On Catching (Part IV) – Where to Clap?

As we saw from Brodie in a previous post, it’s possible to catch way out in front of you with a clap.


There are lots of times when this might be correct – not least when the disc is going nowhere near your chest, and that’s the only way a clap catch can reach it! Continue reading

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On Catching (Part III) – Clap Catch Hand Position

Here’s something I never really thought about until after I started writing this series of articles. I always enjoy finding new questions to ask, particularly when I find that experienced coaches disagree but there’s never been much discussion of it (that I’ve seen).

Where do your hands point in a clap catch?

Perhaps surprisingly, there isn’t complete agreement about even this simple question. Continue reading

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On Catching (Part II) – Quiet Catching

How far apart should your hands be when lining up a clap-catch?

This sounds like a question with no single answer. It clearly depends on all sorts of factors like how windy it is, and of course how far away the disc currently is – players don’t generally hold their hands way apart and then suddenly slam them together just as the disc arrives.

And therein lies my answer – the hands should be far enough apart that the disc won’t go outside that area. In a sense, the hands represent your best guess about the upper and lower limits of where the disc might go – like the error bars on a scientific graph. Continue reading

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On Catching (Part I) – Clap Catch Basics

There’s much, much more to catching a disc than you probably thought when you started playing ultimate. I started writing an article about catching, which quickly became 4 articles, and then I realised that the piece on clap catching alone ran to 3,000 words…

That’s too much of an essay for anyone to bother with. So I’ll release them as bite-size chunks, with just one small point of focus each time, over the coming days and weeks. As usual, I’ll talk about the things I find interesting, and not necessarily try to cover every single aspect of catching that you might teach a beginner.

But first, the basics. If your only goal is to make sure you don’t drop the disc, what style would you prefer to use? Continue reading

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On Re-framing Dangerous Play

I’ve talked before about the differences between WFDF and USAU rules on dangerous play. But there are more fundamental problems common to both rulesets, and in my opinion we need to look at the whole question of dangerous play in a new way. If we’re serious about reducing it, then we need a closer analysis of what it is and why the current rule doesn’t always prevent it.


Currently, dangerous play is a foul by the person who could see it coming but does not pull out of it. It makes no difference who would have got the disc first  only who had the opportunity to see the collision coming. Continue reading

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The Logic of Playing 4 Women

There’s a default in most high-level mixed teams to play 4 men most of the time. The data in this useful article show that quite clearly.

But continuing that default behaviour under the new rules would be foolish. It is logically impossible that both teams are correct to call 4 men most of the time, if their intention is to win the game. Continue reading

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