Two years ago, planning began for this next step in ultimate’s future. In those two years, the ultimate community has shared its voice in charting a course for the next steps in our sport’s evolution. Anchored by vision from those who play—and live—ultimate, our next strategic plan is the result of a truly collaborative effort. One shaped by mutual hopes, dreams and values. Achieved by a team collectively working towards a common goal.
While celebrating ultimate’s first 50 years, we’re eager to unveil this plan and #PullTogether!
To advance the sport of ultimate in the United States by enhancing and promoting character, community and competition.
Ultimate is widely known, played and respected in the United States as a sport that inspires athletic excellence and integrity among participants and fans.
STRATEGIC PLAN VISION:
Our national ultimate community is growing and inclusive and exemplifies Spirit of the Game.
OUR CORE VALUES:
RESPECT – We honor the rights, views, dignity and inherent value of others, striving for an environment of mutual trust.
INTEGRITY – We stay true to the mission of USA Ultimate and the highest ethical standards, demonstrating honesty and fairness in every action that we take.
RESPONSIBILITY – We hold ourselves accountable for our decisions and actions, while striving for excellence in all that we do; we are dedicated stewards of the sport of ultimate.
LEADERSHIP – We drive thoughtful growth, development and innovation in competition and the ultimate community, enhancing and promoting the sport as a joy to play and watch.
TEAMWORK – We encourage a diverse and inclusive ultimate community and work cooperatively with members and partners to achieve our mission.
1. Equity, diversity and inclusion are critical to the integrity of our sport’s culture and must be continually learned, fostered and enriched throughout our national, state and local communities.
2. Spirit of the Game is the heart of ultimate at all levels and must always be fortified, amplified and celebrated.
3. Ultimate continues to grow in size and scope, maximizing its ability to have a positive impact on sport and society.
The ultimate community strives to be inclusive and to better reflect the diverse makeup of the American population by working to introduce the sport to new people and groups with a special focus on youth. USA Ultimate will support local organizations, such as affiliates and state-based organizations, who are better positioned to deliver targeted outreach and education to help provide opportunities for all and to continue to grow the sport.
A. Promote initiatives that focus on local inclusion and engagement of members who identify with areas of diversity that are under-represented.
B. Develop a demographic baseline of the USA Ultimate membership and establish benchmarks for advancement.
C. Incentivize local opportunities that aim for equal value and support of both single-gender and mixed-gender play.
D. Establish USA Ultimate as the center for leadership and resources in support of state-based organizations and local affiliates.
- Continue to build out the regional and local infrastructure of our sport’s organization through ongoing investment in and support of state-based organizations and local affiliates.
- Develop and offer equity, diversity and inclusion training opportunities for affiliates, state-based organizations and local organizers.
- Support and sanction an increasing number of local competition events and development programs around the nation.
- Expand the number of qualified coaches, observers and event directors via training and certification programs.
- Introduce the sport to more and more youth through targeted outreach programs, operated in conjunction with local playing opportunities and aligned organizations.
- Continue to tailor the development and improve the delivery of coaching education and certification for a variety of competition, age and experience levels.
- Finalize the development of and implement effective strategies related to long-term athlete development of ultimate athletes.
E. Encourage local organizers and organizations to promote SOTG both on and off the field in their communities and programs.
F. Expand competition opportunities for middle-school-aged and elementary-school-aged players across the nation.
G. Implement parent-focused and youth-oriented communications strategies to introduce and spread general knowledge of ultimate.
H. Utilize Play It Forward fundraising with The Ultimate Foundation to help youth participants overcome financial challenges.
Top-quality events and programs are a hallmark of the USA Ultimate experience and an important aspect of the organization’s community-driven mission. USA Ultimate will strive to continually evolve and improve events and programs for all ages and at all levels of competition, taking into account feedback from all participants, coaches, fans, organizers and more. The positive impacts of excellent event experiences – examples of outstanding Spirit of the Game, support for local organizers and visibility of positive role models – can be felt by members of the larger ultimate community and beyond.
A. Create, direct and facilitate the highest-quality competitive events in the United States.
B. Provide the highest level of competition in the U.S. for the best athletes and teams across all disciplines, ages and gender divisions.
C. Facilitate accessible and meaningful playing opportunities for athletes and teams at all levels of competition.
D. Establish an attractive, accessible and clear framework for youth competition across seasons, levels of play and geography.
E. Expand educational resources for event planning, including raising awareness of standards and expectations for high-quality events.
F. Evolve competition structures to support and integrate both match play and tournament formats, incorporating the best elements of each in order to maximize the positive impact on players, fans and communities.
G. Enhance the impact of U.S. National Teams at home and abroad.
- Continue to build and support a national team program that showcases the best of the sport on and off the field.
- Expand and support a U.S. National Team coaching program that incorporates and models the best elements of coach, player and team development.
- Expand access to the U.S. National Team Program for players across geographic and socioeconomic boundaries.
- Promote national teams, athletes and coaches as role models for players and fans at all levels of the sport.
H. Facilitate communication with external organizations offering competitive ultimate playing opportunities.
- Explore and build relationships with organizations that align with USA Ultimate’s values and do not conflict with USA Ultimate programs.
- Emphasize values with and work to influence organizations that do not align with USA Ultimate’s values and/or conflict with USA Ultimate programs, seeking to pull the community together to reduce conflicts and achieve common goals.
I. Oversee and evolve the rules of the sport, including ensuring effective, meaningful and appropriate integration of Spirit of the Game, self-officiating and observers.
- Design and implement process for regular review and revision of rules and standards of play, based on systematic input and experience, and integrated across key elements of the sport, including SOTG, officiating and rules.
- Create a structure where rules can be adapted across disciplines, skill levels and playing environments, while maintaining consistency and clarity in core philosophies.
- Develop educational resources to make rules, officiating and SOTG clearer to players, coaches and organizers at all levels.
- Expand, improve and refine officiating programs and resources, including training and deployment of observers and training of players to better implement self-officiating at all levels.
- Develop and implement rules, policies and philosophies that promote a safe environment for healthy competition.
- Work with experienced organizers to evolve communication around the SOTG philosophy to better reach and positively impact a more diverse population of players.
- Promote the character-building impacts of SOTG and self-officiating beyond the field of play.
- Expand use of the SOTG scoring and tracking system, making it more meaningful and accessible to local organizers and teams.
- Promote and celebrate players, teams and organizations that successfully demonstrate SOTG values on and off the field.
- Help and hold accountable players, teams and organizations that fall short of demonstrating SOTG values in line with the community’s standards and expectations.
Ultimate is a lifelong sport that brings considerable value to participants of all ages and abilities, many of whom spend countless hours training for and working to perfect their game. USA Ultimate will use all available resources to increase awareness of and bring recognition to the sport, its unique values and the incredible athletes who have devoted their time and passion to it. Enhancing the visibility and diversity of ultimate will lead to its acceptance as an attractive sports option for kids and their families.
A. Maintain and build relationships with current and future partners and organizations that help introduce new audiences to our sport.
B. Continue to develop and enrich a positive relationship with the ultimate community.
C. Pursue networking opportunities and/or speaking engagements that put the sport of ultimate in front of organizations such as the National High School Federation, NCAA, U.S. Olympic Committee, International Olympic Committee and others, as appropriate.
D. Stay attuned to the ever-changing landscape of media, and position USA Ultimate to leverage the best possible relationships for maximum exposure and fan-friendly touch points.
E. Pursue Olympic national governing body status and inclusion on the Olympic program for LA28.
F. Continue to expand all structures of the sport, including the state-based initiatives and training programs to ensure we are able to successfully safeguard the values of ultimate in the event of a stepwise increase in participation as a result of increased awareness.
G. Look for opportunities to celebrate the successes of USA Ultimate around equity, diversity and inclusion.
H. Build a reputation in the sports world as a welcoming and inclusive community.
I. Develop a marketing and promotional plan to target diverse and underrepresented communities.
J. Build and execute sales, marketing and branding campaigns to grow the sport, with a focus on youth, parents and fans.
USA Ultimate constantly strives to grow ultimate in the United States by leading the way in the community, safeguarding its members and upholding the values of the sport. In its quest for excellence, USA Ultimate will work to be an innovative organization that pursues best practices and responds with flexibility to an ever-changing sports landscape.
A. Take incremental steps to develop and maintain a culture that reflects a deep respect and appreciation for equity, inclusion and diversity, within the organization and across the community.
- Develop a dynamic and comprehensive equity, diversity and inclusion plan for the organization.
- Revise the organization’s existing equity policy to align with and support the equity, diversity and inclusion plan.
- Continue developing and offering equity, diversity and inclusion training opportunities for board members, HQ staff, volunteers and the larger community.
- Engage a consultant to help weave equity, diversity and inclusion into everything we do.
- Share tangibly the work that USA Ultimate is doing to grow understanding, better communicate and evolve in the equity, diversity and inclusion space.
B. Attend U.S. Olympic Committee and Association of Chief Executives of Sport (ACES) best practices seminars/retreats, and put into operational plans all relevant national governing body best practices.
C. Create and maintain a culture that leads to the recruitment and retention of top talent on the USA Ultimate staff and Board of Directors.
D. Develop vehicles for gathering, utilizing and communicating feedback from and to the community.
E. Maintain transparent and sound financial practices.
F. Maintain financial stability though proper operating reserves and sound investment of assets.
G. Continue to pursue diversifying revenue streams while increasing revenue annually.
H. Evolve risk management and Safe Sport policies and procedures to minimize organizational liability and protect athletes and participants.