When the four guys who would become the Commissioners of the Lincoln Ultimate Disc Association first got together, we discussed the potential of the sport of Ultimate in our local community. At the time, Lincoln was home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln collegiate Ultimate team: Cornfed, and a bunch of people who got together on occasion to play pick-up. Omaha was home to the Summer Omaha Ultimate League, where many Lincoln players went to play once per week form May to July, but otherwise, the community was rather fragmented. Those who played pick-up in Lincoln, true to the sport’s hippie roots, often played with bare feet and undefined endzones, yet displayed remarkable athleticism, and there was enough turnout and interest in something more that Scott, Seth, Tim, and Collin decided to plan Lincoln’s first league in the Fall of 2008.
LUDA was fortunate enough to gain a generous sponsor in the Nebraska Lottery, who, much like us, had an interest in fostering positive growth in the community. Since LUDA’s first Fall League, we have continued with a successful Spring League and an ongoing Summer League. The new people we see every season, along with the veterans whose game has blossomed, gives us encouragement to go even further. Of course, Ultimate is good for the community in terms of being a safe, friendly outlet for physical exercise, meeting new people, and encouraging good spirit and sportsmanship.
Since the beginning, LUDA has discussed ideas and goals for the future of Ultimate in Lincoln and the entire Nebraska community. Our continued vision for local Ultimate includes:
· Unity and cooperation between all members of the Nebraska Ultimate scene, including Lincoln and Omaha league players and organizers, college players (UNL, UNO, Creighton), club teams (Omaha’s Rigor Mortis and Lincoln’s Fire At The Circus), and any of the various other folks who play pick-up or enjoy tossing the disc. Cooperation between all these groups will increase everyone’s ability to recruit, draw sponsors, organize tournaments, and play at any level that anyone wants.
· Growth in the youth/high school ranks. We have spoken with many people who are in high school or have connections to high schools who would like to see Ultimate organized to a greater extent at the youth level. This will further increase the future talent and knowledge of the sport and will make for better leagues and better clubs. We are in current conversations with the UPA’s Regional Youth Director about jump-starting the youth Ultimate scene in Nebraska.
· Participation in the Cornhusker State Games. We are also in the application process for Ultimate to be considered in the 2010 Cornhusker State Games. This will give all Ultimate players in Nebraska a chance to showcase their game in a local tournament atmosphere and further thrust the sport toward the legitimacy and recognition that Ultimate is looking for!
· Outreach/charity opportunities. We are always looking to make a positive mark in the community. Several LUDA members participated in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record (see Seth’s earlier blog post), by which the proceeds went to a very good cause (awareness and prevention of child abuse). As we grow, we will continue to seek out other opportunities to contribute to the community, including donations to schools and hosting tournaments for charitable causes. LUDA hopes to team up with other local organizations (the Omaha Ultimate community, the Nebraska Lottery) to make these goals a reality.
We have a lot of ideas and a lot of work to do! If you have any other suggestions for how LUDA can contribute to the community and continue to grow the local Ultimate scene, please let us know. Even better, ask us how you can help further our goals. We are always looking for more active participants in the community, to include planning and working (not just playing)?
What is your vision for Ultimate?