Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What does youth Ultimate want from the UPA's Board of Directors?


I've decided to go for it and run for an at large position on the UPA's Board of Directors.

Voting it open from now until the end of October and any UPA member can vote -- You don't have to be 18.

Over the next month I will be attempting to engage as many people in the US Ultimate community as I can on the topic of what they would like to see the UPA's Board of Directors do for them. From the PlayUltimate community I am particularly interested in:

What is the US youth Ultimate community looking for in a Board candidate?

How can the UPA better serve the youth Ultimate community?

Would you like to hear my position on any issues in particular?

....anything and everything you'd like to say about the UPA.

I've put up a page detailing all of the information that's currently available on my candidacy right here: http://vyul.org/content/view/72/96/

Feel free to post your comments and questions in the comments section of this post or email them to me directly at jseamon at gmail dot com.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

ycc should accept more teams for open, possibly mixed (like 12 or 16).

Anonymous said...

go josh seamon! one of the hardest workers in the ultimate community

The Pulse said...

From the previous "What do you want from the UPA?" thread:

At 8/20/2007 11:39 AM, 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.

At 8/21/2007 11:03 AM, 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.

At 8/21/2007 11:05 AM, 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.

At 8/21/2007 11:39 AM, 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.

At 8/21/2007 3:10 PM, 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.

ben h. said...

hey guys,


previous elections have seen maybe one candidate get something like 400 votes and another 375.

the youth Ultimate community can easily swing this vote in their favor! there's thousands of HS players. get your teammates to vote. where else do we get to vote without having to be at least 18? and where else do you get to have a say in the direction of the sport that you love?

vote! vote josh seamon.

Anonymous said...

josh,

How do you feel about ultimate being endorsed by the NCAA? I think it is a nesscary step for the growth of ultimate. Obviously, there would need to be some sort of ref, but this does not mean the integrity of the game would be in the air.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said that josh was one of the hardest working people in the ultimate community was completely right...vote josh

Anonymous said...

where's westerns?!?!

Josh said...

Pulse: I'll get to that list a little later when I have more time.

Anon 4:29: Anon 4:29: This just came up on the Pittsburgh Ultimate forums and here's my reply:

(The criteria I'm referring to are right here.)

I think aligning collegiate competition with the NCAA is absolutely something that should be explored in depth. At the moment I really don't know enough of the specifics to be able to come to any serious conclusions, but I certainly think it's something that should be explored. Reading over the criteria on that page, it is clear that womens college Ultimate could certainly make a run for 'emergent status'.

I've heard lots of heated debate about this topic -- Lots of people absolutely do not want an organization like the NCAA telling Ultimate players what to do. I'm really not sure how much that worries me since if Ultimate becomes an NCAA sport, there can always also be club teams. This is similar to the idea of refs in Ultimate -- Just because they are used on one level doesn't mean that have to be used on all levels.

Honestly I would be really interested in finding out what it would be like to have Ultimate be an NCAA sport. I wonder if any serious discussion has been had between the UPA and the NCAA on the issue?

I think Ultimate players are conditioned to feel like they have to build a system every time they want to do something new, or grow to a new level. Seeing what the NCAA might be able to do for the sport of Ultimate is a new way of approaching growth and one that could potentially be a huge boost to the sport.

The thread this is from is located right here.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest issues that I have is trying to reach out and get my team school sponsored. My name is Isaac Saul, and I am the captain of Pennsbury. I can proudly say that despite our programs success we are still not school sponsored, and in recent years have done all the work on our own. How ever, in the past the team has been put on the shouldwes of either myself or one of my two older brothers, and with me being the last to go through Pennsbury, I am scared to see where the program goes when I leave. My goal is to get the team school sponsored, so advisers and coaches can recruit and teach and keep the program at a steady successful rate. I have had a few sit down meetings with the principal and athletic director, however they have turned us away consistently because of insurance, parental guidance, etc. I know that the UPA offers insurance with your memebership, but does that play into playing on school fields? And is there a UPA representative which I can have my school contact for proof of a governing body and for a large group of adults as back. We have a coach, we have a student body, we have a community, all behind us. But the program will die out without the schools involvement, as the governing body, I think the UPA might be able to offer some helpful advice on this one??


Isaac Saul #19
Pennsbury Varsity Ultimate

The Pulse said...

I know that Columbia is separately insured - it comes out to about $40 extra per player per season to cover insurance. But definitely send Meredith Tosta an email - if there's someone at the UPA that can help, it's her.

Josh said...

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

Absolutely. At an absolute minimum the Open division should be expanded to 16 teams next year.

-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.

Again, fantastic idea – That is exactly what I’m referring to when I say “I would like the UPA to work towards a more powerful online presence that integrates seamlessly into the lives of players and the functionality of leagues.”


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.

Create an online archives of Ultimate? Good stuff.


-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.


Very good stuff – I was discussing something just like this in the Pittsburgh and DiscNW forums. It would certainly be helpful up here in New England with the BUDA League – some sort of method/program to bring an entire league into the UPA.


-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.


Where would you like to see these ads run? Outside of smaller papers, ads certainly aren’t cheap, so the UPA would have to choose wisely since while it does have a solid amount of money, it really doesn’t have that much.


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.


The UPA runs coaching clinics, does lots of presentations at PE conferences, and is currently actively seeking out the opinions of all Ultimate players (not just members) through the Strategic Planning Process, the Ultimate Revolution. So, I see the UPA as doing a lot of what you want already. Yes, I agree that national advertising would be fantastic, but it’s pretty expensive. Yes, even more awareness would be great, and I would like to see even more done to spread the word…. But at the same time I think the UPA is currently doing a great job at getting the word out with what resources it does have. Youth numbers are exploding, more and more people are playing in the club series – across the board more people are playing… so, I think the UPA is doing something right. I personally would like to see the UPA set up some sort of ‘Ultimate Missionary’ program ;)


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.


I completely and utterly agree.


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.


I think that is a fantastic goal to work towards (at least one coaching clinic in every two years in each state with an SYC.) As someone who has run coaching clinics for the past two years I can say everyone at the UPA is working hard to make something like that possible. The 10 or so of us that run the clinics pour a huge amount of energy in running the clinics all over the place – This year there will be 16 of them. As for advertising – I think everything you listed above is used, or at least I’ve seen coaching clinics advertised in each of those venues. The big thing the program needs at this point is continued expansion – More people need to be trained to run the clinics. That is something I would work towards.


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.


Neat idea, I like it.


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.


Well, at the moment the SYC positions are essentially unpaid. All we get paid for is some money based on the number of teams that attend states. What you touch on is a big issue – there should be more tournaments in more places. Yes, the SYCs would be good people to run those tournaments, but until the position is paid I don’t see SYCs taking on even more work. As for the communication of tournament opportunities, there is the score reporter database and the tournament listing. What more are you suggesting be done?


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.


Absolutely – This is definitely in line with my seamless integration of tech belief.



Likewise, for events where players are required to be UPA members, can we somehow tie that so that player rosters are available online?


They kind are at the moment – If you’re on a roster you can see everyone else on the roster, or so I seem to remember anyway. Even if that’s the case, it’s not public info. A way to browse rosters would be great.


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.


Very slick idea – One note about the PCup – It would have to be UPA sanctioned to appear in the rostering database. It has yet to be sanctioned although I’m pretty sure it will be this coming year.


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.


Good stuff. I think you’re right that this is something that people would do for free.


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.


Well, the rosters are locked, but they are not publically viewable, so that could change.


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.


As far as I know teams have definitely been busted in the past for playing with ineligible players are Regonals…


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 agree. I’d be very surprised if the Open division at least isn’t expanded to 16 teams next summer. I would also like to see the girls and mixed divisions expanded so that no teams are turned away UNLESS they hit 16 teams in a division.


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.


I think it’s really just one of those arbitrary cutoffs that have to be made at some age. I think you’re right that the case can be made to lower the age requirement to be a certified coach, especially at the college level. Two things to keep in mind: Lots of college players are 21 or older and you can attend a full clinic when you’re under 21 – you just won’t be ‘certified’. You will be educated though.



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.


I think a new kind of level is definitely something that could work.



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.


Absolutely – Timekeepers would be a huge addition – I love playing with them. I think the only thing holding the UPA back is getting enough people to do it. I know at YCCs they were a little low of volunteers.


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


Stats are being kept for each game… at YCCs? Really?

The Pulse said...

"As for the communication of tournament opportunities, there is the score reporter database and the tournament listing. What more are you suggesting be done?"

I wasn't talking about SYC running tournaments, but emailing every team in their state/area about tournament opportunities. A lot of captains don't know about the scorereporter, RSD, and playultimate.

"As far as I know teams have definitely been busted in the past for playing with ineligible players are Regonals…"

There are some cases in the NW where players have played in sectionals/regionals for more than five years - but without looking at past rosters we don't know whether they weren't on the roster six years ago but played anyway, or whether they've actually been on the roster for the last six years. There's no solid way to prevent this right now.

"Lots of college players are 21 or older and you can attend a full clinic when you’re under 21 – you just won’t be ‘certified’. You will be educated though."

This will make a difference once the coaching requirements for youth and championship events take effect this year. North Hills' coach wouldn't have been able to be on the sideline last year, for instance.

"Absolutely – Timekeepers would be a huge addition – I love playing with them. I think the only thing holding the UPA back is getting enough people to do it. I know at YCCs they were a little low of volunteers."

I don't think it's lack of people - at all championship events, there is at least one volunteer at each field. It's just that unless they're "observers" they can't officially be in charge of timekeeping. This is something new that would have to be written in.

"Stats are being kept for each game… at YCCs? Really?"

Not YCC's - this was a separate comment. But definitely at college nationals, and I'm almost positive club nationals.

Thanks for taking the time to address all of the issues we raised here.

Josh said...

I wasn't talking about SYC running tournaments, but emailing every team in their state/area about tournament opportunities. A lot of captains don't know about the scorereporter, RSD, and playultimate.

Getting more information out there more aggressively is certainly a good idea. Maybe setup each SYC (or SYC+helpers) with a page on UPA.org that they can tailor to the specific needs of their state? I try to do that with vyul.org for Vermont. But you are right – lots of great info is on upa.org but lots of people just don’t know about it. I mean, there are location specific pages like this one http://www2.upa.org/location_summaries/VT, but far less people know about them or use them than should.



There are some cases in the NW where players have played in sectionals/regionals for more than five years - but without looking at past rosters we don't know whether they weren't on the roster six years ago but played anyway, or whether they've actually been on the roster for the last six years. There's no solid way to prevent this right now.


True, but the UPA has been getting better at catching things like that. College rosters have to be certified by the registrar, there are now real rules around consortium teams, rosters can only be done online for many tournaments, and rosters are locked. Those are some big improvements over how things were done 10 years ago. I’m not saying things are perfect, but they are pretty good. It’s too bad there aren’t registrars for each club division  What you talked about earlier – making rosters public – would be helpful though. I like that idea.


This will make a difference once the coaching requirements for youth and championship events take effect this year. North Hills' coach wouldn't have been able to be on the sideline last year, for instance.


Yah, Nick K is definitely an example of where the rules are a little off. Just remember that you just need one UPA certified coach to have sideline access – So, if Nick isn’t old enough to be certified, someone else can be and that gets him sideline access as part of the coaching staff. Yes, I know this is not optimal, but it will work.


I don't think it's lack of people - at all championship events, there is at least one volunteer at each field. It's just that unless they're "observers" they can't officially be in charge of timekeeping. This is something new that would have to be written in.

At some events, it still is – I know they could have used more volunteers at last summers YCCs. Regardless of that though, I think that shouldn’t stop the UPA from introducing timekeepers are more events.


Not YCC's - this was a separate comment. But definitely at college nationals, and I'm almost positive club nationals.


Ahh, gotcha. Yes, if the stats are being kept, let’s see ‘em! 


Thanks for taking the time to address all of the issues we raised here.

No problem – keep the questions and comments coming!