Discussion of Break Trap Play

This play is very similar to a dump play, and is basically a specific instance of the Iso play. The set up of this play is as follows: the Handler has the disc and is trapped on a sideline. A receiver is in an Iso position about 10 yards in front of the Handler, also on the sideline (or just a few feet inside the line), and is standing still. A Square is even with the Handler for a bail out pass, if needed. The other 4 players are across the field, away from the play (see figure).

Note: the Iso does not cut to the sideline position. S/he starts there, and stands still. As with how a Dump works, the general rule is: a) if the Iso's marker is looking at the Iso, the Handler will initiate action with a throw; or b) if the Iso's marker is looking at the Handler, the Iso will initiate action with a cut.

Usual Defense

The typical defense played against the Iso is for the defender to front the Iso, standing between the Iso and the sideline. The most common and easiest play to make is for the Handler to (1) pass to the Iso as s/he cuts toward the center of the field. The Handler needs an inside out throw for this, but it is one that is fairly easy to make. The other good option is for the Handler to (2) throw a short curve pass around the Iso and Marker, leading the Iso just a little down the sideline (see figure).

Both of the throwing options work surprisingly well, and result in an unimpeded throwing opportunity for the Iso who is then facing upfield. If both of these passes are unavailable, the Handler turns to face the Square, and typically will break the mark with a throw away from the offensive endzone. Please also note that besides being a bail out, the Square's secondary function is to keep the Handler's marker honest; the Handler may need to momentarily face the Square to effect a re-positioning of the Handler's marker.

It's uncanny, really, just how easy this play is to run once the 3 offensive players are in position. It is very hard to defend, and only fails if a poor throw is made.

Other Defenses

Two other defenses may be played against the Iso, requiring the Iso to set up a little differently. In both cases, the idea is to create enough space so that the mid-range throw down the sideline is a threat. The first alternative defense is when the defender sets up on the inside of the Iso, thus making the cut to the center of the field more difficult. To combat this defense, the Iso would gradually move a few steps towards the center of the field, then stop. This will open up the throwing lane down the sideline. Again, the key to making this work is to position him/herself to force the defender to choose between looking at the Handler or the Iso.

The second alternative defense is when the defender sets behind the Iso, so s/he can see both the Handler and the Iso. This position would make the pass down the sideline more difficult, but leaves the cut to the middle open, as well as a cut back to the Handler. To take advantage of this positioning by the defender, the Iso should gradually move a couple steps away from the Handler to open up the cut back space. An obvious next pass the Iso would then make would be a lead pass to the Square.

If a team is running the Spread Offense, the positioning of the other 4 players will be as follows (see figure).

Note that the Long on the same side as the Iso is about 20-25 yards further upfield. This gives the Iso a Long as a target. The Middle who is about 20 yards upfield and in the middle of the field gives the Iso a solo target for the next pass.

The Middle and Long on the opposing sideline are positioned to open up the field, allow the Middle in the middle of the field to have room to maneuver, and to be targets for the next pass in sequence.

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