Throwing in a Game

Once you have practiced throwing in the park you’re ready to start throwing in a game. But it might not be as easy as you think. There are two adjustments that many new players find both challenging and unexpected when throwing in a game situation for the first time:

Throwing with a defender marking you

One of your opponents will try to defend or limit your throws - something we call marking. They will be standing about the distance of a disc away from you counting loudly to 10, and doing everything they can to either block your throw, or force you to make the throw they want you to. This takes some time to get used to!

Throwing to a moving target

Your teammates will be running hard and making cuts, trying to provide an open target for you to throw to. It is very rarely advisable to throw to someone who isn’t moving, so you’ll need to adjust your throws to account for the moving target.   Your teammate will want you to throw to the space they’re running to, not to where they are when you first release it – so throw several steps ahead of your intended pass.

Tips to Remember: The Basics

  • Be patient and stay calm. You have 10 stall counts to throw the disc so try not to rush.
  • Make eye contact. Look at your receiver and make eye contact before you throw to them. This way, they'll know the disc is coming!
  • Take the easy throw. When it’s available, take the easy throw.
  • Throw to space. Remember that you are usually throwing to a moving target. You have to throw to the open space your receiver is running to, as opposed to where the runner is when you release the disc. When you are practicing your throws, make sure you also practice throwing to a moving receiver.
  • Dump. You don’t have to throw up the field in the direction of the endzone. If the stall count gets past 5 and you don’t have an open receiver, look to throw to a player behind you. This player is called a dump. You may lose a couple of yards, but this can be a good play because it resets the stall count at 0 and gives your team more time to get open.
  • Play safe. Make throws that result in safe catches. Try to avoid throwing passes that hang in the air for too long. The result will be 3-4 players jumping to try and catch the disc at the same time. This is a dangerous play, sometimes referred to as a "hospital pass", because it could easily send players to the hospital.

Tips to Remember: Next steps

  • Pivot.Other than your pivot foot, you are allowed to move. You can pivot as much as you like around that pivot foot, just like in basketball, so this can help you create options for throws.
  • Fake. You can fake a throw by pretending you are going to throw the disc, but hang on to it. This can throw off your mark and give you more room to make the throw you want.  To practice fakes, with a Frisbee in your hand, quickly move the disc from a forehand/flick grip to a backhand grip, and back again.  Repeat.
  • Break the force, Throwing to the open side of the field is usually your easiest option, but also consider throws to the opposite side the field, especially if your receiver is nice and open. This is called breaking the force. For more detail on what the force is, check out the page titled the force in the defense section.
Return to Throwing and Catching