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Author Topic: clam d??  (Read 38710 times)
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aphillips_2014
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« on: February 17, 2009, 11:53:24 AM »

can someone explain to me clam defense.  my college team played against another team a while back and from what i recall it looked as if it was a 2-3-2 zone.  they didn't throw it all the time so it was hard for us to figure out how to break it.  is there a home/away force is or is it always to the middle? are the middle outside players supposed to cover the lines?  my team plays cup and rabbit quite a bit so if you feel the need to reference those i know what you're talking about.


thanks
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Foggy
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 01:09:16 PM »

We play clam as 3 - 1 - 2 -1. A regular zone cup at the disc, but then you have a diamond shape setup, so you're more or less boxing in the stack. Force is one way only and not middle. The break side of the diamond is more or less poaching.
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aphillips_2014
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 01:30:18 PM »

the 3-1-2-1 is usually how we play cup d.  we have 3 guys around the disc at all times, a short-deep, deep-deep, and two wings.
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Seppo
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 03:02:50 PM »

A typical Zone D set-up is 3-3-1, where you have a cup of 3 players, a left-mid, right-mid and mid-mid, and then a deep.  The goal of the cup is to contain the disc (not let it through any holes) and force the offense to swing the disc back and forth until they eventually turn the disc over (via a foolish throw, dropped pass or GREAT D).

Clam, on the other hand, has a different focus in mind.  While the setup can vary a bit, (3-3-1, 3-1-2-1, etc), the goal is always the same.  The front 3 (what is the cup in normal Zone D), does not focus on containing the disc as much.  In fact, they focus very little on the offensive handlers at all.  They are more concerned with picking up the popper and cutters as they stream towards the disc.  In a way it is like a part-time man defense.  As offensive Player A comes streaming in, it is the job of one of the 3 front men/women in the clam to temporarily guard that player and ensure he/she doesn't get the disc.  Once that player is no longer a threat or another player has entered the area who is more of a threat, the defensive player needs to switch.  The front men should be quick on their toes and quick in the mind to know who needs to be guarded when.

The Clam requires a lot of communication amongst the defenders (especially the front men) b/c you have to be on your toes about who is guarding who as the offensive players make their moves.  Furthermore, the Clam is best used as a transition defense.  You might start the point in Clam D, but transition to Man after 3 or 5 passes.

Hope this helps...  Smiley

- Seppo #22
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DavidG
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 09:36:21 PM »

So the Clam D in my mind isn't referring to the cup and rabbit/wall/junk/4-man-cup part of your D but rather the down field D players. They are positioned around the O stack in a way that a D player can pick up any player coming into their zone. Forming the clam part (around the stack)

http://www.ultimatehandbook.com/Webpages/Advanced/advancecl.html

Basically what foggy said.

What Seppo said sounds like a particular type of cup and rabbit/wall/junk/4-man-cup that I was taught by a guy who played for Buzz Bullets at one point. I loved it, shuts down all in cuts leaving only overheads, breaks and difficult hucks as options.

What do you think of a combination of the two? A 3 man cup where with each swing the cup first cuts out the in cuts and then closes in on the mark with the 4 downfield defenders putting a clam on the stack. With practice and a team that know each other well, could be devastating...
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aphillips_2014
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 10:34:35 PM »

thanks for the link!  what's confusing me is that some of you are mentioning a stack when a team is playing zone d.  offensively, most teams have a hub with two outside handlers, poppers (mids), and generally two deeps?  i've never seen a team stack against a zone.  i do appreciate everyone's advice and input.  i play for a smaller school from rhode island and our goal is to make it to d-3 nationals this may. 
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Torre
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 12:01:22 AM »

i was always under the impression that a clam d was a man-ish d. (please correct me if i'm wrong).

when i saw  what i thought was the clam d it was against a vertical stack(only).

Force Middle marks, all defenders play under except back of the stack- who poaches deep.

Front 2 defenders in the stack poach each side of the stack & communicate switches to shut down any open in cuts.
 what d is this?
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Tanty
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 05:50:23 AM »

I think the issue here is the same name for a lot of different defences. I was taught clam in Australia by one of our Nationals teams and it's basically what Seppo wrote up. It was considered a variation of zone by us. Basically a normal 3-3-1 setup but the cup behaving differently and the cup has a force. As Seppo said too it was mainly used with a transition.
The link is a bit different to what I'd call clam... that looks more like a really poachy man defence to me than a true zone (not to mention a bit of work to pull off).
So for at least a portion of the players in Sydney OUR clam is a variation of zone. But that's like the Puppy vs Pommy debate (both basically a 1 3 2 1 zone with the wall doing SLIGHTLY) different things. Some Sydney players distinguish between the two and some don't, some use the name interchangeably and when I say pommy I know some players play it in the way I would play a puppy. It can be frustrating...

So yeah I think that's the main confusing point here, half of us are talking about different things to the other half

As for Cup and Rabbit, that sounds like what I'd call "standard" or "331" and "Pommy/Puppy"... So there's even more confusion of terms there...

My personal favorite name confusion is "Feldrunner" offence... In the teams I play it's a 4 Handler 1 Middle 2 Deep isolation offence (similar but not as advanced as what I was taught as "sandshoe" a few years later"). Named after a German team at a World Clubs years ago. Feldrunner (or something like that) was the team that used it most effectively against the Australians (they didn't even invent it apparently) so when the idea was stolen/borrowed it was "lets try that offence Feldrunner used against us"... so it became known as "Feldrunner" or now more commonly a "Feldy". I'd love to see the faces of a German team when the Australian exchange student starts asking to play a Feldy.

Oh well, if we all didn't have our confusing personalised names for our plays it would be slightly more boring...
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Tenk283
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 05:11:41 AM »

Hmmm, interesting discussion.

"Clam" for me is a hybrid zone. It is a junk defense used to throw an opposing team's offense off their game. Now when I say "hybrid" or "junk", that means the players are a combination of "zone" and "man" player assignments.

Example, in a 3-3-1 standard zone, everyone has a zone assignment. The cup protects the zone immediately around the disc and the wings/short deep/deep deep have their zones.

Playing man to man D, everyone has a man assignment.

Now, onto the actual defense.

A "clam" or "fsu" (as termed by tiger) uses 3 players in man to man assignment. Most teams play with 2 or 3 handlers (the odd one has 4). So these 3 go and mark the fatboy handlers. A zone's weakness is the ability to get an easy reset on the stall by looking back and completing a dump pass (a la 3-3-1). So the clam looks to not give away that weakness.

Normally, one of the man players is called as "on the mark" (or the "dude") he chases the disc always. No-one else marks the disc. The two other man players are designated "open side" and "break side". Typically, the break side just marks the dump or any suss character in the flat. The open side poaches in the lane and makes a mess of everything.

The 4 players in the secondary are arranged like this: front of stack, open side wing, break side wing and deep deep. Front of the stack protects against break passes and throws straight up the guts between the "dude" and the "open side". Open side wing/break side wing and deep deep just behave like they would in a pommy (1-3-2-1 zone) shutting down hammers and lofted passes.

In a clam, the force is always to the sideline. That way you are forcing them to throw up the line into the teeth of your wings/deep.

An FSU (or "fuck shit up") is an interesting variation that I was told about by tiger. Instead of forcing sideline, you force middle. That way your "front of stack" is always in the way, poaching the shit out of every throw, with the open side. Break side takes the dump. Wings/deeps do their usual scare tactics in the secondary to stop anything over the top.

Clams work well against well drilled inflexible offenses that are used to playing man or against a certain type of defense (eg. Pommy). It can get you a few cheap turns simply because it looks like man, in cuts are shut down and there are dudes poaching everywhere. The stronger your front of stack, the better your clam. If they super sneaky and really atheletic, it is possible for them to get 5 blocks in 5 points (i saw it happen when our captain who is normally a wing or deep played there and caused mayhem).

Clam shuts down dominating recievers for a couple of passes. But clam doesn't really fair well once the offense gets on the same page and they start to chip it around. Barring a cold turn or forced throw, it is rare to see a clam create a turn after 5 or so passes.

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gambler
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 08:39:57 PM »

Seems like there's different terminology in the US and Australia.

In the US, all the "clam" Ds I've played and taught have been a structured way to poach against a team's regular offense.  Three players guard the handlers person-on, forcing one way, while the four downfield defenders essentially play a diamond around the cutters.  On person covering the deep space, one person on the open side, one person on the break side, and one person covering the up-the-gut, inside-out space.  Each of those four downfield defenders will tightly guard anyone who makes a cut in their area, and then pass them off once they cut into a different person's zone.  If the O plays a vertical stack, then the D can position itself near the stack, ready to take anyone that makes a cut into the space that is their responsibility.  If the O is in a horizontal or spread set-up, the downfield D spreads itself out accordingly and covers who ever is in their area, passing off players to adjacent defenders as need be.  This type of clam is easiest to set-up off of a stopped disc, so sometimes teams would purposefully pull the disc out of bounds to set a clam.  It might be used against a team that you are having a hard time shutting down on the strong-side, as the clam helps players switch so that under and deep are covered.  It can also be quite effective after a time-out near the endzone line. 

The versions of "clam" that Aussies have described in this thread sound like what I've always heard referred to as "junk" Ds.  In my experience in America, a junk D is usually a loose or aggressive variation of a zone defense you can only play a few points a game, because it's strength is in forcing the O to look at the field differently than it's used to, not necessarily because it takes everything away.  Most junk Ds have major holes or weaknesses, and you don't want to play the D for enough points to allow the O to get comfortable against it.  There are a myriad of ways your team can set up a junk D, many of which have been mentioned in this thread.

When playing offense against either a clam or junk D, knowing that the defense is unlikely to play that D for the entire point is crucial.  If the handlers can be patient and maintain possession long enough to see where the holes are and how to break down the defense, then the D will usually get hosed.  Against a clam while you're playing person-offense, often handler generated movement is a key to breaking it down.  Give-gos and dominator-style play work well.  So does flooding a certain part of the field with multiple offensive players such that the D in that area can't cover them all.  Since there are so many different type of junk defenses, it's hard to say what exactly would work to break them down.  Usually teams go into their zone-offensive set-up.  Moving the disc will usually illuminate the holes after a bit. 

Hope that helps.
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Tenk283
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 10:18:54 PM »

I honestly can't see how the version i described is different from the one you just put forward.  Huh Huh Huh

No defense takes everything away out of tactics. It is out of player performance that everything is shut down... (conversely, it is because of player performance that everything is opened up on O)

The reason why clam is not used to heavily in oz is mostly because no has really taken it as their "defense" and practised it alot. until a team uses it, and uses it to great effect, clam is not going to be fashionable. It will come into vogue though if a team shows that is can be used and it can be used as a mainstay defense LIKE a pommy (1-3-2-1) or standard (3-3-1).

As a result, you don't have good clam players. There a oodles of good man and pommy players... But no good clam players.
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gambler
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 01:38:33 PM »

I was sort of summarizing the whole thread, not just responding to your (Tenk283)'s post.  Multiple posts before you explained clam as more of a type of zone than a D to play against a person-offense.  I felt the difference in terminology was regional.

The main distinction between how I've played clam and the way you described it is that I've always played it that the 3 person-on defenders guarding handlers don't have a designated marker.  One person doesn't mark all the time (that wouldn't be very person-D-like...).  As as long as the O has only 3 handlers back, they are covered exactly like would be in a regular force-on-way D.  Only if the O has 2 or 4 handlers back do the person-on defenders play around with their match-ups a bunch, but there still isn't one designated marker--IMO that would leave too many opportunities for broken marks and unmarked throws while the marker was chasing the disc all over the field. 
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Tenk283
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 06:05:16 PM »

By calling one person on the mark, you get two good things out of it:

1) You get a strong marker that won't let off breaks.
2) It sorts out who marks the disc if it moves away from the handlers.

By calling those three man-d players on "handlers only", you narrow their field of influence. Whereas, I say "mark the dump and any suss character in the flat". Which means, if one of the handlers racks off upfield, the man-d player doesn't go running after them. They stay in the flat and mark any swings/sideways movement.

The marker has to be fit though. Clam is not a slow zone. It cannot be played like a pommy. The mark does have to move fast. So long as the man in the lane moves quick, the wings are active and the "top-of-the-stack" maintains his position, the marker can cover it before the disc goes zooming upfield through a couple pairs of hands.

Here is why:

If the dump is marked it means the swing will be cut off. If they do get the dump, the marker goes and marks the disc whilst the breakside man goes and covers the swing... Top-of-the-stack needs to cover the middle as usual, but possibly hang more to the break side. Breakside wing should come crashing in on any poppers that are upfield of the swing. Deep will cover anything behind the breakside wing. Openside wing should pull into the middle like they would in a pommy to compress the field.
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BJ
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 09:42:50 PM »

Just putting it out there, with the severe lack of Australian Clam-playing teams, Americans probably have a good perspective on it...
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Tiger
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 04:03:37 AM »

Excuse me BJ but Dan's played uni games. I think he knows what he's on about okay.
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