall 1, 2, 3, 4, …” (audible to the thrower) – this is the time the thrower has to release the disc (10 seconds). If the disc hasn’t been released at the very moment the staller is starting to say “ten”, it’s called “stall out” resulting in a turnover! To avoid that you will occasionally see all kind of desperate stall-9-throws (e.g. high hammer) in hope a team mate might catch it or just a deep throw to at least have the opposing team start further away. Note: As long as no one is stalling (counting) the thrower has no time limit to make a throw.

STALL OUT

As described above, a stall out is when a defender counts from 1 to 10 (in seconds) within 10 feet / 3 meters from a thrower. In order to make a valid throw, the disc has to be released BEFORE the defense player articulates the very first sound of the word “ten”. A stall out automatically results in a turnover at the same spot it happened.

STRIKE

If you are covering a thrower and putting up a force, but an offense player gets away from his defender on the open side (the side you are actually forcing the throw to) and therefore is posing an imminent risk, a team mate might yell “strike“, asking you to change your force for about 3 seconds until the defender is able to catch up with the poaching offense player. Be careful though that the opposing team does not use this opportunity to gain momentum on the break side.

STRIP

Strip is a particular foul call. A disc is considered caught only when it stopped rotation in the catchers hand(s). As long as it rotates or is not yet fully under control by the catcher, it can still be touched, slapped or taken by any defense player, of course without touching the catcher! If an offense player catches a disc and gains control over it (the disc stopped rotating) and a defense player slaps or grabs it out of the catchers hands, it is considered a foul or more precise a strip. Note: When offense and defense players catch a disc simultaneously, the disc goes to the offense.

SWING

To swing (the disc) means to throw it to someone at the other sideline, directly or with another player in the middle. It often occurs that the disc is stuck on one side and players rather clogging in front or even around it (especially when close to the end zone). Instead of trying a risky pass through small and busy space, people often forget that the field is wide and if there are many players on one side, the other will be quite open. So a swing is not only the way out of a stuck situation but can often lead to an easy score on open space. Swinging the disc quickly from one side to the other (and back) is also the most effective handler tactic facing a cup defense.

TRAVEL

Travel is a violation call concerning only the player catching, holding or throwing the disc. Typical reasons for a travel are: 

Establishing a pivot point at an incorrect location, failing to keep the established pivot foot on the ground or on the sport (lifting or sliding the foot), not reducing speed as quickly as possible after a catch, changing direction after a catch or releasing the disc after the third additional ground contact and before establishing a pivot point, purposely (!) bobbling, fumbling, tipping the disc to oneself in order to advance the disc further from where it initially was contacted, … After an accepted travel call, the play does not stop. The thrower establishes a pivot point at the correct location, as indicated by the player who called the travel and continues the play. If, after the travel violation occurred (but before the pivot point has been corrected), the disc is thrown and caught, the disc goes back to the thrower, who may repeat the throw correctly after a check. If the throw has not been caught, the play goes on (turnover).

TURN / TURN OVER

An offense team is in possession of the disc until a turn or turn over occurs, which results in the defense team getting possession and thus becoming the offense team: The disc is literally being turned over to the other team.

A turn / turn over occurs when the disc contacts the ground (not already being caught and in the hand of a player who maintains possession while the disc is in contact with the ground), when a player drops the disc, including a dropped pull (when an offense player tries to catch the pull but fails!), when the disc lands or is caught out of bounds, or when a defense player catches the disc (interception) or knocks it down to the ground. (The defense team does not need to catch the disc).

If the turn over happens in the end zone (or out of bounds at the end zone) no matter if the disc has been caught or not by the defense, the disc can be brought up straight to the starting line (1 foot on the line), the play continues from there.

A turn / turn over WITH stoppage of the play occurs after an uncontested offensive receiving foul, after a stall out (stall count 10), when a thrower catches his/her own throw without anyone else having touched the disc in between, … 

UNIVERSE POINT

Sometimes short “universe” signalizes the very last point no matter the score. This is mainly used in pick-up games.

UP

Up is just an informative call to let your team mates know that the disc has been thrown – it’s now up in the air. This is very helpful when someone is not facing the disc in order to maintain a tight defense or for a cutter running and therefore not facing the disc. “Up can be called by both offense and defense team. Check out these 2 videos explaining the vert stack well and simple!

VERT STACK / V STACK

The stack is something like a line-up for the cutters during the whole offense play. The intention is to create open space to cut and throw to. The idea is that the 4-5 cutters only cut into that open space to become available. If they don’t get the disc though they should clear (get out of that space and back into the stack) asap. The stack is a fictional line which of course is moving during the play. Naturally the stack is always somewhere between the handlers or the disc and the opposite end zone. The most common stacks are “ho” (horizontal) or “V” / “vert” (vertical). The vert stack is usually played with 5 cutters (and 2 handlers). These 5 cutters line up on a vertical line in the middle of the field. The first one (closest to the handlers) is called “ace” and sets up the stack whenever there is time for it by calling “stack on me”. As soon as the play starts, the cutters either start cutting one after another from the back or from the front (different teams have different preferences, but either one or the other, not randomly!). When start cutting from the front, it actually means the second in the stack, because the ace has a special purpose and can also function as a reserve handler. Let’s say we start from the back. The last (furthest away) cutter in the stack should start immediately to make a cut preferably on the open-side. If the cutter is successful and receives the disc, all other players move (run!) up-field. If there is a good opportunity (like team mate open deep or open on the break side) the cutter with the disc should make that throw and use the momentum. Otherwise he/she should rather swing or dump the disc back to a handler and make him- herself available up-field again. IF the cut was not successful though, the worst thing to do is to try over and over again to cut and get open in the same area. As long as your defender is there as well, you are only clogging (blocking) the whole area and NO ONE ELSE can use that space. So when you don’t receive the disc after a cut, just “clear” (quickly run out of that open lane and back into the stack) and let the next cutter in line make his/her cut. 

ZONE DEFENSE

While the standard defense tactic is man-on-man defense (short:: man defense), another one is zone defense: Instead of guarding a person, every player guards a specific zone of the field. For example: one player is guarding the deep zone, then there are two wings left and right and a center and the three at the top often build a cup (cup defense) chasing the disc between the handlers … Note: These zones are not fixed but move according to the play.

 

Check out the complete and detailed Ultimate rules on:

https://rules.WFDF.org/

Detailed rules of Ultimate by the WFDF 2021-2024 (PDF download)

or

https://usaultimate.org/rules/

Chiang Mai Ultimate - Thailand