Wednesday, December 12, 2007



I've been around the Ottawa scene for over five years now. When I first started, the number of quality indoor locations with legitimate space and field turf was limited. Sure, the cost of playing during the long Ottawa winters was steep, but people in ultimate and competing sports were more than willing to pay.

After a two year stint in London (where we had no indoor facilities and thus, we had no ultimate except for some rare games/tourneys in the snow), I've come back to Ottawa and found a different marketplace. Not only has the market of indoor turf stadiums grown to the point of over saturation, but there has been a serious wane in the demand/interest by competitive ultimate players. I myself am only playing one night of men's comp, and avoiding the coed leagues that everyone once clamored to be a part of.

Why the drop in interest for men's and women's comp players? Here are some of the possible reasons

-Despite the great field turf, you can get your a$$ hurt
-The times can be pretty terrible.
-The dome game is different, and instead of being viewed as a place to experiment, is now a place to learn bad habits.
-Summer injuries and training programs make playing indoor less attractive
-Despite having two fine coordinators for cooed indoor comp play, people are often not signing up because they don't think the level will be good/high enough.
-Serious disconnect between coed and women's/mens ultimate (Perhaps Ottawa specific)
-There are far too many players who don't want to play better ultimate, and don't want to listen to high level players... leading to frustration on both sides.
-Combining three types of players (open, women's, coed) can be an ineffective scenario if the right leaders are not in place.

I don't even think it's a money issue (Hearing well paid civil servants complain about indoor fees is always quite a laugh for me). However, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in future years, and if the different divisions of competitive continue to go their different ways.

Thus, the poll question is

Describe the State of Your city's Indoor/Winter High Level Leagues?
  • Growing
  • Peaking
  • Dwindling
  • Winter League What? (No League)

Have a couple of awesome interviews coming up.. looking forward to posting them!


higy said...

Well back here in London they laughed at me when we tried to get some times at the only indoor dome. We're now considering renting out a track around a hockey arena to get some dryland/throws in over the winter. Another option is gymspace but it costs equal to the fieldspace per hour (for less square meterage).

KW is experiencing great growth over the past few years. Just a couple of years ago there was a lonely rec league sunday nights (7on 7, close to full field) but timeslots were only 1 hour and the coordinators were unwilling to tweak rules (ie get rid of pulls and/or turn it into continuous play) making the games extremely short.

Now there are 4 separate indoor facilities renting to ultimate, 2 of them high quality field turf. One in cambridge is opening up by January for a new league (and us londoners are going to be making the drive every tuesday night).

Sport Management Steven said...


The work that you've done this year regarding winter ultimate for London has been commendable.

I still can't believe that London has a 30 K + school and a large field turf stadium, and no dome, let alone in the city area. Meanwhile, Ottawa has 10-15 options for indoor winter ultimate.

You have to give it up for people willing to travel 2 hours for league ultimate in winter, and for those who play in gyms.