American Ultimate Disc League

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American Ultimate Disc League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 AUDL season
American Ultimate Disc League Logo.gif
Sport Ultimate
Founded 2010
Inaugural season 2012
No. of teams 24
Country United States (20 teams)
Canada (4 teams)
Most recent
champion(s)
Dallas Roughnecks (1st title)
Most titles San Jose Spiders (2)
Official website theAUDL.com

The American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) is a semi-professional ultimate frisbee league in North America. Between 2013 and 2016, it was one of two such leagues, the other being Major League Ultimate, which ceased operation on December 21, 2016.[1] It was founded by Josh Moore in 2010 and its inaugural season began in April 2012 with eight teams. Regular season games are played during the months of April through July. The playoffs consist of division championships and culminate with a championship game in August.[2]

History[edit]

Inaugural season[edit]

The first AUDL game was won by the Connecticut Constitution on April 14, 2012 over the Rhode Island Rampage by a score of 29 to 22, and the first goal was scored by Brent Anderson of the Constitution.[3] The first championship was held on July 11, 2012 and was won by the Philadelphia Spinners by a score of 29 to 22 over the Indianapolis AlleyCats.

In the first season, the league consisted of eight teams broken into the Eastern and Western conferences. Jonathan 'Goose' Helton of the AlleyCats was named league MVP for the inaugural season. Helton, alongside Evan Boucher, Cameron Brock, Rob Dulabon, Dave Hochholter, John Korber, and Jake Rainwater were named to the first All-AUDL Team.[citation needed]

2012 lawsuit[edit]

In May 2012, the AUDL announced its plans for expansion for the following season, including franchises in New Jersey, New York, and Boston. Owners of the Connecticut Constitution and Rhode Island Rampage contended that the Boston and New York franchises impinged upon their Territory Licensing Agreements, which specified a non-compete radius of 100 miles. Separately, the league compensated the Philadelphia Spinners for the encroachment of the New Jersey and New York franchises. Negotiations between the Constitution, the Rampage, and the league reached an impasse in early June and the franchises' owners threatened legal action. The league preemptively sued the owners on June 17. As negotiations wore on, the league (at least twice) offered various settlements to the owners of the Constitution and the Rampage, but those offers were rejected. On July 5, the Constitution suspended team operations due to legal fees, missing two games. The league then fined the team the maximum fine of $10,000 per game, which Constitution owner Bryan Ricci called “severe and excessive” and refused to pay. Both the Constitution and Rampage had games cancelled near the end of the season.[4] The Constitution would have earned a playoff berth but were disqualified due to their unpaid fines and the Rampage advanced in their place, losing to the Philadelphia Spinners in the Division final.

In December, 2012, the league and team owners reached a settlement. Details of the settlement are unknown due to a non-disclosure agreement.[5] Neither the Rampage nor the Connecticut Constitution returned to the AUDL in 2013.

2013—present[edit]

For the 2013 season, the Indianapolis AlleyCats and the Detroit Mechanix were the only teams from the 2012 season to remain in their cities, while the Bluegrass Revolution relocated from Lexington, KY to Cincinnati, OH and the Buffalo Hunters relocated and rebranded as the Rochester Dragons.[6] Even with only three teams left, the league still managed to expand to twelve teams overall.[7]

In 2014, the league expanded to 17 teams, including the introduction of the West Division.[8] The league also reached a multi-year broadcasting deal with ESPN3 that covered 14 regular season games, a playoff game, and the Championship Weekend.[9]

In 2015, the league expanded to 25 teams. The new expansion teams consisted of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, Ottawa Outlaws, Los Angeles Aviators, San Diego Growlers, Jacksonville Cannons, Nashville Nightwatch, Raleigh Flyers, Atlanta Hustle and Charlotte Express. In March 2015, the Salt Lake Lions announced that they would be suspending operations for the entire 2015 season; leaving the West Conference with only 6 teams. In October 2015, the AUDL announced that the Lions franchise had been bought back by the league, making that hiatus permanent. In the same announcement, the league welcomed the Austin Sol and Dallas Roughnecks to the South Division.[10] Shortly thereafter, the AUDL announced that the Rochester Dragons franchise was also being contracted and that the league was again hoping to start a franchise in the Boston area.[11]

Also in 2015, the Raleigh Flyers of the AUDL signed the first ever female professional ultimate player, Jessi Jones, to play in their game against the Nashville Nightwatch. Jones, who was a team USA U-23 player in 2013, was signed as part of "Women's Ultimate Day".[12][13]

In September 2016, the Cincinnati Revolution and the Charlotte Express announced they would be ceasing operations.[14]

In the 2017 season, Jesse Shofner was selected to the roster for the Nashville Nightwatch, which made her the first female player to make a full season AUDL roster.[13] Shofner subsequently scored two goals in the Nightwatch's first game of the 2017 season, making her the first woman to do so in any AUDL game.[15]

Rules[edit]

Further information: Ultimate_(sport) § Rules

The AUDL features a number of rule changes from the traditional set of rules laid out and established by USA Ultimate and the WFDF.

The field area is expanded to 53 13 yards wide and 80 yards long with 20 yard end zones (the same size as an American football field, but with the end zones taking up twice as much of the field as in American football). Games are timed with four quarters of 12 minutes each, including a 15-minute halftime. If the score is tied, a five-minute overtime period is played. If the score remains tied after overtime, a second overtime is played in which the first team to score wins.

Notable changes from the USAU format include the use of referees, a drop in the stall count from 10 seconds to 7, a ten-yard penalty for travelling when catching the disc, no prohibition of double-teams, and a yardage penalty for travelling when throwing the disc.[16] There are also other infractions, such as too much physicality, that result in 5-, 10-, or 20-yard penalties depending on the severity of the infraction. While different to the USAU and WFDF rules, many of the changes for the AUDL can also be seen in the MLU.

Teams[edit]

As of the 2017 season, 24 active teams compete in four divisions: East, Midwest, West, and South. There are 20 teams from the continental United States and 4 from Canada.

Active teams[edit]

Team City/Area Stadium Founded First Season
East
DC Breeze Washington, DC Hotchkiss Field[17] 2013 2013
Montreal Royal Montreal, QC Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard[18] 2013 2014
New York Empire New York City, NY MCU Park 2013 2013
Ottawa Outlaws Ottawa, ON Keith Harris Stadium 2014 2015
Philadelphia Phoenix Philadelphia, PA A. A. Garthwaite Stadium[19] 2013 2013
Toronto Rush Toronto, ON Varsity Stadium 2013 2013
Midwest
Chicago Wildfire Chicago, IL Lane Technical College Prep High School 2013 (as Windy City Wildfire) 2013
Detroit Mechanix Madison Heights, MI Bishop Foley Catholic High School 2010 2012
Indianapolis AlleyCats Indianapolis, IN Kuntz Stadium 2012 2012
Madison Radicals Madison, WI Breese Stevens Field 2013 2013
Minnesota Wind Chill St. Paul, MN Sea Foam Stadium 2013 2013
Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Pittsburgh, PA Founder's Field 2014 2015
West
Los Angeles Aviators Los Angeles, CA Occidental College 2014 2015
San Diego Growlers San Diego, CA Junipero Serra High School/Balboa Stadium 2014 2015
San Francisco FlameThrowers Oakland, CA Laney College Football Field[20] 2013 2014
San Jose Spiders Los Altos Hills, CA Foothill College[21] 2013 2014
Seattle Cascades Seattle, WA Seattle Memorial Stadium 2014 (as the Seattle Raptors) 2015
Vancouver Riptide Vancouver, BC Swangard Stadium 2013 2014
South
Atlanta Hustle Atlanta, GA Grady Stadium 2015 2015
Austin Sol Austin, TX 2015 2016
Dallas Roughnecks Dallas, TX The Colony Five Star Complex 2015 2016
Jacksonville Cannons Jacksonville, FL Trinity Christian Academy 2014 2015
Nashville Nightwatch Nashville, TN John Overton High School 2014 2015
Raleigh Flyers Raleigh, NC WakeMed Soccer Park 2014 2015

Former teams[edit]

Team City/Area Stadium Season(s) Status
Bluegrass Revolution Lexington, KY 2012 Rebranded as Cincinnati Revolution
Cincinnati Revolution Cincinnati, OH Sheakley Athletic Center 20132016 Folded[22]
Buffalo Hunters Orchard Park, NY Orchard Park High School Sports Complex 2012 Rebranded as Rochester Dragons
Rochester Dragons Rochester, NY Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium 20132015 Contracted[11]
Charlotte Express Charlotte, NC Irwin Belk Complex 20152016 Contracted[22]
Columbus Cranes Westerville, Ohio Warhawks Stadium 2012 Folded
Connecticut Constitution New Britain, CT Arute Field 2012 Folded
New Jersey Hammerheads West Windsor Township, NJ Mercer County Community College Stadium 2013 Folded[23]
Philadelphia Spinners Philadelphia, PA Franklin Field 2012 Left to join MLU[24]
Rhode Island Rampage East Providence, RI Pierce Memorial Field 2012 Folded
Salt Lake Lions Salt Lake City, UT 2014 Dissolved

Championships[edit]

Season Date Champion Final score Runner-Up Venue Location Ref
2012 August 11, 2012 Philadelphia Spinners 29–22 Indianapolis AlleyCats Pontiac Silverdome Pontiac, MI [25]
2013 August 4, 2013 Toronto Rush 16–14 Madison Radicals Lane Tech Stadium Chicago, IL [26][27]
2014 July 27, 2014 San Jose Spiders 28–18 Toronto Rush Varsity Stadium Toronto, ON [28]
2015 August 9, 2015 San Jose Spiders 17–15 Madison Radicals Avaya Stadium San Jose, CA [29]
2016 August 7, 2016 Dallas Roughnecks 33–27 Seattle Cascades Breese Stevens Field Madison, WI [30]
2017 August 27, 2017 Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard Montreal, QC [31]

MVP[edit]

Season Name Team
2012 Jonathan "Goose" Helton Indianapolis AlleyCats
2013 Jonathan "Goose" Helton Windy City Wildfire
2014 Beau Kittredge San Jose Spiders
2015 Beau Kittredge San Jose Spiders
2016 Dylan Tunnell[32] Atlanta Hustle

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie (21 December 2016). "BREAKING: Major League Ultimate Suspends Operations". Ultiworld. 
  2. ^ "Full Schedule". theAUDL.com. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  3. ^ "Week 1 Results". American Ultimate Disc League. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  4. ^ "A Timeline Of The AUDL Lawsuit: How Did We Get Here?". Ultiworld. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  5. ^ "AUDL Settles Lawsuit With Connnecticut and Rhode Island Franchises". Ultiworld. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  6. ^ "Philadelphia Spinners Leave AUDL". Skyd Magazine. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  7. ^ "AUDL Teams". American Ultimate Disc League. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  8. ^ "AUDL Announces 2014 Expansion To West Coast, Montreal". Ultiworld. 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  9. ^ "AUDL Signs Multi-Year Broadcast Agreement with ESPN". American Ultimate Disc League. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  10. ^ "Austin, Dallas Joining AUDL's South Division In 2016". Ultiworld. 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  11. ^ a b "AUDL Announces Contraction of Rochester Dragons Franchise". AUDL. 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  12. ^ "Raleigh Flyers Sign First-Ever Female Pro Ultimate Player | Livewire | Ultiworld". Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  13. ^ a b "In First For Female Player, Jesse Shofner Makes Nashville Nightwatch Roster". Ultiworld. 2017-03-24. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  14. ^ comments, Charlie Eisenhood in News with 2 (2016-09-02). "AUDL's Cincinnati Revolution, Charlotte Express Cease Operations". Ultiworld. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  15. ^ "AUDL Throwaround: Shofner Makes History, Ugly Jersey Effect, Polk On SportsCenter". Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  16. ^ "AUDL 101". American Ultimate Disc League. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  17. ^ "THE BREEZE RETURN TO DC PROPER IN 2015". DC Breeze. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Billets « Royal de Montréal". Royalultimate.com. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  19. ^ "Venue". Rochester Dragons. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  20. ^ "Venue". SF FlameThrowers. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  21. ^ "San Jose Spiders Ultimate Team – TICKETS". Sjspiders.com. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  22. ^ a b "Cincinnati, Charlotte Franchises To Contract; New Atlanta Ownership". American Ultimate Disc League. 2016-09-04. Retrieved 2016-09-04. 
  23. ^ "New Jersey AUDL Franchise Folds, DC Franchise Avoids Same Fate With New Investor". Ultiworld. 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  24. ^ "AUDL President Talks About 2013 Season, Spinners, Major League Ultimate". Ultiworld. 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  25. ^ "Philadelphia Wins Inaugural AUDL Championship". Skyd Magazine. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  26. ^ "2013 AUDL Championship Final Highlights". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  27. ^ "AUDL Championship Weekend Preview". Skyd Magazine. 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  28. ^ "Instant Reaction: The AUDL Moves Championship Up to Toronto". Ultiworld. 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  29. ^ "2015 AUDL Championship". AUDL. 2015-08-09. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  30. ^ "Breese Stevens Field To Host 2016 AUDL Championship Weekend". AUDL. 2016-01-04. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  31. ^ "2017 AUDL Championship Weekend: Montreal". AUDL. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  32. ^ "Dylan Tunnell Wins 2016 AUDL MVP | Livewire". Ultiworld. 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2017-04-08.