Mile Zero Ultimate aspires to be a recreational sports league where everyone feels welcome, respected, and given equal opportunity. We recognize that many people do not feel welcome in organized sports, or are even actively excluded from them. We acknowledge those imbalances, and have created a Gender Equity Committee to focus on making our league more inclusive for all.
Women in Ultimate
Women are often at a disadvantage when it comes to playing ultimate. According to surveys and experience, when compared to men, women get the disc less frequently, are less likely to play the handler position, and are less likely to be captains and coaches. In order to change those statistics, the Gender Equity Committee has been working with MZU, Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador, Tempest Ultimate, and SWURL to create initiatives focused on skill development, ultimate knowledge, and leadership opportunities both on and off the field. Here are some of our past and current initiatives:
- Captains: Each team (for hat and BIY leagues) is required to have a male-matching and female-matching captain to help represent all voices on the field, and provide female-matching players more leadership opportunities on the field.
- Adoption of WFDF Gender Ratio Rule A: Since September 2018, we have run 3 league using different variations of Gender Ratio Rule A to provide all genders with equal opportunities on the field.
- Stat Tracking: Throughout the 2019 Winter Toque Leagues and Winter BIY Leagues, board members tracked stats from over 40 different games to collect data about gender disparity in different elements of play during games, including touches, pick-ups, assists, and goals. All of the findings are archived on our Facebook page. One league used Gender Ratio Rule A, and one did not, and the stats made it clear that Gender Ratio Rule A greatly helped improve touches, pick-ups and assists for female-matching players.
- Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador’s Women’s Skills and Drills Development Series: UNL ran a fantastic 6 week clinic series aimed at helping female-matching players improve their skills.
- Clinics from Tempest Ultimate: Tempest is Newfoundland’s Competitive Ultimate Team for female-matching players. MZU partnered with them in the spring to run 2 separate clinics for players of any skill level and gender. These clinics were all led by Tempest ultimate players, which gave these players a chance to be leaders in the community, while helping players in MZU improve their skills.
Transgender and Non-Binary Athletes
The sport of ultimate has historically used traditional gender-binary language – e.g. we refer to “4 men and 3 women” on the field. That leaves little room for players who identify as agender. To better enable players of all gender identities to play in Mile Zero Ultimate, we have adopted more inclusive terminology when referring to players. Now, players are classified as either “male-matching” or “female-matching”. Players are asked to choose what gender to wish to “match up” against, but are not required to specify a gender.
Mile Zero Ultimate has a Transgender Policy, that can be viewed here.
Beyond our commitment to gender equity, we are also committed to creating an environment where all LGBTQ2+ players feel welcome. Mile Zero Ultimate welcomes players of all genders and sexual orientations.
If you have any suggestions for how we can be more inclusive, please reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.