WFDF Board of Directors approves final report and recommendations of Spirit of the Game Task Force

In Official Communication, Press Release * Official Communication by WFDF

Interim recommendations already adopted for implementation at WUCC, other proposals to be reviewed at Congress

WFDF is pleased to announce that the final report and recommendations of the Spirit of the Game (SOTG) Task Force have been approved by its Board of Directors and now are published for review by the Flying Disc community under this link to the final report and recommendations.

“We are extremely pleased to publish this final report of the SOTG Task Force, which received unanimous support by the Board of Directors.  It is the culmination of nearly nine months of work by all of the members of the task force in evaluating some difficult and, at times, contentious topics,” stated WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch.  “The task force was led by Rueben Berg who organized the discussions clearly and kept the group very focused over the entire period.  I am pleased with the result and believe that the revisions which are to be introduced in two phases have achieved our stated objectives.”

On 30 September 2013, WFDF had established the Task Force to consider its Position on the Spirit of the Game and on-field officiation issues for Ultimate. The Task Force was given two objectives: (1) reaffirm WFDF’s definition of Spirit of the Game and review, develop and strengthen existing programs in order to promote a clearer and more consistent understanding of how it should be applied; and (2) answer the question on how WFDF can ensure that Ultimate athletes play a fair game that is also viewable (interesting for spectators in person and on TV/internet to watch).  The preliminary results and proposed revisions for WUCC 2014 were released earlier this year.  All of the final recommendations required the approval of no fewer than 80% of the members to be approved, resulting in a broad consensus on how best to refine our on-field governance and ensure that “spirit of the game” is showcased in the best possible light during our most competitive events.

“The WFDF Ultimate Committee congratulates Rueben Berg for leading the SOTG Taskforce on this challenging subject which has resulted in these progressive recommendations,” commented WFDF Ultimate Committee chair Brian Gisel. “We are looking forward to implementing these changes which should prove to be positive steps towards improving the sport of Ultimate as it increases its presence on the World Stage.”

“People that know me know my strong view on maintaining Ultimate as a self-refereed sport” said Patrick van der Valk, the Chair of the WFDF Spirit of the Game Sub-Committee. “The taskforce was a solid piece of work by an experienced, cross-cultural taskforce that researched, discussed, and listened to many different points-of-view. In the end we agreed to a two-year pilot that keeps the responsibilities in the hands of the players while making the game more enjoyable to watch and allow organizers to have more recourse dealing with the occasional bad apple. I am convinced that this is the right way forward for a sport that is growing so quickly in popularity.”

“I believe the Task Force have come up with some really positive recommendations that will enable all aspects of Ultimate, and in particular the self officiation system, to be showcased to the world,” added Task Force chair Rueben Berg. “The main principle behind the introduction of Game Advisors is the assumption that no player will intentionally break the rules, and therefore the main role of the Game Advisor is to provide support, advice and encouragement, to ensure compliance with the rules.”
The final report and recommendations will be discussed with all member associations’ representatives during the 2014 Congress to be held in Lecco on 2 August on the occasion of the WFDF 2014 World Ultimate Club Championships.

Author: WFDF