Thursday, November 13, 2014

Salt Lake Attempts to Woo Women Ultimate Players for Team

Salt Lake Lions have always been verbose with their tryout details; last year, they posted a full job description for a professional Ultimate player. To prepare for the 2015 AUDL season, the Lions posted some general details for all ultimate players, and then got really specific about the "type" of player they seek for the rescheduled November 15th combine.


Salt Lake Lions 2014 Combine! This year's Combine will be longer, harder and will require even more of our athletes. We've restructured the event to have less down time, more action and a more impressive outcome. There are only 28 spots on the Lions roster - do you have what it takes to fill one?

To find the best talent from the surrounding mountain states and the Big Sky region! To put that potential to good use, make a name for Ultimate in Utah and propel the sport into the future!

Among other things, the Lions staff members are looking for throwing ability, field awareness, in-game decision making and grace under pressure. Although the staff is particularly deft at recognizing potential, you should be in good physical condition at the time of the Combine. We expect you to have a regular workout regimen and to know the rules of an AUDL game - you will be playing in a refereed AUDL-style game during the Tryout.

Then, within the tryout details, the website goes a step further under "Additional Info" to single out a specific type of player...
"Yes, women can compete in the AUDL - we'd like to be the first team with a professional female player. If you're a woman, ask us about a discounted rate!"

In Salt Lake's September 2014 e-newsletter, the Lions offer two types of discounts - one for males; one for females. The item under REDUCED COMBINE PRICES reads: "LIONESS - $20 off for female participants. Yes, woman [sic] can play in the AUDL!"

That's right, women ultimate players even get their own discount code of "LIONESS." Get it? (Because lioness is a female lion.) Is this discount kind of sexist? A discount for college students, okay; but, this discount is not dissimilar to a ladies' night bar promo.

Screengrab of Salt Lake Lions 9/26/2014 email
I'm all for encouraging females to play in any/all levels of the sport of ultimate. However, this is an overt approach by the Salt Lake Lions where the motivation is misguided as organizational gain (hey, we wanna be first!) rather than unconditional support of women players.

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