Sunday, August 19, 2007

What do you want from the UPA?

As mentioned previously, PlayUltimate will be conducting a series of polls / surveys to figure out what this community (high school ultimate players and fans) would like from the UPA.

Consider this the first exploratory round. Post anything you think you would like, as someone who is involved with high school ultimate, from the UPA.

The most heralded comments will be combined into a poll (or series of polls) and the UPA will be contacted with our findings.

The lists/surveys/polls will be put up on Thursday, so for the next few days consider this your open forum.

You do not need to be a UPA member to comment, nor do you have to sign in to Blogger. Anyone can voice their opinion, keep in mind though that you will be respected much more if you attach a name to your opinion, and it will make it much easier for people to respond to you.

Try to keep it focused on the high school scene, lets get it started...


McCabe said...

-i would like the UPA to expand YCCs to a larger number of teams - at least 10, ideally 16.

-i would like to see the UPA make it extremely easy to register for the upa, and make the online rostering system and team database (score reporter tool) work seamlessly with each other more like a Web 2.0 social network, where you can join a team for an amount of time, there are player pages, and you can see a person's playing history, his or her current team, that teams results over the years. that is, all the archives of the score reporter tool should be easily available and you should be able to see who played on the team on each year.

because people will have had to play as UPA members to participate in state champs, easterns etc you will be able to see and look at the archives of a wonderful history of ultimate, and have a growing legacy and history availiable to all for research, general interest perusing etc.

-i would like to see the UPA make it easier for large leagues, Philly in particular, to join the UPA - financially and logistically. and also provide individual support for these leagues as they make the decision - coming out and recruiting teams to join the UPA etc.

-and finally i would like to see the UPA use that new dues money and money gained from additional teams playing in UPA series to advertise the sport on a local and national level. Work essentially with matching funds for any local league (PADA, MCUDL etc) looking to advertise and expand their leagues. With the stipulation that those ads must mention how to join all leagues - Summer (recreational), high school leagues, YCC teams, local club teams. etc.

A lot of ultimate players know a lot about ultimate, thanks in large part to increasing number of new websites online aimed at that purpose, but people who dont play ultimate dont know much at all. Informational, educational and pervasive national advertising would go a long way to inform, and would in turn generate a certain amount of press coverage which would further advance the course of fighting ignorance about our sport and in turn hopefully get a whole new group of high school players involved in the game, especially in parts of the country where there isnt already competition.

Thats a lot in one post, but its not even a fraction of what can be suggested.

So add your personal requests to the list, and then we will decide as a community what we want most and let the UPA know.

We have the power to affect change here, I believe, so voice your opinions.

The Pulse said...

I think that one of the most pressing issues facing lower-level high school teams is continuity from year to year - graduation can hit teams hard, especially without a coach to tie things together and without good recruitment strategies.

To that end, I think that the UPA should hold at least one coaching clinic every two years in every state/area with a state youth coordinator. Coaches are incredibly important for high school teams' legitimacy and recruiting. Coaching clinics should be advertised by every means possible - RSD, UPA website, emails sent to colleges, adult leagues, and the state youth coordinator/league coordinators should request that teams in their state or league at least ask a parent or teacher to consider attending.

Also, some easily distributed or available high school recruitment guide is necessary. When teams depend too much on getting friends out to play, teams will die out with a large graduating class. Teams need to recruit freshmen each and every year, and work on keeping them around. Columbia has gotten much better at this in the four years I played, as has our girls team.

Also, state youth coordinators should be more active in organizing leagues and games for teams. I know that many teams in New Jersey and other states don't go to any tournaments besides states, and hardly play any games before then. Tournament opportunities should also be better communicated.

I would like to see the score reporter integrated with Rodney Jacobsen's league organizing tool so that league game scores are automatically entered on the score reporter.

Likewise, for events where players are required to be UPA members, can we somehow tie that so that player rosters are available online? Either on teams' score reporter pages or in some central repository where we can see what players are playing for each team at the Paideia Cup, for instance. For UPA leagues, each team should have their roster posted.

For UPA championship events, and even other UPA-sanctioned events, previews should appear on the UPA website or event website. Teams/players to watch, predicted outcomes, whatever. Along with team rosters, descriptions of their season so far, etc. Most of this information is readily available or someone will do for free. We should put it out there.

For college, after the roster deadline all teams' rosters should be locked and published, so that players/coaches from other teams can check whether or not teams are using ineligible players. Right now there's nothing stopping a team from using a player who is not on their roster at sectionals or regionals, although they'd probably be found out at nationals.

For YCC's, I think that it can be easily expanded to 16 open teams if emails are sent to state youth coordinators and league coordinators explaining YCC's and soliciting a bid.

I will probably post more later, but that's what's running through my head right now.

The Pulse said...

Also, is there a reason that UPA certified coaches must be 21? Can there be a high school coaching certification that is 18+? Currently college players can't be UPA certified coaches.

Anonymous said...

I absolutly agree that the UPA should allow coaches to only be 18. The could be "Level 1" or even another kind of new level. But, it seems to me that a lot of college kids could potentially be coaches for local high school teams.

The Pulse said...

Have scorekeepers at UPA championship events also act as timekeepers - two finals at YCC were cap-affected and the third one actually ended later. 90 seconds is plenty of time between points, and having games that decide your season go to cap unnecessarily sucks. Timeouts should also be timed in accordance with the rules.

Also, publish the stats from each game - we all know they're being kept.