Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Survey Background: Ultimate as a Sport

In April 2004, ESPN published their measurement and comparison of 60 sports. Sixty sports/activities were reviewed by the ESPN panel in ten categories; Ultimate was not included. To pile on, ESPN named their results output as the "Ultimate Degree of Difficulty Grid."

So, SLUDGE spearheaded a survey project to help answer the what-if question of: where would the sport of Ultimate be ranked?

At the start of our survey project, ESPN began streaming USA Ultimate games in 2013, and then added AUDL games in 2014. Previous attempts by ESPN3 to label the sport of Ultimate has been "games" and "poker." Meanwhile, there are numerous instances that label Ultimate as a sport. To name a few:

The SFIA (formerly SGMA) Report categorizes Ultimate Frisbee as a "team sport."

TIME: But Ultimate players may soon show up on ESPN, where they might finally attain status as genuine athletes...The game calls for "spatial aptitude" ("to 'read' the projected path of the disc") and “quick, accurate decision-making" ("a new play must be improvised every 10 seconds.")

"Ultimate: The Greatest Sport Ever Invented By Man" is the title of Tony Leonardo's excellent book.

Journalist Isaac Saul wrote about Ultimate in his article, "The Greatest Sport in the World Is Not What You're Thinking." [Huffington Post]

Mike Payne, President of USAU Board of Directors, is quoted: "The USOC...relationship...validates ultimate as one of the nation's emerging sports."

And, sometimes, it's just easier to describe Ultimate in the context of other sports.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. This project could not have been accomplished without the support of the Ultimate community  local and worldwide. Special thanks to Ultiworld. Much appreciated!

Go to: Survey Results

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