Shapes are created by the position and movement of dog, handler, and disc. And shapes can be created by the dog, the handler, and the placement of the disc. Shapes are a fact of disc dog freestyle.
When the dog leaves the handler for a catch, that tends to create a line. When the dog is away from the handler and moves across the field to make a catch, as in a A Zig Zag is a series of catches in smooth succession that forces the dog to move back and forth across the field. Usually performed at a distance of 8-20 yards, the Zig... More or An Around the World is a disc dog flatwork pattern consisting of 4 catches in a circular pattern around the handler. This pattern is typically larger than 5 yards and often features creative... More, that tends to create a Shape.
Shapes are more than just the trail left by the dog on the field, and the patterns created by the dog after the catch. Shapes differ from Flatwork is the stuff that happens between the catches. How the team moves and transitions, often without the disc, is flatwork. Flatwork concepts in disc dog are taken from the agility and herding... More, and higher level Shapes should not rely solely on how the dog releases after a catch. Shapes are how the dog moves to navigate the catch.
In a recent piece I laid out 3 Disc Quan Do Forms that work in concert to create competent interior play. Let’s focus in on one of them, the Balanced In the Play+ philosophy, "Position" is the final stage within the "Next" phase of a Cycle of Play. It acts as a pivotal link between the "Next" phase and a new "Now" phase. More Form, and explore how and why it works and how it scales up.