Defence Poaching vs Horizontal stack by Brummie

Poaching off handlers

Against horizontal, it can be extremely useful to poach off handlers which can help to pressure the dump; see Poaching off handlers.

There are two main options:

  1. Double team the primary reset. Go right up and make life difficult for the reset. You’ll prevent them moving directly away from the sideline, and can help pressure a reset throw to someone double-teamed (and who wants to throw that?!). The main disadvantage is that this is only really effective if the offence needs their reset, which they might not if they are flowing.

    Option 1, to move laterally towards the disc, is shown in Fig. 1. D1 moves in laterally towards D2, double-teaming the closer reset in an attempt to force the offence to throw a longer reset throw to the now-unmarked reset.

    Fig. 1: Sideline poaching option 1 is to double team the closer reset handler

    MUD from Japan showing how to double team the closest reset in a horizontal stack

  2. Cheat up field. This can be tough because you have to cheat big, and realistically only effective when the force is middle, making the primary open lane closer to the poach.

    Option 2, moving into the cutting lane, is shown in Fig. 2, which provides additional coverage on downfield cutters, as well as reducing the reset’s ability to attack up the line.

    Fig. 2: Cheating big upfield only usually works when the mark is towards the middle of the field; you see this often when teams are scrambling to defend the endzone

Revolver (in dark) #8 flashes into the lane, poaching off the far handler as described in Option 2

Japan sagging in the lanes off a horizontal stack

Handler marks taking away the intended receivers of the horizontal offence. Importantly, in the second video all three of the handler marks are aware of the strategy and close in together to prevent any forward passes.

Poaching off cutters

When the disc is on the sideline, it is also wise to poach off the cutter furthest from the disc, putting them into a deep position where they can assist those defenders closer to the sideline, so the two defenders – D3 & D4 – covering cutters furthest from the disc should sandwich those cutters, with one, D4, guarding against any potential cuts underneath while the other, D3, poaches all the way over to the open side deep space to help D1 and D2. Now, the offence is forced to attempt a huge throw all the way to the other side of the field – one that D3 & D4 may be able to bid on – or else are forced to recycle the disc through their handlers.

Fig. 3: Sideline poaching scheme vs horizontal stack

The following example shows both handler poaching, a Buzz Switch on the handlers, but also downfield switching between cutters

Watch the defenders on the cutters


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