Friday, August 30, 2013

USA Ultimate, For The Win!

If you have not read about USA Ultimate's recent update to its bylaws, you're probably not alone. Who's got time to read a non-profit's bylaws, anyways? As its operating manual, one can actually determine a lot about the organization's priorities. See below for a condensed version of an important article - especially if you're a USAU member.

Members should be proud of USA Ultimate being forward-thinking. Growth management requires work, and USAU is not only striving for growth, they are planning for it! The multifaceted issues that USAU face are short-, medium-, & long-term goals. Best of all, USA Ultimate has a vision for the present, for the next few years, and for the future.

1) Olympics are on the Radar
  • Inclusion of Ultimate as an Olympic sport is at least 20 years away (2033). 
  • Ultimate is currently played in 56 countries; below the strict requirement that a sport must have national governing bodies with male participants in at least 75 countries on 4 continents, & female participants in at least 40 countries on 3 continents.
  • Only 28 sports are allowed, so there is currently no room for Ultimate an as Olympic event.
2) Adjusting the Board of Directors Composition
  • USAU board seeks not just willing volunteers, but leaders "with the right perspectives and expertise to make smart decisions"!
  • Utilization of constituency-represented committees as liaisons to the board.
  • Elimination of geographic region representatives; only 4 At-Large positions will be part of the general election.
  • The total number of board directors (12) stays the same, but the composition of the board will be reconfigured, with dedicated player representation at 25%
New Composition of USAU Board within 3 years. 

3) Organizational Governance and Infrastructure
  • In 1998, 1 full-time staff; in 2013, 14 FT staff.
  • A division of labor and responsibility exist for staff and the board. 
  • They have plans & they plan to use them - Strategic Plan (2013-18), Operating & Business plans.
  • Financial management practices, including a 'Rainy Day Fund', have been established.
  • Protection, legal rights and insurance of players, members, events are covered.
4) Focusing on Spirit of the Game (SOTG) for Every Aspect of the Sport
  • SOTG is essential to the future of the sport. 
  • "Make SOTG real for today's Ultimate players and community"
  • Look for recommendations from the Spirit, Observers, and Rules Committee to make the sport more "TV-friendly."
  • "Key partners in the world of sport (the International Olympic Committee) and media (ESPN) agree – they feel that SOTG is the most important aspect supporting future growth of Ultimate!"

Disclosure: I am an Ultimate player and a dues-paying USA Ultimate member.

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