Starting a Team
Interested in starting an Ultimate team at your school? CUC can help guide you through the organizational steps, and provide some assistance along the way. Below is a step-by-step process to some key resources that you may find helpful:
1. Publicize. Let people know that you are starting a team. Put posters around your school and articles in the school newspaper. Carry a disc with you everywhere and throw whenever you have a chance. Tell your friends, and get them to tell their friends. USA Ultimate (the national governing body of the sport), offers helpful organizing information, programs, and grants at its website. Click here to head to the USA Ultimate youth development page.
2. Find an Adult Sponsor. A teacher at the school will help your team gain legitimacy and will give you a voice with the administration as well as provide stability for a program where the participants graduate. A young teacher who is interested in learning the sport is ideal. An adult sponsor at your school is typically required to help with insurance and access to school resources like fields and buses.
3. Find a Coach. Reach out to the CTUL administrators, (email: email@example.com), who can help find a coach for your team. There are many experience adult players in the area that would be willing to help out a high school team. Perhaps even a teacher at the school.
4. Learn to Play. Ultimate is a selt-officiated sport. It's important that, eventually, each player knows and understands the rules. Below are resources for learning the rules and where to ask questions:
- Ultimate 101: Laying Out the Game - A video that teaches the basics of ultimate.
- USAU Guide to Ultimate - A great guide for leaning ultimate.
- USAU Rules - The official rulebook.
- /r/Ultimate - The ultimate community in general is very friendly! For prompt responses to questions Post a comment on where many players talk about the game. Ask respectfully and make sure to let people know you are very new to the game so they know to give you a more thorough answer.
5. Gather Your Equipment. USA Ultimate (USAU) may provide free starter kits, which include rule books, cones, and discs, to new programs. Women's and youth teams receive priority.Additional kits can be purchased.
Discraft has a juniors program for K-12 to buy discs for only $3 each (a minimum of one per pair of athletes is recommended, but you can never have too many!). High school teams should purchase 175g UltraStar discs. The J*Star 145g disc is recommended for those twelve and under.
Individual players should wear cleats (Soccer or Wide Receiver football cleats work best) and have a white shirt and a dark color shirt to differentiate teams during practices. Alternatively, use pinnies.
6. Schedule Practices. Find a time when a lot of people can come out that coincides with available field time. It is important for your early practices to have a good turnout.
7. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit. You can never have too many people who want to play Ultimate. If you have too many for one team, you can always create a second or "B" team. It is great to recruit freshmen since they will be with the team the longest and will help shape the team for the next four years.
8. Show Videos. A great way to get studenst excited about playing is to show them videos of high level Ultimate. They are also a great alternative when the weather does not permit practice. Schedule a get-together at lunch or after school and show some Ultimate footage.
- USA Ultimate - Their youtube page houses some of the top games for the club and college championships.
- Nexgen- A group of the top college starts in the early 2010's travel on a bus around the country playing the best club teams in the U.S. and film in HD with great editing. Free videos as well as packages available for purchase. They go on to form Ditch Media in 2015 which should start to develop strong content but as of today is new.
9. Schedule a Game. Reach out to Trevor Charles at the CTUL (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will help you schedule games with other schools. If you can get a game on or near campus, you can promote it and get a large turnout of players and fans. Once students play against another team, many are hooked. Try to find a team in your area. To see active CTUL teams, consult the CTUL standings page on this website.
10. Educate. Coaches are encourages to attend one of USAU's coaching clinics. For everyone else, visit some of our favorite online resources, shown below, to learn various skills, drills and strategies.
- Rise Up Ultimate- Very good videos, definitely start here and watch their free videos. Put together by some of the best minds in ultimate with very good editing and camera angles. Prices vary and group passes are available but they have free videos on all the basic ultimate skills around Handler movement, cutting, throwing, dump swings, etc.
- Ultimate Rob - Has a great website with a variety of information
- Ultipedia - As it sounds, a wikipedia full of helpful information about ultimate
- The Huddle - An online publication in the mid 2000's where top club players would answer questions on a topic of strategy. You click on an issue, it shows a questions posed, and then responses from top men/womens players on the right side you can click through. These are a bit more advanced techniques than the others.
11. Attend a Tournament. Playing at a Tournament is a great experience both athletically and socially. High school Ultimate tournaments are during the Spring athletic season. CTUL can help with the registration process of attending a local tournament. See the "CTUL events" tab on this site for information about knwon tournaments in Connecticut.
12. Pass on the Team. When you are moving on, find a motivated knowledgeable returning player to lead the team in the future (if you don't have a coach). Ideally your senior year you will want to spend with a co-captain who will still be there next year and can learn directly from you. Remember to teach them what you know so that they can continue to improve what you have started.
13. CTUL All-Star Team. At the end of the CT High School Ultimate League there is an all-star game, then in June you can try-out for the Connecticut Youth Club team, which travels to the National Youth Club Champtionships each year. You can also seek out the CT Adult Recreational League in the Off-Season if you are 18+ years old.
Starting a women's team?