Home Positions: Introduction

Over the next few days I will be covering how we want our handlers to manage their spacing, timing and field position as the disc changes hands. Taz will be doing a similar series on how we want our cutters to manage the same topics. While a not all of you are cutters, and not all of you are handlers, many of these concepts are interconnected it is important to have a firm grasp on both aspects before we can meld well as a team.

The home positions are the positions that handlers are expected to start all of their cuts from. They are positions chosen to give us the most balanced field position and to give us the greatest number of options with which to run our handler offense. The home positions will change slightly based on field position, the force, and what offensive formation we are running on the current point, but the general idea is as follows. All diagrams below are based on the forcing toward the left side of the field (forehand if you’re a righty) and attacking an endzone below the image.


Figure 1 shows the home positions for the horizontal stack with the disc roughly in the middle of the field. These positions are chosen to give us wide throwing windows and many reset options. The open side handler should be at close to a 45° angle from the handler. If this is your position, one way to think about this is you want to be on a line that goes from the mark to the thrower to you. The break-side handler should be more or less even with the disc. The distance between the disc and each handler should be around 5-10 yd, with the open side handler on the closer end of that range and the break-side handler on the farther end of that range.


Figure 2 shows the home positions for the vertical stack with the disc roughly in the middle of the field. Because the vertical stack emphasizes break-side and open side cutting space, rather than deep space and under space, we move the break side handler in front of the disc as our anchor. The stack should be set at least 10-15yd away from the disc and slightly on the force side in order to leave our around and inside throwing window as open as possible.

As I stated above, one of the most important reasons we have these home positions is to maintain balance: balance in field position, balance in cutting options, and balance in throwing options. The next post in this series will go over how we use these balanced positions to make cuts from the home positions, how we will describe these cuts, and the advantage/disadvantage of each.

If you have any questions so far, please put them in the comments below.

New terms used in this post:

anchor – the handler at the front of the vertical stack.
a throw that breaks the mark on the backfield side. 
balance –
a position from which we have many options.
field position –
the position of the disc relative to the field and the force.
force –
defined by the mark, the direction it is generally easiest to throw.
horizontal stack –
an offensive formation that emphasizes space in front of (under) and behind (deep) the stack.
home positions –
positions of balance for our handlers to have the most options with which to work.
inside –
a throw that breaks the mark on the upfield side.
offensive formation – a way to organize our offense on the field.
reset – the handler (or cutter) we are looking for to reset the stall count.
vertical stack –
an offensive formation that emphasizes open-side and break-side space.

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