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Interview

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Thanks to brutal weather, increasing competition from other tournaments, and taxing time on the road, this has been one of Without Limits founder Michelle Ng’s toughest college seasons to date.

I spoke with Ng about the season thus far, how she is feeling about the prospects of 2015, and what legacy she is hoping to leave behind for the college women’s division.

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#1 ranked North Carolina remains undefeated in the 2013-2014 season after winning their third straight ACC Ultimate Championships. Charlie Eisenhood spoke with UNC coach Mike DeNardis about the weekend, Pittsburgh, NC State, and the team’s rising stars.

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Just over a year ago, AUDL founder Josh Moore finalized the sale of the league to an ownership group led by Rob Lloyd, a high-level executive at Cisco and the father of Toronto star Mark Lloyd.

After a tumultuous first season that is remembered more for the league’s lawsuit against two teams than any on-field action, the first season under Lloyd’s watch was — relatively — a big success. While there were still a number of issues — mostly with individual teams — the year went smoothly, culminating in a Lloyd family owned Toronto Rush team taking home the trophy.

““We’re­ very proud of what we accomplished,” said Lloyd. Read more →

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Charlie EisenhoodOn Friday afternoon, I participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” where users could ask my any variety of questions and I would answer them. Here are the best questions and answers from Ultiworld’s AMA.

There are more questions and context in the full AMA, which I encourage you to check out. Feel free to leave follow-up questions there or in the comments on this post.

There has been some light editing for clarity. Read more →

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Emily Baecher reaches for a disc at the Boston Whitecaps combine.

Photo by PH Photography — credit: David Sieling.

Boston Brute Squad star Emily Baecher was the lone female tryout at the MLU’s Boston Whitecaps combine last night. Ultiworld emailed her about her experience and why she went to the tryout.

Baecher wrote:

The tryouts were great! I had a blast. I was definitely on the lower end of many of the combine activities, which included a vertical, 40 yd dash and shuttle runs, but felt like I performed well in the scrimmages. I was surprised how much I enjoyed playing with refs; I felt like I could focus more on the game and less on what calls I might have to make. I also liked playing offense on the larger field, there was just so much space to throw to. The Whitecaps staff and other players trying out for the team were super welcoming and supportive, while not offering me any special treatment. Overall, tryouts were an excellent experience.
You could say it was a spur of the moment decision to attend tryouts. All four of my housemates were on the Whitecaps last year, so I would probably be hanging out at my house alone for a Saturday night otherwise… But honestly, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that the MLU allows women to tryout and couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play some high-level ultimate in the winter. 

Read more →

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The logo of Major League Ultimate.I spoke with MLU Commissioner Jeff Snader last week on our podcast, Deep Look. Here is the transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

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Charlie Eisenhood: I’m speaking now with the Commissioner of Major League Ultimate, Jeff Snader, who is now in the first true offseason of the league and getting ready for the second season of competition. Hi Jeff.

Jeff Snader: Hi Charlie, how are you?

I’m doing very well, how are you?

I’m doing very well myself, no complaints.

Really glad you could come on the show. How is the off-season going so far? You have had a lot more time this year to get ready for things than you did last year and I’m wondering how things are going?

This is the first off-season we’ve had that, like you said, is a real off-season with so few distractions. so it’s been kind of wild to get through it. And it’s been enlightening how busy it is as compared to last season. I think we thought maybe it would be less busy, but even in some way it seems to be more busy, just without all the rewards of having games.

But as we work on all the things that we did last year, when we compare them — at this point I don’t even think we had team websites last year. We’ve got our schedule, we’re looking our stadiums and were aligning with sponsors and partners so I definitely think that it is going well so far. Read more →

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Madcow teammates embrace after winning the game to go at Great Lakes Regionals

Photo by Nick Lindeke — UltiPhotos.com

A group of cows go into a room with an elephant. No, this isn’t a joke. On a chilly Sunday morning in December of 2012, the returning veterans of Madcow gathered in the living room of Nate Botti’s Columbus home, with one elephant in the room: “What are we going to do to make this season productive?” as captain Phil Cherosky put it.

The team was staring down a rebuilding year. A number of long term players were departing from or had already left the team, including names synonymous with Madcow, like Timmy and Jeff Meyers, Kevin Reichert, Jeff Kula, and Michael “Biggs” Groeber. The team’s Indianapolis contingent was also choosing to separate. Some of those players had heavily influenced the personality and direction of the team. Even the team’s player/coach, Rodger Oakes, was dropping the coaching role.

“A lot of us disagreed with some of the things that went on last year,” said Botti, a five year veteran, “and we all agreed something had to change.”

Read more →

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Greg Husak.At 39 years old, Greg Husak isn’t the typical player headed to Frisco for the Club Championships in the Men’s Division. Then again, there aren’t many players with multiple college, Club, and World titles to their name flying to Texas either.

After five years away from the sport, the West Coast legend is returning to Nationals with the team that earned him his stripes over a decade ago, the Santa Barbara Condors.

Husak began his playing career in his junior year at the University of California – Santa Barbara in 1994, before some of this year’s Nationals attendees were even born. UCSB’s team, Black Tide, came into the year with big expectations, but found themselves reeling after a brutal Sunday at Regionals left them outside of Nationals looking in. Perhaps it was the sting of that failure in his first season that drove Husak to become one of the winningest players ever in ultimate. Read more →

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The logo of USA Ultimate, the sport's national governing body.With the current USA Ultimate Board of Directors vote finishing later this week, we were eager to hear more from the candidates about their views on a variety of important topics and issues facing the governing body and the growth of the sport.

While the candidate statements and interviews on USA Ultimate’s website gave voters a glimpse of the candidates’ stances, they were underwhelming in scope. While we certainly won’t be able to cover every important topic facing a governing body that has ever-increasing responsibilities, we asked each of the at-large candidates a set of questions that we hoped would elicit some more detail about their backgrounds, beliefs, and goals for the organization.

Note: Brian Garcia, the candidate for the elite athlete representative, is running unopposed and was not interviewed for this article. Read more →

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MKBHD (aka Marques Brownlee).Quick, name the most famous YouTube star that plays ultimate.

You probably said Brodie Smith. However, a 19 year old college player named Marques Brownlee has quietly gathered a larger and perhaps more devoted following. His secret? It’s not trick shots, it’s tech specs.

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Brownlee is not your typical YouTube celebrity. With a calm demeanor that cuts against the often grandiose characters on the site, he does a simple but immensely valuable service: he reviews technology products, offering insight into their features, their strengths and weaknesses, and their importance (or lack thereof) in the market. Read more →

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