Welcome to the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee League

The Premier Ultimate League (PUL), a newly established professional women’s ultimate frisbee organization, held its first ever championship games last weekend in Atlanta, marking the end of its inaugural season. 

The Medellin Revolution, which has won 10 consecutive national championships in Colombia, defeated Raleigh Radiance in the PUL finals, after New York Gridlock and Atlanta Soul were bumped out of the tournament in semifinals.

The PUL, a non-profit league comprised of eight teams, was formed following a widespread boycott of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) in December 2017, in which upwards of 150 people signed on to protest gender inequality in the for-profit league. Most of those involved in the protest were men, as men constitute the majority of AUDL players.

The AUDL, although technically inclusive of all genders, consisted of hundreds of men and only about a dozen women at the time of the boycott. Players across the 21 affiliated teams had recognized a discrepancy between the visibility of men and women in professional ultimate frisbee, which they attributed to the AUDL’s lack of commitment to bridging the gap.

PUL was announced in January, and their season began in April. The league is open to all women and non-binary people, and their mission “is to achieve equity in the sport of ultimate by increasing accessibility to and visibility of womxn players through high-quality competition, leadership experiences, and community partnerships. Our league strives for gender, racial, and economic diversity in the sport of ultimate frisbee.” Throughout its inaugural season, PUL has garnered widespread support in achieving gender equality and representation in professional sports.

“I’m not a protestor,” New York Gridlock team member Lauren Doyle told the New York Times in reference to PUL’s formation as an act of defiance. “Because the men’s league is happening, people want the women’s league to happen.”

About

Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a rising sophomore at Tufts University studying sociology and community health. She is a Ms. contributing writer, and was formerly an editorial fellow, research fellow and assistant editor of social media. You can find her on Twitter at @sophie_dk_.