Goaltimate offensive strategy mimics that of a basketball offense's halfcourt set. Offensive players stand to the fore of the scoring area and make streaking cuts behind the goal. Throwers attempt to either strike through the goal, or, when this is impossible, reset the disc to a position before the goal. Defenders position themselves between the offensive players and the scoring area, and attempt to minimise throwing windows by remaining aware of where the disc is and from whence a scoring opportunity may ensue.

Even in competitive play, defensive effort against a team trying to clear the disc is often token, as defenders will take the opportunity to rest or position themselves to prevent the two point play. The soaring passes and long, streaking cuts familiar to observers of ultimate are typically only present in goaltimate games during the clear. The exception to lax defence on the clear is when a team gains possession well beyond the goal, as it becomes advantageous to leave the thrower unguarded, and double team cuts coming toward the thrower--similar to guarding an inbounds after a score in a full-court press in basketball. Passing is typically quick, and cuts are squirrelly.

Turnovers occur with greater regularity in goaltimate than ultimate. Scores are frequently achieved in a burst of several in a row, when fatigued defensemen find themselves merely chasing their assigned offensive players but are unable to safely sub out.