Organise hat tournaments or pick-up leagues where people at all playing levels can participate

Hat Tournaments have various advantages in recruiting new players and retaining existing ones, especially during the off-season.Hat tournaments reserve a special place in the ultimate community. People register individually, so teams are not required to have a specific number of players, for example. You can meet many new people quickly, and as an organizer, you can create special rules to make the tournament more equitable (e.g. having a minimum number of women-matching players on each team).

The benefits of Hat tournaments are: 

  • Each team has a mixture of experienced players and beginners.

  • The registration process has to be straightforward for everyone (give known references for the skill level selection)

  • It is possible to bring friends and let them try the sport since there is space for every skill level.

  • It is a way to offer retired players or those practising just at the recreational level to stay in the sport.

  • Usually, just a few players know each other, so it is an excellent opportunity to get to know other people with similar interests.

  • Consider different formats for hat tournaments to reach other target groups.

The setup of a Mixed Hat Tournament also brings challenges and opportunities that you have to consider.

  • Players with big egos might monopolize the game, and that could lead to the exclusion of others. To reduce this situation, you can consider introducing some special rules.

  • Communicate guidelines for appropriate treatment and language within the tournament to the participants (during the player's meeting) and where/how to report issues. 

  • Clarify that the inclusion of all players is an essential value in the sport, and there are channels to give feedback.

  • Generally, create a space (in person or virtual) where players can express their feelings about random pick-up/leagues; here, they can give more detailed feedback about the collective atmosphere.

To empower women-matching athletes, consider having a tournament specifically for women-matching players, where more experienced players can bring beginners. It might be good to implement throwing sessions or short explanations between games for such events. Those contact points can create a great way to recruit new players and retain existing ones.

Referenced Case Studies

Anne has experimented with this practice mixed with Iznogood. To be tested as a women-only event

Follow the EUF:
Any feedback on this page?
With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.