July EDI Update Header-01

Delrico Johnson Fund

Delrico Johnson

In 2019, USA Ultimate began overseeing and administering a reserve of donations, organized by D.C. Truck Stop’s Delrico “Rico” Johnson, which provided financial support for players of color attending tryouts for the U-24 National Team. Inspired by Rico’s initiative, we are now amplifying this reserve and broadening its impact to help support players of color across other levels, starting with adult affiliate memberships. When purchasing a USA Ultimate membership, members will now have the option to donate to the Delrico Johnson Fund, and contributions to that fund will be directed towards supporting memberships for players of color.

EDI & Spirit of the Game

Opi Payne, Dylan Freechild and Amel Awadelkarim at the 2019 U.S. Open Equity & Diversity Forum
Photo: Alec Zabrecky – UltiPhotos

We have acknowledged that Spirit of the Game, in its current form, can be an inroad to bias, significantly impacting underrepresented members of our community and their experience in ultimate on and off the field. This led to the review and extensive revision of the spirit score sheet and the spirit captains’ packet. Both are currently being reviewed by external committees, while additional resources for teams on reducing the impact of bias are under development.

Play It Forward Eligibility Changes

After considering feedback from participants, we’ve made significant changes to the eligibility requirements for the Play It Forward program. For our Affiliate Youth Memberships, anyone who applies for financial assistance for these memberships will be eligible. For our Youth Memberships – only mandatory to participate at the High School State Championships and Youth Club Championships or to join the U-20 National Team – we have added the option of submitting a letter of recommendation from your coach supporting your request for financial assistance. Please visit the Play It Forward page for more information.

Return to Play EDI Considerations

With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating societal inequities that underserved communities endure on a daily basis, we included information in our Return to Play Guidelines detailing areas where players from underserved and marginalized communities could face potential challenges. We encouraged coaches and organizers to pay attention to these challenges and opportunities to address them in order to promote an inclusive return. 

Inclusion Sections of Coaching Certification Manuals

First-year San Francisco Revolver head coach Molica Anderson
Photo: Jolie Lang – UltiPhotos

Recognizing that coaches can set an example and lead the way for ultimate players everywhere, the inclusion sections of the certified coaching manuals and coach facilitator’s manual were reviewed and updated. These sections address how coaches can be more accommodating for players having to overcome hurdles to participate (e.g., finances and transportation) as well as offer guidance for creating a welcoming team environment for players of all backgrounds once they join the team. Additionally, coaches are encouraged to use their platform to make their team more inclusive by acknowledging and discussing the role of bias in relationships between teammates and when interacting with opposing teams.

Five Ultimate’s Pride 2020 Guest Blog: Seph Tacular

Seph Tacular
Photo: Kat Overton

As part of their Guest Blogger Series for Pride Month last June, Five Ultimate featured a guest blog from Seph Tacular, an almost 20-year ultimate veteran and member of the LGBTQIA community. The featured blog discusses Seph finding pride for himself through the inspiration of others, the space ultimate allows for people of different backgrounds to be themselves and celebrate their authenticity, and how important it is to work together as a community to build a truly inclusive environment.

In case you missed it, here is the last EDI update.

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