Glasgow Ultimate

Monday 15 March 2010, Garscube, Outdoor

Tonights practice focussed on playing zone defense and playing against the zone on offense.

Zone Defense
Zone is a defensive strategy employed by teams to contain the oppositions play, stop them hucking, stop them running set plays and put pressure on their throws. Defensive players each have specific roles to mark out certain areas of the pitch rather than man marking a single player. There are many types of zone and zone/man hybrid tactics but they usually always involve putting many players around the disc (a force + wall or cup) that follow the frisbee as it changes possession and several deeper players to stop anything going long. Zone is especially effective in strong winds where it is difficult to make throws under pressure.

Tonight we focused on a commonly used zone called Junk. The details are here:

Junk Zone

Main principles:

  • Zone is a TEAM defense and will only work well if everyone talks and sticks to their job. COMMUNICATION is the key to getting blocks. The sideline talks to everyone, especially the force. The middle of the wall makes sure the wall is always positioned correctly, the wings talk to the middle of the wall to let them know when to crash in, the deep player talks to the wings and keeps them in position.
  • The wall must move as a unit, if holes appear in the wall it is easy to break through. The middle player can stand side on and watch for cuts coming through the wall and block these off.
  • At some point zone defense will be switched to man. It is vital that this transition is instant. Let your team mates know when you hear the shout, pick up a mark and point at them, take the deepest players first, help your team mates find who they should be marking.

Zone Offense

Playing against a zone is a completely different game to playing against man D. It is about patience, making the right choices and taking the options the defense gives you. The system we will use against zone is outlined here:

Zone offense

Main Principles:

  • Keep the disc moving and the stall count low
  • Keep the disc away from the sidelines

Breaking the wall:

There are 3 main ways to get past the wall (or cup)

  1. Through it – play handler 1-2s, big fakes to make the wall move
  2. Around it – keep the disc swinging and involve the wings
  3. Over it – throw to the deep players standing in space


The key to success against a zone is to not let the wall set once it has been beaten. Once the disc is through/around/over the wall it should stay that way. This means quick movement of the disc upfield and back in to the centre of the pitch if received by a wing. Once the wall is beaten the deep and wing receivers should all be looking to help out, do not turn your back or cut away from the disc.