In ultimate you are only allowed to have one defensive player marking the thrower (aka: the mark), if you have two or more this is a “double team”.
More specifically, a double team occurs when a defensive player other than the mark is within 3 meters of the pivot point of the thrower without also being within 3 meters (10 feet) of another offensive player who they are guarding.
Guarding is defined as: A defender is guarding and offensive player when they are within 3 meters of that offensive player and are reacting to that offensive player.
What does that really mean?
- The mark must be within 3 meter (10 feet) of the thrower’s pivot point to count stalls
- If a second defensive player is also within 3 meters(10 feet) of the pivot point, that player must be guarding another offensive player
Consider the following examples (male names = offense; female names = defense):
- Jill is marking Chris. Janet is standing in the throwing lane within 3 meter of Chris’ pivot foot. This IS a double team.
- Jill is marking Chris. Janet is standing in the throwing lane outside of 3 meter from Chris’ pivot foot. This IS NOT a double team.
- Jill is marking Chris. Janet is guarding Philippe. Janet is within 3 meters of Chris’ pivot foot, but so is Philippe. This IS NOT a double team.
- Jill is marking Chris. Janet was guarding Philippe but stops to block the throwing lane after Philippe clears out. Janet is within 3 meters of Chris’s pivot foot and is no longer guarding Philippe. This IS a double team.
ONLY the thrower may call a double team. The thrower’s teammates may remind the thrower about a potential double team but a double team is not called until the thrower calls it.
If a double team is called, play does not stop, but the mark must reduce the count by one from the highest number reached.
For example: Stalling One, Two, Three, “Double Team”, Two, Three, Four, etc. This counting sequence is the same for the three other marking violations: “disc space”, “sight blocking” or “fast count”. On the second occurance of any marking violation within the same possession, the thrower may choose to call “violation” which stops the play, and the stall count goes to zero.
Double teams often occur when the defensive team is setting a zone defence. The players in the “cup”, or front group of players, set up with one player as the mark and additional players blocking the throwing lanes. As long as these “additional players” remain at least 3 meters from the throwers pivot point this IS NOT a double team. If one of the players in the cup follows an offensive player into the 3 meter area and then leaves with that offensive player, this IS NOT a double team.
It is also important to note that a double team cannot be called after/during a turnover. And double team calls affect only the stall count.
- For information on HOW to handle call.
- For information on this and other rules:
- Full series of “Condor’s Rules Over The WEAK“