Terms such as “bookends” and “corkscrew” and “huck” are going to become more familiar in sporting vernacular after a new professional sports league debuts on April 14.
The stage, or rather the field, is set in four United States’ cities and the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) will begin play. The new league hopes to capitalize on the popularity of the sport, especially at the collegiate level, and wow spectators with its fast and fun game play. Knowledge of the terminology is sure to catch on quickly.
“For those individuals that have not seen an Ultimate game played at its highest level, they are in for an exciting surprise,” says AUDL founder Josh Moore. “We are creating tremendous entertainment value for our fans and want people everywhere to experience a truly unique and fun experience.”
Ultimate is not a new fad by any stretch of the imagination. The sport/pastime has been popular since its invention in 1968. The sport was originally called “ultimate frisbee,” but name was shortened to simply “ultimate” as Frisbee is a registered trademark in some parts of the world. It is reported that today nearly five million people play ultimate in the United States alone. As news of the participative sport grew, countries around the world began to take notice and associations formed. The Ultimate Players Association, now USA Ultimate, started in 1980, followed a year later by the European Flying Disc Federation. The World Flying Disc Federation became the international governing body of the sport in 1984. There are now indoor, beach and snow versions as well as the original field ultimate played all around the globe.
The rules are simple enough. AUDL play takes place on a field 53 1/3 yards wide and 80 yards long with two 20-yard end zones at each end. Each game consists of four 12-minute quarters, with a 15-minute intermission at the halfway point of the game. Seven players from each team are on the field at a time and the object of the game is to move the disc into the opponent’s end zone. Players may not run or walk while in possession of the disc.
Eight teams will compete in the inaugural season of the AUDL. The Bluegrass Revolution (Kentucky), the Buffalo Hunters, the Columbus Cranes, the Connecticut Constitution, the Detroit Mechanix, the Indianapolis AlleyCats, the Philadelphia Spinners and the Rhode Island Rampage will take the field this weekend. The 16-game schedule will see each team play eight home and eight away games. The league playoffs will be disputed July 28 and 29, with the AUDL championship game going Aug. 11 at the Pontiac Silverdome, in Michigan.
“Everybody involved with the league is very excited to bring this great sport to the next level,” Moore says. “This has been one of the fastest growing sports for participants in America and we will showcase the sport to the general public with some of the very best talent in the game today.”
Fans of the sport around the world can follow their favourite team through the league website. Many of the games will be available online as pay-per-view live-streaming broadcasts for $9.95 US.