Wednesday, January 16, 2013

USAU's Mettle of the Game

USA Ultimate's Board of Directors released this statement which proudly "reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the sport of Ultimate in the U.S., the Triple Crown Tour (TCT) and the athletes and teams that choose to compete in the TCT."
We are very proud of both the history and evolution of our sport and USA Ultimate over the past 30+ years... USA Ultimate remains fully committed to not only listening to our athletes and teams, but to creating structural changes in our organization to mature and change along with the evolution of our sport. We also remain fully committed to our goal of increasing the visibility of Ultimate, and believe that USA Ultimate is the organization that is best positioned to partner with both national sports broadcasters and endemic digital content providers. We are committed to doing our best for all of our members and constituents including the athletes and teams, coaches, observers, alumni, league organizers, tournament directors, volunteers, parents, college and university club sports departments, business partners and sponsors, as well as our international community and WFDF.

Some important outcomes from this weekend include:
Triple Crown Tour and Athlete Representation

The board of directors reaffirmed its commitment to the Triple Crown Tour. The TCT is a creative and inclusive approach to Club division restructuring, which simultaneously allows for a high degree of media visibility for our premier divisions. While we recognize and respect that implementation of a "regular season" may present initial challenges for some, we are confident that the new structure provides a dynamic and fun experience for all the teams and athletes. Furthermore, we believe the promotion/relegation process of the TCT will create not only interest, excitement, and opportunity, but also add some drama to each season. Based on recent discussions with team representatives, we have already made important adjustments for 2013, including a reduction in the number of required tournaments for the pro flight teams from three to two. We remain committed to implementing future adjustments and modifications to the TCT in 2014 and beyond in order to strike the right balance between giving teams a great experience and growing the sport by achieving the number one goal in our new strategic plan: increasing the visibility of Ultimate.

Effective immediately, we will create new committee structures to ensure that our top athletes and teams have an opportunity to provide direct feedback and advice into the TCT and its elements. We want to assure the athletes and teams that they will have continual input into decisions regarding the TCT. As part of an ongoing process, we are also restructuring the composition of our board over the next two years to reserve seats for elite athletes, to be elected by fellow elite athletes. We recognize that many of these athletes have made tremendous commitments and sacrifices over the course of many years to their teams, communities and the sport of Ultimate, and we want them sitting at the table with us, giving a voice and representation to their peers for important decisions about the sport.
As Dan Saipher already observed (comment posted via Fb), a very small percentage of USAU's membership is being focused on.

Now, the TCT is legitimately based on USAU's strategic management effort - a blueprint for an organization's goals and objectives; a plan that was developed directly from members' feedback and input.

In this case, it does appear that the stronge$t voices (Elite club men's teams) have had their voices heard. Overall, the Top-16 club teams from each of the 3 divisions represent about 416 players (1,248 total; 3.6%). Most likely, players who are "Adult" or "College" members compose the "Top-16 Club" subset. Also, the yet-to-be-USAU-defined "elite" is assumed to be the top 16 teams across the men, women & mixed club divisions.

Representing those "Top-16 Club" voices of the USA Ultimate membership organization:
For all USAU membership categories (Staff, Lifetime, Adult, College, Youth, Coach/Player, Coach, Friend & Family), go to their stats page.

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