Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 4, 2020) – USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, continued its commitment to expanding the sport’s national infrastructure in the last calendar year. The organization added three new state-based organizations and seven new affiliates to its ranks in 2019. State-based organizations and affiliates help expand the reach of USA Ultimate resources while also providing additional support to local ultimate communities around the country.
During the final month of 2019, Georgia, Ohio and Utah became the sport’s newest state-based organizations.
“Georgia Ultimate welcomes our new USA Ultimate partnership which will help us to develop interest and expand participation in ultimate throughout Georgia,” stated George Li, the director of Georgia Ultimate. “The USAU startup grant immediately allows us to extend access to training and resources, specifically in historically under-served communities.”
USA Ultimate’s state-based organization program launched in 2016, beginning with Minnesota Ultimate, New England Ultimate and North Carolina Ultimate. The program aims to build a stable and sustainable national infrastructure for ultimate that will help grow the sport around the United States.
“Ohio has a strong history in ultimate in connecting with tight-knit communities and hosting high-quality events,” commented Kevin Kula, the founder of Ohio Ultimate. “We look forward to our expanded partnership with USA Ultimate as an SBO helping accelerate a healthy growth of the youth scene and sharing best practices and other resources for youth – coach education materials, SafeSport information, guidance on inclusion, etc. – throughout the entire state.”
State-based organizations act as extensions of the national governing body and serve and support the USA Ultimate mission by extending its programs and services to local affiliates and communities within their respective boundaries. Each of these new organizations receives financial grants of at least $40,000 over the first three years of their existence to stimulate the growth of ultimate at the local level.
“Utah Ultimate has done a great job so far growing ultimate in multiple divisions and areas across the state,” said Utah Ultimate Director of Operations Eric Holt. “As we looked to the future, we found that our long-term goals for growth and sustainability continue to align with USA Ultimate. We are excited to continue this partnership and use the additional resources USAU provides to grow ultimate in the great state of Utah!”
New affiliate organizations in 2019 included the St. Louis Ultimate Association, Oregon Youth Ultimate, Montpelier Ultimate, Santa Barbara Youth Ultimate, Oak Park and River Forest Youth Ultimate Organization, Seven Hills Ultimate Club and Louisiana Youth Ultimate.
USA Ultimate affiliates help unify and promote the sport and assist with the provision and expansion of programs and services to those playing ultimate in the geographic areas of the respective local disc organizations. Affiliates receive various education, instruction and training materials, as well as financial support in the form of grants, discounts and rebate dollars.
From running youth clinics, camps and one of the largest and oldest high school leagues in the country to supporting Missouri’s YCC youth team, St. Louis Ultimate Association is committed to increasing opportunities for youth to play ultimate in an organized, safe and character-building environment.
Oregon Youth Ultimate (OYU) strives to provide a safe and nurturing environment where its athletes can flourish, as they strongly believe in the impact team sports have on the youth who play them. OYU strongly supports the core values of ultimate and Spirit of the Game, and they are committed to helping each member of its community reach their full potential.
Born from a series of middle and high school day camps hosted by Anne Watson, Montpelier Ultimate is on a mission to provide ultimate Frisbee experiences for youth around Vermont. In 2020, they will be running middle school summer camps in five cities across Vermont, and will also be taking their high school members to a youth tournament in Montreal, Canada in late June.
Known primarily for the historic on-field dominance of the Condors men’s club team, Santa Barbara is now home to California’s newest USA Ultimate affiliate, Santa Barbara Youth Ultimate. They have dedicated their time and energy to develop first-time, youth players in Santa Barbara and provide an infrastructure for youth ultimate that has traditionally been lacking in the area.
With Illinois Youth Ultimate being absorbed into Illinois Ultimate in 2018, Oak Park and River Forest Youth Ultimate (OPRFYU) moved forward to fill their shoes as the newest affiliate in Illinois. In addition to supporting its middle and high school ultimate teams, OPRFYU supports youth development programs that use ultimate to build character and strengthen their respective communities.
Character, Opportunity, Growth. Those are the core values for Washington’s newest USA Ultimate affiliate, Seven Hills Ultimate Club. Their mission is to bring together a family of young people who are passionate about improving their ultimate skills, exemplify Spirit of the Game and are exceptional ultimate players with a strong sense of community.
Lastly, Louisiana Youth Ultimate rounds out the pack of new affiliates from 2019. Although they were the latest to join, they have already hosted a Girls’ Ultimate Movement (GUM) clinic last month, and are set to start their high school regular season in March and host the state championship tournament in April.
For more information on how to become a USA Ultimate Affiliate or State-Based Organization, visit usaultimate.org/affiliates, usaultimate.org/stateorgs, or contact USA Ultimate Director of Member Services & Community Development Stacey Waldrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.