TUC EQUITY INCLUSIVITY INITIATIVE
Why the Change?
TUC is striving to make our community a more welcoming environment for all players regardless of gender, gender identity, class, or race. The volunteers that help run our leagues are still learning, and still have more work to do - please reach out to any of us at any time to provide feedback, ideas, encouragement, or if you’d like to help us in any way.
Our Board of Directors recognizes the gender inequities in sport and is working towards making ultimate more equitable for players by increasing opportunities for women and non-binary players, encouraging participation in leadership, and creating an environment in which all voices are heard and valued.
Equity vs Equality
Equality is achieved when all people enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, and when the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of all people are equally valued and favoured.
Equity acknowledges the historic and current conditions that marginalize certain groups of people and attempts to amend these past and current injustices and biases. This is sometimes accomplished by allocating additional resources to these groups in order to provide them with opportunities for growth, with the ultimate goal of equality.
Equity and Inclusivity
Historically, the Open division was a men's division in which women were allowed to play, without any requirement for the other team to match that player’s gender on the field. TUC has chosen to redefine “Open” to mean "open opportunity for anyone to play".
In our mixed leagues, we have a minimum requirement of women players on a team’s roster. During play, only the number of women players that need to be matched by the opposing team need to be indicated (either 3 or 4) when lining up for the next point (using WFDF’s ‘Ratio Rule B’ in which the team lining up on a specific end zone determines the gender ratio for that point), and the remaining spots are open for any player to take. While increasing opportunities for women to play, this also accomplishes our goal of providing a safer, more inclusive space for players who are non-binary as it does not require them to choose a binary gender in order to have a spot on the field.
A Space for Players of All Genders
We no longer require players to specify a gender, binary or otherwise, in their player profile. For most players, these changes will be minimal or undetected, but for those that are affected, the change is invaluable in providing an inclusive space for those players to feel welcome and comfortable to be who they are without fear of having to justify or “out” themselves.
When players set up their profile, if they select any of the non-binary options for gender, they are then asked to select if they would prefer to fill a Woman’s roster spot or an Open roster spot, which functions only to ensure that our roster requirement of 6 women per team is met. This selection is hidden from the roster details except from teammates and captains (Note: players who are self-defined are also asked to provide an optional description but this information is for statistical purposes only). Players who select Man or Woman are automatically given a roster designation of Open and Woman, respectively.
Creating a Welcoming Environment
TUC’s goal is to help those that may feel uncomfortable feel slightly more at ease in our community. We recognize that players who have not experienced these feelings of inequity may find these improved equity and inclusivity targets difficult or uncomfortable at first, however the benefits to those groups who have been previously marginalized will make the efforts of our community worthwhile.
Change in Language (both on and off the field)
In order to make our community a more welcoming place to play for all players, we need to make an effort to make changes in every part of our game, and that includes the language that we use.
Terms or expressions that may not have much significance to people who have not faced marginalization can have a very real impact on those who have. Specific to our sport, some of these terms, and suggested alternatives, may include:
‘Match defense’ or ‘person defense’ instead of ‘man defense’
‘Match up’ or ‘Melt’, instead of ‘pick up a man’ (in transition from zone defense)
‘Team’, ‘Folks’, ‘Friends’, ‘Everyone’, ‘Peeps’, ‘Y’all’ instead of ‘Guys’, ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’, ‘You guys’, ‘Hey guys’