Finally! We have a look at the 2015 season schedule from the American Ultimate Disc League. The league itself was quick to point out some games to watch, but I have some separate thoughts on the matter.
The 2015 season of the AUDL is announced. It’s the first season for a great many of the teams – and an entire division. With the added number of teams, the league looks to be as competitive as ever. See the full schedule here, as games kick off on Saturday, April 11th.
My first idea for the season was to spice things up a little bit, with some NFL style scheduling. The AUDL already goes on the week-by-week basis that seems like the NFL does. I figured, they could borrow some of the scheduling techniques the league uses. You would have your usual home-and-home’s within each divisional opponent, helping to foster the natural rivalries of the teams within their general geographic area. Something that I think leagues like the NBA and NHL do a good job of helping grow, while the NFL and MLB’s divisions do carry a bunch of historical significance, it doesn’t make much sense geographically. Anyway, back to ultimate; my idea was to have the divisional series of games within each team’s schedule, and then you have the top two of each division play the bottom two teams of another division, leaving the middle of each division to play each other.
But this doesn’t work out, not one bit. Click to each division of the league, and count them up to see for yourself (for some reason the Seattle Cascades aren’t on this page). The East, Midwest, and West have seven total teams, and the South has five. Unfortunately, creating an even schedule like the one I’m imagining is close to impossible with 26 teams. Even if there were two more in the South division, it’d be difficult – just because of the odd-number of teams. So if you’re reading, AUDL higher-ups or potential investors, add in an even number of teams in each of the divisions. Then we can really get some interesting schedules up in here.
Back to this year’s schedule…
- Remember a few years back, during the Rochester Dragons first full-season in 2013, they had to play the Toronto Rush some ridiculous amount of times? The Rush were on their way to a championship, with a roster chock-full of talent from GOAT. (Finding the full number of games is proving difficult. One former Dragons player told me 10, another 6. Whichever it was, it was too many for a normal schedule to have). Anyway, I have a thought that if one of the teams within the AUDL’s South division finds a similar scenario – say the Nashville Nightwatch are severely outmatched by the Raleigh Flyers – it won’t be a great start to the season for them.
- The West division is going to be amazingly more exciting this season than last season. For their own sake, I hope the Salt Lake City Lions are going to be able to compete. Seattle has upgraded their roster in every which way, thanks to Sockeye joining the fold.
- The addition of Pittsburgh to the Midwest makes things even more hectic there. Can Minnesota have a complete season with all the talent they have up there? Can Detroit gather some of the talent that High Five, Michigan University, and other teams have assembled?
- I saw the normal Saturday and Sunday night games. A few Friday games. A Thursday night game between Rochester and Toronto. That’s the only non-weekend game – I believe ever – for the AUDL.
- Guess it’s a lot harder to do actual analysis of this schedule with large parts of almost every roster up in the air still.
- Now for the potential USA Ultimate conflicts:
- Opening weekend and week 2 are also Conference Championships weekends for the college division. Regionals will also be in conflict with the AUDL schedule.
- Week 4 has the USAU Beach Championships taking place during it.
- Week 6 is during the D3 Championships, Week 7 during D1.
- Week 13 during the US Open.
- Week 14 and 15 might have some missing players across teams, as that falls during the U-23 Championships.
- Week 14 would also conflict with the Elite-Select Challenge.
- Talking about the conflicts though, it seems teams that would conflict with USAU events have some space built into them, and are designed around those events. Guess it’s a good idea they didn’t take my advice a few weeks prior.
- Also in the realm of conflict: teams that rely heavily on college talent look to have favorable schedule’s – home games around the time of sectionals/regionals/etc.