Wednesday, March 09, 2016

MLU Half Field Pull Data

Major League Ultimate played with a new rule impacting the pull in the 2015 season. Instead of pulling 80 yards away from an opponent, the pull was thrown 40 yards away at midfield when the pulling team called a timeout before the point started. The new rule was recognized in our end-of-the-year awards for being innovative.

As a fan, the midfield pulls (or half field pulls) were an exciting addition to the pro game. Teams with the lead used it to keep their pressure; teams that were down utilized the tactic to help with a comeback attempt.

According to MLU, a total of 144 "half field pulls" were attempted in the 2015 MLU season.
"Half Field Pulls (2015)" via MLU
For points starting with midfield pulls, offensive (receiving) teams still scored 50% of the time while the defense scored nearly 1/3 of the time. Surprisingly - even with a shortened field - only two (1.3%) Callahans were scored during midfield pulls. Judging the 2015 league-wide data, it looks like the midfield pulls were not as much an advantage for the pulling team as I would have suspected. It was a new rule, so teams will continue to learn how to better take advantage of — if the rule is kept for the 2016 season. (The 2016 MLU Rule Book has not been published yet.)

Personally, I think "midfield pull" is a better term than "half field pull" (HFP) because a half field pull conveys a pull was thrown only TO half field while the midfield pull communicates a pull was tossed FROM midfield.

Below is text talking about the midfield from the MLU Rule Book allowing HFP:
IX. The Pull
e. Timeliness of the Pull
3. If the pulling team called the timeout between points, the pulling line is advanced to midfield.
via 2015 MLU Rule Book

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