Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tournament 6 - Lesson 1 - Innovating against the Zone for X

LiveLogic shootout in Austin, Texas was a great (and an expensive) trip. Doublewide are great hosts (including our billet Ben "Verbal" Sims), and Austin, Texas has lots going for it - great food, nice people, and good parties. The after party, for the Goats that stayed behind, was another legendary run. We all learnt that Goat's patron saint is Francis of Assisi (and by chance he is a patron saint of animals), and he was watching over us keeping us safe. All in all, the tournament was worth every cent, including my new orange Longhorn hat.

Picture Above: A small replica of St. Francis of Assisi - Goat's patron saint even though he's carrying a chicken.

The lesson or thing I've been thinking about from this weekend is where will the sport of Ultimate innovate next (both major themes and minor themes). I'll talk more about innovation later this week, but since this is a tournament lesson, here's one of the innovation branches (on the tree of Ultimate knowledge) that I believe is ready to expand, if it hasn't already.

In our first game against Johny Bravo, it became obvious to the O-line that Bravo was coming down in a zone for X number of throws or a silent signal (I couldn't figure out which being in the moment). This is a classic strategical move to stop teams running a set play off the pull, and our set plays were getting us some significant yards off the pull, not to say that meant we were scoring.

The innovation in this situation is, as an offensive team you know the opponent is going to transition into a man after they've done this a few times. Having that knowledge means you have the upper hand and you can use that somehow to your advantage. That "somehow" is possibly a set play off the defensive transition. I imagine a scenario, that heavily involves your sideline since they're the key to seeing when the transition occurs. The second part to these transition plays will be overloading certain spots on the field so one person is forced to cover two people for a few seconds.

That's all I have pieced together in my mind so far. I have a few more ideas on what a play would look like, but the trick seems to be making both your zone offense attack as well as your transition offense. Conceiving a static play where the handlers just dump and swing until the transition is made while the cutters setup in the transition positions will only work for a very short period against smart adapting teams. How can you make the two offenses a weapon? That'll be innovation.



Sean said...

The overload idea is interesting, but isnt covering two people in the same space with one defender, a good thing for the D? I mean, if I was a D-team and they sent two guys where one could cover, I'd be cool with that.

Maybe the set play would involve two guys in a relatively similar place pushing in opposite if your zone O has two deeps, on the set play call one pushes deep down the home sideline and the other makes a straight horizontal cut to the space the other deep just left, for a quick 35-40 yard topper to open space.

big bro said...

Another strategy is to kill off the throw count with a bunch of quick passes before they really get the zone set and then run your play.

You could also try to create a bad match-up by having the person who would be deep handle for a minute/stand next to somebody short or have a handler go deep so that they get somebody who is used to anchoring the back of the stack.

Just some fun ideas but by going zone for X the D team is giving up some match-up and yardage opportunity.

lexinator said...

I believe that Francis of Assisi is carrying a dove... not a chicken.

Jeters said...

The overload concept would put two people with in a zone area, but not an actual position (as you suggested later). The big bro has some good ideas. I like the handler deep in the zone to mix things up, idea.

Also, I'm sticking with chicken. Maybe because Johny Bravo's player nicknamed chicken schooled me on a beauty cut after I thought I was containing him well.