Thursday, March 31, 2016

Detroit Mechanix Ride 29-Game Losing Streak into 2016 Season

The Detroit Mechanix begin their 5th season in the American Ultimate Disc League seeking their first win since July 7, 2013. Detroit has posted back-to-back winless seasons — (0-14) in the 2014 season and (0-14) in 2015. Moreover, Mechanix enter the 2016 season with having lost 29 consecutive games.
Their historic 29-game losing streak tops all major sports leagues.

At their season opener on April 2, it will be exactly 1000 days since they last won a league game.

The first game for Detroit is against Cincinnati Revolution - the team the Mechanix beat for their last win in 2013. (Detroit won by 1 goal.)

Detroit plays Cincy 3 times in the 2016 regular season.

The Detroit Mechanix have an overall 0.183 winning percentage with a record of (11-49).

[Team History via AUDL]

AUDL 2016 Season Starts on April 2

The 5th season of American Ultimate Disc League begins on Saturday, April 2, 2016.
April 2nd is the earliest start date for an AUDL season ever.

Start of AUDL Seasons
2012: April 14
2013: April 12
2014: April 13
2015: April 11
2016: April 2

AUDL Improvements for 2016

The 2015 American Ultimate Disc League season ended back in August. There's still some improvements from last year needing to be addressed - particularly the field size and tracking integrity rules.  Anyway, let's reflect on how this semi-pro ultimate league can improve this upcoming season (2016). 

1. Timeliness for Friday Games
If fans attending (or watching) a Friday game, then you experienced either the game not starting on time as scheduled or players not showing up on time due to travel.

A few examples:
Chicago at Indy on Friday, May 1
Pittsburgh at Chicago on Friday, June 12
Raleigh at Atlanta on June 5, 2015
Flyers' players were just arriving at halftime.

For Friday night games, teams should prepare to arrive earlier than expected. Even though it's still ultimate, the game needs to professionalized.

2. Better Recording in the AUDL App
This new smartphone app promoted as a way for a fan "to follow all the AUDL action." Unfortunately, not all AUDL teams were on board to allow fans to follow along. Require teams to properly score their games.

3. Expand league coverage for all teams/all divisions; more than the wild West
If teams weren't near the top of their division, then those teams lacked coverage from the league. The exception was the West Division, which was understandably loaded on the ESPN3 2015 schedule.  The league should have an obligation to represent all AUDL teams as it continues to expands its fanbase.

4. Reward Home Teams in Postseason
For scheduling purposes, the #2 seeds in 3 divisions did not play their wildcard playoff games at home. In the Midwest Division, Pittsburgh played a postseason doubleheader in Madison; New York played away in Montreal for the East and Seattle was on the road in San Francisco for the West. This was a quirk of the schedule, though still unfair to the teams that earned a postseason bid.

5. League Finances and Compensation
The AUDL Spirit Challenge fundraised $755,600, which is a lot of money, yet short of their $1 million goal. Props to the incredible charity.  Again, that's a lot of coin.

At the $25-per-game rate, an ultimate player who spends 3* hours "working" at their scheduled game is only making at/below minimum wage. [*# used only for the sake of argument. I am very much aware players show up way before the game start and leave long after game's end.]

The fact is the league has proven to be able to raise three-quarters of a million dollars. What's concerning is the lack of proper compensation for the ultimate athletes.It's nearing the time to use those financier skills to better compensate AUDL players.

At a minimum, the league should monetarily reward all deserving players who earned a League Award: Steel Spirit Award, Divisional & League MVP Award(s), weekly top play(s) honors. Plus, prize money should be available for ALL playoff teams, ALL teams winning their division (regular season titles & division championships), for runner-up team - not just the winning team - in the AUDL Championship game.

NOTE: The author followed the 2015 season plus attended multiple AUDL games in DC and watched games online. These suggestions are meant as constructive feedback to support the professional sport.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

USA National Team Jersey for WUGC 2016

Five Ultimate dropped a preview of the U.S.A. Ultimate National Team's jersey for the 2016 World Ultimate and Guts Championship (WUGC 2016). The black jersey has countless stars - yep, just like the U.S. rosters.

USNT Replica Jersey

Men | Women

Info: The black USNT sublimated jersey is made of their silky Electro fabric. Bonus! 20% of replica jersey sales goes straight to the players to help them cover the cost of the trip to London.
Choose from 9 players for the back.
US Womens Team: Opi Payne #9, Sarah Griffith #6, Rohre Titcomb #4
US Mens National Team: Beau Kitteredge #50, Jimmy Mickle #19, Dylan Freechild #10
US Mixed National Team: Khalif El-Salaam #3, Sandy Jorgensen #37, Robyn Wiseman #2

Price: $65.00 (pre-sale)

BREAKING: Beau Changes Number from 50

Beau Kittredge has worn #50 on his ultimate uniform during his college ultimate playing days throughout his club ultimate seasons and in his pro ultimate career. Now with a handsome paycheck, Beau plans to cha ching, er, change his number for the 2016 ultimate season.

[original image via Skyd]

USA Goaltimate 2016 Western Conference Championships

The 2016 Western Conference Championships for USA Goaltimate was completed in San Francisco, California, over the weekend. Eleven men's teams and nine women's teams competed for their gendered league's championship. The G4 winners were...
Women's Division: BVR Fam captained by Shira Stern (Seattle Riot)
Men's Division: CUT + Friends captained by Alex Evangelides (San Francisco Revolver)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Oregon Fugue Breaks the Internet

Oregon Fugue's Bethany Kaylor signs an autograph for two young fans at the 2016 Northwest Challenge (Burlington, Washington).

RELATED: Watch/Listen to Kaylor talk about the importance of her college ultimate team.

Logos for 2016 High School Regional Championships

USA Ultimate released the event logos for High School Regional Championships.
USA Ultimate logos via
Each logo displays a consistent look with some regional flair. Northeasterns in Pennsylvania is black and yellow with a steel (?) building. Centrals in Iowa is red and yellow with wheat stalks. Westerns in Oregon is yellow and green with an evergreen. And, Southerns is yellow and blue with a flamingo.

Compare: to the 2015 regional logos which were more diverse:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Documentary: "Ultimate"

Simply called "Ultimate" this 7-minute video is described as the first documentary ever made about the sport of Ultimate, which was made by Douglas Propp, narrated by "Rasta" Bill Newman, and features music by Brian Eno.

By the 5-minute mark, the film gets into the ultimate community with these wise words: "There's more to ultimate than the actual playing of the game. There's the Frisbee culture. It's not just a sport, it's a lifestyle."

[h/t reddit]

Published Salary for Pro Ultimate Player

How many salaried players are needed to call AUDL a professional league? Well, we know of at least one who ekes out a living with his salary from an AUDL team.

In a late 2015 American Ultimate Disc League Tuesday Toss, Andrew Zill (owner of the San Jose Spiders) was quoted as saying: "I think this is a watershed moment for the league. Beau will be the first truly professional ultimate player in history, and I think that's a big deal" regarding Beau Kittredge's signing in the offseason with the Dallas Roughnecks.

However, the exact dollar amount had never been published. Go as far back as 2013, there was belief of a $40,000 contract for Brodie "Frisbee (It's not a Frisbee) Trickshooter" Smith.

Now, a March 25, 2016, article in Peninsula Press [a project of the Stanford Journalism Program] stated Beau's salary as "in the ballpark of" $50,000. The reliable source on the annual salary figure? The person who is paying that salaryJim Gerencser, owner of the Dallas Roughnecks (AUDL).
screengrab via 
The article also indicates that Jimmy Mickle and Cassidy Rasmussen "make similarly high salaries, though less than Kittredge," and that their Mickle & Cassidy's contract is associated with Gerencser's non-proift Early Recognition Is Critical (E.R.I.C.).

Ultiworld mentions Beau took an easy day-to-day job with Nationwide Auto Services-again, an Gerencser-run company.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easterns DIII Livestream Ultimate Crowdfunding Project

College Easterns for Division-III (let's call it "D3-stearns") is scheduled for April 2-3, 2016, in South Carolina.
A crowdfunding project to livestream with one stand alone camera without announcers seeks a total of $1250 to cover expenses;  $500 to pay for the equipment costs and another $750 to cover the travel, lodging and food costs for the crew. D3sterns will be played at North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex.

Support the livestream. [gofundme]

Easter Time

A Bunny! In a Frisbee! Oh, what a day!

[via original posting]

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Answer: Who is Doug Behrend?

You'd be correct if the clue was: He's a Grand Masters Division ultimate player who plays on Ozark Hillbillys from Fayetteville, Arkansas and he's known as "Dr. Doug" (a.k.a Double D).
Alex Trebek & Douglas Behrend [photo via]
Doug Behrend appeared on the March 25, 2016, episode of Jeopardy! Doug, professor of psychological science at the University of Arkansas, led with $9200 after two rounds and then correctly answered Final Jeopardy! giving him a 1-day total of $16,401.

UPDATE [3/29/2016]: As defending champion, Doug's next show was 2nd after two rounds with $15,000 and correctly scored Final Jeopardy! winning a day's total of $22,900, finishing in 2nd place on the March 28th episode.
[h/t reddit]

MLU Throws In The Towel

Soccer-style scarves may be only available for 3 MLU teams, but performance towels are another story product.  Six of 8 MLU teams currently offer athletic performance towels. (Yet only 1 out 3 water-based team names have a towel.) Somehow, missing are the Whitecaps and the Dogfish?

Info: High-quality performance towels from Arete Complete are made with a high thread count microfiber, designed to feel incredibly soft, absorb moisture and dry quickly.

Price: $23.99


Towels Ranked by Design
1st) Vancouver: Nice-looking change up on the Nighthawks' typical black & grey logo.

2) Seattle Rainmakers:  Their logo looks like it was ready made for a towel.

3) Philadelphia: The red trim helps accent the Spinners' blue-hued logo.

4) DC: The inverse black and white Current badge is different, yet fitting.

5) New York: The green stripe saves an otherwise bland towel for the Rumble.

6th/Last) Portland Stags: Looks undone, like a new page in a coloring book.

Not available: Boston & San Francisco

[images via MLUShop]

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sports Illustrated Disapproves of Ultimate Frisbee Name

In the March 28, 2016, issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, the Scorecard 'March Sanity' rants on the topic of common sense and hyperbole.  The article takes a jab at the name of ultimate Frisbee.

"Anything that sets off you b.s. detector is an affront to common sense. Ultimate Frisbee was never even the finest example of flying-disk [sic] competitions, and ought to have been called, at the very most, Penultimate Frisbee. Instead, the sport doubled down and changed its name to just plain Ultimate, placing itself at the apex of all human endeavorsbetter than sex, art of spaghetti Bolognese. For a sport played without balls, Ultimate certainly has a pair."

RELATED: Origin of Ultimate's name

[h/t CH, images via SI magazine pages]

CHART: AUDL Offseason Grades

Ultiworld published a synopsis of offseason moves by the 26 American Ultimate Disc League teams. 
Below is a summary of the grades given by Nathan Jesson:
The 2016 AUDL season starts on April 2.

[Data via Nathan Jesson/ Ultiworld]

Thursday, March 24, 2016

WFDF Kickstarter Ends Fully-Funded

Well done, ultimate community! 

WFDF asked for support via Kickstarter and finished its campaign with over $85,000!

RELATED: Progress of reaching the $75k goal

TBT: When AUDL Had A Mascot

Throwback Thursday to a time when American Ultimate Disc League debuted a mascot....named Disco.
via @theAUDL (August 11, 2012)
[Photo was taken during the inaugural AUDL Championship at (what was then known as) the Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan.]

Disco's current whereabouts are unknown.

UPDATE: A tip has led us to believe Detroit Mechanix have knowledge of Disco's location.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Where Have All the MLU MVPs Gone?

The trend for Major League Ultimate's Most Valuable Players are to play in the American Ultimate Disc League.

Adam Simon (Seattle Rainmakers) won the Western Conference MVP; in 2015, "Chicken" played for the Seattle Cascades (AUDL).

The Eastern Conference MVP was Chris Mazur (New York Rumble), who is now on the New York Empire (AUDL) 2016 roster.

Brendan Wong (Vancouver Nighthawks) won the Western Conference MVP; Wong is currently roster on the Vancouver Riptide (AUDL) 2016 roster.

Alan Kolick (DC Current) was the MVP of the Eastern Conference; Kolick is now on the 2016 roster of the D.C. Breeze (AUDL).

Mark Burton (Seattle Rainmakers) is the second Rainmakers player to win the Western Conference MVP award; Burton is now on the Seattle Cascades (AUDL) roster.

Jeff Graham (Boston Whitecaps) won the Eastern Conference MVP, though, Graham is currently not rostered for the 2016 season.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

World Water Day: Ultimate Edition

Today is World Water Day - an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues.

Something ultimate players know a thing or two about...
[Photo via Darkwing]

MLU 2016 Season Tickets

Major League Ultimate teams sell tickets for single games and full season via TicketLeap. In 2016, Vancouver offers the least expensive tickets in the MLU, while the majority of  MLU teams offer season tickets at $67.50. The lowest average price for MLU season ticket was in the 2014 season.
  • Average season ticket price = $66.55 (+$4.08 / +6.5% compared to 2015.)
  • Quantity of regular season home games = 5
Season Tix Prices [Ranked lowest to highest]:
1st) Vancouver Nighthawks^; $57.39
t-2nd) Boston Whitecaps, DC Current, Philadelphia Spinners, Portland Stags, San Francisco Dogfish; $67.50
3rd) Seattle Rainmakers^^; $70

Single Game Tix Prices [Ranked lowest to highest]:
1st) Vancouver; $12.24
t-2nd) Boston, DC, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle; $15.00
  • Average single game ticket price = $14.66
NOTES: ^Vancouver's season tickets at $75.00 CAD converted to USD
^^Seattle's season tickets only good for 4 games, so a single-game ticket ($15) was added to bring its game total to 5.

[Data taken from each team website, March 2015. Any processing fees are excluded]

Monday, March 21, 2016

World Flying Disc Federation Reaches Fundraising Goal

As of today (March 21st), the $75,000 crowdfunding project from the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) has been fully-funded. 
WFDF's Kickstarter campaign started on February 23rd and would not have received any funds if the $75,000 goal had not been reached by the deadline (March 24th). The project currently has over 1000 supporters, and is still open to receiving funds.

Below is the actual support progression of WFDF's Kickstarter Campaign from start to its goal.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Most Expensive Pro Ultimate Jersey

I can understand last year's uniform top is a collector's item now because of the logo update, but pricing a shirt at the mid $300's?? Watch your wallet at the NightWatch store!

2015 Nashville NightWatch away (Light) jersey

Info: Replica jersey from the 2015 AUDL season for Nashville NightWatch. Size = small.

Price: $350.00

[UPDATE: Price has been fixed]

Saturday, March 19, 2016

AUDL Preseason: Mega Scrimmage 2016

More AUDL preseason is scheduled for tonight. Unlike last week's game, this game play of 3 Midwest Division teams and 1 East Division will not be streamed.
The 5-hour scrimmage hosted at Cool Springs Sports Complex in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is scheduled to start at 9pm and ends at 2am in the morning.

In the 2015 American Ultimate Disc League season, the Revolution(2-12), Phoenix (1-13) and Mechanix (0-14) posted a combined (3-39) record. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Thunderbirds went (12-2), won their first playoff game, but lost in the Midwest Division championship game.

A similar assemblage (AUDL teams: Cincinnati Revolution, Indianapolis AlleyCats, Nashville NightWatch and Pittsburgh Thunderbirds) was organized in the 2015 preseason.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Washington DC Current 2016 Roster

The Washington, D.C. Current published their 27-player roster for the Major League Ultimate 2016 season. D.C. Current had one of the lowest (# & %) of rookies in the league in 2015. Out of the 27 players on the 2016 roster, 15 are MLU "rookies" + 12 are returners. A similar ratio can be found with players with nicknames — over half (15, 56%) of the total roster have one.

2016 DC Current (alphabetically)
#34 Matthew "Cam" Barnhardt*
#12 Brent Bellinger
#14 Lloyd Blake
#31 Collier "Chip" Cobb
#80 Antoine Davis*
#24 Joe "Tree" DiPaula*
#15 Andrew "Peanut" Ferraro*
#28 John "Jack" Field*
#73 Mark "Flo" Flores*
#47 Joe Freund*
#42 Dominique "Dom" Gibson
#0 Andrew "Lemon" Gravunder*
#16 Trevor Griesman*
#18 Kevin "Heals" Healey
#11 Tim "Action" Jackson
#4 Delrico "Rico" Johnson
#1 John Kerr*
#21 Kyle Khalifa*
#52 Raymond Mendoza*
#17 Eric "Astro" Miner
#5 Keven Moldenhauer
#3 Michael "Mikey" Moses*
#10 Zachary Norrbom
#6 Aaron "A-Ron" Richards*
#61 Erik Salmi
#41 Justin "Woo" Solis*
#23 Gabe Webster

* = 1st time playing in the MLU, "rookie"

CHART: Breakdown of DC Current Roster with Nicknames

Interesting Questions on Interest Forms

Spring is in the air, which means it's time for club ultimate teams to host tryouts and find talent for their roster.

Below are some interesting items found on club ultimate teams' online "interest" forms for prospective players:

Boston Darkwing

Washington, D.C. Scandal

Atlanta Chain Lightning

Pittsburgh Mixed Team

Philadelphia Green Means Go

DC/VA-based Ant Madness

Chicago Machine

Philadelphia Bitmap

New York PONY

BONUS: New York Empire

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pittsburgh Mixed Ultimate Team Produces New Name

Pittsburgh's mixed club ultimate team recently chose a new team name after being forced by USA Ultimate to name change in August 2015.

During the month of February 2016, they hosted a bracket challenge with 16 potential names like Alchemy, Confluence, Muffin Mix, Iron City, and the eventual winner of the popular vote was Jaggerbush. The finals included a disclaimer "NOTE: This does NOT mean that we have our new team name. Team leaders will be taking these results into consideration when determining a final team name!"

The team from the Steel City did not choose The Washington Redskins as their team's new name, but instead selected Alloy which is defined as "a metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion." The name is a comparable theme to the Pittsburgh men's club team, Temper.

Their current Twitter avatar [@pghalloy] holds onto their roots with the familiar Muff 'n Men logo and red FKA (formerly known as) initials. This logo is assumed to be a temporary placeholder until Alloy forms a new tam logo.

[image via Twitter]

New 2016 DC Breeze Jerseys

The D.C. Breeze unveiled an updated jersey for their 2016 American Ultimate Disc League season. In contrast to past year's jerseys, the dark and light tops will be cut from the same design. The 2016 dark will be blue and grey, while the 2016 light jersey - mostly white with a blue sleeve and side  - will have a similar stars and stripes look to past years.

Judging by the provided image, the star pattern will be less muted and possibly out from bottom to top.  The shirt collar will now match the primary color of the short; dark: blue, light: white. The right sleeve has the Breeze's sponsor - Papa John's Pizza, which extended a discount when the Breeze won. The AUDL will again appear on the left sleeve, but with clutter (stars) on the sleeves. The 3 red stars from the D.C. flag are now on both jerseys, and the S-curve returns but with thinner red lines (possible connection to the Breeze's home field near the Metro's red line?).

The Breeze logo is predominantly red with blue accents, yet their unis are more blue & grey (darks) and white & blue (lights). Some D.C. sports purists might argue there's not enough red (or too much blue) to fit in with other Washington D.C. sports teams.

[Images via DCBreeze, Facebook 1, 2]