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THROWING: Technique

Immediate Throws (ITs):  No Time To Blink

Key terms:
Any Instant/Immediate Throw (IT)
Ultra-Immediate/Instant Throw (UIT)
Near-Immediate/Instant Throw (NIT)

The standard procedure in SUF is to catch the disc, get your balance, guage the field for a few seconds, and throw.  I'm ADD, I can't wait that long.  People tell me a quarter second is extremely negligible.  
I want to put these guys in a room with equally skilled players of soccer, football, lacross, track, volleyball, badminton, air hockey, drag racing, underwater rugby, ping pong, capture the flag, dodgeball, Doom, Quake, Halo, NERO, Final Fantasy VIII blitzball, and Pong, and be the one person in the room to explain "Nah, a quarter second really matter in our sport.  We don't have to think fast."

Look at this video.  It's 2:47 into the game before anyone throws a IT and it's an excellent move (it's a forehand-IT because it's caught below the waist, see below).  Call me crazy if it seems more skillful than any throw to that point.  Even here, it's only attempted because the disc was out of bounds: the disc can be saved in a "greatest" if it's released before your feet hit the ground.  That's hard, which is why it results in an incomlpete pass here.  But this technique is much easier on the ground, and can be used during normal play.

It requires a good amount of skill: you have to instantly decide 1. which of all of the throws (listed in 
wikipedia) you'll have to use, 2. where to throw it, requiring a lot of memorization of where everyone is on the field and where they're heading because you have scant time to look once you get the disc, and 3. whether you should even throw once 1 and 2 are decided.  It sounds hard but it's just like any quarterback scanning the positions and directions and speeds of everyone on the field and making a fast decision.

ITs: Basic Technique

See Wikipedia for throw descriptions.  You need every one for this!


Right side up, Above chest, to the left: Peach (Beach Thumber)
Right side up, Above chest, to the right: Overhand
Right side up, Below chest, to the left: Backhand
Right side up, Below chest, to the right: Forehand

Upside down, Above chest, high up: Hammer
Upside down, Above chest, left: Scoober
Upside down, Above chest, right: Thumber (standard)
Upside down, Below chest, left: Flip and Backhand
Upside down, Below chest, right: Flip and Forehand

The two thumbers are very confusing, this is why I call the 'beach thumber' or 'forehand thumber' by its other name, peach, and also because it's one syllable, an advantage in such a quick sport.  Perhaps "Stan" for standard thumber?

When the disc comes at you and you catch normally, you have to throw the IT from that grip.  This knocks backhands and forehands (somewhat) off their thrones, because you cannot catch a b/h or f/h ready disc above your chest without difficulty, and can't throw from up there anyway.  Stick out your arm like you're making a "stop" motion.  You're already in position to catch an up-high disc, then you can whip a peach (see peach thread), also called 'beach thumber' or 'forehand thumber', or an overhand.  The former is better for the left (and is more poweful), and the latter for the right (maybe better when guarded).  But, to catch a disc b/h or f/h-ready, you have to awkwardly twist your entire arm, and even further, it's awkward to throw from there too; you have to lower the disc, costing you time.

When the disc is upside down, you want to use the hammer (above), scoober (left), and standard thumber (right).  If it's down low to the left, I believe the best move is catching it overhand then flipping it over for a backhand throw, and to the right, catch it overhand then flip-and-forehand.

So, all the throws come into play for easy catch-throws.  Now, a secondary move would be to take the extra quarter second to grab a disc from a caught position and whip and release it from another position.  You could do this from any catch to any of the throws, as long as you catch it in the grip that you'll throw it from (Near Instant Throw, NIT).  This is trickier but useful if the marker is to your right and you want to throw to your left, or if one throw is more preferable than another, such as a powerful peach vs a less powerful overhand, or the overhand if you're marked vs the contrained peach.  To help do this, you can use your whole body to move and twist so that you can catch and release it from a comfortable position.

To throw more quickly, when catching, go with the disc, pull back with it as part of the backward motion to throw it.  To really do this well, take the rotation of the disc into account.  This doesn't really matter in SUF because it's gonna stop spinning whichever way it's turning.  But if it's going to be immediately relayed, then you can actually use the disc's spin to your advantage.  If a disc is coming to your lower left counter-clockwise, this is how you would pull back to get ready to release a backhand anyway, so you can use that as part of your throw.  Likewise a peach is easier if the disc is rotating counter-clockwise when above your chest, etc.

An even harder IT move is an air-IT (or jump-IT): to jump, catch, and release before your feet hit the ground (or maybe just as they hit).  This is used only in SUF in a 'greatest' when the disc is out of bounds, but could be used all the time, such as to leap above a marker (unless he thought to jump too).  As difficult as humanly possible would be to relay the disc via multiple jump-ITs.


What disc should we use?  Here are some TUF differences:

1. You have to whip the disc around, so maybe a lighter disc
2. Perhaps the disc should level out quickly, so maybe a heaver disc (I find Daredevils level out better)
3. We throw more
peaches and standard thumbers now, so maybe a thicker rim.
4. Visibility is even more important, so get a bright disc (Discraft yellow or Daredevil 'sun')

Personally I think a disc 65% Discraft and 35% Daredevil would be best for any Ultimate.

See disc links at top.

A Few Peach Myths  (see 40 post debate)

wristricted.  My answer: if you're not guared (in which case it's useless anyway), restricted wrist matters as much as restriced shot gun.
2. Can't put full contact on peach.  A: Just plain wrong, you can fully grab with max contact and release.
3. Not accurate, powerful, etc, IMHO this is just plain wrong.
4. Overhand completely superior.  A: Overhand doesn't have any power or distance but has its uses.
5. Backhand totally superior.  A:
You can't catch a b/h or f/h-ready disc above your chest, and you can't throw well from up there anyway.
6. Much more constrained (proximity to body and hence marker) when guarded.  A: Definitely, but looks a bit worse than it is.  The forehand is already extended to how you would release it.  Holding a peach looks inferior beacause it's twisted inward.  When you release it, your arm is stretched out like the forehand.  It's still limited and takes more strain to throw when guarded, but isn't useless.  Perhaps I'm biased, it's my fav, or maybe I'm stepping in for the helpless picked-on kid.

grips small

THROWING: Basic Technique
GAME PLAY: Rules, Strategy
MISC: Energy, USMC

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


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?

SQUISH EMAIL: me/at/here/dot/com   s7