Don’t teach your Beginners Stack

Article written by Noah Brinkworth

You probably know by now that we’re not massive fans of stacks here at Hive Ultimate. But there are specific and important reasons why stacks (particularly vertical and side stack – horizontal is not quite as bad) are detrimental to teach to beginners.

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Uni / Beginners Sessions 1-4

Training Tier content: Beginner-friendly training sessions for University clubs to run at the start of term 1. These are designed to come after the Taster Session(s), and give beginners a solid introduction to the sport from scratch over the course of 4 sessions. The session plans are available to patrons on the $8 Training Tier and above.

Includes exercises which work on catching and throwing technique, 1-to-1 defence, forcing, long throws, team defence, offensive spacing, and more.

Felix has been coaching uni-level beginners at Sussex University since 2002, and all the sessions are congruent with a team looking to play hex & flex, as well as any other offences/defences, at the peak of their season.

Running an Ultimate Taster Session

Felix talks through how to run the perfect taster session for beginners joining university ultimate clubs.
Check out the full article this video is based upon:

Felix’s training plans for the first few sessions of term will be available to Training Tier Patrons next week – pledge now to get a free disc!

3 Times Sockeye’s Flow Carved Up Machine’s Defence in the US Open 2021 Final

We take a look at the best moments of flow from the US Open 2021 ultimate frisbee final, paying particular attention to the techniques the players use to keep the disc moving quickly. We’ve added a Possession Clock in the top left which counts how long the disc is in each player’s hands, leading to an Average Time of Possession for the team at the end of the point.

Full video with 6 examples:
Thanks to Ultiworld for the footage – subscribe here:

Ultimate, Chess, and Go – Where do they overlap?

A vidcast-style conversation between four Ultimate Frisbee players who also have experience in Chess and/or Go (Baduk) – talking about strategical crossovers between the games, including how the early game situations compare, distribution of players or units across the playing area, the way handicaps are dealt with, holding “sente” (or the initiative), set plays / joseki / openings, and how the value of pieces & players changes as they become nearer to the sides or over-concentrated in a particular area.
We look at what lessons can be learned from each game, and briefly at how the advent of advanced AI has the potential to turn conventionally accepted strategies on their head.

Florian is a ~2.4k ELO online rated Chess player, Cédric reached 1 Dan in Go/Baduk, Felix has been playing Go since 2006 and runs the Brighton Go Club, and Ryan has been playing Chess for 30 years.

Ryan Lowe (host) is developing content at, and Florian Gailliegue has written a book – “Ultimate in Motion” – which is available from Google Books at the Swarm Tier of the Hive patreon.

Hive Ultimate Patreon Tiers

Join The Hive over at Patreon to become part of the community, gain access to more Hive content and various other perks – as described below.

Image by @ultimatekeira

Training Hex: Turn’n’Go Double Dribble Drill

This drill video (available to $8 tier patrons) trains players’ ability to accelerate out of their throws into a double-dribble with a teammate. Specifically, bouncing the disc off a player who is moving forward from behind the disc, and attacking downfield with them. Features two examples of this move from the recent US Open 2021 Final between Sockeye and Machine.

Watch full video here.

Rhino’s Leandro Marx Earns Redemption Against PoNY

Rhino faced PoNY in the 2019 US Nationals Quarter Final, and again in the 2021 US Open. Both games went to Universe Point. We focus on Leandro Marx’ progression from dropping the disc at 14-14 in 2019, to catching the winning goal in 2021.

How can we characterise offensive and defensive systems?

This article was written by guest authors Marie and Florian Gailliegue and is an excerpt from their book Ultimate in Motion: Balance and Dynamism, available from their website or currently part of the $25/mo Hive Swarm Tier deal.

Any situation in any spot of the field can be objectively characterised. Many factors combine – spatial (proximity to an endzone), positional (centering on the field), material (distribution of players) and initiative (separation / velocity, or other ability to dictate the tempo). During the game, each team will seek to tilt the advantages in their favour.

Strategy is long-term planning, and tactics are a sequence of calculated actions. Philosophy is from where one or more strategies flow. Structure guides how a strategy can be deployed effectively. Tactics are put at the service of the previous pillars to achieve the overall aim.

A structure is defined by the set of positions occupied by the players of a team. With 7 players, we can imagine a nearly infinite array of possibilities. When a strategy is decided upon, there are several structures that can be chosen to ensure the strategic goals are achieved. No matter the structure, the whole tactical toolbox remains at one’s disposal. The ensemble {Strategy, Structure, Tactics} creates a system. For the team to be as efficient as possible, the chosen system must match the philosophy.

ultimate systems

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4 Offensive Mistakes – Inactivity (3/4)

Noah talks about inactivity on the ultimate frisbee field – why offenses specify active (and therefore inactive) players, and how defence can seek to punish this with systemic poaching off inactive players – creating numerical superiorities in active areas.

Check out the patron-only Director’s Commentary below, where Noah and Felix talk for an hour podcast-style on the topics in the video.