Greg McCorkle
#6 Danny Trytiak scores a goal for Seattle late in the first half in the debut match of The Ultimate, a new Major League sports competition that made its debut in West Seattle on April 20. Seattle beat Vancouver (BC) in the game 14 - 12.

SLIDESHOW: A new major league sport makes its West Seattle debut

Seattle Rainmakers hold on to beat the Vancouver (BC) Nighthawks 14-12 in Major League Ultimate

Exciting and fast paced…
That is the only way to describe the new professional sport in Seattle. The inaugural season of Major League Ultimate in Seattle kicked off at the SWAC last night in front of one thousand plus rabid fans.

This new sport has familiar elements of soccer, American football, and basketball. Ultimate is played on an open field roughly the size of a football field. Instead of a ball a Frisbee style disc is used that is approximately the size of the discs seen at every park or play field. Instead of a netted goal as in soccer the disc is advanced into an endzone like in football to score. One point is awarded for each score. Seven players on each side comprise a team that plays both offense and defense. There are two types of players on the field, Handlers and Cutters. These players handle both offense and defense.

Four ten minute quarters comprise the game with a fifteen minute half time with the game lasting approximately one hour. Each team has two time outs per quarter.

The "kickoff" is referred to as “The opening pull”.

With a twenty five man squad, substitutions can be made only during time outs or after a score.

The disc can only be advanced by passing. Like soccer passing can be forward or backward depending on the defense encountered. Players cannot run with the disc but as long as one foot is planted the player can make a one half step move as in basketball before passing the disc. It can only be advanced by passing. A player with the disc has seven seconds to make a pass, longer than seven seconds and a turnover incurs. Turnovers happen when a pass is incomplete, held to long, knocked down by a defensive player, or intercepted by a defensive player. The two basic throws are the Backhand and Forehand although variants do occur.

Most of the players come from the college ranks. Although not recognized as yet by the NCAA many colleges have what could be referred to as REC teams. The Rainmakers have former players from the University of Washington, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Seattle Pacific University, and have three current University of Washington players on the squad.

Media manager for the Rainmakers Alex Deleon says “Some of the best players in the world live in Seattle” With many amateur teams in the area. One of the teams, the Seattle Sockeyes, won national titles held in Ft. Lauderdale Florida in 2005 and 2007 and advanced to the nationals every year. Other teams include, The Downpour and the Voodoo.

Seattle got on the first point of the inaugural season with a tremendous catch by Cutter Joe Sefton #24. The Rainmakers scored often in this game and with under eight minutes left Seattle held a 14-7 lead but the Vancouver Nighthawks made a blistering run and were able to narrow the distance to two points as time expired with the Rainmakers hanging on to a 14-12 win. These two teams know each other well because they have members from the same amateur leagues. The Chief Sealth marching band provided music for the fans.

There are currently eight national teams in two conferences.

The Western Conference has the Seattle Rainmakers, the Portland Stags, the Vancouver Nighthawks, and the San Francisco Dogfish.

The Eastern Conference has last year’s champion Philadelphia Spinners, the Boston Whitecaps, the New York Rumble, and the Washington DC Current.

Next Saturday at the SWAC the Rainmakers will host the Portland Stags. Game time is 7pm. For tickets go to www.seattlerainmakers.com

To get your spin on, tickets, swag, and everything MLU go to www.mlultimate.com

If you can’t make the game it will simulcast on the internet. Go to either of the above websites for the simulcast link.

Visit the Rainmakers on Facebook here.

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