Snitch Tips

By Rob Snitch

Philosophy

My style comes from a background of martial arts and wrestling. (**Snitching is NOT wrestling)

The core of my style is influenced largely by wing chun kung fu. One of the main teachings is to attack while defending and to defend while attacking. Quick, efficient, movements are used to outperform the opponent or opponents.

Maneuverability techniques resemble those of basic fighting strategy. In a two on one fight it is better to face one opponent at a time. Using one opponent to block another is a common and useful strategy.

Control is very important. Snitches should control the seekers and not the other way around. When a seeker rushes a snitch, a snitch should not immediately resort to backpedaling if there is no need to.

Use the opponent’s momentum against the opponent. If a seeker makes a dive then take a side step and let them fall. Don’t use more energy than what is needed.

Match your opponent’s energy. If the opponent is moving fast and hard then use an appropriate amount of energy to counter it. If the opponent is soft then block softly.

Warm Ups and Stretches

Nothing real fancy here, just make sure to stretch all muscle groups.

Drills

Blocking

Requires one Seeker.

This drill is mostly stationary. Meaning don’t run as the Snitch and don’t chase as a Seeker.

The seeker stands in front of the snitch and throws one arm out to reach around the snitch. The snitch will block the arm. Once the arm is blocked reset and start again.

The idea is that a block can become second nature by practicing over and over.

Starting out, the seeker should use the same hand a few times, then switch to the other hand. Another version is to allow the seeker to throw any arm out at his or her discretion.

Block and Counter

Requires one Seeker.

Same setup as the Blocking drill. The difference here is when the snitch blocks the seekers arm the snitch has an opportunity to counter. This could mean throwing the seeker, pushing them off balance, or even starting a hold.

The seeker should pause when his or her arm is blocked so that the snitch has an opportunity to think for a few seconds.

Counters and Holds

For all holds, be careful about head and neck contact. This is not an exhaustive list by any means however it should serve as a decent starting point.

Description for post – holding back a seeker with one arm against his or her shoulder, or two arms against both shoulders.

[need pictures for some of these]

  • Full Nelson
  • Reverse Full Nelson (correct name?)
  • Half Nelson (correct name?) — Hold one arm and post on the other shoulder
  • Broom Block — Grab broom from front and post on a shoulder, push the broom towards the opposite shoulder that you’re posting on.
  • Behind the Broom — Grab the broom from behind the seeker. It helps to keep a hand on his or her back. Just be careful for the seekers that try to spin out and those that walk backwards “down” the broom.
  • Broom Smack Down — If the seeker doesn’t have very good control over the broom then push or pull that broom down or out.
  • Shoulder Pull Down — Grab the seeker’s shoulders and pull down. This works great when the seeker is leaning forward. Just be careful not to pull too hard as we don’t want to injure anyone. This is a nice exit from a posting position.

Arena

Requires two Seekers and four cones. Can still be done with one seeker.

Snitches are placed in a 6m square and must stay within the area. If the Snitch leaves the arena they simply must return to the arena and resume. Snitches can use any tactic to not get caught by seekers, however they are encouraged to use more physical applications. This is the ideal time to practice throws.

Center Line

Requires two Seekers and four cones. Can still be done with one seeker.

Same concept as Arena except that the cones will be setup as a rectangle. Approximately 5m in one direction and the length of a pitch in the other direction. (for example, 5m X 34m).

This simulates the center line of the pitch. Snitches tend to get more praise and recognition when they stay near the center of the pitch for the majority of the game. While this isn’t a requirement until 3rd handicap in the USQ (Rule Book 8) this is still a great skill to have. This shows that the snitch can maneuver and control the seekers.

No Contact

Requires two Seekers. Can still be done with one seeker.

Snitches have a head start on seekers and must sprint/run/dodge to stay away. Large boundaries give the Snitch ample space, which should be utilized to its fullest. The boundaries should be no larger than the size of a pitch. The drill lasts for 40 seconds.

Single Handicap

Requires two Seekers. Can still be done with one seeker.

Essentially Arena except the snitch starts at one handicap. You may include cones for boundaries if you wish. If cones aren’t included then try to keep to a small area when running the drill.

Double Handicap

Requires two Seekers. Can still be done with one seeker.

Same concept as the Single Handicap drill, only this time practice with a double handicap. Experiment and figure out what works.

Maneuvering

Requires two Seekers. Can still be done with one seeker.

The drill space should be smaller than the size of a pitch. To make it a bit more difficult, setup a boundary similar to the Center Line drill (roughly 5m x ~34m). Seekers should provide about 70% effort to begin with. Snitches should go light on throws.

Snitches should practice maneuvering around seekers to be in the optimal position. This means that the three athletes shouldn’t be points on a triangle but instead points in a line. This means that the snitch should try to keep one seeker in front of the other while they’re close. This way the snitch only has to deal with one at a time.

This drill also gives snitches an opportunity to think about how to get out of being cornered and keeping control of the situation.

Winded Down Range (Not Tested)

Requires two Seekers. Can still be done with one seeker.

Have all participants start on a line. On “Go” everyone will sprint 40 yards. Once everyone has finished one person will become the snitch and the other two are seekers. The snitch must then get back to the starting point without getting caught. The snitch does not head back to the beginning until everyone is ready and then on another “Go”.

The designation of who is the snitch can alternate or be random, or be the same person each time.

The idea behind this drill is that a snitch needs to practice staying alert and focused even when tired, winded and out of breath.

Workout

Pretty much anything that makes you break a sweat. It is important for a Snitch Runner to be in shape and good physical condition. Endurance plays a huge role and so does having the ability to fend off larger seekers. This list is not definitive and subject to change based on location.

Sprints – Sprint a 40 yard distance and then jog backwards to the beginning. Wait 10 to 15 seconds and then go again. Do this at least 5 times.

Push Ups – An easy arm exercise.

Sit Ups / Bicycles / Flutter kicks – Build that core!

Long distance running – Another great way to build endurance.

Bear Crawl – More upper body work.

Squats – Strengthen the legs.