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 organiser, 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, and it must give known references to the players to help them define their own skill level
  • 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.
  • it is an excellent opportunity to get to know other people with similar interests as usually just a few players know each other before the event
    • Consider different formats for hat tournaments to reach other target groups.

Consider some challenges and opportunities of Hat tournament:

  • Players with big egos might monopolise 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 language and 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.
  • Consider having a tournament specifically for women-matching players, where more experienced players can bring beginners to empower more women-matching athletes.
  • Consider organising throwing sessions or short explanations between games. Those contact points can create a great way to recruit new players and retain existing ones.

Relevant Links

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