Mixed semi-professional ultimate may be coming to Europe!
December 29, 2019 by Ravi Vasudevan in News with 0 comments
UltiLeague is a new initiative to build a global, professional, mixed ultimate league. They are looking to start with a pilot European event in the spring of 2020 with teams throughout the continent. UltiLeague is being spearheaded by Mike Palmer of the ultimate video production company, Ulti.Tv, and Milan Goud, who has been active in organizing Windmill for the past seven years. They are looking for teams in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Bratislava, Brussels, Bologna, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Riga, Stockholm, Vienna, and Wroclaw for the pilot event. These cities had the most significant response in an initial call for interest this past summer. However, the league is open to other cities depending on how their unique fundraising initiative goes.
Rather than looking for big investors or individual team owners, they are trying to build a community sponsored league with crowd sourced teams. Fans can sponsor a team in a city of their choice by becoming a member for €10 per season. Once a city has 700 members,1 a team will be secured and the cities with the most members will have extra perks such as preference in hosting marquee events. Members will be in charge of selecting players for the teams and will also have a voting stake in making league decisions.
“We’re hoping for six teams, so that we can have two days of three games each and one final day,” said Milan Goud, head of marketing, fundraising, and design. While they are still looking to get as many memberships as possible, UltiLeague will go ahead with their pilot event with a minimum of three teams and a total of 900 memberships (300 each). This amounts to €9000 and will be enough to cover travel for the players as well as the field site and production costs for the streaming.
“The main costs are moving the players because we think teams are willing to volunteer to organize livestreams and the event. We hope to get commercial partners to give additional financing, but we need memberships sold to persuade these partners,” added Goud. “We talked with the mayor of Noisy-le-Sec, France2 and he is more than happy to welcome us for the pilot event.” The exact competitive structure and rule-set has not yet been determined as it will depend on how their crowd-funding campaign goes, but UltiLeague plans to use a slightly modified version of the WFDF ruleset without any observers or game advisors. You can follow UltiLeague and learn more about becoming a member at UltiLeague.net.
Note: An earlier version of this article stated that a team would be formed at 100 members, but that only starts a website. For a team to be fully secured, they need 700 memberships ↩
Noisy-le-Sec is the hometown of YAKA and Iznogood, just outside of Paris ↩