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.
|No. of teams||8|
|Country||United States (7 teams) |
Canada (1 team)
|Philadelphia Spinners (1st title)|
|Most titles||Boston Whitecaps (2)|
The Philadelphia Spinners left the American Ultimate Disc League at the end of the 2012 season after disagreements on how it was run. 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.
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. With time, more changes to the rules were applied by the MLU.
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.
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.
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.
In 2013, Five Ultimate was the official uniform manufacturer for all eight teams.
|Boston Whitecaps||Medford, MA||Hormel Stadium||2012||Sam Rosenthal |
|DC Current||Washington, DC||Cardinal Stadium||2013||Will Smolinski |
|New York Rumble||Orange, NJ||Bell Stadium||2013||Anthony Nuñez and Eileen Murray |
|Philadelphia Spinners||Fort Washington, PA||Carey Stadium||2012||Darryl Stanley |
|Portland Stags||Milwaukie, OR||Milwaukie High School||2013||Danny Quarrell |
|San Francisco Dogfish||Berkeley, CA||Yellowjacket Stadium||2013||Jason Seidler |
|Seattle Rainmakers||Renton, WA||Renton Memorial Stadium||2013||Kate Kingery and Fiona McKibben |
|Vancouver Nighthawks||Vancouver, BC||Thunderbird Stadium||2013||Patrick Gatien |
|2013||July 13, 2013||Boston Whitecaps||20–15||San Francisco Dogfish||Franklin Field||Philadelphia, PA||Jeff Graham
|2014||July 19, 2014||DC Current||23–17||Vancouver Nighthawks||PPL Park||Chester, PA||Markham Shofner
|2015||August 8, 2015||Boston Whitecaps||31–17||Seattle Rainmakers||PPL Park||Chester, PA||Jeff Graham
|2016||July 16, 2016||Philadelphia Spinners||14–11||Portland Stags||Franklin Field||Philadelphia, PA||Charlie McCutcheon
- Wins by team
|Team||Wins||Runner Up||Winning years|
|Boston Whitecaps||2||0||2013, 2015|
|San Francisco Dogfish||0||1|
- Eisenhood, Charlie (4 October 2012). "Philadelphia Spinners Leaving The AUDL, Starting New Pro League". Ultiworld.
- Eisenhood, Charlie (21 December 2016). "BREAKING: Major League Ultimate Suspends Operations". Ultiworld.
- Gackle, Paul (16 June 2013). "In debut season, San Francisco's Major League Ultimate Frisbee team flourishing". San Francisco Examiner.
- Eisenhood, Charlie. "Beau Kittredge Signs With AUDL's San Jose Spiders For 2014". Ultiworld. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- Eisenhood, Charlie (8 June 2013). "MLU, Ultimate Get Praise From ESPN Commentators". Ultiworld.
- Eisenhood, Charlie (18 November 2013). "MLU releases new Puma Jersey Designs". Ultiworld.
- Des Marais, Paul (25 March 2015). "MLU Teams Unveil the 2015 Canterbury Uniforms". Ultiworld.
- "Staff – Boston Whitecaps". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "Staff – Washington D.C. Current". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Tom Levy (January 20, 2016). "Rumble Announce Nuñez and Murray as Co-Head Coaches for 2016". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "Staff – Philadelphia Spinners". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "Staff – Portland Stags". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "Staff – San Francisco Dogfish". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Tom Levy (February 20, 2016). "Fiona McKibben and Kate Kingery named Co-Head Coaches of Seattle Rainmakers". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- "Staff – Vancouver Nighthawks". MLUltimate.com. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Major League Ultimate 2013 Championship Game. Major League Ultimate. July 13, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
- 2014 Major League Ultimate Championship - DC Current vs. Vancouver Nighthawks. Major League Ultimate. July 19, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
- MLU Championship 2015 - Seattle Rainmakers vs Boston Whitecaps. Major League Ultimate. August 8, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
- Villanova Stadium to Host 2016 MLU Championship. Major League Ultimate. May 29, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2016.