The dream of professional ultimate is alive in Madison

On the spur of the moment I took CJ and AB to see the Madison Radicals, the local francise of the brand-new American Ultimate Disc League, which is apparently one of two competing leagues vying to make pro ultimate a mainstream US sport.

Six bucks a ticket, kids get in free.  There were at least 500 fans cheering the Radicals, most of whom clearly know the rules of ultimate much better than I do.

It was extremely wholesome and I highly recommend it.

The game also featured a truly great halftime contest, in which spectators competed to see who could throw a Roman Candle pizza, frisbee-style, farthest down the field.  Now that was already great, but then, at the end of the contest, the contestants scooped the pizzas up off the turf and  tossed them to clamoring fans in the stands, who picked the grass off them and ate them.  I felt honored to be present.

Other notes:

  • Ultimate is traditionally played without a referee, but they’ve added refs for the pro game.  To maintain the spirit of the game, he AUDL has instituted the “integrity rule:”  if both teams agree that a call on the field is wrong, the referee is overruled.  I can’t think of any reason this isn’t the rule in every sport.
  • Apparently, one of the players (“the guy with the goatee,” according to a nearby fan) is the owner of the team.
  • Almost forgot to say — the Radicals battled back from a 12-8 deficit but eventually lost 16-15 to the Windy City Wildfire.

 

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