Post Summer Reflection and Check In & Volunteer Call-out

Membership – Check the Numbers:
With our second full post-covid summer season over it is now time to look back and reflect on what was. While it’s true our overall membership numbers are still down from our 2019 levels, I think most people would be surprised to know we are only down by 15% (63 players) for our adult membership. If we include our Junior members, which happen to be increasing, we’re actually only down by 8%. 

  • 2019
    • Adult members – 411 (summer numbers)
    •  Junior members –  120
    • Total members – 531
  •  2023
    • Adult members – 347 (summer numbers)
    • Junior members – 140
    • Total members – 487

*New adult members are defined by brand new players and players who have had a long hiatus from the game (pre 2018).

We’re happy to report that our new* adult members to our Summer League totalled 79 players, 42 male-matching and 37 female-matching players. 

So while our membership levels are within reach, our fielded teams for Summer League are actually down by 45%. 

Fielded teams

  •  2019
    • Tuesday – 22 teams
    • Wednesday  – 36 players (equivalent of 2 teams)
    • Thursday – 20 teams
    • Overall total – 44 teams
  •  2023
    •  Tuesday – 10 teams
    • Wednesday – 6 teams
    • Thursday – 8 teams 
    • Overall total – 24 teams

Why is this? People’s priorities have definitely changed since 2019 and not as many people are playing multiple nights. The reasons are multi-faceted and at this time and one can only surmise what they may be. 

While our primary objective remains the growth of the league, we also recognize the importance of aligning our offerings with the preferences of our membership. Given the reduced number of teams on most nights, we face the challenge of promoting fairness without relying on our previous Ladder System. Should we consider introducing a Beginner League alongside a Competitive League? What options can we explore for players who wish to participate on two nights? How can we effectively cater to those seeking overall gameplay development versus those simply looking for a fun night with friends?

If these questions intrigue you and you wish to contribute to this dialogue, we invite you to join the Membership Committee. The committee has been dormant since March 2020 due to the pandemic, and it’s time to revitalize it and collectively shape the future of our league offerings. Please reach out to Jocelyne if you are interested.

Gender Parity
Of our 347 adult members, 189 or 54%, are male-matching and 158 or 46% are female-matching. While we might be able to attribute this to adoption of Ratio Rule A (4M:3F, 3M:4F) and our Gendered Pulling, it could also be a result that female-matching players are learning how much fun ultimate is. Either way, this near balance is cause for celebration.

Let’s not get too hasty with our celebrations though, as our Spring and Fall Parity leagues and their rosters do not reflect this near balance. We tend to get more male-matching players registering or wanting to register to play than female-matching players. 

Is this because female-matching players have other priorities for three-quarters of the year? Do they find comfort in playing with and amongst their friends in the summer and it is the culture they dislike? Whatever the reason, we are obviously not meeting the needs of female-matching players. 

Despite the fact we play in a co-ed sport, the PUL Board and Director of Ops have, over the years, heard many whisperings and some detailed accounts of female-matching players being sidelined, mistreated or simply shown a lack of respect. Sometimes these biases are blatant and other times they are so subtle it can almost seem undetectable. Regardless, this is an area where we can and must improve. No athlete should ever feel that their own team is working against them, or have opponents use tactics and behaviours that manipulate outcomes against them.

PUL is dedicated to nurturing an inclusive environment that empowers athletes to fully explore their athletic capabilities, confident that both teammates and opponents are committed to providing support and encouragement.

With this commitment in mind, PUL is in the process of establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to initiate discussions on how we can collectively strive to achieve this objective. If you wish to contribute to this conversation, please contact Jocelyne.

In 2024, we proudly commemorate the 20th Anniversary of PUL. Let’s unite our efforts to make the upcoming season the greatest one yet, celebrating this incredible sport that binds us together and ignites our passion.