Thursday, November 27, 2008


I'll be honest, while I have much to be thankful for, Thanksgiving has never been that exciting of a holiday for me personally. In high school it meant yet another trip with the family (who, at that time I saw every day...) and in college it meant 16 hour days in the computer lab while other people enjoyed their break.

Due to this travel and academic pummeling, one thing was lacking that every thanksgiving break should include - tradition. I'm happy to say times have changed and Thanksgiving is the happy marriage of cold weather sports and stuffing your face that it should be again. This morning I was invited to play in a Turkey bowl tackle football game with my roommate and his friends. Let me tell you, Michael Quinn can deliver a hit, (Kevin Walko's got moves as well). This week will play host to my 6th annual bonfire, and driving home to my parents house today I saw no less than 3 football games happening at various fields in the city. While Pittsburgh is a drinking town with a football problem, it's also becoming a hub for Youth Ultimate. What's more exciting about this holiday is the number of PHUL Alumni Ultimate games that other people will be driving by this holiday, perhaps doing a double take when they expect a pigskin and see a disc instead. I was able to catch the tail end of Hampton's yesterday, and I know more will be happening. In case you're curious:

Wednesday 3pm (Hampton softball fields) Hampton Alumni game
Friday 11am (Lower Frick) General CPU Thanksgiving pick-up
Friday 1pm (?) Mars Alumni game
Saturday 1pm (Pine Park): Pine-Richland Alumni game
Saturday 2pm (Pie Traynor): North Allegheny Alumni game

I hope your team has some type of get together this weekend with old friends and new faces, if not, maybe it's a tradition worth starting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, obviously the posting has not kept up with my intended Monday/Thursday routine. I'm going to drop back to a post every Monday, with random posts scattered between.

In other PHUL news:
  • The PHUL Leadership Council had its second meeting of the year on 11/25/08. The council is currently made up of: Liz Clark, Dave Berg, Ryan Snowden, Gretchen Dausch, Jesse Sidhu, Collin Mackett, Jodi Lincoln and David Clemens-Sewall
  • PHUL Winter League has filled up to 10 of 12 teams. We're hoping to find 2 more new or combo teams before the first games this Friday
  • An application for PHUL JV Commissioner will be posted soon
  • Pittsburgh will be hosting a UPA Level 1 Coaching Clinic sometime between January and March. Details will be posted as soon as a date is finalized.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Growth and carrots

So I've got this idea....

I've got this idea that really excites me about getting PHUL more teams, but it's more than that. It goes like this:

  1. Make a list of all the schools in WPIAL.
  2. Put a bounty (to be paid by PHUL) on all teams that don't yet exist (a team is defined as 10 players registered for PHUL Spring 2009 by the end of online registration)
  3. Allow the community to add to the bounty of any team by making a donation. (alumni, schools nearby that want a rival, etc).
  4. Reward the person who finds and helps start the new team with the bounty (a cash prize on the order of $100/team).
The rules:
  1. A team can not claim the bounty on itself.
  2. Bounties only exist for teams that have not existed in the PHUL spring season since 2004.
  3. You must be able to explain why you are the one who "closed" the team (convinced them to be 100% in the league in 2009).
  4. Prize money (bounty) may be split, but only with the mutual agreement of the winners, otherwise the league will determine who the sole winner is.
So how would this work?

Example 1: Fox Chapel, which has never had a middle school team before, forms a middle school team with the help of current Fox Chapel player Jesse Sidhu, Jesse could then claim the bounty ($200 for example), for starting the middle school team.

Example 2: Shaler High School has never had a team in PHUL before. Jack Ross from North Hills High School calls a friend at Shaler and convinces him to start a team. Jack is rewarded with $50 cash (for example) from the league.

Example 3: Darren Shultz, who graduated from North Allegheny would like to see his alma mater form a girls team for 2009. At the NAUF alumni game (November 29th, 2008 for those keeping score at home), Darren asks all the Alumni for $20 towards this cause. PHUL's bounty was $100, it is now $300. Suddenly NA's guys team is working hard to help create a girls team and collect the $300.


The list is already made: and we've turned this in to a google document which you can view here:

There are 138 schools, with a guys and girls team (assume none of these are single gender schools, but hey... rough numbers) both averaging 14 players a team that's: 3,864 players in PHUL. I like that, a lot. It may not happen overnight, but seeing all the potential for teams in PHUL is exciting.

What else is exciting besides dangling the carrot of cold hard cash in front of potential volunteers?

  1. More teams = more good.
  2. The League can communicate its priorities to all of the community due to the size of any given bounty.
  3. This giant spreadsheet gives us something that can be worked on by any "walk in volunteer" who only has 15 minutes by allowing them to research the information needed to fill in a few cells in the sheet.
  4. This database of teams can be used to create lists of Athletic Directors, survey information about how many schools play Ultimate in their gym class, offer gym demos, etc.
  5. Allows anyone to increase the chance that a specific team will be formed (donating money to a team's bounty).
We hope to officially enact this policy/reward system for PHUL 2009. If you have any feedback before it gets started please share. The biggest concern would be any animosity being created by the cash prizes. We hope we can find a way to avoid this, both by the character of our community members and by coming up with a stronger system of what it means to "be the person who helped start the team".

Thursday, November 13, 2008

League Update: Minnesota

League Update - Minnesota:

Thought I would share a little of what other Youth Leagues of our size and scope are up to these days.

Summary: Minnesota is creating a Youth Summer League and hiring a Director for $1,000. The league will be used as a feeder program for the UPA YCCs (Youth Club Championships).


Minnesota High School Ultimate League Summer League Director
The Minnesota High School Ultimate League is searching for a person to run a newly-formed Youth Summer League in 2009. This will be the first year of the league and there will be many exciting challenges getting it off the ground. Minnesota High School Ultimate League is offering $1000 for the position for the season plus bonuses based on number of participants. This Summer League will be the feeder program for the Youth Club Ultimate Championship (YCC) teams representing Minnesota in August.

Position Responsibilities:

* Recruit players under the age of 19 for the youth summer league

* Obtain fields on which to play and practice

* Recruit and hire coaches for each team

* Oversee YCC Team Coordination

* Coordinate and Schedule games during the summer league

Requirements and Skills:

* UPA Level I or II Coach

* Five years in the ultimate community

* Previous youth sports coaching or involvement

* Strong written and verbal communication skills

To apply, mail your resume by November 23rd to Jeff Hagen at The MNHSUL Board will announce its decision on January 2nd, 2009.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Updates: Lead Fundraiser, Playing opportunities

+ PHUL Scholarship lead fundraiser: Congratulations to Melissa Foxworth for being named the PHUL Scholarship lead fundraiser. Melissa has worked the last year as the Director of Outreach and Development for PHUL.

Opportunities to play this winter:

+ 11/15/08 - PCL (PHUL Club League) Tournament: Ben Banyas is organizing the final event for PCL this Saturday Nov 15th. An outdoor tournament in Fox Chapel, $10 a player, free to PCL players, details here. Email to register.

+ Nov 22nd...ish on - PHUL Winter League: There has been interest expressed for an indoor PHUL Winter League. It is possible that we may find the space to do this at PISA or Neville Island. The season would be roughly Nov 22nd to the end of December. We could probably only fit 4-6 teams. If you are interested please e-mail More details to be posted on the bboards or e-mailed to captains in the next 48 hours. PHUL has held one winter league in 2002, this league was organized and run by then Mt. Lebanon player David Vatz.

+ 12/20/08 (tentatively) SAYWHUT (The Snow-And-You Winter Hat Ultimate Tournament): This one-day outdoor winter tournament was created by Christie Lawry in 2005 and ran again in 2007 by Liz Clark on Dec 29th of the respective years. Both girls where members of the PHUL Board, and used the event as the 2nd largest fundraiser for the PHUL Scholarship outside of the PHUL Benefit dinner. This year, with the transition of the PHUL Board into a new PHUL Leadership Council (soon to be announced) we are looking for someone to run the event. The Council will be an obvious place to draw from, but if you are interested please drop a line.

+ 1/2/09 FNOF (First Night Of Flight) Tournament: No major update just listing it in the timeline. PHUL can still save you $5.

+ 1/10/09 CPU Winter League: No major update just listing it in the timeline. Not a PHUL event, open to (roughly) all ages.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Updates: Weekly Posts, Nationals, Office, Scholarship, FNoF


+ Weekly Posts: Starting next week the PHUL Blog will have a new post every Monday and Thursday. Other updates may appear between, but you'll be guaranteed two posts a week at those times.

+ Nationals: Congratulations to former PHUL player and current PHUL admin Christie Lawry for her 13th place finish at the UPA Club Championships in the womens division last weekend with Loose Cannon.

+ CPU Office Designer: Congratulations to Acadia Klain for being named the Lead CPU Office Designer. Acadia is an architect from Carnegie Mellon University who is also the captain of the Pittsburgh womens team, Pounce.

+ Scholarship: The PHUL Scholarship, which has raised $52,676.83 since it was officially opened at the Pittsburgh Foundation on 7/14/2006 is now searching for a lead fundraiser. Apply here. This is a paid (stipend) position.

+ First Night of Flight: Since you've read this far we might as well let you in on a little deal. PHUL has worked out a deal with First Night of Flight Event Director Mike Yanchak to save you all $5 per person or $25 per team for the next 3 weeks. E-mail for the full details and the link to get you your savings.