2009 League Organizers Conference

VC Ultimate - UPA League & Ultimate Organizers' Conference

Feb. 21-22, 2009         San Francisco, CA
Presentations are not currently available online.  For copies of 2009 conference presentations, please contact sportdevelopment@usaultimate.org


Thank you to our title sponsor, VC Ultimate, for their support and contributions to make this a wonderful event.
Keynote Ultimate Leaders in the Spirit of the Game, Angela Lumpkin
I Fostering Volunteers and Avoiding Burnout, Lindi Sabloff
II Strategies for Sustaining Spirit at League Level, Jeff Malmgren
III Getting Bigger or Smaller, Jonathan Francis
IV Rules & Conduct Education: Tools & Best Practices for Leagues,
Peri Kurshan
V Obtaining League Sponsorships, Gary Breaux
VI Grand Masters, Geoff Doerre
VII Taking Spirit Beyond the Field - Value Based League Management,
Jeff Malmgren
VIII Advantages of Incorporation and Gaining Tax Exempt Status,
Dana Gray
IX Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women in Leagues,
Susan De Cicco
X Securing Future Fields, Jason Seidler
XI Starting a Youth League - A Practical Approach, William Bartram
XII Tournament Directing for Beginners, Bruce Mebust
XIII VC Green Program: Bringing Green Initiatives to your Ultimate Events,Adriana Withers
XIV Teaching Introductory Skills, Alex Korb
XV Becoming a Powerful Ultimate Organizer, Gonzalo Cordova
XVI Models for Affiliation Between Local Organizations and the UPA,
David Barkan
XVII Shared Ownership, David Barkan
XVIII Financial Management for Small Organizations, Benjamin Emery
XIX Art of Persuasive Presenting, David Barkan
XX Piecing Together the Puzzle: Building an Organization Out of Multiple Leagues, Zach Hochstadt
XXI Poster Session

University of Kansas
Ultimate Leaders in the Spirit of the Game

Angela Lumpkin is a professor in the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kansas, where she served as Dean of the School of Education. She previously served as Dean of the College of Education at State University of West Georgia, Department Chair at North
Carolina State University, as well as Chair of the NC State Faculty, and professor of physical education and women’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a B.S.E. from the University of Arkansas, M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, and M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of 20 books and over 40 scholarly publications and has delivered over 170 professional presentations. Among these books is Sport Ethics: Applications for Fair Play; plus, she her newest book, Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook will be published this year. She has served as President of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. She is the 2008-2009 Gene A. Budig Teaching Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas.  Read more about Angela.

Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance

Lindi Sabloff is currently the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance.  Over the past four years in this position she has helped the organization base grow from in excess of 50% to 1500+ members, has helped oversee the creation of a number of new leagues, and brought the Philadelphia Area High School League under the PADA umbrella. She first started volunteering for the organization in
2003 as the Women's League Coordinator and hasn't looked back.  Following her belief that sleep is for the weak, she recently signed on to be one of the coaches for the Radnor High School Ultimate team.  In addition to playing in as many PADA leagues as possible year round, Lindi is also a member of the eminently silly Germ Circus mixed club team.

Fostering Volunteers and Avoiding Burnout
Lindi Sabloff
Finding and sustaining volunteers for an organization of any size can be difficult. The purpose of this presentation is to outline best practices for finding the right volunteers for your organization; how to help them grow as volunteers in order to get them to take on larger volunteer positions; and finally how to best keep your volunteers productive.

Vancouver Ultimate League
Canadian Ultimate Players Association

Jeff is the president of the Vancouver Field Sports Assn. which represents all of the field users in the city, and he is also chair of the Vancouver Active Communities Network (VACnet), an independent, municipally supported organization that drives increased participation in sports and active lifestyles.  He also sat on the Steering Committee that defined the Civil Sport
Strategy that is currently being implemented in the city. He currently chairs the board of CUPA, and does everything he can to keep up with an ever younger Ultimate constituent.


Strategies for Sustaining Spirit at League Level

Jeff Malmgren
Who knows how to make spirit stay, or even better, grow? As the sport evolves and ultimate comes closer to the mainstream, leagues are becoming more difficult to manage in terms of spirit, because their size and the influx of players from other sports.

The Vancouver Ultimate League faced this is in 2001, when there were about 1,200 players in the league and the character was changing. A proactive stance led to a series of strategies and specific programs that ensured that, even with growth that almost quadrupled the league membership over the next six years, league spirit remains high and growing, and the number of spirit issues or specific incidents is still almost non-existent.

Jeff Malmgren, league coordinator then executive director from 2001 to 2008, was the architect of the overall strategy, and also oversaw its implementation. He'll present the philosophy behind it along with the individual elements and their rationale.

Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance

Jonathan Francis is the president of PADA, the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance.  This is his fourth year in that position, and at least the third year he thought would be the last.  He has been an active volunteer in PADA since 2001, serving in most organizational roles at one point or another.  Jon grew up in Oregon, moved to Pennsylvania, and hasn’t left yet.  The only place on the pacific coast he has ever played Ultimate is in the
Bay Area.  In his free time when not organizing Ultimate, he works as an engineer.  Jon is not going to discuss indoor leagues, boards of directors, paid staff, fund raising, youth leagues, or youth outreach in his session, but would love to talk about any of these things during a break if you’re interested.

Getting Bigger or Smaller
Jonathan Francis

Most organizations struggle in one way or another with managing their leagues’ growth, or lack of it.  This session is a round table discussion meant to generate a wealth of concrete actions for increasing or decreasing growth in the number of players a league has, and successfully managing a growing organization.  I will go over a few things that stand out in my experience with PADA, in order to frame a discussion about the topic.

President, UPA BoD
Chair, UPA Standing Rules Committee
UPA Observer Committee

Peri was recently elected the President of the UPA Board of Directors.  She is the Chair of the UPA Standing Rules Committee, and a member and board liason to the UPA Observer Committee.  Peri teaches BUDA's Learning League for beginner players, and captains Boston's womens team, Brute Squad.
Rules and Conduct Education: Tools and Best Practices for Leagues
Peri Kurshan
A league is often both a learning environment and an outlet for competitive play. As such, leagues are often tasked with educating new players not only about how to play the sport, but also how to abide by Spirit of the Game. This presentation will focus on ways for leagues to enhance their rules education and deal with conduct issues.

Ultimate Players League of Austin

Gary started playing Ultimate 12 years ago.  He ran his first Austin league five years ago and three years ago began a brand new League (Austin Winter League) that aimed set a new and higher standard for leagues everywhere with free food and beverages for its players every week.  For this he needed money so he set out to obtain sponsors. Each year, Austin Winter League has successfully obtained a half-dozen
sponsorships that bring an extra couple of thousand dollars into the league.  He is also one of the founders of the Ultimate Players League of Austin, (a.k.a. U-Play), and currently holds the Board position of League Director within that organization.

Obtaining League Sponsorship  handout
Gary Breaux
Obtaining League Sponsorships will deliver step-by-step insights into how to bring in extra dollars to your next league.  This seminar includes concrete suggestions for how to identify potential sponsors and what to say to them when making your initial contact.  Also included will be sample Sponsorship Guidelines, sample emails and a complete how-to check-list. Every practical tool you will need to close the deal on sponsors for your next league will be presented in this straightforward seminar.

Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance

Geoff began playing 20 years ago in college in Philadelphia and gradually moved through the ranks from college to open to mixed to masters. Along the way he became involved with organizing UPA events (2001 College Nationals, NE Club Regionals) and progressed to running a number of tournaments in the Boston area including Easterns, the Boston Invitational, as well as Regionals.
He has been President of the Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance since 2004 and has additional duties liaising with municipal agencies with respect to fields and outreach, and also advises on special projects such as education and Grand Masters.

Grand Masters
Geoff Doerre

Grand Masters (40+ men, 35+ women) is a growing segment of the Ultimate population.  We will present a brief history of the division, as well as BUDA's efforts to accommodate its grand masters aged players with leagues and local tournaments.  Additionally, models for growth and the impact of national competition will be discussed.

Taking Spirit Beyond the Field - Value Based League Management
Jeff Malmgren
The strength and growth of an Ultimate league is often based as much on  how it is perceived from outside as it is seen from within. As businesses trying to become sustainable in every way are learning, operating from a value base can make decision making easier at every level. For Ultimate leagues, the fortunate part is their core values are built into the rules of the game.
Taking spirit as the touchstone, league staff and directors can navigate almost every undertaking - with the greater community, at all levels of government, with independent businesses and with other sporting organizations. In doing so, they build strength and credibility at every junction.
In the last eight years, the Vancouver Ultimate League has taken this approach in all of its dealings, and succeeded in growing to almost 5,000 members and the largest single adult sports league in the city, with significant accumulated capital funds, and city-built Ultimate primary fields open for play.
The tenets of spirit can be applied to all level of operations and governance, as case studies within the presentation will illustrate.

St. Louis Ultimate Association

Dana Gray began playing ultimate in Maui in 1988.  She is one of the founders of the St. Louis Ultimate Association which came to life in 1994.  Currently she serves as SLUA’s treasurer and president.  Dana also serves as executive director of a not-for-profit community development corporation and owns an art consulting company.
Advantages of Incorporation and Gaining Tax Exempt Status
Dana Gray

The St. Louis Ultimate Association started like many do - one person paid for the expenses from their personal checking account.  After league fees were collected, that person was repaid.  After several years, the league grew and the league fees became more than this individual wanted to claim on their tax return. A business needed to be established.  Learn more from Dana Gray, of SLUA, a 501c(4) corporation.

Madison Ultimate Frisbee Association

Susan started playing Madison Ultimate Frisbee Association summer league in 1997. She first served on the MUFA board of directors in 2003 and is currently serving as Secretary. She started running leagues in 2002 and is now co-league director for spring, summer and fall league.

Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women in Leagues

Susan De Cicco
This session will give a brief overview of MUFA's league history and structure, as well as tips for starting a women's only league, and ways to structure coed leagues to encourage the continued involvement and growth of women.

East Bay Ultimate League

Jason Seidler has been playing Ultimate for the last 20 years and organizing Ultimate events for the last five years. He has been fortunate to play Ultimate at all levels over his career and now enjoys playing Ultimate close to home so he can spend more time with his 7 month old baby boy.
Securing Future Fields
Jason Seidler
My presentation is focused on how I locate and then secure fields long term for Ultimate events, especially in geographies where field space is very limited and overall field space is decreasing annually. This presentation will briefly recount my experiences over last five years of exactly what efforts were required to get guaranteed slots at the new Tom Bates Sports Complex in Berkeley, CA which opened six months ago. I will talk about local and county government and how politics plays a vital role. I will discuss how to find out who is in charge of field reservations, how to find out when they hold their seasonal scheduling meetings and where to find the rules they are governed by.

Disc NW

William is the current Executive Director of DiscNW in Seattle, Washington.  He is pursuing a masters in Sports Administration and Leadership at Seattle University and is severing as the Northwest representative on the UPA Board of Directors.  When he's not organizing Ultimate events you can find him either on the disc golf course or in the kitchen making dinner with his wife.
Starting a Youth League - A Practical Approach
William Bartram
Youth Ultimate is on the rise, and many organizations are working to create opportunities for kids to play.  Each organization faces its own challenges.  We will discuss structures and practices that will address the importance of starting a youth league, integration of adult and youth at leagues, getting a new league off the ground, managing with only a small pool of youth players, and more.

Minnesota High School Ultimate League

Bruce Mebust is the Information Systems Manager of a small Midwestern Hydraulic Power company.  He became involved in Ultimate when his youngest daughter joined her High School team.  There he had the misfortune to meet John Sandahl who was the coach of the team.  Being a person of low sales resistance, Bruce found himself agreeing in turn to be the Team Treasurer, Coach, League Webmaster and Tournament
Director in an ever descending spiral of responsibility so that in 2009 he will be directing three tournaments, is already on the hook for two more in 2010 and is still Webmaster and Coach.  He rationalizes it all by saying he likes hanging out with these overachievers. 

His daughter, Anna, is currently playing out her fifth year of college eligibility as a Graduate Student at UC Berkeley.

Tournament Directing for Beginners
Bruce Mebust

If you’re a first time tournament director (or even have 1 or 2 under your belt), here are some ideas to make your next tournament one that gets talked about in a good way.

VC Ultimate

As founder, and president of VC Ultimate Inc., Adriana Withers is working hard to help make Ultimate more Green. In 2007 VC partnered with the UPA to successfully launch the Green Program at the Club Championships. Since then, Adriana has facilitated and funded various leagues and tournament organizers in implementing recycling programs, offering reusable bags and cups, and reducing Ultimate’s
impact on the environment. VC’s Green Program objective is simple: assist Ultimate organizers in making environmentally responsible decisions, and adopting Green practices.

VC Green Program: Bringing Green Initiatives to Your Ultimate Events
Adriana Withers
The story behind VC's Green program and efforts to bring recycling to Ultimate events around North America. A brief overview of VC's efforts to be low-impact in it's manufacturing systems and headquarter operations, and the different ways in which it is encouraging and implementing Green programs through it's 2009 League Sponsorships. http://www.vcultimate.com/pages/green_program

UCLA Women's Ultimate team
UPA Coaching Corps

Alex began playing competitive Ultimate at Brown University, and continued playing after that on the LA open team, Monster.  He has coached the UCLA women's team, BLU, ever since their formation in 2003.  BLU has reached at least the semifinals of the UPA College Championships for the last three years.  He recently joined the UPA Coaching Corps as an instructor, and is currently working on a PhD in neuroscience at UCLA.
Teaching Introductory Skills

Alex Korb
Teaching beginners how to play Ultimate is essential for the growth of leagues and ultimate overall.  "Teaching Introductory Skills" is a discussion and workshop on how to effectively teach ultimate.  This seminar will cover the curriculum developed for the UPA Coaching Corps, and will make you better equipped to instruct new players.

Newfield Network

Gonzalo Córdova is a personal and executive ontological coach with Newfield Network US as an Associate, Client and Community Relations.

He has vast experience as a writer and as a marketing and mass communication professional. He graduated from one of the most prestigious Universities in Mexico City, Universidad Anahuac, where he obtained a BA in Mass Communications
and a minor in Organizational Communications.

He has held positions as the Marketing and Publicity Manager. He has collaborated in the creation of television screenplays, magazines, newspapers and documentaries in Latin America and the USA. Gonzalo has founded and managed various businesses internationally. The world of ontological coaching found him on account of his profound love for people and language.

He offers coaching to corporations, institutions, communities and groups interested in conversations to see new possibilities, take new actions and see new results. One of his deepest concerns is to promote love, harmony, and gratitude through meaningful conversations.

Becoming a Powerful Ultimate Organizer
Gonzalo Cordova
In this presentation you will discover:
  • How the way you see yourself and others determines how you are in the world.
  • How old patterns of language, body, moods and emotions, affect our possibilities for action and decision-making.
  • How to align with what you care about.

Newfield Network is one of the world’s premier organizations in personal transformation, executive & organizational development, and coach training. We have been training coaches since 1991. Newfield is committed to developing and providing powerful, new integrative learning systems for individuals and organizations in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
You face uncertainty, more complexity, and new challenges daily.  Are you equipped to deal with these changes?  For nearly three decades, Newfield has taught people and organizations how to navigate rapid change and take powerful actions consistent with what matters most to them. 

Barkan Consulting

Dr. David Barkan lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a national reputation as a group facilitator and consultant to organizations dedicated to social change, holds a Ph.D. in Clinical/Organizational Psychology, and consults with schools, non-profit organizations and community collaborations across the USA. David has dedicated his career to helping people and groups to navigate difficult and
complex discussions and decisions in order to find creative solutions to the most challenging problems. He recently served as consultant to the UPA in the process to develop its five year strategic plan.

David has led many Ultimate teams over the course of his thirty-year career to compete at the highest national and international levels of the sport. He is a founder of Ultimate Peace (www.ultimatepeace.org), an organization which helps to build bridges of  friendship and understanding for youth from different social and cultural backgrounds around the world through the sport of Ultimate.

Models for Affiliation Between Local Organizations and the UPA

David Barkan
How can the Ultimate community within the U.S. become stronger?  How can we all work together to further develop a structure which supports the growth of this sport amongst all populations?  Use this time to brainstorm together as a group to come up with suggested models for how local organizations and the UPA might affiliate with one another.

Shared Ownership

David Barkan
How to manage and organize so that more people care, become invested, and help make great things happen.

Emery Consulting
San Francisco Ultimate League

Benjamin Emery has worked in business administration for over 20 years, serving as Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and, most recently, Consultant. His firm, Emery Consulting, based in San Francisco, California, provides
management consulting to the non-profit and small business sectors. Benjamin is an avid Ultimate player and combines his two passions at the San Francisco Ultimate League where he both plays and provides accounting services.

Financial Management for Small Organizations
Handout_1  Handout_2
Benjamin Emery
This workshop focuses on understanding the financial management function for small enterprises, with an emphasis on non-profit organizations. Topics covered include: an introduction to financial management (what is it and why does it matter?), the chart of accounts, the budget, the financial statements (statements of financial position, income & expense, and cash flow), group sharing on financial management best practices. The San Francisco Ultimate League is used as an example.

Art of Persuasive Presenting

David Barkan
How I talk about Ultimate to people who don't know or care (municipal decision makers/sponsors/neighbors, etc..).

Bay Area Disc Association
Mission Minded

Zach Hochstadt is the president of Bay Area Disc Association, which runs 9 leagues, serving 5 Bay Area counties. As an organizer, coach, captain and volunteer, he’s been involved in Ultimate for over 18 years.
Professionally, Zach is the founding partner of Mission Minded, a firm specializing in marketing communications for
nonprofit organizations. In this capacity, Zach serves as a senior strategist to organizations like the Sierra Club, San Francisco Opera, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and Business for Social Responsibility.
Several years ago, Zach also led a brand research and positioning project for the UPA, which resulted in a better understanding of the UPA’s target audiences and marketing outreach initiatives.

Piecing Together the Puzzle: Building an Organization Out of Multiple Leagues

Zack Hochstadt
For many years, the Bay Area has had multiple leagues with little communication or coordination between them. Players may play in just one league, or they might play in several. Couple that with the challenge that the leagues in SF are over subscribed, and the leagues outside the city are undersubscribed. Finally, there are challenges around funding; each league runs on such a small budget that no individual league could consider expanding programs or hiring staff. All of these challenges called for a new group to be developed that combines the talents, knowledge, assets and resources of each league. Over the past 6 months, we have merged 5 leagues, created a youth league in earnest, created financial plans, strategic plans, a mission statement, formed a board, and laid the groundwork for a much larger league. Essentially, this is a lesson is quick expansion.

Poster Session

Open to everyone

An opportunity to learn about other organizations and to share ideas about your organization in a social setting.

League representatives are encouraged to create a poster that describes their organization's take on the topic of Spirit of the Game™ or League Snapshot.  Does your organization have a player conduct policy?  How do you promote SotG?  What are the characteristics of your biggest league?  Why did you start a new league?

These posters will be displayed at the conference during the final seminar on Sunday.  Presenters will be available to answer questions and discuss their posters at the beginning of the session.