After a long hiatus from indoor ultimate, I signed up with some of my oldest and best ultimate friends for a 4 on 4 indoor ultimate team. I was really unsure about signing up for this, because I've never been a fan of variants of ultimate. Practice makes permanent, and surrounding yourself with indoor people who make bad choices is not good for your game. However, Goaltimate proved me wrong earlier this year, and worst case scenario I was playing with good people.
After my first experience on Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised with the 4 on 4 concept.
4 on 4 is very popular in Quebec (They just had a tournament last weekend), and it allows people to play on smaller surfaces and provides a serious workout. With four players per team on the field, You can't be a lazy handler in this game.
Major Things Quebec has taught us about indoor
- No breaks between points (sub of the fly, or simply no pulls)
- Handler movement
In the first half of our game, we looked like a bunch of comp ultimate players trying to figure out the new rules of this game. Personally, I found that the small field was going to change my mindset (outside of hucks, I like to play 100% low risk offence) and forced me to throw more breaks and challenging throws because.. the defence was giving me no option. We were also having a fun time trying to figure out how to game plan defensively (Do we force middle to take away the sneaky blade throws that some teams use indoors? Do we try some sort of junk zone? Please feel free to comment viewers)
In the second half, we started to roll. Maybe we started to adapt, maybe the other team got tired from a very fast paced first half (probably a little from column a, a little from column b). I can tell you it was major fun to make break throws that you wouldn't otherwise think and your cutters wouldn't expect in regular play.
In the end, I think this format of indoor can be a skill developer or a bad habit generator just like any other variant. If you want to practice throws that will work outside and can be used in ultimate, than you're going to improve your skills as a thrower and a cutter. If you want to throw off hand and make throws that the wind will not tolerate, than you're getting into bad habit mode.
I'll probably have to look into a Quebec tournament this winter. We'll see how the season goes.