The purpose of this campaign is to take harmful, disheartening comments made by male youth players about women’s ultimate and use them to empower the girls in our community. We want to reclaim the phrase “skyed by a girl” to not be a source of shame for men’s players, but to celebrate women’s players. We have juxtaposed comments made by members of our own community with some of the most athletic plays by female youth players in Minnesota, because it’s far easier to show that the statements are unfounded than to say it. Ultimately, we realized that we don’t need to say anything to condemn hurtful language by male players, because if we highlight our women’s players their hard work, talent, and grit speaks for itself.
On Thursday June 29th GUPI hosted its first middle and high school women’s pickup game on the Lake Nokomis softball fields. St. Louis Park, Edina, Great River, Minneapolis South, Open World Learning Community, Como Park, and Ramsay Middle School were all represented, with over 25 players coming out. Play continued for nearly two hours with lots of great play, undeterred by the softball games going on around the field. Want to see how things went? Check out this highlight video from the first game: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxftiYNeETZjdUhrMUR4eUVMTGM/view
Pickup will continue this week on Thursday, July 20th, so come out for some fun casual ultimate with other middle and high school girls of all skill levels! Bring your friends and teammates and a white and dark shirt. Lake Nokomis softball fields (see map), 6:30-7:30pm.
Every year at the Minnesota High School State Championships, Minnesota Ultimate takes a moment to announce and celebrate the new high school all State team. We asked this year’s team to comment on how women have impacted their ultimate careers throughout high school. Take a moment to read all about the Minnesota girls who were recognized for the exemplary contributions to Minnesota Ultimate and the women who helped them succeed!
All State winners are chosen by the community as a whole; 7 players and 1 coach each for 1st and 2nd team All State.
“All Conference and All State voting is done by players and coaches, based off of interactions with the nominees during league, conference, and tournament play. Everyone is encouraged to be on the lookout for great players that exemplify the ultimate ideal of spirit, competition and camaraderie throughout the season.” -Minnesota Ultimate
Introducing this year’s Minnesota All State Women’s team!
First Team: Tova Breen, Emma Piorier, Anna Barron, Ana Caballero, Lexi Kocken, Jacalyn Gisvold, Betty Stringfield
Second Team: Makayla Jones-Klausing, Anna Erickson, Claudia Patrin, Leona DeRango, Ester Gendler, Melissa Bernstein, Lisa Hansen
Who: High School and Middle School Ultimate players of all skill levels
What: Middle and High School girls pickup! Come out to meet and play some casual and fun Ultimate with other middle and high school girls. Bring your friends and teammates and a white and dark shirt.
When: Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm starting 6/29/17
Where: Lake Nakomis Fields. There is on street parking and you can park in the lot directly across from the fields at
4955 West Lake Nokomis Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN, 55417 (see map below).
6/8/2017 0 Comments
Tonight, at the Benilde-St. Margaret school stadium, Great River and Apple Valley will face off in the championship game of the Minnesota High School State Tournament of 2017. The game is an exact rematch of last year's championship game, evidence of each team's strength and the hotly competitive relationship between them. They met twice in the regular season this year: Great River came away with a decisive victory in the first game, winning 15-1, and at their second meeting Great River was able to get away with an 11-9 win.
The rest of the regular season went well for Great River: the last time they lost to in-state competition was at Hopkins Hustle 2015, to Hopkins in a semifinal game. Tonight they seek their third straight title and to put themselves among the most dominant programs in Minnesota history.
Apple Valley has also had a great year: they remained at the top of the South Metro conference, fending off newcomer Eagan and taking home the title for the third year in a row. They were able to take care of business this weekend at state, eliminating strong programs like Cathedral and Edina to make it to the final round.
Last year's championship game, held at Hamline University's Klas Field, showed strong competition from both sides. The first half was incredibly close, with both sides getting at least one break, and great offensive flow on each side. It wasn't until the second half that Great River was really able to break away, getting a string of points that led them to a 13-7 win. This years contest will likely be equally exciting, as both teams are coming in with plenty of momentum. Be there by 8:10 to see the girls play and 6:15 to catch Edina and Hopkins play for the boys D1 title!
The women’s division of the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament has 21 teams across two divisions this year, and while this number is dwarfed by the number of open teams in the state (67), the Girl’s Division has grown steadily in both the level of competition and number of teams.
The Great River Stars have maintained their lead in both conference and state standings this season, leading four other East Metro Conference teams in Division I. They lead Pool A followed by Mounds View, Hopkins and Eden Prairie. At the top of Pool B is Minneapolis South Squall, who have maintained a second place ranking in the state, with Cooper (Northwest Metro Champion), Edina (West Metro Champion), and Cretin-Derham Hall rounding out the rest of the pool. Pool C is a tight one, lead by Apple Valley, then Cathedral. St. Louis Park and Open World Learning Community are ranked 11th and 12th respectively, which should lead to an exciting game. Pool D has Armstrong in the lead followed by Eagan, St. Paul Central and Roseville. The Division II pool has 6 teams including Como Park, a wildcard for Division I, most likely vying for first place in the division against Minneapolis Southwest. The competition in all divisions is tight and there is bound to be some upsets and competitive play to round out this already intense season.
The state tournament will be held at the National Sports Center in Blaine this weekend (June 3th and 4th) and the Division I championship game will be held on June 8th at Benilde St. Margaret's stadium in St. Louis Park. Much has changed since the last round of rankings was released on May 20th, so this tournament bound to be an exciting weekend to watch and support some fantastic girls ultimate!
Minnesota Windchill, the Twin Cities professional Men’s team in the national AUDL league, recently announced that they will be hosting a “Mixed High School Showcase Game” this Sunday 5/28. We love that youth are being given a chance to showcase their teams and talent, but the organization of the game has a few very concerning aspects.
Windchill invited two programs to combine their open and women’s teams to compete in a mixed showcase event prior to their official AUDL game. GUPI will be cheering on the high school players and teams invited to participate in the event (especially the baller young women) no matter what, but here’s why we don't support the mixed showcase game:
1. There is no mixed division in Minnesota high school ultimate
Though middle school students compete in mixed teams, current high school ultimate in Minnesota has two divisions: Open and Women’s. Showcasing mixed high school ultimate doesn't actually promote the youth ultimate of our state. If the goal of the game was to actually promote high school and youth ultimate players, the event would showcase open or women's programs that reflect actual teams that compete in the Minnesota high school league. Showcasing mixed programs does not accurately represent the play we see in the high school division and therefore does not promote high school level ultimate.
2. The teams participating are not mixed teams
Because mixed doesn't exist in high school level play, inequitable actions that we see in mixed play will be even more present. In the open letter to Minnesota Ultimate published last month, youth women discussed their experiences playing youth level mixed ultimate and called for change because of the consistently sexist language and treatment of women in youth mixed experiences. A few summarizing quotes from the letter include, “[in youth league] When a woman messes up she’s no longer thrown too,” and “[Mixed women] were injured by the plays of their teammates, constantly had to prove their athleticism, feared mistakes would result in not being involved on-field, were looked off constantly, and coached by their peers.”
The historic treatment of young women in mixed play is of concern especially if it’s present on the field and acting as a showcase-worthy example of high school ultimate. The two programs competing are not mixed teams and do not participate in ultimate because of their desire to play mixed, because of this they have not had conversations or real-game experiences to ensure safe and equitable play.
Additionally, showcasing mixed is not showcasing the highest level of play in high school ultimate. These teams are not used to playing together as a mixed program and will not be showing the public a realistic example of high-level and competitive youth play.
3. Showcasing mixed ultimate does not promote gender equity
Windchill is the only professional ultimate opportunity in Minnesota and consists of only male-identifying players. Our state is in the midst of an overdue conversation about how to better support the women frisbee players of Minnesota, and the decision to host a mixed showcase game, as a men’s team, does not promote gender equity. In fact both high school players and coaches have asked Windchill to consider making the event a youth women’s showcase game. The decision to highlight mixed play sends the message to our young women that the only way to be involved in the AUDL, as a girl, is if there are men on the field.
4. Equity and equality are not the same thing
We believe that Windchill hopes to promote youth and gender equity by hosting a mixed game because it gives the opportunity for both male and female identified players to participate. However, the current organization of the game does not support gender equity. Equity and equality are not the same thing. Equity is prioritizing a marginalized or underrepresented group to combat inequality. In order to reach the goal of equality in ultimate, gender equity means prioritizing women’s ultimate to make up for a history of discrimination. Showcasing mixed might provide equal opportunity for boys and girls to play publicly but it is not creating equity. Windchill is a men’s only program, which means women don't have the opportunity to be professional ultimate players. Because of the inequities that plague ultimate institutionally and culturally, young women need to be given the opportunity to play and be showcased as women's teams. Equity does not exist because there are already more opportunities for men to play. A mixed showcase is not equitable because it is giving boys another opportunity to be showcased instead of focusing on the girls that don’t have the same opportunities.
5. Privilege check is in order
The game is being advertised as a fun way for boys and girls to play ultimately publicly. However, ignoring the implications mentioned in this article highlights the privilege of those who are making these decisions.
Additionally, Windchill has the platform, privilege and power, to encourage widespread actions that support all communities within Minnesota ultimate. Instead of a mixed showcase game for entertainment, there could have been a game to promote women in sports or advocate for equitable mixed teams. These are intentional decisions being made that choose not use the AUDL platform to encourage equity and inclusion. Their privilege as professional ultimate players comes with a responsibility to support the community and use their voice to call for equal opportunities for women.
GUPI is pumped for the high school teams invited to show-off their skills but we wish Windchill had done better in creating an opportunity that was productive for the community.
Something to keep in mind when figuring out your weekend plans.
Brought to you by the Girl Ultimate Players Initiative