Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote for Pumba for USA Ultimate Board of Directors

Only a few more hours to vote!

Voting ends today at 5pm M.S.T.

Here is a quick review of my campaign platform:

-          The USAU must, at all times, be a professionally presented organization .
-          All high level tournaments should receive monetary and logistical support from the USAU to make the event as professional as possible (Lined, quality fields with 5 meter spectator lines. Scoreboards. Official game discs. Early and often TD communication with teams. Publicity to the outside world. Ect…) We pay so much to travel to these events, paying as little as $10s more per person to ensure true professional production is worth it.

-          Observers should be used more often than Nationals. This requires the training and retention of many more of them. Quality observers make the game more fast paced, more fun, and more fair.
-          Pay Observers for their work, even if it is a token amount like $15 a game. The pay is not what keeps me refereeing soccer at a regional level, but that incentive did help me get into it when I was younger. Reward Observers who are professional and obviously good at their job.
-          Observers should make active travel and up-down calls. Even Observing at the fast paced Club Nationals, I felt confident that I was in position to make those calls as good as, or better than players.

Youth Growth
-          More than being supportive to youth teams and providing quality opportunities to play, the USAU should be actively searching out high school aged players from camps, summer leagues and PE programs and actively help them start and grow a team at their school.
-          Schools who are attending their first USAU Sanctioned Tournament should have their bid fee waived or subsidized by the USAU.
-          Make USAU Coaching Certification classes free and available during the evenings of large college and club tournaments so that dedicated players can advance toward high school coaches.
-          Make Regionals a premier showcase event. The drama of the Game-to-Go is more than enough encouragement to get a bunch of high school friends to want to start a team.

Cultural Change the USAU Must Take the Lead On
-          Take Sideline safety seriously.  Continue to set the example that putting chairs and bags within 1 meter of the sideline is just not ok.
-          20 second hardcap on all on field discussions. We all know that “Foul, your arm hit mine. Contest, we were vying for the same unoccupied space” is a lot more fun to watch and to play with than 2 minute pointless yelling matches
-          Better rules knowledge.  It is unacceptable in a self-refereed sport to not have a firm grasp of the rules. There should be rules test for teams at Regionals and for players at Nationals.
-          “Spirit of the Game” can be nebulous and should be reserved for the Big Picture. In as many places as possible, it needs to be replaced with the word “Sportsmanship” which can be more clearly defined as respect for one’s opponent and for the rules of the game.
-          More clearly differentiate between Ultimate as hyper-competitive, spectator worthy competition and fun-oriented events. Of course there is not a line in the sand – Club Nationals is one of the most fun tournaments I’ve played in, but by acknowledging two distinct goals we can better promote both.


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