The National Championships will remain a fall event.
February 25, 2016 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 80 comments
Following a player survey about moving the club postseason into the summer and a sharply negative reaction online, the USA Ultimate board of directors voted against a shift of the season in 2017 at their winter meeting over the weekend.
The club competition working group, a collection of athlete representatives, national volunteers, and USA Ultimate staff members, weighed the results of the survey — which showed respondents “generally opposed shifting the season significantly” — and recommended to the board not to shift the season. The board accepted the working group’s recommendation.
“The competition working group did incredible work in thoughtfully developing its recommendation,” said DeAnna Ball, president of the USA Ultimate board of directors, in a statement. “While we continually work towards all of the goals in the strategic plan, decisions that need to be made are often complicated and require extensive deep dives into both the positive and negative impacts of those decisions. This decision is a great example of how we as an organization, along with the rest of the ultimate community, continue to review things thoroughly and thoughtfully as progress is made in achieving long-term strategic goals.”
USA Ultimate released a long statement about the decision, and why the organization has been considering the shift.
The results of the survey showed that respondents were against the shift for a number of reasons, quoting USA Ultimate:
- Potential conflict and overlap with the youth, college and club seasons for both athletes and coaches.
- The negative effect that cold, or otherwise inclement weather, could have on teams in northern climates as they prepare for the season (tryouts, practices, etc.).
- The possibility of unfavorable playing conditions in extreme heat and humidity that may accompany a postseason series of events in July or August, particularly in certain southern climates.
- Conflict with the growing number of international and established local tournaments.
- General member preference.
The board remains committed to focusing on “visibility for the sport of ultimate as its number-one goal.” It has asked the competition working group to “[explore] alternate options (other than a complete shift of the season for the entire club community) that would accomplish the goals of the strategic plan.”