Friday, June 3, 2011

Ultimate Frisbee - Positions

So Francis Caron asked here about what positions there are in Ultimate Frisbee. This question gets asked a lot and it is a tricky one to tackle due to the variety of positions there are. I will try my best though. It is best to start by saying that every player on the field has two positions depending on whether or not your team is on offense or defense at the time. Your team is considered to be on offense when one of your team members has the disc in his or her posession. Your team is considered to be on defense when your team does not have the disc. From here we can break down the positions into offensive and defensive.

Offensive Positions
  1. Cutters
  • Cutters are the offensive players that run and try to create open space to move the disc upfield. Cutters either play a horizontal or vertical offense. In a horizontal offense the 4 cutters form a straight line across the field and "cut" (run) in and out to try to beat the defensive player marking them. In a vertical offense, a vertical line is made in the center of the field and cutters run to either side hoping to beat their checks.
  1. Handlers
  • Handlers are the players that have the disc the most, they stay furthest back and pass with one another to reset the "stall count" (The stall count is when the defence counts to 10, if they reach ten and you have not thrown the disc your team loses posession). Handlers are usually split up into swings and dumps. The dump is the handler who runs directly behind the player with the disc to offer an easy throw to reset the stall count, whereas the swings are the other two handlers who offer a longer throw to gain some yards forward as dumping the disc loses yards.
  1. Strikers
  • Strikers are essentially cutters but are more geared toward running long for "hucks" (long throws).
  1. Poppers
  • Poppers are essentially cutters but are more geared toward running (popping) into the cup for a short pass as an alternative option to a dump.
 Defensive Positions
  1. Man
  • A man defence is where each defensive player marks an offensive player, usually players try to mark offense of equal skill so there are no mismatches.
  1. Cup
  • A cup is a style of zone defense in which each player is marking a zone of the field rather than a player. When a cup is put on there are usually three defensive players who mark the person with the disc in a semi circle shape (hence the term "cup"). The next three players mark the zones in front of the cup, or the middle, hence they are called "mids". The last player is called the "deep" and marks any long throws to strikers.
  1. Rabbit Wall
  • The rabbit wall is a variation of the cup in which there is one "rabbit" who runs after the frisbee constantly being the only person to count stalls. It is an exhausting position and the wall's job is to prevent any throws up the field. This leaves the team on offense with the option of swinging the disc back and forth between handlers. The idea is that the more throws you force the other team to throw the higher the chance there is they will drop the disc. Because you now have 4 people marking rather than 3 you sacrifice on mid. This leaves you with two mid's and a deep.
So I hope that semi clears up the different positions, if you have any questions feel free to ask! (I am thinking about perhaps making some picture diagrams as I can imagine this must be quite confusing to someone who has never played). Hope that clears things up Francis!


  1. Great read... You have amazing writing skills. Check out the vid I just posted on my blog :) Countless hours of morning coffee I downed looking for it.

  2. whoa, there's a lot more to this game than I expected. Very interesting read. Are there any key plays that most teams practice?

  3. wow.. i never knew there were so many positions in this game!

  4. @zemzero - in terms of set plays, the most common ones that are done are when you are within a few yards of scoring to ensure you get the point. The only other set plays I can think of are huck plays for scoring quick points.

    @Dvallej I have been playing for around 6 years.

  5. nice tutorial on the different frisbee positions! thanks for sharing

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    Sky Stock Analysis

  6. I'm the worst frisbee player. I posted earlier, but back to say, I tried these tips and they worked! But I still suck, hahahah!

  7. I suck at ultimate frisbee, gotta work on my throwing.

  8. Wow I didn't know there was so many positions in ultimate Frisbee! Now I know :D

  9. I love playing hybrid (cutter/handler). Mixes up the D and allows for fluid disc movement.

  10. I never imagined it was that complex. Interesting read!

  11. Ultimate Frisbee is the ultimate college sport! I also live to FROLF.

  12. looks like you are really into frisbee :) and that's quite a good info! thanks

  13. it's a mix of netball and american football?

  14. I'm definitely a rabbit wall, just because it sounds funny.

  15. Wow, this is legit!
    I wish they aired games on American TV, I would love to watch a full game!

  16. Awesome, I always love watching Ultimate Frisbee!

  17. wow, didn't realize there was so much to it

  18. Hey guys this is a Ultimate Frisbee startup company that I am currently working for we made custom uniforms for Ultimate Frisbee teams. Please check it out and let me know what you guys think.