November 10, 2012 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 7 comments
Matthew Bourland, USA Ultimate’s Manager of New Media, emailed Ultiworld last night with some clarification about our analysis yesterday regarding the travel cost top teams will face in the new Triple Crown Tour. His comments are below.
We discussed with teams the potential regular season travel/tournament schedule, including location and timing of events. While there are always concerns about cost in an amateur sport, there was clearly an understanding that travel is part of being a nationally competitive team. Teams understood that to have a more organized, meaningful season, there was some flexibility they would have to give up.
Many teams were positive about no longer needing to wrestle with determining which events to attend and which teams they would play at those events. Teams did express that they hoped the tournament locations would be spread out, in order to make travel equitable.
In terms of our research, we looked carefully at data regarding the summer tournament schedule of all teams that participated in the Championship Series from 2010-2012. The chart below shows the average number of regular season, pre-series events attended by the Top 8 (Pro) finishing teams at nationals, and the 9-16 (Elite) finishers.
|Flight||2010||2011||2012||2010-2012||# of Required Events in 2013|
|Men's 1-8 (Pro)||2.8||3.1||3.0||3.0||3|
|Mixed 1-8 (Pro)||3.8||3.0**||3.1||3.3||3|
|Women's 1-8 (Pro)||2.6||3.6||3.5||3.2||3|
|Men's 9-16 (Elite)||3.3||2.4||2.9||2.9||2|
|Mixed 9-16 (Elite)||2.5*||1.7**||3.3||2.5||2|
|Women's 9-16 (Elite)||2.8||2.6||3.3||2.9||2|
* Excludes 2 teams with 0 regular season games that only participated in the series
**Excludes 1 team that with 0 regular season games only participated in the series
Based on the analysis above, and the goals of the restructure, the plan was developed within the current range of teams’ regular season event schedules. As noted, teams with 0 regular season games were excluded because the system is designed to discourage the continued inclusion of such teams in a structured, competitive, marketable regular season.
Top teams were clear in their feedback on the Super Regional and Triple Crown proposals, released for review in early 2012, that they wanted to continue to play the best competition, rather than just regional/geographically-based competition. That preference involves some extensive travel, which most teams at this level are already doing.