A letter from the TCUL board of directors.
Over the last couple of years social media and blogs all over the internet have started talking about coed ultimate, and how it is often very poor at meeting the needs of women players. Often this is because male players are either hostile to women players, obnoxious, insulting, or just ignore the women on their team. Unfortunately, this is not completely foreign to TCUL; we’ve heard many accounts of women players who aren’t thrown to, aren’t treated well, or are treated with a simple lack of respect. We’ve heard many accounts of women players who no longer play TCUL, because of the way in which they have been treated while playing on a TCUL team.
This is an area where we can do better. No athlete should feel that their own team is working against them. The TCUL code of conduct now includes a section explaining that playing well with all players is expected behavior for all participants in TCUL coed leagues; failure to do so can be grounds for being excluded from coed leagues in future seasons. Hopefully, knowing this will cause players to check their behavior. We are also calling upon captains to help watch for problem behavior in players, and intervene early if there are problems. However, penalizing the worst behavior is not sufficient. We need TCUL to foster an inclusive atmosphere, and also to foster an environment where all athletes feel they can push their athletic boundaries, knowing that their teammates are there to help and encourage them. Captains should ensure that all voices are being heard, and that the needs of all players are being met. If players feel they aren’t being thrown to, or are being disrespected, they should ask their captains to work on improving the situation. If they feel this isn’t helping, they should talk to league coordinators for further assistance.
We are also looking for your feedback. If you have ideas for how to improve inclusive play within TCUL leagues, we want to know about them. This is an important project for TCUL. We need to get this right, partly because it helps us grow our leagues, but also because it’s the right thing to do.
For the full TCUL Code of Conduct visit here