Opening Pull: AUDL Playoffs, PUL Completes 2021 Play

Both the AUDL and Premier Ultimate League had some exciting finishes in important competition this weekend. Teams in the UK and France played for their respective nations' top honors.

The Milwaukee Monarchs won the Midwest leg of the PUL 2021 Championship Series. (Photo: Kevin Leclaire — 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 Wraps Up 2021 Play

The Premier Ultimate League 2021 Championship Series came to its conclusion in Wisconsin over the weekend at the Central championship. The Milwaukee Monarchs were the first of the 2020 expansion franchises, and the first host team, to win an event, going 2-0. That undefeated record required a dramatic OT buzzer-beater from Georgia Bosscher to Keila Strick to outduel the Columbus Pride.

Monarchs The Catch Tweet

With the event shortened by a game due to lightning storms, each team got in just a pair of matchups. The Pride prevailed against Indy Red, who put up a good fight of their own in the losing effort against the Monarchs in the series opener.

The series closed out the PUL’s 2021 competition. In lieu of a true regular season, the PUL’s Championship Series provided some exciting games, a chance to engage with fans, and a look at most of the league’s new franchises. Attendance estimates range from around 150 to 400. And you can watch all of the Ultiworld-produced games on the Premier Ultimate League’s YouTube channel.

AUDL Hosts First Playoff Round of 2021

The playoffs began with divisional championship play in the AUDL, although only in two of the three divisions. While the Atlantic wrapped up their regular season with two postponed games (that still had playoff implications), the San Diego Growlers and Dallas Roughnecks battled for supremacy in the West while Minnesota traveled to Chicago to challenge for the Central crown. San Diego and Chicago each advanced.

San Diego, who was widely considered the underdog against the historically successful Roughnecks, controlled the game from beginning to end. Minnesota did the same, except for the end part. A late-game rush by Chicago knocked the Wind Chill off their feet in what will be a much-discussed dramatic final quarter.

Those teams will await their Atlantic opponents, who will be decided by a pair of matchups this coming weekend. Atlanta travels to New York to take on the Empire and Raleigh will go up against top-seeded DC in the District.

United Kingdom and France Hold EUCF/WUCC Qualifying Events

The upcoming extended EUCF European championship event and World Ultimate Club Championship both lead to international glory, and some key clubs progressed towards that end.

In France, Phase de Qualification Internationale was held in place of a national championship event, with the best clubs the country going toe to toe. In the mixed division, Monkey emerged at the top of the heap, while Tchac took the top position in the men’s division from reigning champion, Iznogood. There was no women’s competition, as reigning champion YAKA had no challengers.

It is currently unknown how many WUCC bids France will receive, but these teams will at least be getting invitations.

The UK has three bids to WUCC, and decided their invitees on the field, as well, at their national championship. Legendary men’s program Clapham won a 20th straight national title, defeating Chevron Action Flash in the final. Alba took the bronze. In the women’s division, Bristol topped Iceni 13-9 for first place, while SYC gets the third invite after third place club, LMU, declined a bid to WUCC. SMOG 1 claimed the mixed title, followed by Deep Space and Reading on the podium.

Of these teams, only Clapham has not yet declined a bid to xEUFC, with COVID-19 concerns as the main reason for teams’ wariness.

The Aftermath of Getting Skied

We spend a lot of time on Ultiworld celebrating the incredible playmaking of ultimate’s athletes. But what about those that have the play made against them? This video explores the impact of being on the wrong end of a viral highlight.

Ask Aaron Skying Video


Coming Up

There’s no slowing down on this thing!

  • The Pro Championships take the top line on the USA Club marquee. Expect fireworks, and some live video, from Colorado.
  • Another round of the AUDL playoffs!
  1. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email (keith@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).

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