Tuesday, January 25, 2005

2-4-1 Zone O and the Emory Ladies

So Emory practice is pretty much back in full swing again. We’ve made a commitment to stick with the 2-4-1 zone offense this year. We ended up abandoning it last year as our handlers were pretty much unwilling to make aggressive passes over the cup. The last two practices have been primarily devoted to 2-4-1. We’re doing a decent job of getting the disc through the cup to the poppers, but we’re not doing a great job of fast breaking once we get there. This seems somewhat counterintuitive to me as the pass through the cup should theoretically be the hardest pass in the offense. Right now, I think the poppers and wings continue to be too conservative. I’m going to put a handler-type as the deep position in the offense and try to get them coming back under for the poppers. We’ll see how it works.


wood said...

When we were learning the 2-4-1 on Rival, I broke it up into two halves and drilled each half. The first half had a cup and a short deep and 2 handlers and 2 poppers. The goal was to pass it through the cup to the poppers (we concentrated on through a lot more than over and for the purposes of the drill around was too easy). The back half worked on the fast break and consisted of 2 poppers, 2 offensive wings, an offensive deep, and, defensively, short deep, deep deep, and 2 wings. One popper would simulate catching the disc from a handler and then fast break. Maybe a drill like that would help your ladies.

On a slightly different subject, I remember talking to Martha about your 2-4-1 last year, and she said you guys had the poppers crash the cup. I've found I prefer to have the off handler crash the cup, because they can attack the cup and actually create a hole to throw to the popper. If a popper crashes, her momentum is carrying her away from the cup and thus doesn't have that advantage. The drawback to the handler crashing is that the cup can see it coming. However, this hasn't been a problem for either Rival or SPSU.

One last comment on the 2-4-1. I've seen it run multiple ways. I'll break it down into two basic categories. First, there is the high-risk, high-reward approach, which is what I think you're referring to. The second approach is a more conventional zone offense approach. With this approach, the handlers try and move the disc quickly, and create holes in the zone. They look to hit the wings a lot more, but gaining more yardage than you would see out of a typical 3 handler zone offense. Basically, it works out to having 4 handlers. The extra handler in the center of the field (ie just beyond the off-point) makes the throw to the wing easier because of the angle. In a 3 handler zone offense, your angle would be the hypotenuse of a triangle, instead of the two legs. While the distance is shorter, you are able to gain more yardage in the 2-4-1 because you are able to throw around the off-point instead of simply past it. Wow, does that make any sense?

Parham said...

Wood's last remark about the conservative 2-4-1 is how Godiva played it (and still does, I believe). We used our wings as handlers and gained a lot of yardage to them on swing passes. Sometimes, we'd score using only those four players. We annihilated almost every zone defense we came to until Fury's four-person cup in the 2002 Final. Although not too windy, it was really humid, and the disc was too slick for aggressive throws. My last throw (turnover) with Godiva on double-game point in that final will haunt me forever. Thank God we won. Aaanyway, I think that if you're playing the 2-4-1 zone offense in a conservative manner, you must take advantage of the fast-break once the disc makes it past the cup, which is what we didn't do in that final. We got nervous, tightened up, and let them back in the game from a six-point advantage.

aj said...

Welcome Ms. Parham. Good to have you.

We don't exactly use the poppers to crash the cup, but I have been encouraging the handlers to throw through the cup to the poppers rather than swing it around the cup to the poppers. I think I'm going to try to convince the poppers to run more sideline to sideline in my next practice. Right now, the wings are getting really jumpy just standing there on the sidelines when the handlers get it. They really want to be running. Anyway, i'll let you guys know what happens.