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GAME PLAY: Strategy

Turbo is not a set of different rules.  It's a playing style, although a game could be made to force the Turbo skill set.  The single rule change to such would be a 0 to 1 second stall count.  Hence, to practice Turbo during a standard Ultimate game, the player must think in terms of throwing with as close to a zero stall account as is physically possible.  Sometimes it's actually possible to continue the rotation of the disc thus that it never actually stops (zero stall count) and other times a disc stop for one moment as it's thrown from the position it's caught in (next-to-zero stall count).  The principle is simple, but it automatically generates an entire skill set necessary to fulfil this simple rule of zero or microscopic stall count.  It takes more speed, stamina, focus, and teamwork, hence it's properly called Turbo.


The following information is a bit dated and needs to be rewritten.



ITs: Implementing In-Game


When implementing ITs (Instant/Immediate Throws, whether Ultra-Immediate or Near-Instant: UIT and NIT) during game, firstly (this is obvious), don't tick off your friends by trying them too much (I'm very good at that), unless you all agree to work on them together.  Although, just tossing them beforehand is all-win, because doing so is triple the practice.  In game, you can even practice without using them, by being more focused the whole time, looking for when you would use one.

In game, you have to max your RAM and focus.  You only have a moment to think, so you have to think ahead.  If the disc is coming to you, that's predictable, so use that to think of where you'll toss it if there's a good open throw.  SUF: No one will be open.  TUF: There's quite often a decent open man out of the six (the no-brainer), but it is a point.  But, it's vaporized if the whole sport is focused around being turbo; the whole offense in preparation for this moment.  Everyone who can should make a fast cut to get open for that quick catch-and-whip.

If you try it alone, your teammates must be a little more ready for a quick throw from you.  This extra effort for them can be minimized if they just get used to it, and more importantly if you scream someone's name loudy before you throw.  If the team practices TUF, everyone's prepared.  [Remember, you can never pancake-catch the disc.  That's a little safer than one hand if you're not well marked, but it's also safer to lug a small tractor beam around the field].

TUF is a whole nother way of thinking, and IMHO more worth it.  My suggestions come from long, long debates with the pros, who have a way of playing and that's fine.  [Most end up saying "fine, prove it, get us the videos."  And I'm working on that, to the extent my pretty tolerant friends will let me, so check back, or try it yourself if your team is more willing to explore it.]


TUF Stall Counts

All major objections that mastering the skills to immediately relay the disc to a teammate would not be useful in SUF (most of which I will defend are based on inexperience with the game and a clinging to convention) can be vaporized by one single rule change: A four or five second stall count.  What can't possibly be debated is the fact that all these skills and techniques and gameplay take much more effort, practice, focus, etc, than normal SUF.  So, if all that is useless in ultimate, then we can force every skill to be used by shoving the game into turbo mode.  Suddenly, standing and looking around will cost you the point.

If you can't relay the disc immediately, then your next option should be to relay it as quickly as possible with an NIT, where you catch the disc in the position you'll throw it from, then wait a moment before you throw.  Or, an NIT could be a grab of the disc then a quick yank to another throwing position, still without changing grip.  You could snatch a lower right right-side-up disc with an underhand grip and then scoop it upward to your left for a scoober.  Since the best UIT only gives you one option, an NIT allows you all of them.

In the third case where more time is needed, you have to think just as quickly, because this time can be used to scan the field for the next IT, for which you'd have to consider the best two open people.  Not only that, but whether the first can get to the second easily from the direction you throw the disc at them.  To act as one, the whole team should plan ahead.  Two people might cut at the same time to get open for a relay, a double cut.  All sorts of quick calculation in those five seconds is crucial.  Every member of the field must be focused on every other.

None of this is anything soccer or chess playes don't already do.

Again, it sounds like a lot, but start easy and then build.  
A photographer might learn two dozen things about composition and the camera, but after it's all learned, it's just instinct.  Point and click.  In short:

1. Know every major disc throw and when to use them
2. Take the rotation of the disc into account
3. Practice before game.  Nothing to loose, triple to gain.
4.
Be focused and aware on the field, ready to catch and throw more quickly.
5. Know when not to use ITs (maybe even 2/3 of the time, but the 1/3 is worth learning)
6. Look ahead for relays
7. Be ready to jump if you've practiced your ass off.
8. For the love of Ultimus, eat your energy bars!


Basic Calls:

There are SUF terms to give people heads up on what's happening, because you might have a different point of view than another player.  As with all TUF, all these habits are more important here.  Here are some calls with revisions of standard ones.

These must all be one syllable for quick combinations.


AWARENESS OF DISC
Thrower: [NAME]:  If you see a good UIT as the disc comes toward you, call out [NAME OF PERSON] before you get the disc.  Especially crucial if you're practicing this on your own.  Your teammates must be ready for a quick throw from you.
Anyone: "UP": Disc is in the air or will be very soon.  Even more useful in TUF because the team should know if the thrower is going to throw a UIT, so the thrower should probably call "UP" a moment before the disc is thrown, or at the latest, just as he's throwing it.  Of course standard usage applies of letting the players know if the disc is up and people aren't looking.
Anyone: "DOWN": Shouldn't be used, as it could easily be mistaken for the inverse of 'high', or 'disc', see below.  And if it were used for 'disc is down' or about to be knocked down (you can see a good D coming), one should just use the standard 'turn' (turnover) instead, which would just be one more confusion.

HEIGHT OF DISC

Thrower: "HIGH": Catching above or below the chest is important, so if you know you're target, you probably have a vague idea whether it will be high or low, and hence alert the reciever whether to use a back/forhand or peach/overhand.
Thrower: "LOW": Reverse of above.
Thrower: "AIR": 'way high': The thrower has control to throw the disc way way up, in which case a really skillful player could use a jump-IT, which takes a lot of pre-focus.

RIGHT SIDE UP / UPSIDE DOWN
Thrower: "DISC":  Inform reciever of a normal, right-side up disc throw.  This is a usual throw, so perhaps redundant in a normal IT, unless the disc was caught upside down and the thrower is a) going for an NIT while switching throwing position, or b) taking some of the stall count to decide.
Thrower: "BOWL":  Inverse of above and more often used, because throwing a disc upside down (like a bowl) with a hammer / scoober / thumber is more rare.  Hence it's even more important to call if the disc was caught right side up, to let the team know there'll be a switch.

OPEN OR GUARDED
Team: "OPEN": I'm open.  Best used before the thrower has the disc.
Team: "MAN" (Man On), or "NO": Don't throw, I'm guarded, or 'forget the last thing I just called'

POSITION
Team
: "BOUNCE": Key TUF term!  It's tricky to see a double IT (esp UIT) relay (instant throw to player A then instant to thrower B), so if the reciever sees one, it's an important call, especially if it's before the original reciever even has the disc, to set up a triple relay.  The thrower could use this as well to tell the cutter that he should look for an immediate IT.  That eight of a second helps, because he doesn't have to think about whether to throw it, one less task, just look for the open target.
Team: "DUMP": "I'm behind you and open if you don't have a throw," with a possible implication of "I see a good bounce from here" (could call "dump bounce" if you're skilled enough to interpret this).  The dump is important because players in front of the thrower may be guarded well, and a 'dumpman' may see a better throw, or could take the extra five seconds for him if there isn't one.
Team: "SWING": A sideways pass, with possible implication "I see a bounce," or one could use "swing bounce."
Team: "GOAL": Go for the endzone so we can take a break from this cruel and gruelling game and have the breath to curse the monster who thought it up.

Obviously multiple of these calls could be used in a single call, so the most important should be used.  The thrower might want to say "I'm about to hurl a high, right-side-up disc at Richie, high enough where he may want to use a jump-IT, because I see a possible bounce to JON," just as you throw the disc.  You probably want to just call "RICH."   If practiced enough, perhaps two or three words could be understood, such as "AIR RICH" or "AIR RICH JON."  
Naturally defensive calls could be made preparing the defense for all the same events.

Clearly this is just a start.  For pro-TUF (god forbid), one might call out "AIR- PEACH JOE SAM BOB" to suggest a triple air-peach relay.  This could be done a little slower to give time to interpret since the maneuver would take more time.


Stacks / Further Strategy

A common SUF strategy is to form a line like like in CVS by the register in front of the thrower.  This somewhat baffled me when playing a summer tournament, because people liked it so much that the thrower would discard good throws and wait for everyone to line up as if for recess.  Then systematically, cut, cut, cut.  Fine for SUF.  In TUF, a five stall would be reached before everyone's ready.

One alternate TUF stack concept would be for two people to make good cuts at the same time.  The thrower might yell out "CUT DAVE IGOR!" to suggest the two potential recievers cut together to set up a bounce ('cut' said first because otherwise 'dave' might imply 'I'm about to throw it to Dave').  While stacking, the an offender might just cut as soon as he's in formation.

In any case, working together is clearly critical (though you can easily practice on your own, just make sure you call names before you get the disc to prepare your snail buddies).  At it's max, the team should work like a bugger fleet in Ender's game, or a tight SWAT team.  You might even want one player in particular to run around and strategize and call out plays.


Don't be intimidated.  Try a few basics by yourself, then hit the turbo button.

grips small

INTRO
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THROWING: Basic Technique
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GAME PLAY: Rules, Strategy
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MISC: Energy, USMC
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Thrower: HIGH: Disc above chest
Thrower: LOW: Reverse of above
ThrowerAIR: Way high (air-IT)
Thrower: DISC:  Right-side up throw
Thrower: BOWL:  Inverse of above
TeamOPEN: I'm open
TeamMAN: Don't throw
Team: BOUNCE: Prepare for IT relay
TeamDUMP: I'm behind you and open
TeamSWING: A sideways pass
TeamGOAL: Go for the endzone




LINKS:

Cool starting guide to SUF

Full set of SUF Rules

UPA - Ultimate Players Association

Official Discraft and Daredevil

Individual Amazon Discraft and Daredevil
(visit daredevil directly for 'sun' color)


I recommend white / yellow discrafts, or sun, white (or orange) Daredevils.

Wikipedia entries for Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Throws (ignore the peach defamation)

Vids: Search "frisbee" from Google Video then hit "> 20 min" to see whole SUF games.  While you're watching, think, could they have used an IT there?

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