6 Takeaways From WFDF’s New Strategic Plan

WFDF has a bold vision for the future of disc sports, including ultimate.

Earlier this week, the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) released a new strategic plan guiding the organization through 2018. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the international governing body’s latest goals.

1. WFDF’s membership base is growing rapidly.

WFDF Membership Base

Over the last 10 years, the number of members represented by WFDF has grown nearly four-fold. 84% of the members are under the age of 35, which is likely to reap huge demographic gains in years to come.

 

2. By 2018, WFDF wants disc sports to be a part of “mainstream broadcast media” and for WFDF to be “serious candidate” for eventual Summer Olympics inclusion.

An ESPN cameraman at the 2013 Club Championships.
Photo by Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

WFDF has a bold vision of the future, including much more widespread public acceptance of disc sports as a “lifetime pastime and lifestyle,” much wider international participation, and global sponsorship for the organization. Many of the ideas are linked to better public understanding and acceptance of ultimate, disc golf, etc.

 

3. WFDF’s #1 strategic goal for the next four years is to “encourage disc sports as a lifetime pastime and lifestyle.”

Danny Karlinsky makes the full extension grab wearing Thrift Shop clothes at Leiout 2013. Photo: Alex Fraser -- UltiPhotos.com
Danny Karlinsky makes the full extension grab wearing Thrift Shop clothes at Leiout 2013. Photo: Alex Fraser — UltiPhotos.com

This campaign will include simplified rule sets, more programs for non-players at tournaments, more multi-discipline disc sports events, and a marketing campaign.

 

4. Spirit of the Game will remain a focal point for marketing the sport.

A spirit circle.
A spirit circle. Photo by Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Self-officiation is critical to the large majority WFDF’s member associations and SOTG will continue to be a key differentiator for disc sports. WFDF sees “pressure by small internal and external groups to
diminish reliance on self-officiating and/or introduce outside officials/referees” as one of its threats. WFDF does plan to “expand and enhance” the game advisers program that was first tested at this summer’s World Ultimate Club Championships (WUCC).

 

5. Hosting better events is a major focus and the #2 strategic goal.

The WUCC 2014 Opening Ceremony
The WUCC 2014 Opening Ceremony

After this summer’s widely-criticized WUCC, improving the quality of major international events is a big goal. WFDF is overhauling its bid process to focus more on “key elements for players” and, though the Strategic Plan doesn’t mention this, planning to manage more of the tournament financials in the future. There is also consideration being given to reducing the size of major international ultimate tournaments through possible qualification tournaments, splitting divisions, or hosting continental events prior to Worlds.

 

6. Improving media and communications is an across-the-board objective.

San Francisco Revolver coach Mike Payne goes on air with the ESPN commentators at the 2013 US Open. Photo: Kevin Leclaire -- UltiPhotos.com
San Francisco Revolver coach Mike Payne goes on air with the ESPN commentators at the 2013 US Open. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Many of WFDF’s goals include some aspect of having better media outreach, from having better internet connectivity at tournaments to hiring an outside PR firm to help spread the organization’s message. WFDF wants more video coverage, better event presentation, a new website, and a new logo and “corporate identity.”

The fifth strategic goal is clear: “increase the public face of disc sports and make them more entertaining.”

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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