2013 Summer Survey: Member Responses

As part of our summer survey, we asked you what you thought about women’s issues and the league in general.  Following this introduction, you’ll see the complete text responses from members. We have removed anything identifying an individual and joke/spam comments. Otherwise these remarks have not been edited.

Jump to Response for: “Is there anything else on your mind?”

“Do you have any thoughts on the role/experience of women in the AFDC or Ultimate in general?”

MEMBER RESPONSES:

When there is a woman new to ultimate on a team, very rarely do you see the males on the team helping her out. Typically it is the females on the team, and often the females on the opposing team helping her. I think some people just aren’t sure what to say to help, or feel like they are overwhelming the newbie.

One way I think AFDC could improve the role/experience of women in the AFDC is to ask for a female co-captain for all teams (this could be done before or after drafts). Most other leagues I’ve played in in other cities had a male and a female captain. I think having a female leadership perspective on all teams helps ensure women are represented in team decisions and would help newer women feel comfortable asking someone for help. Some new women may not feel comfortable going to guys for help or the male captain may not be the best representative for female roles in ultimate. A male co-captain could also be set for teams with female captains.

“It’s hard to get women to want to come back when men don’t throw to them because a) they will drop it and b) they aren’t, and never will be, as good as men. I know there is a great women’s development committee and they are already working very hard on this issue (which is probably why we even got this survey!) but offering an Open league and not a Women’s league would be following MLU and completely abandoning a central tenet of this sport, which is gender equality. It doesn’t matter if women are as good as men. What matters is women get a lot out of playing sports, just like men do, and women deserve to have equal access to opportunities to play sports. SPORTS HELP WOMEN BECOME MORE SELF CONFIDENCE. This is really really important, and affects men and improves their lives, too. Rant over. Thank you women’s development committee, and AFDC for making this a priority! I think it’s great you are doing this. My suggestion for how to get more women involved is to reach out to them in high school and college, and let them know that you really care and WANT them to play. As a female player, I make it my goal to throw to and involve that woman on the team who is the “”weak link.”” First of all, she’s out there, so she clearly wants to play. Secondly, improving the “”worst”” players on my team will make my team better than the other team, since our best player are all pretty much equally good. I wonder if this tactic could be incorporated into materials sent to captains, or any training activities for AFDC folks?

“The league needs women but is only welcoming to natural athletes. The talk of a men’s only league makes that worse — it basically says women are inferior and we don’t want to have to play with them. Getting new women in means allowing them the chance to make mistakes and grow. It’s hard to get better if you don’t get thrown to.

“I think its important to develop more 4/3 leagues, though that alone won’t solve the men looking off ladies. In SNL this still occurred, though noted with a sideline heckle usually. Guy captains should be people who aren’t afraid to intervene if needed. Because the talent pool of club level women is smaller than the guys its more rare to be on teams with good leaders/ ambassadors for women’s ultimate. They tend to clump together and I think developing women with coed leagues and club teams will help expand this pool.

“I would consider myself a mid level woman, not new and not elite (aka ozone level). Combines hold no interest to me because the few I have attended have been too basic. A 4-3 league is really the most exciting development I have seen recently, but I apparently wasn’t good enough to be invited. The issue with all efforts I have seen to do more involvement is that there isn’t enough regularity. Women’s league has happened a few times, but never at the same time. Combines are sporadic at best. I feel like if there were more regular events, planned in advance, someone could think, “”I can’t make the upcoming one, but I will plan to go to that future one.”” Furthermore, why are all recruiting events women only if we are trying to get people to play mixed sports? I feel like this issue with not enough women is far more detrimental to guys than girls, but the only effort for recruiting is girl driven (at least in appearance).

“Maybe having a cap on men playing so girls aren’t holding the team down. It’s hard being a woman in ultimate because you are expected to ALWAYS show up – you can’t just not come at the last minute like guys can. You have to be more committed than the men. Of course, women like playing time too so it’s a hard thing to balance. I know a few women who played and quit after one season because they wanted to have a specified time commitment – they wanted to show up, play at the time indicated, and leave – instead of wasting 1 hour waiting around for people to show up – and they were both athletic women.

” I am very encouraged by the formation of the Women’s Committee and looking forward to some good things from that group.

“My concern about a coed 4/3 summer league plus an open mens league is that the most competitive men would be drawn to the open league and the coed league would have crappy teams and competition (but awesome women, of course). I have no complaints about the fees. This is an amazing organization and all of the leagues are worth the cost. I have my complaints but overall I love AFDC. Love, love, love it.

” It’s hard for new women to stick around if they keep getting looked off and people do not have the patience to explain things to them.

It was kind of brutal learning to play against experienced women. I didn’t play in college. Because I had supportive male and female teammates, I have learned the game through league play. I don’t know how to entice more women to play, but I always try to help new people and encourage them in the way I was by people who knew the game and were patient. I hope we are able to have a 4-3 league. It’s changes the game, and I don’t feel so lost in the mix or unimportant. Some teams treat the women as an obstacle to be thrown around, rather than an equal citizen.

I think good role models for younger/ newcomer (even old) women are important, so applaud AFDC efforts to support these roles. I think the most important aspect of getting and keeping newer playing women interested, is for teams (Captain leading) to make sure to get the new women out there and play as much as they can, no matter how skilled they are.

I think involving women in a 4/3 league as opposed to a 5/2 league will greatly benefit women’s ultimate until we can truly develop a strong womens league. In 4/3 it’s harder to play around women and you have to involve them. In 5/2 I feel like women are capable of turning into objects that men have to work around.

“Coming into ATL after playing ultimate (and goaltmate) in several other areas of the country – it was not nearly as welcoming or as easy to meet people. When you are new in town and not a nationally ranked superstar – you probably end up on an all draft team, which means that you have lower level of play… and the next year you end up on an all draft team as well because those are the people you know. It was very, very frustrating. My husband & I ended up not playing a few seasons because we were so disappointed with our first couple of summer league experiences. So for me, the core / draft set up is not necessarily about parity – but it really sucks if you fall into the all draft cycle and can’t get enough exposure or meet enough other people to find your way on to a core. I have also captained in a lot of other leagues in other cities but haven’t ever felt like I was tapped in enough to the ATL scene to be an effective captain.

” i wish there were more women interested in playing. maybe even an option to have more room on our roster for additional women

I feel like a gaining and retaining women is a priority for the league, but it’s clearly not working. Seemingly even more aggressive marketing needs to take place. Maybe splitting the league 4/3 and open is the best decision. I feel like the barrier to entry for new women right now is too high. Anecdotally, the reason why women express to me the lack of interest in playing is “I can’t throw a frisbee”. I’m married, so I dont THINK it’s that I’m creeping them out. Perhaps in addition to elite level play, there should be a beginner league with much lower dues, and each team is assigned higher level captains, who serve as player/coaches. A bigger emphasis also needs to be placed on getting women to start playing in the spring, so that they are able to transition into summer more easily.

It seems that you’re trying to see whether you could make a men’s league that would allow the co-ed league to thrive as a 4-3 co-ed league. I agree that this would make things more fun for the women, and my impression is that many guys would be OK just playing in a men’s (more competitive) league. I would probably try to play both because my wife would still want to play co-ed, and I might value the extra ultimate form a men’s league.

Compared to other coed ultimate i’ve played, this league seems to have a good amount of playing time for women. I like playing 4men(3women) or 5men(2women) ultimate, I wouldn’t play if it was more women than men. Most important is to have an equal number of women on each team so teams with too many women not getting enough playing time don’t get bitter.

Captains have a responsibility to not alienate them and involve them. Sometimes, though, it can go too far. Alienating can include isolating them by giving them too much attention as well. Finding that balance is key; perhaps teams willing to take a “brand new” lady could receive core considerations (extra space) or a draft pick consideration (extra pick b/w 1st and 2nd rds) for summer.

The number of women that make a difference or are “game changers” is very small. Women in coed has always been a challenge. I prefer coed because it feels more like a rec league, with some competition. A men’s league would be fun, but I could see it getting over-competitive. We considered a split between 4/3 and Men years back, but never followed through. I don’t think I would like the split as much, but can see the benefits.

Have never understood the need to have coed leagues, or the actual need for them. Played on a team with a female in college and the gender difference was always problematic. There should be men only and women only league options rather than forcing all into coed.

“My opinion is that the best teams have great women. It’s just not easy to be successful otherwise. When you get away from the top tier teams, I think the role of the ladies changes a good bit. But there’s also a huge difference in skills between ladies that played in college vs those that pick it up later simply due to the years of condensed practice and playing already. So if we can expedite new player learning, maybe it might help? Perhaps a suggestion might be to have some women’s only clinics throughout the year. Like a couple of multi-weekend sessions that have drills, coaching, scrimmages. Maybe we do that but I’m a guy so I forgot about them. Especially if the lady retention challenge is on the lower end. I’d let ladies opinions be taken more seriously than mine on this topic.

” As a bro: I “understand” the problem with Women. New women have a very difficult time being relevant on the field because of the 5/2 format and the general lack of athleticism compared to men (new and old). Most of the time, this translates into men (trying to win) not including those women in plays and throws. This is probably very discouraging to those women to come back and play. I don’t know what could be done about this problem. You can’t blame the women for not enjoying it, and you can’t blame the men for trying to make the best possible play. It really is a “tragedy of the commons” where in the long term it really creates a problem for the entire league. I applaud AFDC’s effort of clinics and women’s leagues.

Women certainly have held leadership positions within the AFDC, and there have been plenty of women as commissioners for leagues, but at the captain-level, I think they’re underrepresented. I’ve never played on a league team or a 12-days team captained by a woman. I think having more women calling the shots on the field would do the most good to send the right message to new players (of both genders).

“Need to recruit more The league is shrinking

“The struggle is getting new women to play and keeping them involved. Due to the competition nature of some summer league teams, I’m not sure if summer is the best place for new women. New women require a lot of attention and time that some teams won’t take the effort to put in. Things like the woman’s combine and the women’s league are good avenues, but must be continued to see long term success and growth. Already active women most be much more vocal and willing to pursue new women then the current men in the league.

” how about making a coed team with masters players considered coed

We need to help develop college women’s ultimate locally. That will help fix the lack of ladies problem. It should be priority numero uno.

“Need to encourage more female participation and leadership. Girls, especially the top girls in ATL, want to play with friends. They would rather not play than to play with a bunch of strangers. If they play, they will encourage girls and teach them and serve as good role models. They are not playing because they can’t play with friends, because they are ranked too high. Relax the core rules and you will get more top level players to play summer league, which will cause more women to join. Those high level women recruit most of your women anyways. Every high level player in ATL used to play summer league. Like it was required. AFDC should talk to the teams and make it so everyone plays. Who cares if some teams are better. There will always be better teams and worse teams. Get over it. 25 chain players and 25 Ozone players in the league is better for the league. Those folks will be distributed over 15-20 teams. That is most of the league.

” women on the filed provide a balance not only in the actual play of the game, but also on the social side. bro-fests are fun and all, but they have their place – and the AFDC is not it.

If the men from all aspects of the league were more inviting to the inexperienced women half your problems on this subject would probably be solved. That include members of the AFDC staff.

While I think a women’s league is a nice thing to have, I would prefer to see the AFDC create a regularly occuring women’s combine/clinic night for a 6 to 8 week stretch. The keys to such a program would be that a newbie could join in at any point in the 6 to 8 week stretch and the sessions would focus on fitness and skills development for newbies and existing AFDC women. A recurring program such as this one would lower the existing barriers to entry for new women (the up-front monetary commitment and short league sign-up windows) and raise the overall level of play in the league by developing existing female members that don’t have opportunities to work on fundamentals in a friendly, non-competitive, teaching environment.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting lots of wonderful ladies over the years.

You need to get more interested outside of leagues. League is very intimidating to new players.

like playing on coed teams, but feel bad the women have to play savage so much

We need to respect the ability of our women more. Using your women effectively is the key to being successful in mixed/coed.

I’d think if we peeled some guys off and formed an open league during the summer it might make coed a little more, well, coed. I’d love to see women play larger roles in terms of playing time, but my experience is that a lot of women play significant roles off the field with AFDC. 5:2 is necessary, but I think most of us who choose coed would love to see that ratio improved. I don’t have particular solutions as women are harder to retain as they get older, but I said I would be willing to pay a little extra to try and entice new women to play.

“The competive nature scares off new women. Overall record can be directly coorilated with 0s and 1s on a team. Good teams take comptetive advantage of new players during play. Most new women play on teams in the bottom half of the league, where there are a lot of dicks who think they are good try to coach them. We turn them off to the game.

“It bothers me that there is often an obvious on-field bias, but I don’t think AFDC should force change upon leagues, it will happen with time. With the women’s league and greater involvement in high school and college, women will continue to fill more of the league ranks without having to enforce change. Because of the competitive nature of the sport, there are times when it is frustrating to have women on your team when they are at a much lower skill level, but I think the social aspect makes up for the on field difficulties. Club season is for being at a constant sausage fest, I want league to stay coed…

“I’ve heard reasons women don’t return – bad teams, bad captains, not used, not trained. Have interviews been conducted, and results provided, with women who stuck with the league/sport? I haven’t seen or heard anything. Seems certain teams help with retention. Why? How can others be trained to do same? Or reward successful captains and teams somehow – greater core, discounted dues. Is the AFDC willing/able to force in-season trades or transfers? If new woman A isn’t enjoying herself, put her on a different team after MST in an attempt to find out if it’s her, the sport or the first team. Don’t let the teams haggle or whine to the point of no change, just make the change in the interest of the league.

“I think getting more women involved in the afdc and ultimate would be a great thing. I don’t think (based on the numbers) that women could have their own league presently, but with further growth in the sport especially on the highschool level this should be a future possibility. I like the idea of a 4/3 league and open league because the coed people can be awesome and have fun while the competitive hot heads more likely to run over/ not throw to women can do their own stuff rawr.

” The chance to offer feedback in this box actually made me reconsider my answers to a couple of the above questions and reprioritize opportunities for women. I worry a bit about the infusion of new women into the league as more experienced folk move on.

5/2 makes it difficult for women to get into the action, especially on teams with aggressive male cutters. A 4/3 league could be really beneficial for getting women more experience and fun while playing. This is known. I know that’s not a lot of help, but you asked for my thoughts.

A co-ed league should be a true 4/3 offense decides format. Co means together or equally. A team should have about even numbers of men and women and they should get about the same amount of playing time. Only then will women truly feel valued in the league. It’s easy for a guy with less touch to look off 1 or 2 cutters cuz he can’t fit it the window, but it’s hard to look off 3 or 4 cutters if you want to be successful in a true co-ed format. Some guys just shouldn’t be on the same field as women.

It’s really awesome that yall are trying to get women more involved. Anything we can do to help – increased prices, separate leagues – whatever you decide is a good idea, I’ll definitely support. Keep up the good work.

I really enjoy playing Ultimate with women as it is not something that happens for the rest of the year during competitive ultimate, and it is both fun and interesting to see the opposite sex’s take on the sport. That being said, i can see why some people would want an all-male league in addition to a co-ed league, and i think that despite the huge managerial undertaking, that in the long-run this would actually solve a lot of the problems that i have noticed. Some players don’t want to play with women and some do. I think that women contribute quite immensely to the parity problem in the league as there are less good women, and women make a huge difference in terms of team success. Having two leagues also theoretically allows more people to sign up which would help with the waitlist issue.

I think a 4/3 league is crucial to the long-term success of the AFDC as a league.

I do not want to supplement other’s costs. Cost for league play should be uniform across the board. I do not think dues or league fees should go towards funding of combines, women’s leagues, etc. unless there is majority support from the league members for this.

In my experience, leagues where each team has one male and one female captain seem to have fewer gender related issues overall.

“It can be very difficult to get new women to be productive on the field. Obviously this leads to PT/role issues and a lack of fun for those new women. Conversely, moderately serviceable women tend to find prominent roles on both offense and defense (in my experience). So, I really think that women’s leagues/clinics can help boost skills in an atmosphere that is less stressful and more positive for them. As a selfish person…I don’t really care if women have their own leagues or not. But, I like the thought of women’s leagues/clinics as an effort to help co-ed leagues. But if these leagues started to reduce the participation of women in co-ed leagues, I would viamently oppose them! I don’t think this would happen though.

” I’ve enjoyed them in both Spring and Fall Leagues. I’ve never played summer league, so I can’t really speak on this issue. Teams that have great women can do well especially if they play 4/3. I don’t see a problem other than not having enough initially or game day (savage women typically isn’t fun for them).

You asked specifically about lowering the price for first year women/raising the price for everybody else. I understand this survey is largely about women and gender balance in the league but I feel that there should be an incentive for all new players regardless of gender.

“4/3 summer league would be a big improvement for the role of women in AFDC summer league. Spring and Fall, meh I’m satisfied with 5/2. Im sure much of it has to do with the pool of women to which to drawl from. There’s always an issue having ladies out there consistently and its either b/c there arent enough or maybe they feel under-utilized on the field. Not being a lady, theres probably also the added pressure of having to show up which is not an issue with the guys. Maybe its money since most of the girls that do SL are college age and broke, I dont know. When a team only has 5 or 6 ladies then 5/2 is appropriate bc they wont all show, but if there were 7 or so ladies 4/3 would be fun because that’s what its about, fun. I dont want to hang out with just a bunch of dudes after games, I think that’s my real point.

The league needs to acquire more in quantity and better skilled women to help the league.

Continuing to explore ways to bring more women into the game should be a priority. In some ways, I think this problem is bigger than the AFDC. Ultimate is becoming more mainstream. With that comes more mainstream culture. And as women’s sports are continually dismissed as inferior, female players tend to be seen as less valuable or burdensome. Exploring ways to promote a positive, female friendly culture within the ultimate community could help. The Afdc is generally a very progressive group but, unfortunately, changing culture is hard. Ask the Army.

5/2 isn’t enough women on the field to get all the women a shot at the disc. Granted the best women will touch the disc no matter what ratio. I think 4/3 would help with women retention issues because the men that DON’T want to play with women would play open and then the problem with women not being involved would not surface as much.

They can make or break a team, as their numbers are lesser, and therefore their strengths and weaknesses are magnified. Generally, they do a very good job, though it seems they often feel underappreciated. It can’t be easy being a women in a league of predominantly men, but I would hate to lose women to a separate league. I play summer league for fun, and it would suck to only play with dudes. Perhaps a women’s only league is the answer, but certainly not a men’s only. Ultimate should always be coed if possible.

i would think it wise to have a men’s league, a women’s league, and a co-ed league all running each season possible

SNL was an awesome idea!

I think it’s very important to include women. Summer league is where I learned the most about the culture of ultimate, as I didn’t have that much time in college to play. At the same time, it wasn’t just women who helped me; it was my whole team. On the other hand, I do feel as a female that sometimes I have to “prove” myself (or yell at them) to male handlers before they will huck it to me or see me on an in cut, whereas I do feel that sometimes a male cutter has work to do to “prove” themselves a competent receiver. But I’m not really sure that the AFDC can do much about that…

4/3!!!

I’m sure playing on some teams is way more fun than others. More heckling of the less fun teams is required. Playing everybody & throwing to everybody is more important than winning – it is a rec league.

In my experience, the team with the upper hand is the team that has the most experienced/most skilled women. By default, league play has been 5 v 5 with the women largely being ignored. The value of a high ranked woman is multiplied but the value of a true zero is less than her ranking. This is not intended to knock on the women of AFDC, as there are quite a few of them who are very good and I am always happy to teach new players and have them learn the game. My suggestion, assuming the amount of skilled/experienced women in the league doesn’t increase, is to either play one woman at a time, or to have less teams with women/have a coed only league with less teams. Not to say the current AFDC league experience hasn’t been great, but it could be better.
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“Is there anything else on your mind?” 

MEMBER RESPONSES:

hate the core system. go to all draft (with buddy system – everyone can baggage one person). Have really enjoyed this in other cities. Great way to ensure parity and meet new people. Let captains draft 4 people; rest are randomly assigned based on rank.

I didn’t like the secrecy of the sunday night league. I am a mid-level female player that would have been interested in playing, but was turned off when someone forwarded me the email to ask me if I was playing. It seemed like there could have been more transparency, and it seems like someone could have figured out how to send an email to the league where ranking is above a certain number.

There should be summer goalty, especially since the regular league fills up so quickly.

“Q about parity: the three choices seem to be 1)all parity 2)FRIENDS >> parity and 3) dont care. I would argue you can want more parity without selecting one as your choice. Without mandating pure draft or completely equal teams, I’d like to see less terrible draft teams who get blown out every game. I don’t have a vendetta against social teams who play by the rules; less core cheating and teams with less than 2 players >5 could be achieved without destorying GT/EAV/420 ect. I thought Boezi/Poole SNL pod system was interesting.

” I think it would be interesting if people could split a summer league cost and days of attendance between two people, ie one person could come Tuesdays and one person come Thursdays. I don’t know if it would be feasible but it would potentially be a way that more men could play by splitting days.

My only suggestion is that for summer league that teams rotate through the multiple fields around Atlanta. I love summer league but last year almost every game was at Atlanta Soccer Park and with six girls on the team–sometimes my drive was longer than my playing time (often games didn’t start until 7pm of after because of traffic and would be very short). I know that we have to play at least half our games at Soccer Park—but in previous years, we played some more games at Walker, Benteen, or MLK (and now BLVD. Crossing could be thrown in the mix). There is also a field at Old Fourth Ward Skatepark . Also, don’t move summer league to Saturdays—-I play because it is on weekdays!

“Y’all don’t owe anyone “”fun”” – just the chance to play. I think the reason there’s such issue about it and parity is because people don’t necessarily have choices as to what teams they are on. It’s “”Big Brother”” making the decisions for you (if you don’t want to/have time to captain), therefore it automatically makes it seem “”unfair”” for people involved because someone else is making choices for them – then everyone gets paranoid and does their best to climb the ultimate “”social”” ladder. Starting on time is important. If people can’t make it to summer league on time – maybe there should only be one game at 7:30pm when most people can get there.

” I have been extremely impressed with Boezi so far as president and I respect his recent moves to get some new ideas and opportunities to play into the AFDC. I’m also really liking that the homepage is being updated more frequently now. thanks for making the webpage relevant again. One thing that has been on my mind is how amazing it would be if we were to find/build a turf complex similar to the Silverbacks fields. I’m sure that the cost would be significant upfront, but having an area that we could play on regardless of rain and also that we could rent out to other organizations consistently throughout the year would be amazing. I know fields have been a pipe dream for the AFDC for awhile, but if we’re thinking about them, let’s think about turf.

This is not an official AFDC thing, but I was a regular attendee of goalty pickup until the group became very secretive, started new email lists, and started to generally seem very exclusive. I think that sucks, and I think it’s in poor spirit. I want to play goalty pickup every chance I get, and I never get the chance anymore because I am no longer invited. I’ve heard several others gripe about this as well. I’m concerned that now that summer league is here and there is no official goalty league, I’ll be goalty-less for months. I’d love to see competitive but open-to-all goalty pickup start happening.

I’ve moved back north (way further north than North Georgia) so that is the only reason I am not signed up for AFDC summer (and other leagues) — but still support and am very thankful for my 15 years of great fun with AFDC. I welcome any visitors from AFDC to Cape Cod, but be warned that Ultimate is primarily limited to pickup in July and August.

I love the AFDC

“thank you for taking the time to create this survey i love the AFDC and i love summer leagues

“I love playing with my friends through being on a core, and I’ve now been party of essentially the same core for several years. That said, I wonder the extent to which the spirit, parity, and competitiveness of the leagues are diminished through the cores. Because of the core system, people play a limited amount with different people / on different teams. Because you don’t know the other folks on the field, the spirit during games is worse, there’s less cohesion in the league as a whole, and there is a lot of “”clique-ishness”” It seems odd to me that before the games even begin, only a handful of teams are competing for the league championship (especially in Summer League, but also in Spring League). I often think the competitiveness, spirit, and ‘fun’ factor would be better if teams started off more even, and the competition was about seeing which teams could gel by the end of season tournament. Maybe doing cores of 5, similar to the sunday night system, so taht you could choose a small number of people to play with. Or, go to an all-draft system where you balance choosing your friends vs. the competitiveness of a league.

” I would have played summer league the last few summers and would play this summer if I was in town – I have a summer job that takes me away for the entire summer season.

Core limits are goofy this year.

“something that makes this league different than others i’ve played in is how rarely all the teams are in one place… makes it more important to be on the same team as your friends. But i also like meeting new people and having a team with all new people is the best! just hard to do when i want to be able to hang out with my friends after the game on the fields. No great way to deal with this and still keep the awesome small in-city venues. BTW my favorite part of summer league are the in-city venues. If it was all at the GSP i wouldn’t play. Sucks that it fills up so quickly too, but that’s also good we have so much demand! Add more in-city venues!

” Catering to the whiners a bit too much. The vocal 1% is pushing core limits lower and lower. A greater focus on youth (the grants program is spectacular).

I miss you guys. I like frisbee. For those of us that just want to play, all the debating/parity/etc is ignored. It’s a rather vocal minority that give a crap about those. The challenge will always be that good players tend to make friends with good players. And playing with friends is the most important part- especially with the time investment in traffic and such. I will play for whatever team you put me on, but I would prefer to be with friends.

Eliminate all the bullshit nonsense that has nothing to do with providing the best, most competitive game of ultimate possible for the players. If league members feel the need to socialize and date, they should join a dart or softball league. That or have a willy-nilly league for all the drinkers and goofballs that isn’t competetive so those so inclined can waste their time together. Focus on great fields and the best possible competitive play rather than everything else.

I am very impressed with many members of AFDC’s commitment to bringing in new players and promoting the game here in Atlanta as well as all around the world.

“Parity is a pretty tough deal. It always comes up because some teams are consistently worse than other teams and it can be less for some of those players. The forums generally have people bitching about rankings but I think that’s the wrong way to go about it. Perhaps something to emphasize this year is getting captains to report scores quickly and accurately. I think point diff is really the only easy way to measure parity. Gyasi wrote an interesting post last year about the draft not being as terrible to be in as if should (http://www.afdc.com/forum/viewtopic.php … ary#p27255). I think that it’s a culture thing and I don’t really have a great answer to solve that problem. We all agree that people want to play with their friends and that is somewhat a measure of fun. But perhaps we’ve drifted a little too far to the pro-friends crowd? I think Gyasi’s point is far more pressing than parity and might drive us to more cores too.

“I really enjoyed playing on the north side of town for Sunday Night Lights. Not playing at GSP turned playing from “”taking my whole night”” to “”something to go do””. You guys are the best and the work that you put in makes my life and I’m sure others’ a lot more fun. So thanks!

” Hate driving to the airport for non-tournaments. Thanks for the hard work.

“After playing in Europe, where spirit and comraderie are very high, I’ve found AFDC to have poor spirit and knowledge of the rules on a general level. I’m also generally tired of higher level players 1) making constant dick calls to win, and 2) recklessly putting others at risk of injury through poorly timed bids, etc. in a league setting. I’ve met too many players in general with poor attitudes and have limited my exposure to AFDC accordingly. While it can be very fun for a veteran insider, as a newcomer, AFDC comes off as elitist and borderline douchey. Going on 4 years into AFDC now, I’m having more fun due to meeting some cool players, but it took all 3 of those years to develop that sense of fun. It’s no wonder we are always lacking females. The other big turnoff I have with AFDC is that when legitimate safety and other concerns are posted on the forum, they are immediately attacked and marginalized through sarcasm and inane posts, making me think that coupled with the reckless behaviour I’ve seen on field, that AFDC doesn’t value safety very highly. Lastly, the lack of cleats being allowed is beyond annoying and field locations are terrible for most people living/working north of I-20. I’d be willing to pay more to not have to drive so far / actually be able to wear cleats.

“The worst part about captaining is not listed in your drop-down menu: Drafting. Getting a core together can be a nightmare, but only because of how it overlaps with the draft process. I’ve only ever captained for spring league, and I can’t fathom the headache that comes from the CRM and trying to draft against 31 other teams. Despite the best efforts of the commissioners and their helpers, the draft lists never have all the information that people enter, and as a result, captains are just making blind choices in a highly stressful atmosphere. I doubt I’ll ever volunteer to captain summer league until I can be assured that the process will be improved. Also, while GSP is great, there’s just no good way to get there from the northeast on weeknights. Even if it costs more, I’d rather play on in-town fields so I don’t spend more time in the car than I do playing ultimate. How about this as a compromise: Teams can choose a geographic region, and all their tuesday games are local, but thursdays are at GSP.

“Not a fan of turf-only when not explicitly stated up front. This should be stated PRIOR to registration. Sad that AFDC appears to be moving away from a single, large Summer League. The participation of multiple skill levels, multiple ages, all mixed together has made/makes AFDC Summer League unique from others throughout the country. In addition, I’d argue many of today’s best Atlanta-based players got a jumpstart by being able to play with and against the best around while in their early teens.

” Should start thinking about limiting the number of under 21 year olds in summer league. If there isn’t room for all the guys who want to play maybe we need to put the kids in there own league to better serve the existing membership.

“Getting too cliquey – cliquers should be required to bring a new woman to play and make her welcome so she comes back Boezi should yell more. Not at anybody but more like shouting from a mountaintop

” I really feel that there is a very clique culture in our league. People are not as approachable as they think they are and I really think that it damages the community aspect of our league. I really wish that there was more effort to bring back more of the old social climate where everyone knew each other and was eager to bond with people on other teams. I think game of the week had a lot to do with that and if it really isn’t a possibility to do that ever again then maybe we should try to come up with some kind of substitute.

“See above. Also we have to replace the loud mouths with more. Losing folks like McCargo and JLee is tough. The forums are dead. The access to the leagues page is not the best and I am unsure you can post team pictures and logos for summer league.

“The thought of ever possibly being on an all draft team seems miserable to me. Incentives for captaining seems like the best way to evade this. Also, maybe more development clinics for newbies. Maybe offer people a place and time to help them development their skills with various drills to help them understand cutting and throwing techniques. Especially during the summer, I’ve heard tales of feeling unwanted, whether real or imagined, due to inadequacies.

” The hypocrisy of the AFDC has always been alarming to me and continues to do so even to this day. I’ve sat through countless berating conversations directed at myself and team mates about spirit and how to treat people only to see those same talking points duplicated by captains or board members of the AFDC. You guys should practice a little more of what you preach. You’re making better strides to include the membership in the direction of the AFDC for example this survey but the decisions made by a few for the masses don’t typically represent the majority opinion. You’re placating to the membership of old and not looking ahead to the membership of the new. Youth and new members will be the future of the AFDC and Ultimate and the quicker you realize that and react to it the better for everyone.

I like that the AFDC is trying a variety of things to address the problems it is currently facing. I don’t care for the parity debate at all, but since we always come back to it I wish we could re-frame it into a discussion of increasing parity by raising the level of play from the lower ranked players, instead of the old argument of forcefully spreading around the few top ranked players. Also, I hope that these survey’s become a regular thing where we poll everyone before and after Summer League and poll just the participants after each of the other leagues.

I love summer league so much, I signed up this year just to fly back and play the tournaments.

If you do games on Saturday do them late in the day. Played Saturday league once and it was just to hot to play during the middle of the day. Also there are a lot of lighted fields north of the city that could be used.

it would be nice to see a coed saturday league again. last time i went it was many high schoolers. i like a mix of ages.

I fear that a move toward a bifurcation of ulty into two tiers will result in the lesser league being devalued. I’m a 4/5 guy getting back into ulty after a decade off. I enjoy playing with new folks and with Chain/Ozone people. Much would be lost with a segregation of leagues. IMHO.

I’d enjoy having some of the high testosterone guys peel off and play open so the rest of us can have a fun and competitive coed situation without risk of injury or need to calm people down.

Thanks for trying to make things better.

The constant talk of parity is exhausting. Can you steer away from it going forward?

“I hesitate to complain, because y’all do an awesome job running what I believe is a premier recreation league with an completely volunteer staff. Things I LOVE Leagues in every season Growth of goalty Overall kindness of league members Things I dislike Tourney only players-Allowing players to just show up for tourneys decreases parity AND gives tournies a bit of a secret society feel that can makes me, someone on the inner periphery of the league, uncomfortable. If guys and gals want to come into town for tourneys, great! Hang out, but don’t play unless you’ve been able to make at least 25% of your team’s games. The slow move south-I answered the nights/week question above based on being able to play on CoA fields and not having to drive to the airport twice a week. I sympathize with the growing challenge of finding in-town fields for summer league, but doubt I’ll be able to commit to anything above 50% attendance when games are played exclusively at the soccer park. If we’re likely going that direction, I’d prefer to start at 6 and play 3 games to 11 one night/week or investigate Saturday or Sunday as potential summer league days (NOT Saturday league). I also wonder how league members would feel about playing on Friday night and making summer league a kick ass start to the weekend. Thanks for being so thoughtful in everything you do.

” Keep working to preserve the spirit of the game — which should include as much parity as possible while allowing friends to play together in the summer with many women. Less testosterone, more estrogen makes for a happier summer league and a better world.

” This wasn’t an option on the hardest part about captaining, but it can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be depending on your team, but in my experience, captains shell out a lot of dough for beer/food/fun etc. Not sure if there is really a fix for this, but just wanted to throw it out there.

Summer league is 95% in great shape. Lynch has done a great job and helped it continue to be successful. There isn’t a need to blow it up per se, but adding an Open league could be a good solution, especially if you can make it so that they would have their tourneys at the same time/location as the mixed league.

There is clearly a need for an open league. There are hundreds of dudes that want to play and never enough spots, meanwhile the league can’t hardly get enough women to come out to even make all the teams. Rather than spend tons of time and resources trying to serve a member base that obviously isn’t there, the AFDC should spend some time making sure that a majority of the current members are able to play each season, should they want to.

Before i begin, i would like to say that my opinion is clouded by the fact that i have been on two extreme bottom tier teams in my two seasons of summer league. I think that parity is a problem that needs to be addressed. I understand that it is probably the singly most difficult issue to solve especially since the focus of the league is playing with friends and having fun. I would just like that say that i love summer league, but both seasons, (mainly last season) my team just could not compete. We had a few players who did not understand the ranking system coming in and overrated themselves and we suffered for it. I want to have fun playing, but honestly, getting -excuse my language- shit on week after week takes away from the fun element of the league. As far as ideas on how to fix this, i would say that either the number of people allowed in a core needs to go down or the rating of the top however many players needs to be lowered. I have never been on a mid-tier or top-tier team, or seen the stats on how much parity is in the league, so it might not be as bad as i am making it out to be. Maybe by providing more information to the public about it, people could generate more ideas?

“I think the pendulum has swung too far toward parity in recent years. Two years ago the core limits were almost perfect, you could stack a team with a few high end talent people and barely have enough to compete with the bottom half of your roster, or you could stuff the mid-level guys onto your roster and hope one of them could cover the Dylan and Poole types that the high level teams had. I love parity, but parity to me means having 10-20% of the league who could conceivably win one of the tournaments, and 20-50% of the league who can make it to quarters (and maybe semis) or beat any of the top teams on a given night. If every team goes .500 in a season no team will have fun. There are going to be some teams who are worse than others (look at SNL this year, even with top club players some teams just don’t work for whatever reason) and those teams will learn something about team building and competition for the year after. The key to parity within the system in place from a couple of years ago is the CRM. You can’t let people get a solid college athletic guy for a 3 when he is actually a 5 or 6. Scour the Georgia Tech, UGA, Georgia Southern etc rosters and try to figure out who these guys are. Even bumping them up to a 4 would go a long way to keeping the bottom half of cores from being way too dominant. The GRank is a good idea, but people quickly figure out how to game that system as well.

“Full transparency from AFDC leadership about finances. A very brief annual report/breakdown of general expenses would go a long way to answering people’s questions about how the money is spent. Full disclosure about why the AFDC acquiesces to the Soccer Park about wearing cleats. Adult soccer players are allowed to wear cleats on the same fields as ultimate. Please just tell us why there is a discrepancy in rules among soccer and ultimate, and if there is anything that can be done to change it. Thanks to all of you who work to make the league better!

“I believe the leaders of the AFDC should be more accessible on the public forums. Private conversations seem to be encouraged and some are uncomfortable with this method, meaning they are left entirely out of the discussion. Secret leagues need to go. Find a way to get the level of play you desire without excluding people from the process.

“The only reason I’m not playing Summer League this year is because of a persistent injury. I love that you guys are open to changing some things. I’m a proponent of parity and lower caps, even though I’ve been a part of some cores that have reached the max. I love to be able to play with my friends, but I also think people shouldn’t only befriend other good players. Lower caps = easier core recruitment = easier captain job = fewer draft teams. Right? And anonymity can kiss my ass! I’m Tyler Preston!

“Several big factors for me is I’ve always lived somewhere north/northeast of 285. So when we had fields downtown, it wasn’t that big of an issue. At the Soccer Park, however, it’s a lot further, but I know cost of the fields are ridiculous. I’ve also been tight on money the past few years and couldn’t find it in me to pay $50-80 for league. Now, a payment plan would be nice, but it’d be hard to control it (make sure everyone pays what they owe, etc…). Also, another reason I haven’t played recently is I’m working 2 jobs that includes nights and Saturdays. I would love to play and if I wasn’t doing Saturdays, I’d probably play a Saturday League, but the drive is killer. I almost think that the AFDC needs to split into smaller leagues that make up the AFDC so that we can get a league in the north Fulton/Cobb/Gwinnett/Forsyth area or some other suburb district. We have plenty of people who I’ve talked to that would enjoy playing in the league, but the Soccer Park is just too far away for them, especially for Hamilton Mill folks. I love the AFDC and know it’s tough and greatly appreciate all y’all are doing to improve how it works and keep it running well. Thanks!

” The worst part about being a captain is balancing players on core/draft and getting friends as well as good players and making everybody happy because everybody wants you to have other people on the team.

“Theres nothing that makes for AFDC community better than Game of the Week. That was a crucial part of seeing how fun ultimate is and having everyone together and having fun. Yes, GSP is far away and people cant make it to GOTW on time. Start it later, like 9:30. I dont want to give up those fields bc they’re too nice and theres community happening there too. GOTW cover fun, friends, spirit. And ladies come out. How can we get people to watch EOST finals? I guess people dont care by that point in the day. I wish we could get someone to be a dedicated videographer for summer league and put together season highligh/lowlight reels

” If I lived closer and didn’t have a summer job that took me away for half the summer I would be much more involved. I think the league is ran well. A little pricey but I understand why it is. Got to balance the books somehow. My 1 year of league experience was amazing last year. I got lucky and was drafted on to Booty Time, a fun and very competitive team. I don’t think my experience would have been as good if I was on one of the other teams.

As fair as making the teams fair, I think the ranking systems needs to be changed to better correlate with skill level and a records kept to have a database for comparison. But to be honest what makes the biggest difference is when a team has a player that a liability on offense and defense. If you spread those players throughout the league if will really stop any one team from dominating. Also maybe nix the draft and just do a lottery draft and instead throw a pre-season party. Also turfs suck. You guys do great though with what you have.

“I love mst and est, and the Sweetwater Party. I would be loathe to lose it. I think foul calls are for poons, usually, and I love AFDC and frisbee, and even people that call fouls egregiously, or discuss discus with gusto. It takes all kinds.

” I’m all about competition really, like SNL is awesome, and I don’t play spring league b/c its not competitive enough…Last year w/o chain players in SL made SL less competitive imo…or rather the skill level was brought down as a whole. When I say competitive I don’t mean 14 rank 3 players vs 14 rank 3 players. I mean 14 rank 7+ players vs 14 rank 7+ players

Summer league teams are not evenly matched up. Some teams are really good and others (all draft teams) are REALLY bad. It needs to be more balanced so it can be fun. Losing every game sucks.

The open league should just be men, not “open”, so change the name to men’s. Make a women’s league to equalize this.

“the waitlist = 100% of why I did not play 2013. I strongly support limiting men to improve gender ratio. Still, the waitlist sucks for those on it. Thus the solution is obvious – more women. How do we get more women to play? I would gladly brainstorm with anyone. Perhaps heavily discounted dues for first timers (women only). More follow up from friends/teammates with newer women on the team. The buddy system sounds good – follow up after this year to see how well that worked and whether it can be improved. AFDC needs to get the word out to Atl women – brainstorm on how.

” There should be a discussion about the intersection outside GSP on Camp Creek Parkway. That intersection often gets severely backed up, slowing down traffic to the fields and through traffic.

Promote SOTG even more within AFDC! I don’t think all new AFDC players are introduced to the concept.

 

 

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