Playspedia Announces Badges… the game is on!

Playspedia has just launched an exciting new feature that allows users to earn “badges” by contributing to the site. A lucky few members received the “pioneer” badge as early contributors. This will add a new element to the site which will encourage users to really contribute and share in some healthy competition among the community. Being a beta release, users are encouraged to send any feedback to the blog as this was a major update to the core engine. Users will be primarily rewarded for creating specific types of plays, but there will be more types of badges to add more dimensions to the site.

And we can’t end this post without sharing a classic drill, the Seattle:

4-1-2 German Offense

We’ve covered the fabled “German Offense” before in a previous post, but here’s another excellent look at the setup and flow courtesy a play submitted to Playspedia by nathan.

Discraft Ultra-Stars starting at 6.89 at UDS

Zone Offense: Two Handler Set

The majority of offense strategy in Ultimate places 3 handlers back with the disc, and then typically 4 cutters down field, sometimes split into pairs of two. Traditional zone offense often keeps the 3 handlers back, but then spreads the down field players into 3 mids or “poppers”, and 1 deep. An alternative to this approach, is to play with a 2 handler offensive set. Here’s an overview of how this works.

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Sideline Swing – Stuck on the sideline?

One of the most common pitfalls for teams is getting stuck on the sideline. It doesn’t take much for a good defensive team to pin an offensive player on the sideline and start the panic mode. We’ve all been there, you’re a handler who’s received a swing pass, or a lane cutter getting a pass near the side line. The wind is blowing hard against you, it’s freezing cold, and the defensive mark is almost forcing straight up.

In these times, you need to remember you have 10 stall counts, probably 9 by the time you think about it. The important thing is not to panic… if you’re not an experienced handler or don’t have an immediate up the line pass, square up with your handlers and stay committed to them instead of facing up field.

The illustration below shows how two handlers can cut off each other to provide an easy dump swing pass to create break side flow. Watch the play below and keep reading after for some notes.

This play works well because the handler dump cuts are reversed and less expected. Typically, the defensive player 2 will try to stop the up line pass and so has to follow player 2 up the line. This creates a quick opportunity for offensive player 3 to make a dump cut when the defensive player 3 is not in the best position. The key part is this cut, if the offensive player waits too long their defense will adjust and make this cut much harder. The handler (1) might have a hard time making what looks like a simple dump pass. So to help, the handler (1) should fake the throw to (2) so the mark bites on the pass. Once (3) receives the disc, (2) can reverse across the field for a break side pass. This should open up a decent gainer up field.

Zone O against a 1-3-3

One of the biggest struggles for beginner to intermediate teams is playing zone offense. For some reason a combination of change of pace, more throws, and open space can pose a lot of problems. On the other hand, for experienced teams, Zone O can be a easier than standard 1-1 when conditions are not too windy. In reality, it can be really simple to play effective Zone O for any skill level. The passes are usually shorter and easier to catch, but they require all the teammates to be involved. Whether that’s making space, swinging the disc, or crashing the cup, every player plays a role. Too often teams rely solely on handlers to dump and swing then huck. When in reality, it should be dump swing, pass to crashing wing, wing passes to another wing and so on. In particular with 1-3-3, the wings play a very important role as there is a lot of open space to work with.

The play below from illustrates how one crash of the cup can lead to some good flow up field.

Vertical Offense – first featured play from

I thought it would be suiting that the first features play be the most basic offensive play in Ultimate Frisbee, the vertical stack. Check this out and see what you think, I want to hear what you guys need in these animations. Now that this is not using Flash, you’ll be glad to hear you can view this on your iPad or iPhone. It’s not optimized for the iPhone yet, but expect this in future releases. – Our New Tool for sharing ultimate plays

It’s with great pleasure that I can announce the official “beta” launch of! This is a web based tool we developed to allow Ultimate players to create and share plays.

After creating several plays for the Ultimatehandbook using Flash, we realized that there was quite the demand from users to contribute. Unfortunately, the Flash plays were not that easy to share or allow others to use, so the decision was made to create a separate web site that would allow players to do this with basic web technologies (HTML/JS). Also, following the trends of the web, we wanted to make this “social” so that players could learn from each other, and also keep some private plays among teammates.

This is a beta launch and will likely have a few bugs as we tweak things. Expect the site to change a lot over the coming weeks. The ultimate plan (no pun intended) is to funnel the best plays onto the as showcase plays. While we get off the ground, please be patient as we make more updates and fixes to the site. We hope you’re as excited as we are.


Andre Liem

Overhaul of site in the works

Hi everybody,

As you may have noticed (or not), this site has been updated and tweaked over the past few days.  It has been mostly functional things, but it’s all in preparation to  properly rejuvenate this site and get fresh content and community contribution.   A few major things you may notice are the new “DISQUS” commenting.  We really want users to drive the site more, so this new system of commenting should encourage a broader reach for discussion.  Also, the discussion forum has been cleaned up of spam posting and should be under control now.

I can fully explain the future updates, but I will say that sometime in the near future you can expect a much fancier site and playbook system.   Stay tuned!

Call for contributors

Hi everybody, I know it’s been quiet on the site for a long time.  As it goes our time is limited and this site is primarily a hobby for us.  We are looking to make some more updates now but if anybody likes to write and has at least 5 years of experience playing Ultimate, we would appreciate guest writers.

We are looking for any type of content that fits into the general mold of this site.  So that would be primarily general basic knowledge and strategies.  In addition, video content would be really great to enhance the experience on the site.

Please let me know if you are interested by contacting me at

German Offense – In the endzone

While vertical and horizontal offense are the primary styles of strategies teams have adopted, there is still the “mythical” German offense that you hear about.  It was a lot more common to hear people talk about German offense a few years ago but we thought it would be interesting to post an article about how your team could use this strategy to confuse opponents. That being said, this article is just our interpretation of what German offense can look like.

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