Timeouts

We’re excited to have Sion “Brummie” Scone — a long-time UK coach at the highest level — as a new columnist, and I think he pretty much nailed his first column on seven costly offensive mistakes.

What resonated with me most was his suggested use of timeouts.

His second point — the one about not taking a timeout after catching a huck right near the endzone — I heartily agreed with on a first read. But I had to think a lot more about his sixth point, where he recommends using timeouts in high stall situations.

What’s fascinating is that I don’t think I’ve ever really seen that strategy employed by US teams. In one game at this year’s College Championships, a women’s team did call a high-stall timeout, but then got burned by not being set in their offense at the end of 90 seconds. With no one over the disc, they were promptly stalled out.

Given the value of maintaining possession (especially at the Club level), using timeouts at stall eight or nine actually makes a great deal of sense. You can set up a play designed to get a reset, and, in many situations, that will be better than the alternative — a low percentage huck or punt.

Now, of course, you will have to consider field position — it probably wouldn’t make much sense to do this on your own goal line.

At a minimum, it got me thinking about the strategic use of timeouts and how poorly they are used much of the time. With so few timeouts in a game, does it really make sense to use one after the other team goes on a three point run? You might need it later when you need a break!

Timeout usage seems much more sophisticated in sports like basketball and football. Will a renaissance come to ultimate?

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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