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Weekly Wisdom #27

posted Mar 22, 2011, 11:30 AM by Elizabeth Lehman   [ updated Mar 22, 2011, 11:32 AM by Quinten Hutchison ]

With the series coming up, there have been lots of e-mails circulating about registration and rostering with USA Ultimate.  Since we are all due-paying members, complete with an identification number and membership card, it’s important to know a little bit about our governing body.  What they started as, who they are now, what they do, and how it affects you as an ultimate player. 

First, the brief beginnings:

In 1979, just over 10 years after the creation of ultimate frisbee by a group of high school students in Maplewood, NJ, The Ultimate Players Association was formed in Santa Barbara.  This same year, ‘Frisbee’ was removed from the name of the sport.  At this time, the championship consisted of one men’s club team from each region.  In 1981, the women’s club division was created, again with the championships consisting of one team per region.  The men’s division grew in 1982 (the same year Henry Callahan was killed) to two teams per region.  The sport expanded to a men’s and women’s collegiate division in 1984 and 1987, respectively.  Since then, the UPA has grown and changed to what we now know as USA Ultimate – currently catering to over 35,000 members and having an annual expense budget over $1.3 million.  USAU now consists of a youth division, 2 men’s and women’s collegiate divisions, a men’s, women’s, and coed club divisions, a master’s division, and a grand master’s division.  You now have the capability to play ultimate from the time your small pre-pubescent arms can lift 175 grams until you can no longer remember which end zone you’re scoring at due to Alzheimer’s.   Read more about the history of ultimate and USAU.

The future of USAU:

In 2008, the 40 year anniversary of the creation of ultimate, the UPA developed their 5 year Strategic Plan in order to continue the growth and evolution of the sport to cater to the interests of the players.  The following is a somewhat abbreviated summary of this plan, you are encouraged to read more into USAU’s Strategic Plan
1.)     More USAU involvement in Youth Ultimate
2.)     Alter the Championship Series (i.e. – conferences, regionals, nationals) so that there are more playing opportunities, and so that these games are more evenly matched, making them more exciting.
3.)     Expand and improve the Observer system
4.)     Strengthen leagues by providing more resources (tools, training, resources)
5.)     Maximize the adherence to the Spirit of the Game (apply clear definition, build awareness for it’s importance)
6.)     Expand women’s ultimate
7.)     Create more ways for members to interact with USAU
8.)     Develop tools and deepen relationships with college teams and college admin
9.)     Increase player’s knowledge of rules
10.) Facilitate international growth with more interaction with other organizations (e.g. – WFDF)

I know this is long as it is, but there is a lot more interesting stuff in all of the provided links.  And although it’s flashy and hard to disguise from your boss as a legitimate work website, you should poke around on the USAU website and read about all they have done/are doing for the sport.

So take your time, procrastinate from doing actual work, peruse over this, and then go outside and throw.