March 6: Columbus Hat Tournament & Discussion

When we first released our dates for The Crosswind Tour, we didn’t have Columbus on the list. Deanna Ball reached out to me and from there, we made it happen to host the first ever full-field hat tournament for Upwind! Quick shout out to Sadie Jezierski for helping with all of the organization of the tournament which was super fun and had a massive turnout of 72 people! We did not expect that big of a crowd, which made for some play time issues, which is not a terrible problem to have when it comes to running a hat tournament. The interesting part was that men greatly outnumbered women at the hat tournament, and then when we went back to the classroom for the pizza and discussion, women greatly outnumbered the men (also, the men and women sat on different sides of the room – whether that was on purpose or subconscious would be an incredible study and theoretical journey to embark on but not today).

In the discussion, we talked about the current state of ultimate in Columbus, and how there are just limited numbers of elite players and small communities in the more isolated Midwest town. Players from the elite local teams, Rival and High Five, who are built from a combo of Ann Arbor & Columbus folks, expressed issues with the fact that they are already taxed trying to play competitively and so how can they do more? How can we create competitive opportunities for elite players to grow while also giving back to the development of the local community? We also looked at how to make ultimate more accessible to physically disabled communities and players from lower income backgrounds.

We organized the discussion in a delta, plus, and next steps format, looking first at our delta, what we wanted to change in the current equity situation in Columbus. Then we explored our pluses, how our different identities present strengths, and finally how we can use those strengths to create next steps moving forward and where we might be able to make the biggest difference.