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Ultimate Frisbee Association

Ultimate Frisbee Association
First season2012
No. of teams24
CountryUnited States (22 teams)
Canada (2 teams)
Most recent
New York Empire
Most titlesNew York Empire (3)
TV partner(s)

The Ultimate Frisbee Association (UFA), formerly the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), is a professional[1][2] ultimate disc league that consists of 24 teams divided between the South, Central, East, and West divisions. The UFA is located in North America. Each UFA season has 12 regular season games which run from April to July. Following the conclusion of the regular season, the top three teams from every division advance to the playoffs, a single elimination tournament that culminates in a final four style showcase known as the UFA Championship Weekend,[3] which is contested in late August over two days.

The UFA was founded in 2012 as the AUDL,[4] before renaming itself the Ultimate Frisbee Association for the 2024 season.[5]

The New York Empire hold the most championships with 3 titles. They are also the reigning champions after defeating the Salt Lake Shred in the AUDL Championship Game at Championship Weekend 12.


Founding and history

The UFA was founded by Josh Moore in 2012 as the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).[4]

Inaugural season

The first AUDL game was won by the Connecticut Constitution on April 14, 2012, over the Rhode Island Rampage by a score of 29 to 23, and the first goal was scored by Brent Anderson of the Constitution.[6][failed verification] The first championship was held on August 11, 2012, and was won by the Philadelphia Spinners by a score of 29 to 22 over the Indianapolis AlleyCats.

In the first season, the league consisted of eight teams broken into the Eastern and Western conferences. Jonathan "Goose" Helton of the AlleyCats was named league MVP for the inaugural season. Helton, alongside Evan Boucher, Cameron Brock, Rob Dulabon, Dave Hochholter, John Korber, and Jake Rainwater were named to the first All-AUDL Team.[7]

2012 lawsuit

In May 2012, the AUDL announced its plans for expansion for the following season, including franchises in New Jersey, New York, and Boston. Owners of the Connecticut Constitution and Rhode Island Rampage contended that the Boston and New York franchises impinged upon their Territory Licensing Agreements, which specified a non-compete radius of 100 miles. Separately, the league compensated the Philadelphia Spinners for the encroachment of the New Jersey and New York franchises. Negotiations between the Constitution, the Rampage, and the league reached an impasse in early June and the franchises' owners threatened legal action. The league preemptively sued the owners on June 17. As negotiations wore on, the league (at least twice) offered various settlements to the owners of the Constitution and the Rampage, but those offers were rejected. On July 5, the Constitution suspended team operations due to legal fees, missing two games. The league then fined the team the maximum fine of $10,000 per game, which Constitution owner Bryan Ricci called "severe and excessive" and refused to pay. Both the Constitution and Rampage had games cancelled near the end of the season.[8] The Constitution would have earned a playoff berth but were disqualified due to their unpaid fines and the Rampage advanced in their place, losing to the Philadelphia Spinners in the Division final.

In December 2012, the league and team owners reached a settlement. Details of the settlement are unknown due to a non-disclosure agreement.[9] Neither the Rampage nor the Connecticut Constitution returned to the AUDL in 2013.


For the 2013 season, the Indianapolis AlleyCats and the Detroit Mechanix were the only teams from the 2012 season to remain in their cities, while the Bluegrass Revolution relocated from Lexington, KY to Cincinnati, OH and the Buffalo Hunters relocated and rebranded as the Rochester Dragons.[10] Even with only four teams left, the league still managed to expand to twelve teams overall.[11]

In 2014, the league expanded to 17 teams, including the introduction of the West Division.[12] The league also reached a multi-year broadcasting deal with ESPN3 that covered 14 regular season games, a playoff game, and the Championship Weekend.[13]

In 2015, the league expanded to 25 teams. The new expansion teams consisted of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, Ottawa Outlaws, Los Angeles Aviators, San Diego Growlers, Jacksonville Cannons, Nashville NightWatch, Raleigh Flyers, Atlanta Hustle, and Charlotte Express. In March 2015, the Salt Lake Lions announced that they would be suspending operations for the entire 2015 season; leaving the West Conference with only 6 teams. In October 2015, the AUDL announced that the Lions franchise had been bought back by the league, making that hiatus permanent. In the same announcement, the league welcomed the Austin Sol and Dallas Roughnecks to the South Division.[14] Shortly thereafter, the AUDL announced that the Rochester Dragons franchise was also being contracted and that the league was again hoping to start a franchise in the Boston area.[15]

Also in 2015, the Raleigh Flyers of the AUDL signed the first ever female professional ultimate player, Jessi Jones, to play in their game against the Nashville Nightwatch. Jones, who was a team USA U-23 player in 2013, was signed as part of "Women's Ultimate Day".[16][17]

In September 2016, the Cincinnati Revolution and the Charlotte Express announced they would be ceasing operations.[18]

In the 2017 season, Jesse Shofner was selected to the roster for the Nashville Nightwatch, which made her the first female player to make a full season AUDL roster.[17] Shofner subsequently scored two goals in the Nightwatch's first game of the 2017 season, making her the first woman to do so in any AUDL game.[19]

Before the 2018 season, the Vancouver Riptide announced they would be leaving Vancouver.

Before the 2019 season, the Nashville Nightwatch and the San Francisco FlameThrowers announced they would be ceasing operations.

On December 4, 2019, the league announced that a new Boston franchise (later named the Boston Glory) would join the league for the 2020 season, its first expansion since 2016.[20] That same day, the league announced a divisional realignment plan that saw the Midwest renamed the Central, the dissolution of the South into a combo South-East Atlantic Division, and the two Texas teams moving to the West division, among other moves.[21]

The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[22]

Due to COVID-related travel restrictions, in the 2021 season the three Canadian teams played in an independent series, the Canada Cup. The 19 U.S. teams competed in three divisions: Atlantic, Central, and West. The Boston Glory and the New York Empire moved from the East Division, which did not exist in 2021, to the Atlantic Division.[23]

In December 2021, the league announced three new franchises, the Colorado Summit, Salt Lake Shred, and Portland Nitro.[24][25] With the addition of these teams the divisions were realigned, with a new South division in place of the Atlantic division.[26] Also in December 2021, the Dallas Roughnecks announced that they were rebranding as the Dallas Legion.[27] In February 2022, the San Jose Spiders announced a move to nearby Oakland.[28]

After the 2022 season, the league announced the addition of the Houston Havoc, and the departure of the Tampa Bay Cannons and Ottawa Outlaws.[29][30]

2024 rebranding

On January 17, 2024 the league announced it would become the Ultimate Frisbee Association (UFA). The league partnered with Sport Dimension Inc. (SDI), owner of the Wham-O brand family which includes the Frisbee trademark to license the name for use across the league. Multiple new logos were designed as part of the league's new brand identity. In 2024 the UFA announced it will be streaming the "Super Series", top weekly games for free, live on YouTube. The season will end with the 13th Championship Weekend, August 23–24, at Zion Bank Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.


The UFA features a number of rule changes from the traditional set of rules laid out and established by USA Ultimate (USAU) and the WFDF.

The field area is expanded to 53+13 yards wide and 80 yards long with 20-yard end zones (the same size as an American football field, but with the end zones taking up twice as much of the field as in American football). Games are timed with four-quarters of 12 minutes each, including a 15-minute halftime. If the score is tied, a five-minute overtime period is played. If the score remains tied after overtime, a second overtime is played in which the first team to score wins.

Notable changes from the USAU format include the use of referees, a drop in the stall count from 10 seconds to 7, a ten-yard penalty for travelling when catching the disc, no prohibition of double-teams, and a yardage penalty for travelling when throwing the disc.[31] There are also other infractions, such as too much physicality, that result in 10- or 20-yard penalties depending on the severity of the infraction. While different from the USAU and WFDF rules, many of these changes were also seen in the MLU.


The UFA consists of 24 teams divided into four divisions. During the regular season, each team is allowed an unlimited amount of players on its roster; only 20 of these may be active/rostered (eligible to play) on game days.[32]

Every UFA team is based in North America.

The 24 teams are organized into four geographic divisions with a varying number of teams in each.

Active teams

UFA team locations (South in red, Central in blue, East in green, West in yellow)
Teams in the Ultimate Frisbee Association
Division Team City/Area Stadium First Season
South Atlanta Hustle Atlanta, GA St. Pius X Catholic High School 2015
Austin Sol Austin, TX Westlake High School 2016
Carolina Flyers Durham, NC Durham County Memorial Stadium 2015 (as Raleigh Flyers)
Dallas Legion Dallas, TX Colleyville Middle School 2016 (as Dallas Roughnecks)
Houston Havoc Houston, TX SaberCats Stadium 2023
Central Chicago Union Chicago, IL De La Salle Institute 2013 (as Windy City Wildfire)
Detroit Mechanix Grand Rapids, MI Davenport University Football Stadium 2012
Indianapolis AlleyCats Indianapolis, IN Grand Park Events Center[33] 2012
Madison Radicals Madison, WI Breese Stevens Field 2013
Minnesota Wind Chill Saint Paul, MN Sea Foam Stadium 2013
Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Pittsburgh, PA Highmark Stadium 2015
East Boston Glory Boston, MA Hormel Stadium 2020
DC Breeze Washington, DC Carlini Field at Catholic University.[34] 2013
Montreal Royal Montreal, QC Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard 2014
New York Empire New York City, NY Joseph F. Fosina Field[35] 2013
Philadelphia Phoenix Philadelphia, PA South Philadelphia Supersite 2013
Toronto Rush Toronto, ON Varsity Stadium 2013
West Colorado Summit Denver, CO Marv Kay Stadium 2022
Los Angeles Aviators Los Angeles, CA Culver City High School 2015
Oakland Spiders Oakland, CA Fremont High School (in Oakland) 2014 (as San Jose Spiders)
Portland Nitro Portland, OR Providence Park 2022
Salt Lake Shred Salt Lake City, UT Zions Bank Stadium 2022
San Diego Growlers San Diego, CA Mission Bay High School 2015
Seattle Cascades Seattle, WA Seattle Memorial Stadium 2014 (as Seattle Raptors)

† Team was a founding member of the UFA

Former Ultimate Frisbee Association teams
Team City/Area Stadium Season(s) Notes
Charlotte Express Charlotte, NC Irwin Belk Complex 20152016[36]
Cincinnati Revolution Cincinnati, OH Sheakley Athletic Center 2012 (as Bluegrass Revolution), 20132016[36]
Columbus Cranes Columbus, OH Warhawks Stadium 2012
Connecticut Constitution New Britain, CT Arute Field 2012
Nashville NightWatch Nashville, TN Hunters Lane High School 20152018
New Jersey Hammerheads Trenton, NJ Mercer County Community College Stadium 2013[37]
Ottawa Outlaws Ottawa, ON MNP Park 2015–2022
Philadelphia Spinners Philadelphia, PA Franklin Field 2012 Left to join MLU[38]
Rhode Island Rampage Providence, RI Pierce Memorial Field 2012
Rochester Dragons Rochester, NY Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium 2012 (as Buffalo Hunters),20132015[15]
Salt Lake Lions Salt Lake City, UT Taylorsville High School Stadium 2014
San Francisco FlameThrowers Oakland, CA Laney College Football Field[39] 20142018
Tampa Bay Cannons St. Petersburg, FL Gibbs High School 2015 (as Jacksonville Cannons)–2022
Vancouver Riptide Vancouver, BC Swangard Stadium 20142017


Ultimate Frisbee Association championships
Season Date Champion Final score Runner-up Venue Location
2012[40] August 11, 2012 Philadelphia Spinners 29–22 Indianapolis AlleyCats Pontiac Silverdome Pontiac, MI
2013[41][42] August 4, 2013 Toronto Rush 16–14 Madison Radicals Lane Tech Stadium Chicago, IL
2014[43] July 27, 2014 San Jose Spiders 28–18 Toronto Rush Varsity Stadium Toronto, ON
2015[44] August 9, 2015 San Jose Spiders 17–15 Madison Radicals Avaya Stadium San Jose, CA
2016[45] August 7, 2016 Dallas Roughnecks 33–27 Seattle Cascades Breese Stevens Field Madison, WI
2017[46] August 27, 2017 San Francisco FlameThrowers 30–29 Toronto Rush Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard Montreal, QC
2018[47] August 12, 2018 Madison Radicals 20–16 Dallas Roughnecks Breese Stevens Field Madison, WI
2019[48] August 11, 2019 New York Empire 26–22 Dallas Roughnecks Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA
2020[22] NA No champion due to COVID-19 NA NA NA NA
2021[49] September 11, 2021 Raleigh Flyers 19–16 New York Empire Audi Field Washington, DC
2022 August 26, 2022 New York Empire 22–14 Chicago Union Breese Stevens Field Madison, WI
2023 August 26, 2023 New York Empire 19–12 Salt Lake Shred TCO Stadium Eagan, MN


Ultimate Frisbee Association MVPs
Season Name Team
2012 Jonathan "Goose" Helton Indianapolis AlleyCats
2013 Jonathan "Goose" Helton Windy City Wildfire
2014 Beau Kittredge San Jose Spiders
2015 Beau Kittredge San Jose Spiders
2016 Dylan Tunnell[50] Atlanta Hustle
2017 Jonathan Nethercutt Raleigh Flyers
2018 Matthew "Rowan" McDonnell DC Breeze
2019 Ben Jagt New York Empire
2020 No MVP due to COVID-19 NA
2021 Ben Jagt New York Empire
2022 Ryan Osgar New York Empire
2023 Jeff Babbitt New York Empire

League Commissioners

  • Josh Moore, Commissioner from 2012 to 2013
  • Steve Gordon, Commissioner from 2013 to 2018
  • Steve Hall, Commissioner from 2018–present

See also


  1. ^ "The Lowest Paid Athletes in All of Professional Sports", Men's Journal, Evan Grossman, November 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "Office workers by day, Ultimate disc players by night", Chicago Tribune, Emily Brown, May 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "2023 AUDL Championship Weekend". WatchUFA. November 30, 2022. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  4. ^ a b "About the UFA™". WatchUFA. February 6, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  5. ^ "The World's Largest Professional Ultimate League is Now the Ultimate Frisbee Association (UFA)". WatchUFA. January 16, 2024. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  6. ^ "Week 1 Results". American Ultimate Disc League. Archived from the original on October 1, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "2012 Season Index". AUDL. September 14, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  8. ^ "A Timeline of the AUDL Lawsuit: How Did We Get Here?". Ultiworld. July 19, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "AUDL Settles Lawsuit With Connnecticut and Rhode Island Franchises". Ultiworld. December 13, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "Philadelphia Spinners Leave AUDL". Skyd Magazine. October 5, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "AUDL Teams". American Ultimate Disc League. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  12. ^ "AUDL Announces 2014 Expansion To West Coast, Montreal". Ultiworld. October 25, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  13. ^ "AUDL Signs Multi-Year Broadcast Agreement with ESPN". American Ultimate Disc League. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  14. ^ "Austin, Dallas Joining AUDL's South Division in 2016". Ultiworld. October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "AUDL Announces Contraction of Rochester Dragons Franchise". AUDL. October 29, 2015. Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  16. ^ "Raleigh Flyers Sign First-Ever Female Pro Ultimate Player | Livewire | Ultiworld". Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "In First For Female Player, Jesse Shofner Makes Nashville Nightwatch Roster". Ultiworld. March 24, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  18. ^ comments, Charlie Eisenhood in News with 2 (September 2, 2016). "AUDL's Cincinnati Revolution, Charlotte Express Cease Operations". Ultiworld. Retrieved September 11, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "AUDL Throwaround: Shofner Makes History, Ugly Jersey Effect, Polk On SportsCenter". Ultiworld. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Eisenhood, Charlie (December 4, 2019). "AUDL Adds Boston Franchise In First Expansion Since 2016". Ultiworld. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  21. ^ "2020 AUDL Divisional Realignment". American Ultimate Disc League. December 4, 2019. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "AUDL Cancels 2020 Season". AUDL. June 24, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "AUDL Exec. Council Approves Return To Play For 2021". AUDL. March 5, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  24. ^ "Colorado, Salt Lake, Portland To Join West In 2022". AUDL. November 30, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  25. ^ "Portland Nitro Join West Division In 2022". AUDL. January 11, 2022. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  26. ^ "AUDL Will Return To Four Divisions In 2022". AUDL. November 30, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  27. ^ "Dallas Announces New Branding and Staff Changes". AUDL. December 15, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  28. ^ "After 6 Years, 2 Championships, and Many Memories, the Spiders Are Moving to Oakland". Oakland Spiders. Archived from the original on February 14, 2022. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  29. ^ "Houston Set To Join League In 2023". AUDL. November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  30. ^ "Houston Havoc Announced For 2023 Season". AUDL. December 14, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  31. ^ "AUDL 101". American Ultimate Disc League. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  32. ^ "AUDL Official Rules – 2023 Season" (PDF). Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  33. ^ "Indianapolis AlleyCat". Indianapolis AlleyCat. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  34. ^ "Breeze Home Venue". AUDL. February 15, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  35. ^ "New York Calls Joseph F. Fosina Field of New Rochelle (AKA Flower's Park) Home". New York Empire. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Cincinnati, Charlotte Franchises To Contract; New Atlanta Ownership". American Ultimate Disc League. September 4, 2016. Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  37. ^ "New Jersey AUDL Franchise Folds, DC Franchise Avoids Same Fate With New Investor". Ultiworld. December 3, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  38. ^ "AUDL President Talks About 2013 Season, Spinners, Major League Ultimate". Ultiworld. October 10, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  39. ^ "Venue". SF FlameThrowers. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  40. ^ "Philadelphia Wins Inaugural AUDL Championship". Skyd Magazine. August 20, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  41. ^ "2013 AUDL Championship Final Highlights". Retrieved June 24, 2014 – via YouTube.
  42. ^ "AUDL Championship Weekend Preview". Skyd Magazine. August 2, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  43. ^ "Instant Reaction: The AUDL Moves Championship Up to Toronto". Ultiworld. November 27, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  44. ^ "2015 AUDL Championship". AUDL. August 9, 2015. Archived from the original on August 13, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  45. ^ "Breese Stevens Field To Host 2016 AUDL Championship Weekend". AUDL. January 4, 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  46. ^ "2017 AUDL Championship Weekend: Montreal". AUDL. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  47. ^ "2018 AUDL Championship". AUDL. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  48. ^ "Final". AUDL. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  49. ^ Rubin, Alex (September 13, 2021). "AUDL Playoffs 2021: Raleigh Flyers Win First AUDL Title with Sparkling Offense". Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  50. ^ "Dylan Tunnell Wins 2016 AUDL MVP | Livewire". Ultiworld. August 29, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
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Ultimate Frisbee Association
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