Account Management

2014 U.S. Open Convention - Sessions


The 2014 U.S. Open Convention will present a fantastic slate of informative sessions presented by leaders in the sport.

Thursday, July 3 (Embassy Suites):

5:30-6:30pm - Convention Registration - Check in to receive attendee credentials, passes & goodie packet.

6:30pm - Keynote Presentation & Special Event - Four-time Olympian and four-time medalist Jenny Potter, along with U.S. World Games captain and gold medalist George Stubbs, will address attendees. They will discuss what it is like to try out for and make a United States national team as well as the process of training and building relationships with teammates. They will also describe their experiences in what it is like to represent the United States at the highest level of their respective sports and win on the world stage.Refreshments served.

Friday, July 4 (National Sports Center):

12:00-1:30pm - Convention Meet & Greet - Mingle and get to know organizers and ultimate representatives from around the country.

1:30-2:30pm - Where We Are Headed: Building a National Infrastructure for the Sport of Ultimate - Presented by Dr. Tom Crawford. In order to successfully grow and scale our sport, and attempt to catch the other team sports that are quickly surpassing us in growth, we will be launching a more aggressive strategy to build local delivery systems and partners for all of our programs.  Be part of this forward looking discussion about where USA Ultimate is going strategically and why it is important to be part of this growth plan.

2:40-3:40pm - Youth Club Ultimate: Roadmap for the FuturePresented by Erin Mirocha and Baker Pratt.  A six month task force interviewed ultimate, rugby, hockey, and soccer organizations and compiled the findings to determine best practices in youth sport. This report will also provide recommendations for the next steps in the sport of ultimate toward developing a national youth infrastructure.


3:45-4:35pm - Girls' Ultimate Movement: Sustainable Ideas that Stick - Presented by Zara Cadoux, Heather Ann Brauer, and Mike Lovinguth. Come see what the Girls' Ultimate Movement (GUM) is all about!  Learn more about how the National Task Force came to be, hear results from our survey asking former youth players how they would improve the division, and GUM moving forward. Most importantly, find out the top 5 action items for girls' ultimate developed by our task force working groups over the past six months.  These will be revealed along with USA Ultimate's plans to implement them and how you can get involved!  Don't miss your chance to be part of this exciting movement as we take a proactive stance on recruiting and retaining more girls in our sport.  Who knows, some of our ideas might stick to you!

4:45-5:45pm - Coaching National and International Champions - Presented by multiple-championship-winning coaches Matty Tsang and Alex "Dutchy" Ghesquiere.  Their experiences representing the country on the international stage have provided valuable insight into what makes for good coaching, why coaches are valuable, and how to develop successful teams and successful players at the national and international level. Includes Q&A session from participants.

Saturday, July 5 (National Sports Center):

9:30-10:30am - Event Manager and Observer Certification: Two New Programs for Local Affiliates - Facilitated by Will Deaver.  Learn about two new ways USA Ultimate can help you develop human resources to support the sport in your local community.  1) Events are an important part of the fabric of the ultimate community. But they are often organized with limited resources, personnel, and experience. USA Ultimate is developing a program to train event managers, so that local communities can rely on these experts to run top-notch events that meet important quality standards, provide high value, and exceed the expectations of participants.  2) From helping supervise youth play to teaching novice players the rules to helping officiate competitive showcase matches, Observers can serve as an invaluable resource for any local ultimate community. USA Ultimate is expanding its Observer Certification Program to offer league-based training for local disc associations, so that local communities can utilize these game management experts in a wide variety of local programs and events.

10:45-11:45am - Affiliate Organization Highlights - Faciliated by USA Ultimate Affiliate organization representatives from around the nation.  Find out what USA Ultimate's local Affiliate organizations are doing to promote growth of the sport at the local level. Share ideas & gain insight into how to improve programs in your area.

12:00-1:45pm - Social Time - Viewing of Mixed Semi #1 in stadium (from convention overlook)

1:45-2:45pm - Affiliate Highlights (continued) - Finish the convention off strong by connecting with the insights & ideas of other local organizers, so that we can all effectively promote ultimate's character, community, and competition.

Presenter Bios

Crawford,_Tom_LOW Dr. Tom Crawford

CEO, USA Ultimate
Baker Pratt - Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs, USA Ultimate

Baker manages and expands competitive playing opportunities for youth athletes in Ultimate. With experience as an educator and a co-founder of the Triangle Youth Ultimate League, he has had success in working with coaches, parents, athletes, and administrators to promote and develop the sport.

Erin_Mirocha Erin Mirocha - Member of Youth Club Task Force; Head Coach at Hopkins Ultimate

Erin has been playing ultimate since 2001 and coaching since 2009.  She has coached youth women's, mixed, and open, and is involved in the youth high school and summer leagues in Minnesota.

Zara_Cadoux_linkedin Zara Cadoux - MA Candidate, Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

Zara started playing Ultimate at Vassar College.  Since graduating, she has been an advocate for female players at the developmental levels of the sport and is passionate about increasing the number of women playing Ultimate.  In addition to co-chairing GUM, Zara has partnered with USA Ultimate for the past three years to bring Ultimate to low-income elementary schools in 5 cities through the Playworks program, and currently serves as the Regional Director for the Atlantic Coast Women's Division.  Locally in Baltimore Zara spearheaded a women's development program, Backhanded Ultimate, which has seen tremendous growth in the last three years in both numbers and level of competition, expanding to two teams and capturing more competitive players.  She coached UMBC Shazam, a women's developmental college team, for two years.  This summer, she is commissioning the first year of women's league in Baltimore.

Heather_Ann Heather Ann Brauer - Co-Chair Girls' Ultimate Movement, USA Ultimate Regional Youth Director - West

Heather Ann started playing ultimate as a graduate student at the University of Washington in 2004, finishing 2nd (2005) and 3rd (2008) at College Nationals.  She has qualified for Club Nationals with the mixed team D'Oh (WA, 2008) and Phoenix (NC, 2012, 2013).  Heather Ann has coached elementary through college ultimate on both coasts, this will be her 7th year coaching a YCC team.  She has served as the Atlantic Coast College Women's Regional Coordinator, as vice president for the Triangle Youth Ultimate League, and as the Regional Youth Director for the South.  She has led development of a Learn to Play elementary clinic series in the Triangle and is one of the co-chairs for the Girls' Ultimate movement with Zara Cadoux and Mike Lovinguth.  Most recently, Heather Ann moved back to Seattle where she is playing with Underground this club season, coaching the DiscNW U16 Girls' YCC team, and serving as the Regional Youth Director for the West.  

MikeLovinguth_headshot Mike Lovinguth
Manager of Education and Youth Programs, USA Ultimate
Matty Tsang
Coach San Francisco Fury, Assistant Coach World Games 2013 Team USA
Alex "Dutchy" Guesquiere
Coach Washington DC Scandal, Head Coach World Games 2013 Team USA
WillDeaver_headshot Will Deaver
Managing Director of Competition & Athlete Programs, USA Ultimate

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