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Major League Ultimate
Major League Ultimate Logo.png
Major League Ultimate
Sport Ultimate
Founded 2012
Inaugural season 2013
No. of teams 8
Country(ies) United States (7 teams)
Canada (1 team)
Continent North America
Ceased 2016
Last champion(s) Philadelphia Spinners (1st title)
Most championships Boston Whitecaps (2)
Official website MLUltimate.com

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.

Rules

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.

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.

Competition format

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 coverage

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 2016, all games were livestreamed on YouTube and through the MLU website.

Sponsorship

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

For the 2014 season, Puma became the official jersey sponsor.

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

Teams

Teams City/Area Stadium Founded Head Coach(es)
Eastern Conference
Boston Whitecaps Medford, MA Hormel Stadium 2012 Sam Rosenthal
DC Current Washington, DC Cardinal Stadium 2013 Keven Moldenhauer and 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
Western Conference
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

Championships

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)
2014 July 19, 2014 DC Current 23–17 Vancouver Nighthawks PPL Park Chester, PA Markham Shofner
(DC Current)
2015 August 8, 2015 Boston Whitecaps 31–17 Seattle Rainmakers PPL Park Chester, PA Jeff Graham
(Boston Whitecaps)
2016 July 16, 2016 Philadelphia Spinners 14–11 Portland Stags Franklin Field Philadelphia, PA Charlie McCutcheon
(Philadelphia Spinners)
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