Today I thought I would talk about the league structure of Ultimate league and games. This will include, college, club and the professional level. I will start with the AUDL (professional) level and then work my way down explaining how games and leagues work at these levels. The way ultimate tournaments are handles is much different than many other spots and truthfully I think needs to change.
The professional league runs their games and the league in a way that is most common among other sports. There is a 12 game season (was 15 but shortened due to covid for the upcoming season) where teams play their division rivals twice and then play a few crossover games with other divisions, a similar set up to say the NFL. Games are usually Saturday or Sunday nights with only 1 a week and the season consists of 1 bye week as well. Games are 60 minutes long with 4 15 minute quarters, and infinite overtimes if the game is tied at the end of regulation. The only flaw I see in this system of play is the fact that 12 games is not enough, frisbee is non contact, so it is nowhere near as demanding as football and they even have more games. I think the reason for the short season besides covid, is money. Obviously the AUDL is not bringing in the cash like any of the major sports, so I assume that it cannot withstand a longer season, which can hopefully change in the next 5 seasons or so.
Club & College
College and Club are structured in the same way, which is why they are in the same category even though they are two separate seasons, college being in the spring and club being in the summer. The club & college seasons are structured differently from the AUDL in both games and the league as a whole. All teams at these level split up by region, section. Instead of having games once a week like the AUDL, college and club play only tournaments. Tournaments are an entire weekend long and consist of playing 4 or 5 games on Saturday and either 3 or 4 games on Sunday depending on how many teams are at the tournament and how well your team does. Games are also not timed, teams play to 13 with a half at 7 on Saturday and 15 with a halftime at 8 on Sunday. These games do have time-cap of about 2 hours, depending on the tournament to keep things moving along if a game is too low scoring. Personally, I do not have a huge problem with the idea of playing to a score instead of playing timed quarters as it is easier to manage at these large scale tournaments. The thing I do not like is the tournaments themselves. I think these tournaments are incredibly taxing on players bodies and do not actually test a teams skill but instead their durability. The amount of injuries that happen at these tournaments are absurd due to the intense amount of games and reps each player is forced to play. I think that College and Club need to adopt a similar style of play to the AUDL, where they are playing a few games a week but no where near as many on the same day. I personally do not know if things will ever change due to the large number of teams and deciding when they play and who they play instead of wrangling them all up in one place for tournament style play. Below I posted the Men’s highlights from 2019 National championship tournament.