Robin Meyers is one of two Bethlehem Central High School graduates playing for the Boston Whitecaps in Major League Ultimate’s inaugural season. Meyers is a defender for the unbeaten Whitecaps.
Meyers said the way the Whitecaps season is laid out is different from the Ironsides’ season. While the Ironsides travel to weekend tournaments across the country from the latter half of the summer through the fall, the Whitecaps face one team per week.
“At a tournament, you find yourself wearing down towards the end of it because you’ve played so many games,” said Meyers. “In this league, you feel like you’re playing at your peak for longer in the competition because it’s only one game.”
The way games are played is different in Major League Ultimate. Games are split into four 15-minute periods, and there are referees on the field to make foul calls – a significant difference from the player-regulated tournaments.
“This way, they do move the games along,” said Meyers.
Meyers said having referees making foul calls was initially seen as controversial in the ultimate frisbee community, and he is concerned that players might take advantage of their presence by deliberately falling to the ground to get a foul call. He added that he hasn’t seen that happen in a Major League Ultimate game so far.
“The principle of ultimate is sportsmanship, and that hasn’t changed,” said Meyers.
The crowds at Major League Ultimate games have been small, but Meyers said he believes they will grow.
“We feel once people see it, they’ll come back because it’s fun to watch,” said Meyers. “You get people leaping all over the place (trying to catch the disc).”
The Whitecaps began their postseason run Saturday when they hosted Washington in the semifinals. A victory would place Meyers, Reinhardt and their Boston teammates in the Major League Ultimate finals July 13 at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field.