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The Basics of Forcing in Ultimate

If you’re a regular visitor then you’ll know that my focus has been primarily on throwing. In my videos, in my articles and on my dvd, I consider throwing to be the most important part of ultimate. A team full of good throwers/catchers can beat any team since ultimate is a game of possession (in the most general sense).

However, I’m going to start including more videos and articles that delve into the other aspects of ultimate which are also very important and will go a long way in making you a better overall player. I will also provide resources which coaches/captains will find useful in trying to teach new players the game of ultimate.

With, that I drew up an illustration which talks about forcing. I find a lot of newer players have a hard time understanding what this is all about and they have a hard time visualizing how this works on the field. I will start this discussion with the graphic I’ve attached and will be filming a video which will attempt to demonstrate this on the field so it’s every easier to understand.

Let me know if you have any questions and as always, I welcome your comments.


7 thoughts on “The Basics of Forcing in Ultimate”

  1. Hey Rob, I've recently become a fan of the straight up force. Four reasons: 1) a good handler will be able to either break you anytime or else 2) move you around for an easy throw to the forced side therefore 3) a straight up force at least prevents the huck. And 4) it is much easier for teaching new players 'cuz the concept is easier to understand. The downside is of course you have to stay tight man, and poaching is harder.

  2. It all comes down to communication and trust to decide which is better. Default marking should be forcing a side. Without a definite force defense of the vertical stack breaks down as offense can just run to their unmarked side and get off a string of throws before offense can catch up. The reason for forcing a side is to make the handler put the disc where you want it, not necessarily to always get the point block while marking. You force a side to let downfield defenders know where to stand on their man so that their chances are improved to get a D. While a good handler can break a weak mark, the throw most likely will not be a terrific throw and will not be a huck. You trust that by forcing a side, your teammates can cover their man well enough to get a D and force a turn.The main problem with straight up marking is that it's even easier to get off a throw to whatever side you want for the handler. It does prevent a good huck for a weak handler, but a good handler will be able to work it and throw wherever they want.Straight up marking might be more intuitive for new players, but that should not be a reason for not forcing a side.

  3. Straight up becomes more and more untenable the closer you get to the end zone. To play good D in a short field situation, you need a force. But sure, straight up marks have their usefulness. Against a great hucker they can be almost essential.

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