Session C4

This session will teach the basic skills of defense – marking and guarding.

The use of these two terms allows participants to distinguish between the skills used and rules considered for defending opponents in possession of the disc versus those who don’t have possession (ie: cutters/receivers).

Preparation: Use cones to set up one field for every eight participants (15m wide, 25m long goal-to-goal, plus 5m long endzones). These fields can also be used as playing areas for activities.


  • Introduce yourself if you haven’t been with the group before
  • Remind the group what they learned in the previous session (forehand & throwing to a moving target)
  • Outline any safety considerations for the session



  • Explain and demonstrate marking
    • Stall counting – start with the word “stalling” then count each second out loud
    • Must be at least one metre away from the thrower
    • Get balanced, lower your centre of gravity
    • Be on the balls of your feet so that you can shuffle quickly
    • Keep your arms out
    • Practice moving left and right, and in and out from the thrower
  • Explain that guarding is when you are defending someone who doesn’t have the disc
  • Have participants in groups of 3 or 4 practising marking a thrower


Extra Skills (for longer sessions)

  • Explain more about guarding opponents in defense
    • Each player gets assigned someone to guard before the point starts and prevent them from getting the disc
    • Explain how to position so that you can see both the disc and the opponent you are guarding (don’t have your back to either – stand where you can form a triangle of yourself, the disc and your opponent so you can see both at once)

Extra Activity (for longer sessions)

Rules Chat

Spirit of the Game

  • How does Spirit of the Game work? What characteristics do players need to have? (mutual respect, honesty, integrity, fair mindedness, truthful, good communication etc.)
  • What are some examples of good spirit? (informing a teammate if they have made a wrong or unnecessary call, retracting a call when you no longer believe the call was necessary, complimenting an opponent for a good play or good spirit, introducing yourself to an opponent, reacting calmly to disagreement or provocation).
  • What are some examples of bad spirit? (dangerous play or aggressive behaviour, intentional fouling, taunting or intimidating others, disrespectful celebrations after scoring, making calls in retaliation to an opponent’s call, calling for a pass from an opposition player etc)
  • In the case where a new player doesn’t know a rule – what can we do? (help them to understand, ask someone who does know, look up the rule etc.)

Play Ultimate!

  • Play with five per side on the field
  • Encourage participants to use the marking skills they have just learned
  • Make an effort to ensure everyone is involved
  • Use the CHANGE IT sheet to make adjustments if needed

Finish up

  • Ask participants to return all cones and discs
  • Revise what was learned during the session – marking and guarding
  • Thank them for playing!