LeagueApps team members love to be Students of the Game and gain a deeper understanding of various fast-growing sports around the country. So when our long-time partners at Bay Area Disc Association invited us to sponsor & attend the 2nd Annual Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference (#YUCC2015) in San Jose on 2/14/15, we jumped at the opportunity.
Valerio Iani, president of Bay Area Disc, organized the entire all-day event in Bellarmine Academy in San Jose. There were coaches, organizers, sponsors, and an impressive array of guest speakers on-hand, including the CEO of USA Ultimate, Dr. Tom Crawford (pictured below).
Dr. Tom Crawford spoke about the values that he feels will lead to greater participation from the youth in the Ultimate community. He touched on the need for young athletes to play multiple sports (as opposed to specializing in a single sport). Crawford also discussed the importance of inclusion, i.e. providing positive experiences for children of various sports backgrounds and skills levels. In fact, there were many parallels between Tom’s speech and the message that ESPN and Project Play’s Tom Farrey had previously communicated to LeagueApps.
The sport of Ultimate preaches some powerful values, which help make it a great learning tool for youth and young adults. Some cool and unique facets of Ultimate that we learned at YUCC:
The game is self-governed by the players on the field. This helps facilitate positive interactions between teams, in which opponents are actually working together and helping each other learn the game. Very different from most of the sports we grew up playing!
Spirit Points count!
Teams are rewarded for good sportsmanship through “Spirit Points”. In fact, many tournaments give awards to the most spirited team!
Most of the league, tournaments, and events are mixed, giving women the opportunity to face off against men of similar skill level.
Easy to Organize!
The game is cheap and super-easy to organize. All you need is a field, a disc, and a bunch of players wearing sneakers! This has all helped Ultimate become one of the fastest-growing pickup and recreational sports.
Hat Tournaments Rock!
Hat tournaments are tourneys in which players join as individuals (i.e. free agents) instead of as a team. The organizers draft teams by picking names out of a hat. Some hat tournaments on the west coast enforce a “Hat Rule” – players need to wear a hat at all times. If a player gains possession of the disc but loses his/her hat, the play is considered a turnover and the other team assumes possession.
We want to thank our buddy Valerio Iani (above) and our friends at Bay Area Disc for hosting us, showing us a great time, and educating us on the growing sport of Ultimate. Check out Bay Area Disc Association’s Facebook album for more highlights of the event.
LeagueApps loves to attend conferences, meet-ups, and events to better grasp the sports markets that we service and build meaningful relationships in-person. If you plan to attend or host an event in the future, be sure to let us know!