Opening Pull: PUL and WUL Weekend Events, XEUCF On for 2021

All three American semi-pro leagues will return to the field in 2021. Plus, some Dallas Roughnecks players flew to LA on a private jet.

New York Gridlock’s Sarah Johnson and Linda Morse celebrate in their 2019 PUL semifinal against Raleigh Radiance. The teams will face off again in the PUL’s East Tournament this August. Photo: Sandy Canetti — UltiPhotos.com

Welcome to Opening Pull! Ultiworld’s Monday wrap-up of the previous week in ultimate has returned, now available both in this space and as an email newsletter. As always, we’ve gathered the news you need to know and highlights you need to see. Check back weekly or subscribe now to receive Opening Pull in your inbox along with a rundown of the previous week’s content on Ultiworld.

Premier Ultimate League, Western Ultimate League Announce 2021 Events

Both the Premier Ultimate League and its cross-coastal counterpart the Western Ultimate League released more details this week about their plans for competition this year. The PUL will hold three separate three-team events over two weekends in August, while the WUL plans one weekend event featuring all six teams in a single location this winter. Streaming coverage is expected for all events. [Full Story: PUL Announces Regional Tournament Weekends for Championship Series; WUL Announces 2021 Winter Cup, 2022 Full Season Dates and Structure]

While the PUL’s Atlanta Soul, Minnesota Strike, and Nashville Nightshade will sit out the season, New York Gridlock has already released its full 2021 roster, including blockbuster pickups Angela Zhu and Kami Groom. WUL tryouts won’t begin until October, but teams out west are building hype online:

Women’s And Mixed Presence Limited At Early-Season TCT Events; All Divisions Expected At Pro Champs; No Beach Natties

Due to lack of interest from invited teams, USA Ultimate has formally canceled the women’s division at the Pro-Elite Challenge. The early-season event will instead host 20 men’s teams and 14 mixed teams, with each division featuring a wide range from Pro Flight stalwarts (your Sockeyes, your PoNYs, your shame.s) to Classic Flight scrappers (get on board the Ferndale Nain Rouge hype train). Mixed and women’s divisions are also “unlikely” at the U.S. Open; accordingly, USAU plans to shift its “traditional linear TV and streaming coverage” of that event to Pro Championships, where a fuller suite of teams are expected across all three divisions.

While many elite women’s teams plan to play the Series and/or later in the regular season (some major programs are just announcing tryouts), the comparatively slower start for the division has been a subject of conversation for many. Tulsa Douglas discussed Boston Brute Squad’s approach to the season in a recent Deep Look interview, touching on factors affecting participation in elite women’s club as well as balancing roles in both club and semi-pro this year.

Finally, the 2021 Beach Championships have been canceled.

EUF Moving Forward With XEUCF

The European Ultimate Federation has announced that the Extended European Ultimate Championship Finals (XEUCF) will take place in Bruges, Belgium from September 30 to October 3. The elite club tournament will host 32 open teams, 20 women’s teams, and 20 mixed teams, with bids already allocated to member federations by the EUF.

Travel is still prohibited between some countries, but the EUF has indicated that they will go forward with the event if local regulations allow, even if some countries won’t be able to attend. If current restrictions remained in place through the fall, that would mean a tournament without the eight-bid UK, which Belgium presently considers a “very high risk” country. [Full Story: EUF Moving Forward with XEUCF]

Some Dallas Roughnecks Players Flew To LA On A Private Jet

Some Dallas Roughnecks players flew to LA on a private jet. Some Dallas Roughnecks players? Flew to LA on a private jet. Flew to LA on a private jet? Some Dallas Roughnecks players! The flight? To LA. The jet? Private. The players? Some. Some Dallas Roughnecks players flew to LA on a private jet. [Full Story: Some Dallas Roughnecks Players Flew to LA on a Private Jet]

Roster Release Highlight: New York PoNY

Longtime Twitter power users and medium-time national title contenders New York PoNY have released their 2021 roster ahead of the team’s Pro-Elite Challenge debut:

 


Coming Up

The Triple Crown Tour’s Pro-Elite Challenge is returning to Aurora, CO this weekend! While the tournament may look a little different this year, Ultiworld will be filming games to be posted to our subscriber video library after the tournament.

  1. Mags Colvett
    Mags Colvett

    Mags Colvett is Ultiworld's Associate Editor, the holder of a creative writing MFA from Ohio State University and a literature MA from the University of Georgia, and a proud career B-teamer. They live in Queens and tweet at @magscolv.

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