The USAU Club Championships belongs in the Fall.
This petition made change with 1,355 supporters!
USA Ultimate is considering the continued advancement of the Club Championships towards the summer. USAU has identified two main reasons for this move:
- With an earlier championship weekend, more northern cities become available to host the tournament.
- Ultimate will be more easily broadcast to the masses in August.
This rationale supports USAU's strategic goal to "Increase the visibility of Ultimate." And this is a great goal! But according to USAU's 2014 Annual Report 59% of the organization's revenue comes from player membership dues. At this point in the evolution of the sport the current membership should not be forced to sacrifice their season for USAU's broadcasting deals.
Now USAU has sent out a biased and highly restrictive survey to support their strategy. They say they want to change and we have two options, play or don't play. Well, what about not wanting the change? Isn't that an option? As the individuals funding this organization we must make our voices heard on this issue.
- Club players pay for almost all of their Ultimate related expenses out of pocket. Therefore, our desires and preferences must be considered.
- The Club season has a rich history of running through June to October. The Championships were held on the last weekend of October for years and years. It has already been advanced to early October. History and tradition are important.
- Players in northern regions are already disadvantaged because we cannot play year round. If tryouts were moved to April instead of May then indoor field space or expensive turf fields are going to need to be rented, adding additional expense to the players.
- On the flip side, Southern teams would be expected to play their most important tournaments during the hottest and most dangerous parts of the season.
- It will become even more difficult for college players to participate in the club series.
- If the club season overlaps the high school and college season it will be incredible difficult to recruit coaches from the club ranks. This is hard enough already, and a greater barrier to growth than when the Club Championships is held.
- Many developing teams rely on the current length of the season, and no overlap with college play, to develop their players and try to be competitive in an increasingly segregated Triple Crown Tour.
- No division is more affected by the potential lose of these college participants than the women's division.
- Some of our greatest community builders will have their events pushed aside for TCT events. How does this change support their efforts?
- If the goal is to broadcast elite ultimate in August, why not just broadcast the Pro Flight Finale?
- Most importantly, we like playing Ultimate! We train, we pay out of pocket, we design our year around this sport. And if the season ends in the summer, what will we do with our fall except sit around and wish we were playing Ultimate?
I love this sport, but can only play for 6 months a year. I pay our national organization $60 a year to do that, and now they want to cut out 2 of those months? That is not acceptable. And this is being described as a season "shift", it cannot be described as anything but a reduction or cut of the season. This is not justifiable for any reason.
USAU is run by well-intentioned staff that consider the opinions of the players. We have the power to influence what our own Club Championships looks like. Once we are paid athletes and are actually broadcasting on TV (not just online) then USAU can put media before us. But until that time arrives the Club Championships belongs in October.
Please circulate this petition to your teammates; current, past, and present. With enough input we can affect this decision.
Disclaimer: The opinions presented in this petition are mine and mine alone as a club member of USA Ultimate. These opinions and my motives are not representative of any teammates, teams, leagues, or other organizations that I am currently, or ever was, a part of.
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