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Major League Ultimate

Major League Ultimate (MLU) was a North American semi-professional Ultimate league from 2013 to 2016. It was composed of eight member teams, seven in the United States and one in Canada. It was formed in 2012, and began its inaugural season in April, 2013. The season concluded with championship games for the Western and Eastern divisions and a cross-divisional championship game.

Major League Ultimate
Major League Ultimate Logo.png
SportUltimate
Founded2012
Inaugural season2013
Ceased2016
No. of teams8
CountryUnited States (7 teams)
Canada (1 team)
ContinentNorth America
Last
champion(s)
Philadelphia Spinners (1st title)
Most titlesBoston Whitecaps (2)
Official websiteMLUltimate.com

HistoryEdit

The Philadelphia Spinners left the American Ultimate Disc League at the end of the 2012 season after disagreements on how it was run.[1] With the help of their staff, including former GM Jeff Snader, and a core group of individuals now referred to as the Founders, the MLU was created in 2012. On December 21, 2016, the league announced that its investors had pulled funding and that league operations would be suspended indefinitely.[2]

RulesEdit

The MLU used most of the standard rules of Ultimate, with multiple adaptations. Most of the adaptations were like those of the American Ultimate Disc League, from which the MLU originated. Games were played on slightly expanded fields, and double-teaming of an offensive player was allowed. Also unusual for Ultimate, although common in other sports and the AUDL, the MLU used referees to make the calls.[3] With time, more changes to the rules were applied by the MLU.[4]

While most Ultimate games use the Ultrastar disc, the MLU used a slightly different disc, the Innova Pulsar, whose design made it stay in the air longer, leading to more hucks, deep games, and skys.[5][6]

Although not an on-field rule, an early rule of the league was that all players would be compensated equally, at $25 a game. This eventually led some, like Beau Kittredge, to leave the league.[7]

Competition formatEdit

The eight teams in the MLU were split into two conferences (East and West). During the regular season, each team played 10 matches (sometimes including cross-divisional matches). The top two teams from each division advanced to a conference final. The winners from these matches then advanced to compete in the MLU Championship match.

Media coverageEdit

Highlights of the 2013 championship game were broadcast on Fox Sports 1 as part of an anthology show co-hosted by former NFL player Dhani Jones and Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley. ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 and SportsNation have also featured highlight clips from the MLU, bringing national attention to the league.[8]

In 2016, all games were livestreamed on YouTube and through the MLU website.[9]

SponsorshipEdit

In 2013, Five Ultimate was the official uniform manufacturer for all eight teams.

For the 2014 season, Puma became the official jersey sponsor.[10]

For 2015 and 2016, Canterbury was the official jersey sponsor.[11]

TeamsEdit

Teams City/Area Stadium Founded Head Coach(es)
Eastern Conference
Boston Whitecaps Medford, MA Hormel Stadium 2012 Sam Rosenthal [12]
DC Current Washington, DC Cardinal Stadium 2013 Will Smolinski [13]
New York Rumble Orange, NJ Bell Stadium 2013 Anthony Nuñez and Eileen Murray [14]
Philadelphia Spinners Fort Washington, PA Carey Stadium 2012 Darryl Stanley [15]
Western Conference
Portland Stags Milwaukie, OR Milwaukie High School 2013 Danny Quarrell [16]
San Francisco Dogfish Berkeley, CA Yellowjacket Stadium 2013 Jason Seidler [17]
Seattle Rainmakers Renton, WA Renton Memorial Stadium 2013 Kate Kingery and Fiona McKibben [18]
Vancouver Nighthawks Vancouver, BC Thunderbird Stadium 2013 Patrick Gatien [19]

ChampionshipsEdit

Season Date Champion Score Runner-Up Venue Location MVP Ref
2013 July 13, 2013 Boston Whitecaps 20–15 San Francisco Dogfish Franklin Field Philadelphia, PA Jeff Graham
(Boston Whitecaps)
[20]
2014 July 19, 2014 DC Current 23–17 Vancouver Nighthawks PPL Park Chester, PA Markham Shofner
(DC Current)
[21]
2015 August 8, 2015 Boston Whitecaps 31–17 Seattle Rainmakers PPL Park Chester, PA Jeff Graham
(Boston Whitecaps)
[22]
2016 July 16, 2016 Philadelphia Spinners 14–11 Portland Stags Franklin Field Philadelphia, PA Charlie McCutcheon
(Philadelphia Spinners)
[23]
Wins by team
Team Wins Runner Up Winning years
Boston Whitecaps 2 0 2013, 2015
DC Current 1 0 2014
Philadelphia Spinners 1 0 2016
San Francisco Dogfish 0 1
Vancouver Nighthawks 0 1
Seattle Rainmakers 0 1
Portland Stags 0 1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie (4 October 2012). "Philadelphia Spinners Leaving The AUDL, Starting New Pro League". Ultiworld.
  2. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie (21 December 2016). "BREAKING: Major League Ultimate Suspends Operations". Ultiworld.
  3. ^ Gackle, Paul (16 June 2013). "In debut season, San Francisco's Major League Ultimate Frisbee team flourishing". San Francisco Examiner.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://mlultimate.com/innova-signs-as-disc-partner/
  6. ^ http://ultiworld.com/2013/02/28/mlu-signs-exclusive-deal-with-innova-as-official-disc-providers/
  7. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie. "Beau Kittredge Signs With AUDL's San Jose Spiders For 2014". Ultiworld. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  8. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie (8 June 2013). "MLU, Ultimate Get Praise From ESPN Commentators". Ultiworld.
  9. ^ http://mlultimate.com/mlu-to-emphasize-live-streaming-coverage-in-2016/
  10. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie (18 November 2013). "MLU releases new Puma Jersey Designs". Ultiworld.
  11. ^ Des Marais, Paul (25 March 2015). "MLU Teams Unveil the 2015 Canterbury Uniforms". Ultiworld.
  12. ^ "Staff – Boston Whitecaps". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  13. ^ "Staff – Washington D.C. Current". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  14. ^ Tom Levy (January 20, 2016). "Rumble Announce Nuñez and Murray as Co-Head Coaches for 2016". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "Staff – Philadelphia Spinners". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "Staff – Portland Stags". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  17. ^ "Staff – San Francisco Dogfish". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  18. ^ Tom Levy (February 20, 2016). "Fiona McKibben and Kate Kingery named Co-Head Coaches of Seattle Rainmakers". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "Staff – Vancouver Nighthawks". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  20. ^ Major League Ultimate 2013 Championship Game. Major League Ultimate. July 13, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  21. ^ 2014 Major League Ultimate Championship - DC Current vs. Vancouver Nighthawks. Major League Ultimate. July 19, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  22. ^ MLU Championship 2015 - Seattle Rainmakers vs Boston Whitecaps. Major League Ultimate. August 8, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  23. ^ Villanova Stadium to Host 2016 MLU Championship. Major League Ultimate. May 29, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2016.