Halifax Ultimate (HU) strives to make all activities as inclusive and equitable as possible. HU is also committed to working with Disc Nova Scotia to promote inclusivity province-wide. HU maintains that this is a living document, and that welcomes all feedback and proposed revisions from all stakeholders.
Several factors influence the inclusivity and equity in Ultimate.
First, as in many sports, ultimate frisbee was defined in a binary manner that aligns most easily for cisgendered individuals, be it gendered leagues and competitions or binary divisions within ‘mixed’ play. This binary division hinders inclusivity of all genders to the sport.
Second, early 7v7 mixed play had an imbalance in the number of players from the binary player groupings, leading to a majority group (4 male / open players) and a minority group (3 female players) on the field. The imbalance could then result in more play time, and therefore more development, for the majority group and/or a larger number of players engaged in the sport from the majority player group. It has been recognized in recent years that the framework of the traditional 7v7 mixed game led to an inequity between binary groupings.
Third, Halifax Ultimate has adopted WFDF Rules of Ultimate which aims to remedy the inequity of 7v7. Additionally, it aims to run leagues and events that are more equitable, e.g., 6v6 or 4v4.
Halifax Ultimate recognizes that inclusion and equity are broad topics, and as a starting point wishes to address the areas involving gender.
The principles of the Halifax Ultimate inclusion policy are access, participation, respect, and support.
These principles are defined as:
- ACCESS – Players of all skill levels can find us, learn about us, identify with a place in the sport, and join in the sport.
- PARTICIPATION –Players can develop relationships with the community and have sense of belonging with meaningful participation.
- RESPECT – Player can expect to play in a respectful environment free of discrimination, and harassment.
- SUPPORT – Players are made to feel safe by the organization & community, the guiding principles & organizational policies – including encouraging their voice being heard.
For these principles, inclusion is the removal of barriers and the fostering a community for all players to be a part of.
In harmony with spirit of the game, we believe that every player bears a responsibility in establishing and maintaining these principles.
Halifax Ultimate defines inclusion as the removal of barriers which exclude certain members and/ or groups from meaningful participation in the sport and the fostering of an environment where all players feel welcome and safe.
HU is committed to handling all complaints relating to inclusion and equity swiftly and confidentially, to the extent possible considering the need to take appropriate corrective measures.
Halifax Ultimate will offer all players opportunities to improve their skills, knowledge, and leadership prospects, while receiving meaningful playing time.
HU will, as conditions allow:
- Encourage all players to participate in its leagues and events by sharing all details on its website and social media sites, at least 72 hours before registration starts;
- Encourage opportunities for all players to play in offerings that match their skill level while offering chances for skill continued development;
- Encouraging respect and a safe environment free of harassment or discrimination for all players; and
- For leagues without designated uniforms to mitigate the need to change on the field by automatically assigning the ‘home’ team to a white (light) jersey colour.
Female Identifying Players
We intend to offer opportunities for female identifying players to improve their skills, knowledge, and leadership prospects, while receiving meaningful playing time.
Halifax Ultimate’s will, as conditions allow:
- Require all mixed division activities to have both a male and a female identifying captain;
- Favour rule selection and league formats for mixed division to provide equal field time for open and women identifying players, accounting for sufficient registrations in each player group;
- Invest equivalent time, energy, and offering in separate open and female identifying divisions, again accounting for sufficient registrations in each player group; and
- Encourage participation on the Board and Halifax Ultimate committees, when interest permits, by a minimum for two board seats.
Non-Binary and 2SLGBTQIA+
Disclosure of 2SLGBQTIA+ status is not a requirement of participation in Halifax Ultimate activities and does not need to be identified to register or participate.
Halifax Ultimate shares and adopts Ultimate Canada’s definitions for Gender Identity and Gender Matching in its operations:
- Gender Identity is a person’s internal and psychological sense of oneself as a man, woman, in between, both or neither. We no longer use Gender Identity for matching against opponents during games.
- Gender Matching is our way of balancing respect for various gender identities with the practical requirements of mixed and women’s ultimate games. Players are asked to select who they are most comfortable matching on the field between men or women. This selection is used for game play, whereas Gender Identity is kept private and confidential. A participant’s Gender Match is based on a combination of:
- the participant’s sense of where they are comfortable playing,
- the participant’s sense of where they are most fairly-matched, and
- the participant’s gender identity.
Note: The selection of one’s Gender Match should not be based on factors like desire for more (or less) competitive play.
Sources: Ultimate Canada