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What is Ultimate?
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whatisultimate.com Glossary of Ultimate Terminology
BACKHAND
To throw the disc from the left side of the body for right handed players (or from the right for left handed players). The motion is similar in some respects to the backhand in tennis. (Like the 'standard' throw that non-Ultimate players may be used to).
BREAK (side, pass or cut)
The side to which the marker is trying to prevent the throw (or a pass/cut to this side).
CLEARING
To get out of the area where the thrower wants to pass the disc. Absolutely necessary after making an unsuccessful cut or after throwing the pass. The importance of this is often underplayed to beginners.
CUT
An attempt to get free to receive the pass. Usually starting with a body fake and/or a sudden change in direction or speed.
DEFENCE
The team attempting to prevent a score.
DUMP
Player who stands behind the thrower in order to help out (must get free for an easy pass) when the offence gets in trouble.
FLOW
A series of quick passes to well timed cuts - should result in an easy score.
FORCE (or mark)
To make it as difficult as possible for the thrower to throw the disc in one direction (usually one side of the field) in an attempt to make (force) him/her to make a pass to the other side. See the relevant section for how and why this is done.
FOREHAND (or FLICK)
To throw the disc from the right side of the body for right handed players (or from the left for left handed players). The motion is similar in some respects to the forehand in tennis.
FREE (or OPEN)
To be available to receive the pass. The "free player" may be unmarked or have managed to get away from his/her defender.
HAMMER
High overhead throw; the disc flies upside down in a parabolic type path. The grip, release etc is similar to the forehand.
HAND BLOCK
This is when the defender stops the disc directly after it is released by the thrower.
HUCK
A long pass; often nearly the full length of the pitch and high to a tall player in the endzone.
LAYOUT
When the player dives the catch or intercept the disc. Also referred to as "going ho" (from going horizontal).
MAN-ON-MAN
The most common type of defence. Each person on defense marks an offence player and attempts to stay as close as possible with the intention of getting an interception or forcing a mistake.
OPEN (side, pass or cut)
(i) The side to which the thrower is being forced (or a pass/cut to this side).
(ii) Sometimes used to describe being free to receive a pass.
PIVOT
When you plant your foot (left for right handers and right for left handers) and step to the side (allowing you the throw around the marker).
POACH
When a defender moves away from their marker to try and make an interception on a pass to another player.
PULL
The throw at the start of each point that initiates play.
SWING
A lateral pass across the pitch - usually does not result in any upfield movement. This is useful to gain a better position or to reset the stall count.
SWITCH
This is when two defenders exchange the offensive players that they are marking.
TURNOVER or change of possession
When the disc has been dropped or intercepted and the offense becomes the defense.
ENDZONE
Area at the either end of the pitch within which a point is scored.
FLYING DISC
Many people call it a "Frisbee." Ultimate players call it a disc. ("Frisbee" is the trademarked name for one particular brand of flying disc.) The disc is part of what makes Ultimate so unique - depending on the skill of the thrower, it can be made to fly straight or in a curve, hover in mid-air or drop like a stone.
OFFENCE
The team with possession of the disc.
POINT (or score)
When the disc is caught in the endzone by a player on the offence.
STALLING (or Stall Count)
The player holding the disc has just ten seconds to pass it to a team-mate - the defender marking the player with the disc counts to ten out loud, and if the disc has not been released on "ten" the defender takes possession. Forcing the thrower to make a less-than-ideal pass as the "stall count" nears ten is the idea behind most defensive strategies.
Start of a point
Each point begins with the two teams standing on opposite endzone lines. The team with the disc throws it as far down the pitch as they can, and the other team then takes possession where it lands.
After a point
After a team has scored a point, they keep hold of the disc and wait while the opposition walks back to the other end of the pitch. The team that scored then throws off to start the next point. This way, the teams change ends after every point.
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