Friday, May 01, 2009

Is Ultimate a model for gender equality?

I have no idea but the recent NYT article on Ultimate (as in Ultimate Frisbee) suggests that there may be some connection to the rapid growth of women in the sport and the way the governing body equally promotes its men's and women's teams. Also the prevalence of co-ed teams and the belief that men and women can be equally good at throwing a Frisbee are a factor. Ultimate is becoming more and more ubiquitous but there seems to be some hesitation about whether it is really a sport. It does have a world championships. But even the NYT piece was in the Fashion and Style section under Fitness.
I have heard talk about Ultimate wants in on the Olympics, but I do not believe they have ever made a bid.
But the sport is all over college campuses. If Ultimate was smart it would head to the NCAA and push for it to be named an emerging sport. If it can get varsity status among intercollegiate sports, it would have a better shot at becoming an Olympic sport.
This is all assuming, of course, that Ultimate wants these things. It does have, as the article explains, a hippie-ish past. Perhaps they like their alternative status. Though I do know Ultimate players who would like their sport to become a little more mainstream.

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