Some big semi-pro news and more!
December 6, 2021 by Ravi Vasudevan in News with 0 comments
Opening Pull is Ultiworld’s weekly wrap-up of the previous week in ultimate, available both here on the site and as an email newsletter. 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.
Western Ultimate League Announces Winter Cup Rosters, Format
With just five days until the Western Ultimate League’s Winter Cup 2021, we’ve finally gotten the details on who will be playing for whom and how the event will be formatted.
The league has opted for a creative format to the event that goes far beyond just outscoring your opponent. While wins will earn teams points towards the Cup, so will top statistical performances. Categories such as best goal differential and highest individual block total will earn additional points. In addition, fan engagement will also earn points, an idea we have yet to really see implemented in ultimate. That means you can have an effect on who wins the first league-wide competition in WUL history.
Not sure who to root for? Having the rosters should help clear that up. The league’s six clubs released their rosters for the event. There is some real starpower to be excited about, like the Tempest’s Qxhna Titcomb, Falcons’ Alexi Zalk, and Astra’s Dena Elimelech.
Here’s the full lineups:
- Arizona Sidewinders
- Los Angeles Astra
- San Diego Super Bloom1
- San Francisco Falcons
- Seattle Tempest
- Utah Wild
AUDL Adding Three Teams in 2022
The AUDL added three new franchises to the fold, bringing the league up to 25 teams (and 34 current and past!) that will be spread unevenly across four divisions. The Colorado Summit, Salt Lake Shred, and an unnamed Portland franchise were announced as the league’s newest members.
The format for the AUDL will return to four divisions as the new teams enter the fray and the Canadian clubs return. The three expansion teams join Seattle and the Californians to form the West. The Texas teams go back to the five-team South. Pittsburgh rejoins the six-team Central. The Canadian teams all head into the East with New York, DC, Boston, and Philly.
Denver and Portland have been long-time rumored targets of the league for franchises, as was Boston, so the league has hit most of its intended expansion locations over the past two years. The Summit’s arrival has been met with a healthy amount of media coverage and mixed reactions. Salt Lake is hoping to shed the image of their previous one-season foray as the Salt Lake City Lions, during which the team failed to win a single game.
USAU Updates COVID protocols
Last week, USAU updated their COVID-19 protocols for all upcoming events. Of note, players are now required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to attend. Players are no longer allowed to wear a mask to avoid these requirements.
WFDF Moving Forward with WCBU
WFDF sent an email to national federations with information about the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in April next year. When the e-mail was sent there were 66 teams across seven divisions interested in attending, and WFDF stated that they would leave options open for nations to sign up late for the tournament. WFDF’s Brian Gisel told Ultiworld that WFDF fully plans to move forward with WCBU even with lower than normal attendance.
- The WUL Winter Cup takes place on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll have preview and recap coverage.
- USA Ultimate’s D-I and D-III College Championships are fast approaching, so expect the scheduling and seeding to be announced. We’ll have that and our reactions to the tournament’s setup.
The Super Bloom roster can be seen in the Instagram post linked above. ↩