I wanted to take this letter to touch on a recent decision from the Board of Directors. As many of you probably know, we recently adopted the use of Rule A. For those who are unfamiliar with this rule, it is the standard used by Ultimate Canada since 2019 and other provinces and leagues have followed suit to promote gender equity. The wording below explains Rule A, from the WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017, Appendix v. 1.0:
"At the start of the game, after the first disc flip, an additional disc flip happens with the winner selecting the gender ratio for the first point. For the second and third points the ratio must be the reverse of the first point. For the fourth and fifth points the ratio must be same as the first point. This pattern of alternating the ratio every two points repeats until the end of the game (half time has no impact on the pattern)".
Practically speaking what does this mean?
Prior to now, the default play in mixed games has typically been 4 male and 3 female matching players for every point (roughly 57% play time to male and 43% to female matching players). Rule A means that you can now expect play time to be near equal no matter who you are. This is the norm at the competitive level, and has received positive feedback as it has been adopted in recreational play.
MODS is committed to gender equity, as outlined in our Gender Equity Policy. Rather than accept the view that recruitment of female matching players is a challenge that this rule change makes more difficult, we view the former rule as a barrier to recruitment that has now been removed. We recognize that change is not always easy to accept, however we trust that our membership will embrace the benefits of this policy and what it means for making our sport a more inclusive environment for all of our membership.
If you have questions about what this decision means for you and things that you can do to help promote gender equity on your mixed team, I encourage you to reach out to staff or the board. The following is a link to a Vancouver Ultimate League article from summer 2019 that shares some strategies on how to recruit and retain women for your team.
Daniel Plourde - MODS Board of Directors, President