AUDL West Division - mid season commentary

With 160 games played, a lot of hucks, D’s and layout made, and a lot of noise heard around the league, the mid season of the AUDL has finally come. Let’s check in on the West division and see where the teams are in the standings.


Through the first few games, all teams were in the mix, and it still looks to be that way. The LA Aviators (6-2 overall) are only two games up on the playoff-hungry San Diego Growlers, who are looking at the .500 mark (4-4 record).

Not too far behind and looking to shake things up are the defending champ San Francisco (3-4), the San Jose Spiders (3-5) and the Seattle Cascades (2-5). Although all four teams could make a surge in the second-half of the season, they would also need some disruption in the Aviators current flight pattern.

The Aviators seem to be flying high, going 6-0 in the West Division so far. LA has averaged 25 points per season, but also being scored on an average of 22 times.

While they are still in the positive, the gap between the two numbers seems to be thinning, with the last few wins being close calls. It looks like this plane may be slowing down and the rest of the division is taking notice.

Looking to climb out of a mid-season hole, the Seattle Cascades are coming back to their home field on Saturday, June 2, to face the San Jose Spiders. The Cascades are hoping to start the second half of the season on a positive note and improve to 3-5 on the season.

While the offense has done its job up to this point in the season (23.71 points per game), the defense has seen better seasons (26..71 points against per game). If Seattle wants to make a charge for the playoffs, more layout d’s and better pressure on the disc must happen on the field, starting Saturday.

With the entire west division only separated by a couple of games, anything could happen during the second half run at the 2018 AUDL playoffs. The race for Madison begins in this division with Seattle hosting the San Jose Spiders on Saturday at 6pm at Seattle Memorial Stadium. Shortly after the first pull will be the San Diego Growlers playing host to the San Francisco Flamethrowers at 6:30pm at Mission Bay. Rounding out the divisional games on Sunday will be the LA Aviators inviting the Flamethrowers over to their turf at Jerry Chabola Stadium.

By Parks Beson

Cascades vs Flamethrowers, game preview

The Seattle Cascades take the field under the lights of Memorial Stadium on Saturday night against the San Francisco Flamethrowers.  


The Cascades are looking to get back to .500 after taking back-to-back losses from the San Diego Growlers. Amidst a tough division, the Cascades are still in contention for the top spot in the AUDL West, and the plan to make that push starting with the struggling Flamethrowers on Saturday.  

That’s got to start with the defense. Although the Cascades have put up on average of 23 points per game, they have been scored on an average of 25 points.  

“We started off pretty hot in the beginning and our O-Line was clicking, but towards the end we kind of just petered off a bit and our D-Line was not getting the breaks that we needed, “said Kodi Smart after a tough loss to the Growlers on April 21. “But it’s early in the season and we have plenty of time to change that and get it to where it needs to be.” 

The Seattle D-Line may be getting a little bit of a breather against this woeful San Francisco crew, who, although averages 21 points per game, has had plastic in their side of the end zone an average of 25 times. However, at a record of 1-3 and sitting at the bottom of the AUDL West, the defending champs are hungry to get back in the mix.  

Come celebrate cinco do Mayo in style and watch the Cascades oust the Flames tomorrow night at 7pm under the Space Needle.  

By Parks Beson


The Seattle Cascades have re-signed two top players in Mark Burton and Brad Houser. Burton has been a member of the league's All-AUDL First Team in each of the past two seasons, and has thrown a league-high 141 assists over the past two years. Houser emerged as the Cascades' top receiver in 2017 with 46 goals. Seattle missed the playoffs last year for the first time in three seasons.

AUDL showcase during Vikings half-time

More than 50K people are going to experience this AUDL men's ultimate showcase game tonight. More than five times that many are going to see it on TV.

Minnesota Wind Chill  and  Madison Radicals  play at half-time of  Minnesota Vikings  game at  U.S. Bank Stadium ! Secure your tickets!  #AUDL   #skol

Minnesota Wind Chill and Madison Radicals play at half-time of Minnesota Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium! Secure your tickets! #AUDL #skol

This kind of exposure can be a game-changer for our relatively small sport, and presents both an opportunity and a challenge: how do we present ourselves in the face of so many people who are brand new to ultimate?

The sport of ultimate is energetic, athletic, and demonstrates good teamwork. It's non-contact and it showcases skill, strategy, and mental toughness. The cost of playing is minimal and all ages & genders can participate. Plus, it's incredibly fun to play!

As the Seattle Cascades, our values include promoting the women's and mixed divisions of our sport as well as the men's. While this Vikings game demo is awesome, it is an asymmetrical representation of our sport. Our hope is that the faces that light up when they see the disc fly will soon discover that women and girls play too! The onus is on us (ultimate organizations, fans, players) to make that happen.

If the Seattle Cascades get the opportunity to play at a Seattle Seahawks or Seattle Sounders FC game, we will aim to get the Cascades Cup (mixed gender) team on the field:

An Irish Degree In Ultimate - Part 2

Photo: Andrew Lynch

Photo: Andrew Lynch


     So if you're reading this, you probably know about my previous experiences in Ireland in the sport of Ultimate, and you maybe now understand why I've made this trip to Seattle to play in the AUDL.

But now that I'm here, it's time to talk about my goals for the coming season.

My goal as a player.

    I suppose my main goal coming to this league is to see how I compare to many of the top players and teams in the world. Coming from Ireland, the exposure you can get to high level ultimate is pretty low. There's really only one club in Ireland that actually has try-outs and can cut players. The other teams basically take all the players they can, and do their best to run a club that suits new and experienced players in the same training.

Obviously this is great for newer players, as you get thrown in at the deep end playing against players much better than you. I think this is a big reason why I devolved(developed?) so quickly when I started. However the past year or two I've realised, that I am now the old guy in the team, and the challenge and excitement of going to training each week was getting  smaller for me. I've not felt fully challenged as an Ultimate player in recent years outside of national competitions.

    That's one of the things I'm most looking forward to in Seattle. I know every time I have a game, or a training, that I'm going to be fighting for spots on the game day roster, or trying to stop a great opposition player. I just get to focus on improving myself. I'm not coaching or captaining this team, and it's been a long time since I've got to play on a team as just a player week in week out. I hope the combination of these new surroundings brings out the best in me.

What is my biggest worry about this trip?

    My only worry is how long it will take to get up to speed. I've just come back from two broken bones in my throwing hand. A month ago I couldn't throw anything with my right hand. I'm out of shape, and lacking game sharpness. I'm lucky Mark had seen me playing for Ireland, because at least if I start slow, I'll know there is one person on the team who knows I'm better than that. I know that I owe it to my team mates who I have never met to not just arrive and use that excuse to not perform right away.

    On a side note to this performing topic, I think about how I'll be viewed by those back in Ireland. I've had many people congratulate me, and wish me the best. I know that there will be a lot of people following my progress back in Ireland. Some friends and some family, but also a few who have told me about their potential interest in doing something similar in the coming years. These would be people who'd respect me as a player and know me as a person, and will expect me to go over, and do big things in the AUDL.

If I'm a success, it may encourage them them try it, but if I fail to perform to the level I'm expecting of myself, perhaps they won't look to do the same.

    I feel like my ability to step up to the challenge could have a ripple effect in Ireland in the coming years, and if I raise my game like I intend, this will help move Ultimate forward in Ireland by getting more players to spend a season or two in the AUDL, and gaining valuable experience to take home. Ireland is on the verge of doing something special at an international level in Ultimate, and I've the potential to use this experience to help that happen in the coming years.

My personal goals.

    As much as becoming a great player is a huge motivation for me, the real thing I will be getting out of this season is growth as a person off the pitch. I love the sport, and want to learn from better players and coaches. I want learn from coaches how to become a better coach, and as a personal trainer, I want to develop a better understanding for how to train for Ultimate at the highest level.

    I'm a real believer that if you love something enough, and put enough time into it, you can eventually find a way to make a living from it. If you wake up every day happy with what you are doing, you will have a happy life. I love being involved with Ultimate, and while I know I'll never be able to make a living from playing it, I'm hoping that this time spent in Seattle will enable me to find a path which leads to waking up everyday, and being able to live off something I enjoy doing related to this sport.

I don't think there's a city in the world more suited to help me in all these areas than Seattle.

    I'm excited about this new chapter of my life, and the possibilities it can offer me. If it doesn't work out, and I only end up here for a single season, at least I'll know I gave it a go. Looking back on life later, I know I'll only regret the things I didn't do when I wanted to, and not the things I did, and that's how I want to live my life.

    I'd like to thank the Cascades for offering me a chance to write something like this, as I've never had the chance before, and it's nice to be able to do it.

    Thanks to those who read it, and hopefully you now have a better idea of who I am, and for those who do know me, maybe you now know me that bit better.

    I look forward to taking to the field in the AUDL this season, and the challenges and opportunities my time in Seattle will bring.

And on that, I'll sign off.

See you in Seattle.

John Doherty #13

Answering Questions About the Cascades Cup

We've seen a  lot of questions and discussion about the Cascades Cup since our announcement at the beginning of the month. The Cascades value the input of the ultimate community and opportunities to promote discussion about the Cascades Mission and Values. Our General Manager, Xtehn Titcomb has written some responses to some of the questions and concerns that have been voiced by the community. Be sure to check out the original press release to learn more about the Cascades Cup.

What will the gender ratio on the field be?

Our plan is to play each quarter, in alternation, with four of one gender and three of the other. The order will be determined by whoever wins the coin toss.

What field size? What rule set? Will the game be played with refs?

We’ll play the Cascades Cup on an AUDL field with AUDL rules and referees.

Why do try outs conflict with long-established women's events like DiscNW's Women's Winter league?

Due to a couple other large Seattle sports organizations that also use our venue (Memorial Stadium), we had to fit our two tryout weekends within a pre-existing schedule. In other words, the only availability was Friday night and Saturday morning. This was the case in 2015 and 2016, so it’s the third year in a row that we’ve followed this Fri/Sat tryout schedule. In fact, it’s becoming sort of a tradition.

In order to compensate for the late notice and to allow women to attend DiscNW Women’s Winter League, we kept the tryout attendance requirement as low as possible for women: attend one or more of these four dates (Feb 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th). Two weeks later, the final (invite only) tryout will take place on Feb 23rd.

Our expectation for men is full attendance at our Feb 3 & 4 Combine, and Feb 10 & 11 Tryouts if they make the semi-final cut. The male-identified players who make the Cascades roster will be announced by Feb 20th.

If the AUDL, the Seattle Cascades, or the San Francisco FlameThrowers value women players as much as they say they do, why won't the women on these rosters play throughout the AUDL season?

I can speak officially on behalf of the Cascades, and offer some intuition on behalf of the other AUDL owners. It’s also worth considering the perspectives of AUDL Council Member, Rob Lloyd and AUDL Commisioner, Steve Gordon, who are thinking about the AUDL on a many-years time scale.

The AUDL was created and is being cultivated under the mission to “showcase the sport being played at its highest level.” Every team in the league is a franchise that subscribes to the same AUDL Operations Manual and AUDL Bylaws. Beyond that, we are encouraged to run our individual teams the way we please. This is why you see very different mission statements from team to team... and in the case of Seattle, a set of mission & values that speaks to community, athletic excellence, and gender equity.

[* The following paragraph has been edited; refer to the version below. 2/14, 5pm, XT] The reason the Cascades are not putting women on the field for the entire AUDL season is because this would not line up with the mission and intentions of the AUDL as a whole. Instead, we’re putting women on the field for 1-2 unofficial games in order to tangibly promote women in ultimate. We see this as a step in the positive direction, and by all means not the only/final step we will take to move the needle on gender equity. In fact, this is just the beginning. Whether it’s under the AUDL brand or elsewhere, we have a lot more work to do.

* We're showcasing women and men at the Cascades Cup in order show that women also demonstrate the highest level of the sport. We see this as a step in the positive direction, but by all means not the only/final step we will take to move the needle on gender equity. In fact, this is just the beginning. The way we see it, there is a lot more work to do!

What will the AUDL do if these "exhibition games" are better attended/viewed than regular season games?

Good question. The AUDL consists of 24 teams, and I imagine each ownership group will react in a different way. I, for one, will be excited to see all the attention/coverage that female athletes will be getting. Also, I’ll be curious to compare the fan demographics at “exhibition games” with who attends regular season AUDL games.

What will you do? What will the entrepreneurial minds around the country/world do?

This is not enough. Put women on the field, pay them as much as you'd pay a male player, and make it count towards the team's W/L record.

This is not enough, but it’s what we’re capable of doing this year. While the Cascades Cup is not part of our regular season games, we are paying women and men the same amount for 2017 season.

Why aren’t elite players joining the AUDL to promote change from within?

Many top level players are playing for AUDL teams and shaping the future of the league by building relationships with teammates, managers, and owners. In fact, the majority of AUDL players around the country also play for USAU Ultimate Club Championships level teams.

While I find this question provocative, I would prefer to discuss the question, “what do top level players like about the AUDL and what do they want to change?” Here's my take:

I’m Xtehn Titcomb and I’ve played top-level ultimate with Chicago Machine (USAU), Seattle Sockeye (USAU), Seattle Rainmakers (MLU), and Seattle Cascades (AUDL). I like the pace of the the game that referees enforce, and I like the opportunity to overrule foul calls with the Integrity Rule. I would like to see widespread and consistent acknowledgement from the players that we are in control of the behavior and resulting sportsmanship that occurs within AUDL games. I’d like for every team management group to do a mandatory “arbitration workshop” that addresses these issues head-on with the players. I like the high level of competition that we have at games, and the impact that it has on the growth/reach of our sport. I would like to change the awareness level of players, staff, and fans with respect to gender, race, and class privilege. I think that AUDL owners are in position to promote “healthy masculinity” during the season and take measures to combat sexism. On these topics, I would like to see more discussion between players, management, and owners. I like that we have two female owners of the Seattle Cascades, and that they play an instrumental role in directing our vision, our strategic planning, and our fiscal management. I would like to see more women in leadership positions in other AUDL cities. I like the way the Commissioner (Steve Gordon) and AUDL Council (Andrew Zill, Don Grage, Jean-Levy Champagne, Steve Hall, Tim Debyl) support and care for the various teams around the country, but I’d like to see other team owners step up and become more involved in issues that impact the league and the sport as a whole.


Xtehn Titcomb
Co-Owner, General Manager
Seattle Cascades

Cascades end playoff run with thriller rematch against Spiders

The Spiders used a workmanlike effort of their own to sneak past the Seattle Cascades 21-19, a day after the Cascades had outlasted the San Francisco FlameThrowers by the same score. San Jose was broken on the opening point of the game, but responded mightily by going up 4-1 in the first quarter and leading the rest of the way.

Late in the fourth, the Cascades twice inched within one, but with the score 20-19 in the final minutes, San Jose’s top star helped his team keep the lead. Beau Kittredge, playing at what he generously estimated was about 70% of his capability due to a rib injury, hauled in a contested deep shot from Chuck Cao for the game’s final score with 1:11 remaining.

Earlier in the point, it looked like the Cascades would have a chance to tie when Kittredge’s painful layout did not produce a catch of a low throw near midfield. But the referees whistled an interference call against Seattle’s Sam Harkness, keeping the disc with San Jose. After the game, Kittredge shared that he believed he was fouled. Many on Seattle disagreed, and replays were inconclusive.

San Jose Player/Coach Kevin Smith felt a combination of pride and relief following the Spiders’ victory, acknowledging that Seattle had more than enough firepower to beat them.

“If we play that game 10 times, I think we win eight of them,” Smith said.

Defensive workhorse Greg Cohen was instrumental to San Jose’s victory, creating four Ds, including a point block on Seattle’s Matt Rehder late in the fourth quarter that basically sealed the game. No one else on the Spiders had multiple Ds in the game.

Unlike 2014, San Jose appears far from invincible, enduring four regular season losses, most of any Final Four team, en route to Championship Weekend. It remains to be seen whether the Spiders will again reign supreme or if the rest of the league’s top squads have caught up.

“We’ll be prepared,” Smith said. “I’ve got two weeks to do my homework.”

Originally posted