Are you invested in furthering the gender equity movement through meaningful discussion and education? Do you have some familiarity with concepts like whiteness, patriarchy and anti-blackness? Cadoux Consulting, a group founded by Zara Cadoux, has recently announced a training that will be hosted in the Denver, CO metro area and focused on developing facilitation skills.
Below is a brief bit of background on Zara, for those who don’t already know her extensive work within the ultimate community, and more information about the training itself. If you are interested in participating, fill out their interest form here ASAP!
Many of you know me through GUM or another organizing space. Outside of ultimate, I direct a mentoring program, am an adjunct professor, and design and facilitate continuing education efforts focused on racial equity in the Baltimore area. Last fall, I founded a consultancy to support this work. I believe that cultivating a community of practitioners is a crucial pillar of social change and I want to contribute to empowering more organizers across the country to deepen their facilitation practice.
My clients in the ultimate community have included: USA Ultimate Board of Directors, World Flying Disc Federation Women in Sport Commission, Washington Area Frisbee Club, DiscNY, Minnesota Youth Ultimate, Upwind, Five Ultimate, DC Breeze.
Who should take this training?
Topics we will cover:
Zara Cadoux, M.A.
Kareen Coyoca, M.A.
What this training will not be:
If you’re interested in taking part in this training, please complete this interest form by Monday, October 15.
6/4/2018 0 Comments
GOAT Award Finalists
The three finalists for the 2018 GOAT Award have been announced! Read what their coaches have to say about them here.
Betty's on field exploits don't need much introduction - last season she was the only non-senior on the 1st all-state team, is arguably the best defender in the division, and a serious deep threat on offense. Less visible to the broader high school community is the leadership Betty has displayed while captaining the largest girls program in the state. She is an excellent communicator and mentor who always advocates fair play, supports and teaches her teammates both on and off the field, and has been a role model for our younger and newer athletes.
Sarah Christie is in her 4th year playing on the open team at SLP, I’ve had the pleasure of playing with her for 3 years in high school, and coaching her this year. Sarah has been an integral part of our O and D lines as a starting handler playing nearly every other point for the past two years, and was chosen as a captain for her junior and senior years. Not only is she able to hang with most any male player we put her on, but she thrives in this situation, consistently breaking marks, making incredibly nasty throws, making smart chilly decisions, and burning them on strike and dump cuts. She is also a very smart defensive player, choosing and exploiting smart match ups and being aware of everything happening around her against males and the rare female.
Not only is she a phenomenal player, but she is an incredible leader and responsible for our growing roster of girls players. Since she had started playing, she has successfully recruited many girls onto the team, and can be effectively responsible for the influx of all girl players on our team.
Ana started playing Ultimate less by choice and more by destiny. All three of her older brothers went through the Como Park program. Ana first showed up to Aurora Ultimate as a shy and quiet 8th grader and eventually grew into our primary handler and team captain her junior year. During her time with Como she has never shied away from a new challenge and has accepted every responsibility laid before her. She has one of the best Ultimate minds I have come across while coaching youth ultimate. Ana goes at every game with the same high level of commitment and brings an infectious energy to the team.
Ana is a step above in skill and knowledge, but more importantly she is a prime example of how players can embrace SOTG while staying competitive. She leads by with her actions as well as vocally and is always thinking about what she can do to help make her team better. Ana has become well known and respected throughout the Minnesota Ultimate community, but has never allowed it to change who she is. She treats all of her teammates and opponents with respect. Ana can be relied upon to keep the focus and spirit up whether on the field or the sidelines no matter what the scoreline may be.
Squall Varsity Girls:
Squall Girls JV:
Saint Paul Central’s girls ultimate frisbee program is on the rise this year. For the first time in it’s eight year history, Revolution has a JV and varsity team, with 34 players on the roster. At tournaments, the team has played together, with a good mix of experienced players and dedicated first year players. At state this year the JV and varsity were planning on playing as two different teams but unfortunately there were not enough people available and the JV team has to forfeit. JV players that are available will be playing with the varsity. The team is thrilled to have a fantastic coaching staff in August Brown (who has coached for 3+ years) and new coaches Carly Ilg and Alex Kraft.
Revolution’s JV team was able to gain much experience at tournaments such as the Neuqua Knockout, the Hopkins Hustle and the Goeke Memorial. The team is very athletic, with many of it’s players balancing multiple sports. The majority are playing ultimate for the first time, something Central’s program is very proud of. Giovanna Sarmiento, a senior, said this about ultimate: “Frisbee is definitely the most welcoming sport I’ve ever been a part of…being an older first year player everyone was very willing to help”. The fact that Central had two teams this season seems incredible when just four years ago eleven girls represented Revolution at the state tournament. Overall, this team is ready to cut, throw and layout this weekend!
Coming into the state tournament, Revolution’s varsity team is hoping to do well. The team is confident after winning the conference championships against Mounds View in an exciting, well spirited game. The team has strong handlers in captains Mei Hecht, Natalie Ierien and Bryn King. King and Hecht both won all conference this year. Cutters Alisa Logan, Anna Erickson, Sophie Flaminio and Ellie Casement will be the ones to watch in the end zone. On defense, look for Abby Celander, Sierra Hinze and Blia Yang. Overall, Revolution’s strengths are in their continuations, speed and intensity. The team is very excited to have fun and play some competitive frisbee!
In addition to watching Revolution compete this weekend, make sure to look out for their unofficial team mascot, Ivan, and good luck to all teams participating at state!
4/15/2018 0 Comments
Introducing the GUPI Girl’s Division Outstanding Athlete and Teammate (GOAT) Award!
This spring season, GUPI will be highlighting one outstanding player from the Minnesota girl’s high school division, who will be chosen by their peers! Each team will be invited to nominate one player from their program who is a hardworking, contributing player on their team and a supportive teammate, and exemplifies the ideals of spirit of the game. Once all nominees have been selected, it will be up to the players in the girl’s division to choose the person among them who is most deserving of the award! Our inaugural winner will receive a prize and be profiled on GUPI’s blog. Happy spring, and be on the lookout for more info about the GOAT award!
If you coach a high school girl's team in Minnesota and would like to nominate a player, please email email@example.com!
12/19/2017 0 Comments
GUPI SEEKS NEW 2018 BOARD MEMBERS
Are you interested in being a part of GUPI? Can you see yourself working towards a more equitable community in Minnesota Youth Ultimate? Then apply to be on the GUPI board using this Google form!
GUPI (Girl Ultimate Players Initiative) is a player and student run organization with the goal of promoting female-identified and non-binary youth players within the state of Minnesota. The mission of GUPI is to support Minnesota youth women’s and mixed teams, increase the amount of female-identified and non binary youth players in the state of Minnesota and advocate for gender equity initiatives and policies.
We're looking for anyone and everyone playing ultimate at the high school level in Minnesota who is passionate about making change. GUPI has already graduated some board members, so we're looking to expand the board and create a new generation of GUPI. Please share this form with your high school team!
All applications are due by December 29th. Apply today!
11/27/2017 2 Comments
My problem(s) with the AUDL
By Anna Clements
On November 14, 2017, Claire Chastain tweeted that she thinks the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), the closest thing to pro ultimate, is bad for the sport. She put it simply and without caveats. I agree with her. In this essay I will outline why that is. I want to say right off the bat that I’m not necessarily claiming to have all the right answers, and there are likely positions and perspectives I have not considered, but this is mine, as a young female player.
I want to start by just saying that it really sucks to see that the most widely publicized version of the sport you love does not include people like you. Every week during their season, the AUDL films and broadcasts multiple games, which is far more media exposure than most other ultimate formats receive. I have friends who can watch these games and see themselves represented, and think about potentially being one of those players someday. I see those games as a youth player and don’t get to feel that same way.
The higher media coverage and accessible format of AUDL games gives ultimate the ability to reach a new, wider audience. I can’t dispute that. But the version of the sport that this new audience sees is one that simply does not include women. I think this changes the climate of the sport: suddenly now, women are an expendable part of the sport (even more than we were treated before), because there is a version that exists entirely without us.
Some people argue that this is okay, that we should worry about growing the sport first, and then worry about equity. I disagree. First of all, I have no interest in the growth of a version of the sport I love that doesn’t include me. No thanks. But right now, the small size of the ultimate community actually gives us a unique opportunity to work towards equity. It is easier to have far reaching discussions that include wide swaths of the ultimate community, and easier to have your voice heard. So I would much rather work now to become a more equitable sport and then focus on growth.
The semi-professional ultimate is also the only version of the sport where you don’t have to pay to play, and (for the most part) it is exclusively open to men. If women want to play ultimate, even the most elite women in the sport, they have to pay to do it. But men have the opportunity to GET PAID to play.
Another of the most common claims that people make when defending the AUDL and its effect on equity is that it is not technically an all-male league. This is true: this season, Jesse Shofner played with Nashville NightWatch. She was the second woman to ever play in the AUDL, and the first to sign a full season contract.
I want to unpack the idea that Jesse Shofner’s presence in the AUDL makes it an equitable actor in the ultimate community. Before I do, I want to make it clear that I don’t mean to reduce Jesse to a token female player and downplay her agency in any way. But I do think that just because one woman plays, does not mean that the league is open or welcoming to women. The format of the AUDL does not take gender into account, meaning the teams are “open” teams, not mixed teams. This means that there are not roster spots designated for women, which allows teams to default to being all male.
“But if the women who tried out were just better, it wouldn’t matter! So women should just be better!” In theory, this argument makes sense. The best players at tryouts should make the team. But this depends on how you measure skill and being “good,” and historically in sports this metric has been skewed towards maleness. I’m not saying the way that male players and female players (and players who don’t fit into that binary) are different by definition, but in the past, we have been taught to equate strength and athleticism with being a man, and these stereotypes can potentially color the decision making of coaches during tryouts, leading to a roster of only male-identified players. So yes, the AUDL is technically an open league. But there could still be factors that are built into the league that for the most part keep it male-only.
Based on everything I’ve discussed above, I feel strongly that the top male players in ultimate should not participate in the league. This would not only show their solidarity with their female counterparts, but help to delegitimize the AUDL altogether and hopefully allow the ultimate community to construct a better semi-pro option in its place, or at least convince the institution to make changes towards a more equitable model.
There is an argument, however, for creating change from within. Jesse Shofner and Miranda Roth Knowles recently contributed to a Twitter thread in which they (along with the Titcomb sisters and others) discussed why they choose to remain involved in the AUDL. Shofner wrote, “Women should be represented in what is perceived to be the highest lvl of the sport...As long as it exists we must show up and push back.” I think there is definitely merit to this statement. Right now the AUDL is perceived to be the highest level our sport has to offer, and so even there is only limited representation of women, it is important that it exists.
I would argue, however, that we should fight the notion that the AUDL is the highest level our sport has to offer, because if it doesn’t include having the sport’s most elite women on the field (except Jesse), it isn’t. I’m slightly more revolutionary than reformist when it comes to the AUDL; I don't think we need to slowly change this institution into something better, as if we are stuck with it. The ultimate community right now can take any power the AUDL holds in our sport by choosing not to participate.
1 With the exception of Jesse Shofner. More on that to come.
10/17/2017 0 Comments
Coming Soon... the GUPI Store!
For a limited time this month, GUPI jerseys will be available via an online store! We have worked with Breakmark to bring you three designs for jerseys, all of which can be ordered as a tank, long sleeve, hoodie, or short sleeve. More details to come when the store is open, but for now.... get excited!
9/6/2017 0 Comments
Step Up, Step Out!
Starting today, there is a new gender equity project launching into the ultimate community, Step Up, Step Out. Organized by the Gender Equity Action Group, a group of leaders in the gequity movement from across the nation, in collaboration with Upwind Ultimate, the project is focused on a facet of equity that is less often explored: the role of men in making ultimate more equitable. The campaign consists of videos of male ultimate players simply talking about gender equity in ultimate and describing the importance of men getting involved in the work that’s being done towards a more equitable sport. The goal of the project is to show male-identified ultimate players that they have a role in this movement, and they are not alone in speaking up.
The first video can be found here. It includes a number of elite club and semi-pro players, Callahan winners and national team representatives. Big names in the ultimate community are choosing to “step up” and show that gender equity in ultimate is not just a problem for female players to deal with, but something our community must address together. To follow the campaign, you can find Step Up, Step Out on YouTube and Instagram, and Upwind Ultimate on their website, Facebook and Twitter.
Read the full press release below:
The Gender Equity Action Group (GEAG) announces a new, collaborative project: Step Up, Step Out.
The work around gender equity in the past year has been inspiring. Voices internal and external to the GEAG have been working tirelessly to educate, advocate, and demand positive changes for women in our sport. Great work has been done. But much of this work has been lead by women. We believe men in ultimate have a responsibility to be louder; to learn, to converse, to educate, and to collectively step up and out into the gender equity movement in ultimate.
What is Step Up, Step Out?
Step Up, Step Out is a series of videos showcasing male ultimate players’ thoughts about gender equity in ultimate. The goal of the project is to encourage males in our sport to share and understand perspectives, to model and encourage community conversation, and to inspire more action towards gender equity. Leaders within GEAG and Upwind Ultimate collaborated to produce the project. We hope that Step up, Step Out will engage and mobilize more males in the community to affect change at the local, national, and global level.
Here is the first video. Please share via social media, using the hashtag #StepUpStepOut. Talk to a friend about it. Write a blog post. Whatever taking action in your community looks like-- just step up, and step out.
Step Up, Step Out Platforms:
Step Up Step Out Social Media
#StepUpStepOut will be a video series published on it’s own youtube and Instagram account. The Upwind Ultimate facebook page and website will also host content.
The GEAG will make all announcements and post all resources following the video series via Upwind Ultimate’s media outlets.Questions Answered:
Why are men the focus of this series?
Men benefit from systems and biases present in sports, and more men need to acknowledge their privilege and use it to inspire positive change. We believe that too many are being silent on major issues in our sport, especially around gender equity. These same men are the ones most highlighted and featured in the public eye. It's time to speak up.
Men aren't looking for a pat on the back, or trying to “save the day.” It's about doing what’s right; we’re doing our part.
What about women?
This project has included and involved women from the beginning. The GEAG leaders have been on board in helping manifest this project.
That said, most initiatives around gender equity in ultimate are being spearheaded by women, and men should not rely on them as a crutch. We hope women will support men in being courageous and vulnerable. We hope that men continue to listen to women in the community, learn from their experiences, and help lift the burden of their emotional labor brought on by taxing conversations and projects.
We will be talking and working with women to help us craft/edit our goals and message. Women will also be in the video series.
Who is leading/initiating this project?
Claire Chastain - GEAG Leadership, Molly Brown, Team USA,
Chip Chang - GEAG Leadership, Minneapolis Pop
Hannah Leathers - #StepUpStepOut Project Manager, Molly Brown
Mario O’Brien - #StepUpStepOut Project Manager, Sockeye, Seattle Cascades, Team USA Beach
Elliott Erickson - #StepUpStepOut Project Manager, Johnny Bravo, formerly Atlanta Hustle
Nick Stuart - Revolver, formerly Seattle Cascades, Team USA
Trent Dillon - Sockeye, Team USA, formerly Philadelphia Spinners
Pat Baylis - Revolver, SF Flamethrowers
Jimmy Mickle - GEAG Leadership, Johnny Bravo, Dallas Roughnecks, Team USA
Quotes from a few project organizers:
“I’m excited at the prospect of different people, especially often silent men, speaking up and engaging in these conversations with critical thought.” - Trent Dillon
“Every man who supports and shares this film is also saying that they will be held accountable. That's not to deter men from sharing or supporting it, but the biggest limit of this film is men saying they support gender equity, but then doing or saying something else. It's okay to make mistakes, we make them all the time. But apologize and commit to doing better.” - Chip Chang
“If you're looking for a way to learn from your peers and find your voice for change, Step Up Step Out is a great way to start. Step Up Step Out matters to me because the gender equity conversation isn’t happening enough in the mens division. We don’t see each other, and tournaments are busy, it’s time to make it a priority within our division.” - Nick Stuart
"I'm so excited and proud of this project! I hope Step Up Step Out breaks the ice and makes it easier for males, both adults and youth, to have real, meaningful conversations about gender equity in ultimate, as well as other tough conversations. We need to talk to and listen to each other more. We need to be vulnerable, make mistakes, own them, learn from them, and affect positive change... and I hope #SUSO paves the way for it. " -Mario O'Brien
“To me, this project isn’t just about male-identifying players stepping up. It’s about making it easier for them to find camaraderie and support within these issues, rather than guilt and helplessness. I hope this project shows how many strong opinions there in our community, which are often silenced or held within peer groups. People are talking. Male players are talking. Let’s all talk together. Loudly and openly.” - Hannah Leathers
“It's time for men to acknowledge their advantage and privilege in the ultimate community and use their position of power to work towards an equitable sport.” - Elliott Erickson
“This project is important in so many ways. I hope it gets more men thinking about the many challenges women in ultimate face on and off the field. I hope it moves more men into action, and that they recognize this movement is vital to the future of our sport. And I hope that they realize they can have a real, positive impact on how women in ultimate are perceived by members inside and outside of the community.” -Claire Chastain
Videos will be a series of 1-4 minute selfie/blog videos. Examples:
Video, because it...
What about other resources created? Calls to action?
We hope #StepUpStepOut inspires people to ask for and create resources (articles? essays? educational resources?) that can help further the GEAG mission and vision. If that happens, we’ll aim to publish on UpWind Ultimate. But #StepUpStepOut itself is explicitly a video project, at least for now.
Videos will continue to come out through the 2017 club season.
What’s the endgame here? Tangible changes we’d like to affect? Why this? Why now?
Each individual organizer of this project holds different opinions on how to advance gender equity in ultimate. As the project developed, we realized that every idea and action boiled down to, “people just need to be talking about it more.” We believe that until having these conversations becomes more normalized, we as a community likely won’t be able to come up with the proper ‘solutions’.
Why right now?
With the growth and prominence of the the AUDL, we sense an increased imbalance in regard to gender equity. We see this imbalance having a HUGE effect on the sport of ultimate and how it’s perceived globally. We see a de-emphasis on gender equity, and the more traction a men’s-only league gains, the more we move away from our vision of the sport. Also, the GEAG movement started last summer was a great first step, and we think the ground is fertile for more/deeper conversation and impact.
8/4/2017 2 Comments
The Ultimate Privilege Comic
Why is Brad more successful than Suzy?
Suzy's teams often have less players and resources compared to Brad’s, what is the source of this disparity? What are the short-term and long-term results?
How does the culture of the ultimate community implicitly support the disparities between Suzy and Brad’s careers?
What are the stereotypes surrounding female athletes? What stereotypes does Ultimate have about female players?
How does Ultimate at each level (youth, college, club, AUDL) perpetuate gender disparities in athletics?
How is the language used towards female athletes different than the language used towards male athletes?
Stay tuned to this page for updates on women in the Minnesota youth ultimate scene as well as info on GUPI's latest projects!