The ISO Kamikazi
The ISO kamikazi play takes advantage of the very foundation of Ultimate; Teamwork. One major aspect that separates a winning team from a losing one is how well a team of players works with each other. If every cutter was capable of reading a handler’s mind, and visa-versa, then there would be more completed plays, less miscommunications, and a better flowing team. Unfortunately, reading minds is out of the possibilities of Ultimate players but using the ISO Kamikaze will bring us damn close.
This play is extremely simple and can be added on to any other offensive play just like Turbodisc. When waiting for the pull on your end zone line set up an order at which your teammates will catch the disc. That sounds a little weird so let me clarify. There will be 7 of you on the line waiting for the disc to start your offensive attack on the opponents end zone. Assign each teammate a number 1-7 (or just have them line up in order assuming the other team has no clue what your doing). Each teammate should remember their number and the numbers next to theirs. So if you assign a player #3, he should know who #2 and #4 is. It is extremely important each player knows where they are in the line and who is before and after them.
Before I explain further, let’s go over exactly what ISO is. ISO is short for “isolate” and is used on offense to designate a certain teammate to catch the next pass. Most of the time the other team is not familiar with your teammates so by yelling out “ISO Chris!” let’s Chris know he will be getting the disc next. It also let’s your team know to give Chris room to get open and to not get in his way. This is a secret form of communication that your team understands that the other team does not. In other words, calling ISO kind of lets your team read your mind as to what you want to do with the disc.
The word ISO also does something else, it puts a single player in the spotlight. In theory, every player should be putting in 100% intensity when playing but we all know that’s hard to do for an extended period of time. Most of us play around 80-90% intensity the entire game and only tap into that 100% for only a few brief moments throughout the game. But the word “ISO” is a magic word. It puts a certain player in the spotlight which triggers a natural adrenaline rush allowing them to play at 100% (sometimes more) until they get the disc. More often then not the ISO’d player is able to beat his mark, but why? It is because his mark is 1) unaware for a few seconds that his mark was the one that got ISO’d and 2) this player is probably playing at the 80-90% we talked about above which can’t match that 100% intensity. Once the opponent realizes which player got ISO’d it is often to late for them and a pass is completed.
So back to the play. Remember those numbers you assigned to each player? Those are simply the order of which each teammate will catch the disc. This play is essentially 7 designated ISO’s in a row that are planned out to eliminate the need for calling them out during the play. The person given #1 will start out with the disc. #1 knows to throw to the person assigned #2 and #2 knows to try his absolute hardest to get open for the disc. The rest of the team also knows to stay out of #2’s way during this time. When #2 catches the disc he knows to throw to #3 whom is trying their hardest to get open. During this time the rest of the team (especially #1 and #2) are catching their breath and preparing for their next turn to get open. They should still be jogging around so it is not too obvious to the opposing team. After the #7 catches the disc the cycle will simply start over again.
Another crucial part of this play is the stall count. The entire team should be aware that they must get open by stall 7. If a designated teammate cannot get open in 7 seconds then the play halts and every team member is eligible to catch the disc. 3 seconds should be enough time to make a quick pass to anyone. So say you are #2 and #3 could not get open in time. #6 cuts in and you pass it to him. The play starts up again and #7 should be the one trying their hardest to get open followed by #1 and so on.
You can easily change the order every point scored. This play usually works very well with Vert Stack and can be added to almost any offensive Ultimate Frisbee play. The ISO Kamikaze allows each teammate to be on the same page without the other team knowing. It adds organization to the field and enables players to give that 100% to beat their mark with time to rest after.
A more advanced variation of this play is adding the ability to pass back to a number. For example, if #2 passes to number #3, #2 and #4 are the ones that go 100% to get open. If #3 passes back to number #2, then #1 and #3 are options for the next pass. This version of the play works much better but sometimes it will tire players out if 2-3 players constantly keep passing to each other. Tired players have trouble reaching that 100% which is the very basis of this play so use the advanced version wisely.
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