Skyd Fund 2014: 21 Days – Business As Usual

by | November 13, 2013, 2:38pm 0

As part of our 2014 Skyd Fundraiser celebrating 3 years of Skyd, we wanted to turn the page back to look at all of the great ultimate work our awesome contributors have put together. The Skyd Staff and contributors will be counting down the days of our fund with their favorite pieces.

Skyd Fund 2014 is presented by Morrill Performance!

You can be a part of the fund and bring Tim out to your team to run a training clinic at the $3,250 level!

Celebrate Skyd with Skyd Fund 2014

Day 21 – Business As Usual in 2012? by Ben Wiggins

After the 2011 Club Championships, and with the first season of professional ultimate frisbee looming on the horizon, Ben Wiggins took to Skyd Magazine with his great opinion article about the state of USA Ultimate – the organization. This was one of the first of many articles on Skyd that sparked serious and insightful discussion in the comments about the future of ultimate, the direction of our flagship organizations, and how USA Ultimate may be very good at running a college series, but impossibly overextended and risk-averse in other areas.

As someone who has been a member of several USA Ultimate committees (most notable the Youth Advisory Committee), Ben’s words about USA Ultimate being a reactionary organization that doesn’t correctly utilize the experience, talents, and enthusiasm of its volunteers ring true. He writes:

Membership in decision-making groups has carried this USAU feel of “you come to us, and we’ll decide whether or not you are useful”. Got a valuable viewpoint? Fill out our survey request for application to this committee, and we’ll call you back in a few months. Want to help with something new? Fill out an application for a grant, and we’ll see what we can do in February. USAU has a long history of accepting help on terms that are designed and carried out to be maximally advantageous to the organization, rather than the sport necessarily. At the same time, they tend to encourage the inclusion of eager people with free time rather than experienced perspectives that need to be asked. Recruiting, actively and humbly, is the only way to get the right people on those committees. This has never been a USAU strong point.

Instead of investing in existing organizations led by experienced, competent people who are clearly doing a ton to advance the sport, Ben brought attention to the fact that USA Ultimate spreads itself too thin to properly manage and develop programs that sound promising, but fall through the cracks and disappear. See: the STAR program, The Huddle, the USAU forums, youth ultimate camps, and more. USA Ultimate failed to invest properly in its technological infrastructure (see the disaster that was the website redesign and the lack of integration between rostering and score reporter).

Unfortunately, it looks like USA Ultimate hasn’t learned much in the last two years. Maybe republishing this article will spur them to get on a path where the best minds, ultimate visionaries, and even pro league leaders can all work together to grow the sport of ultimate in the most effective way. Support Skyd Fund 2014 to bring more insightful criticism to the ultimate media space.

Read the original article.

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