Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Crunch! 1999

This was inspired by Jim's post inquiringing about Mixed strategy (http://parinella.blogspot.com/2005/07/mixed-strategy.html).

In 1999 Crunch!, the Atlanta mixed team I played with, qualified for Jockey UPA Nationals and finished 8th overall (ironically losing to Holes & Poles in the placement game) on the strength of our spread offense, our junk defenses and picking the games we wanted to win.

Hale Brown was the mind behind implementing these strategies. On both offense and defense, the position you played was often determined by your sex. In the spread O, a woman would always catch the pull (usually Jen Christianson) and feed it to the middle handler (usually Hale), who would then look to get the disc to one of our top men who was playing the down field center. The play was either have the center come back to the disc and then throw the score to one of the women playing a deep wing (usually Beth Ann Hanson), or just have Hale huck it to the guy playing center because there was not a concern about poaches from the female defenders.

On defense I remember the two junk D sets we used most often. One involved putting women on one or two of the other team's best male handlers. One of our men played deep to take away the huck while the women concentrated on making the cut back to the disc difficult. We generally marked up on the three best handlers our opponents had while the remaining four players played zone. The idea was to get a poach turnover after the disc got into the hands of a weaker thrower.

The other D was a vice where you were always in one of four spots if you were a guy and three if you were a girl. The was a man as all-time mark forcing into a woman (essentially a two person cup), one man playing deep, another woman playing somewhat deep on the break side (the "hammer stopper"), and the remaing two men and one woman playing for the underneath cut to the force side.

All of this, while not revolutionary, was effective in the mixed division's second year. The final component of our success was winning the games that mattered. I believe we were pretty honest about other teams having better overall players than we did, and while I wouldn't say we threw any games, we defintely opend up the rotation in the second half of a lot of matches (or reined it in tight if the game was closer than expected), especially at Nationals. Hale, being format-inclined, always knew what games were crucial wins in order to advance as far as possible. I remember that somehow we lost to Trigger Hippy, Red Fish Blue Fish and Blind Date (from Boston) and still ended up in the quarter finals on Saturday (losing to eventualy champs Raleigh Llamas), while I don't remember any team we beat those three days.

3 comments:

gcooke said...

Dan,

Interesting stuff.

A couple of corrections. H&P was not at San Diego. The other team from the South was a team called Sweetwater 420, I believe. Blind Date was from DC, not Boston.

My team, EMO, played Crunch in the first game of the tournament. They took half 8-2, and we were very nervous as, for many of us, it was our first Nationals. We came back in the second half, but lost 13-12.

-George

heacox said...

Thanks for the reply and the corrections, George. You are right on both accounts (it was frustrating how much I had forgotten about that time when I actually tried writing the post). Sweetwater 420 was in many ways a precusor to Holes & Poles.

Also, I was thinking in the shower today about what teams we did beat, and I remembered that we played you all (EMO) that year, along with maybe the Go-Gos from St. Louis and Ryno's Revolution from Telluride (?)*. What's funny is I said to myself "Isn't it weird there were two Boston mixed teams that year?" but you just cleared that up.

*One of those teams might have been Seven from Albuquerque. Any chance this kind of stuff is going back on the UPA website in the near future?

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