v 2.32 – January 2021
Concept first published 1st Jan 2013
Older version also available en Français (v2.1)
Hex is a naturally fast-paced offence, which flows organically and is a lot of fun to play. If you want to win and have fun, follow these three guidelines:
1. Keep the disc moving (movement)
2. Maintain team shape (spacing)
3. Control your balance (technique)
Players work together as a team to maximise options, meaning there are tons of opportunities to get involved in the play. For beginners this means more disc time, less restrictions, and more fun. For high level teams this means the offence can adapt quickly to defensive change by utilising the spread nature and quick disc movement. Training Hex will typically develop more intuitive, well-rounded players who are comfortable with the disc, as opposed to specific role fillers.
full image of the Hex Movement Decision Tree
1. Keep the disc moving
Sustained flow is very valuable and hard to defend against, so players should take any open pass available to them without hesitation. The decision tree is a guideline for how players should move, and where they should look, in order to have the best shot at keeping the disc moving.
In this video from 2018 I talk through the decision tree, and look at a point of hex being played from it’s perspective.
2. Maintain team shape
Players should maintain good spacing between each other and the disc throughout their possession, as this will maximise their options. The shape that forms naturally with equal spacing between 7 players is a hexagon made of equilateral triangles;
The shape will deform naturally whenever the disc or players move – it doesn’t need to be perfect, but shape maintenance is an ongoing task for each player which will benefit the team. The disc should be on the outside of the shape, and as the disc position moves across the field, the shape extending from it rotates a full 180 degrees – so the central point is directly towards the centre of the field when the disc is on the sidelines. Players should gravitate towards shape positions when flow has stopped – the focus of the analysis of these clips from Australian club team Outbreak Mountain;
When a team focuses on maintaining their shape and keeping the disc moving, they can generate and sustain flow – as explained in this analysis of USA D3 team Stevens IoT;
3. Control your balance
In terms of individual technique, being in control of your balance whilst catching and throwing means you are in control of your body’s acceleration and deceleration as well as the flow/direction of the disc – a powerful combination! When used to counter defensive imbalance and/or exploit space, a thrower (who is part of an offence with good shape) can generate flow and penetrate through defensive setups. This video shows New Zealand team Hammertron using their shape and balance control to provide multiple options to keep the disc moving;
There are two basic types of throw: the pivot-throw, and the throw’n’go (or half-pivot). Immediately after releasing the disc from a pivot-throw, the thrower is static, where immediately after a throw’n’go, they are running. Pivot throws are useful for getting the disc around a defender and adding power, whereas throw’n’go technique is useful for getting away from your defender and offering an immediate return option. Here’s analysis of Tyler Kinley from Sockeye, using throw’n’go technique to execute a dribble;
Combine and train these three elements – movement, shape, and technique – with freedom, creativity, and spirit – and you’ll not only enjoy training and playing more, but you’ll develop faster and start to see great results.
Looking to implement some of these principles into your team? For drills and exercises, check out the felixultimate How to Train Hex series;
For a 1-to-1 chat/meet with Felix, or to get Felix into your team’s braintrust and collaborating with planning elements of your trainings & season, check out the higher tiers on Patreon! Felix can also travel to run a Hex Clinic in your city, or live stream video analysis with your team – email felix at felixultimate.com with your request.
Video examples – non-stop footage of Hex Offence in action from multiple teams;
Extra notes for players who are familiar with / trained in stack offences:
- De-prioritise gaining yards – hex values flow over yardage, so take the open pass regardless of yardage, field position, or stall count. Look to initiate and continue flow, instead of looking downfield to potentially gain yards
- Spread out – clumping together in a stack maximises space at the expense of options, which does not work well with a flow-based offence. Make equilateral triangles locally, and resist the temptation to flood (or ‘clear’) downfield when the disc is on the sideline (50% of the players should be behind the disc to keep balanced shape)
- Follow your throw – when throwing, instead of viewing nearby space as just areas for your receivers to cut to, view them as areas which you can attack immediately after releasing the disc, receive passes back to, and then use the momentum of your defender against them
- Face infield – the centre of the space – soon after catching the disc, instead of looking downfield