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Photo Gallery: High Tide 2020 Week 1 Recap

Photo Gallery: High Tide 2020 Week 1 Recap

We're so stoked to be back in Myrtle Beach for week 2 of High Tide! Week 1 was such a blast. We brought in Dani from Aria Discs to help out and show off this year's Aria custom High Tide discs. We built and stocked our Savage High Tide Store with tons of great merch, played Spikeball, had cookouts on the beach, threw our first VIIIP Pizza Party, cheered on all our teams, celebrated our new merger, and, of course, played plenty of Ultimate.

The Savage staff crushed it on the field during the weekly Hat Tournament and the entire crew – including Savage/XII CEO Todd! – teamed up with Cedarville and the High Tide Staff for one truly epic and very rainy game on Wednesday. Scroll down to check out more photo highlights from the first week of High Tide 2020!

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Hat Tournament

 High Tide 2020 Week 1 Hat Tournament

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Hat Tournament

High Tide 2020 Week 1 Hat Tournament

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Ed Pulkinen Todd Curran Savage XII Brands CEO

Savage Founder and CEO Todd Curran with High Tide Founder and Tournament Director Ed Pulkinen

High Tide 2020 Savage Team Spikeball Roundnet

 Savage and High Tide Staffers play some Spikeball by the tent

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament University of Mary Washington VA

 Former Mary Washington Ultimate Coach and current Savage Sales Coordinator, Keys, played some points with the Mary Wash crew who— despite not wearing their Savage gear — were still some of the best-dressed on the field this week

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Rain Game

 Savage Events & Web Store Manager, Austyn, bringing the heat despite the freezing rain

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Rain Game

 The rainy Savage/High Tide/Cedarville vs. Valparaiso game on Wednesday 

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Todd Curran Savage

Don't let the jeans fool you. Savage CEO Todd showed he's still got it when he played a few points during the rainy staff game on Wednesday.

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Ed Pulkinen

 High Tide Founder & TD, Ed Pulkinen, took a break from directing and helped lead the rest of the staff/Cedarville team to victory

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Rain Game

 Playing in the rain on Wednesday

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Week 1 Finals Championship Game Kenyon Grand Valley Loyola

 We cheered on Grand Valley & Loyola's Flying Pagodas – two Savage teams – during Week 1's championship game. 

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Week 1 Final Game Championship Loyola Flying Pagodas Kenyon Grand Valley

 The very wet and very intense Week 1 Championship game on Thursday

High Tide 2020 College Ultimate Frisbee Week 1 Final Game Champions Winners Kenyon Grand Valley

The High Tide Week 1 Champions! Grand Valley & Kenyon

All photos by Lauren DeLuca for Savage

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5 Things You Should Know About High Tide 2020

5 Things You Should Know About High Tide 2020

The Savage crew has taken up its annual residence in North Myrtle Beach for the High Tide Ultimate Tournament 2020, and as usual we’re pinching ourselves for being lucky enough to partner with such an incredible event. This hugely popular Spring Break tournament, now in its 24th year, brings together college teams from all over the country, and Savage is proud to be the event’s official apparel partner. We love seeing all of your smiling faces, sharing our gear, and enjoying time in the sun and sand at the end of every day. 

So what’s new for High Tide in 2020? Here are five things we’re excited about:

  1. The High Tide 2020 “Poolside” Theme — The Savage design team put in some long hours creating a brand-new High Tide collection, and we have to say it’s one of our favorites yet. The theme is “Poolside,” and you’ll find everything from Miami Vice-style pastel full-subs to Hamptons/Gatsby-inspired shorts. Really, there’s something for everyone. Keep an eye on the Savage social media accounts for details about when High Tide gear will be available in our online store.

  2. Spreading the GreenLine Gospel — This is a great opportunity for everyone to get up close and personal to our GreenLine, which, if you haven’t heard, is our new fabric made from 100% recycled bottles. All of the fully sublimated merch in our High Tide shop is made from the GreenLine fabric, so check it out and be prepared to be converted. We hope you love it as much as we do, and that you’ll consider going Green for your next team order.

  3. Bringing ARIA into the Fold — We’re working with ARIA Discs to create the official High Tide discs for the first time ever. This is huge not only because ARIA discs were specially formulated for Ultimate players — and we want everyone to give them a try — but also because ARIA is now Savage’s official partner as part of XII Brands. XII Brands is the new parent company of Savage, ARIA, and Five Ultimate. You’ll be seeing a lot more collaboration between these brands in the future as we work together to strengthen the Ultimate community and beyond. Keep an eye out for ARIA and Five Ultimate reps in the Savage tent throughout High Tide. We’ll also have some special promotions and giveaways going with ARIA, so be sure to follow them on social media for updates. 

  4. VIIP Pizza Party — We always love seeing Savage teams sporting their gear IRL, and once again this year we’re inviting all Savage teams to a special VIIP Party in a tent beside the High Tide shop on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. We’ll have pizza and drinks for our Savage teams, and we hope you’ll take a moment to chat with Todd and the Savage crew about your experience working with us and how we can partner in the future. Not a Savage team? We’ll be ready to sign new teams with some special High Tide team deals, and you’ll get some free pizza in the bargain. Win, win.

  5. More High Tide Shenanigans to Come — We’ve got plans for lots of fun promotions over the next few weeks, including a golden egg hunt, disc-throwing competitions, swag bags, and a pretty major raffle that involves a free set of team fully sublimated jerseys. Follow Savage’s Instagram account for all the latest updates on High Tide-related promos.
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XII Brands is ultimately about building community

XII Brands is ultimately about building community

If you’ve ever played Ultimate Frisbee, you know that community is a huge part of the sport. It’s what pushed me to pick up a disc for the first time in high school and to play passionately through college and on into adulthood. 


It may surprise you to learn that that spirit of the game doesn’t just exist between players and teams — it’s also present between many of the companies that have made it their mission to serve the Ultimate community. Over the years, I’ve made connections with the owners of companies that are Savage’s direct competitors. We greet each other warmly at tournaments; we have each other’s numbers in our phones. Their company’s gain sometimes means Savage’s loss — and vice versa — but we recognize that it’s all for the greater good of our beloved sport.


This is why the idea of bringing together two of Ultimate’s biggest brands — and biggest competitors — seemed like the most natural move in the world. I’m thrilled to officially announce that Savage Apparel Co. and Five Ultimate, along with ARIA Discs, are now joined under the umbrella of XII Brands.


I’ve been a fan of Five since before Savage even existed — they’re one of Ultimate’s o.g. brands. I’ve worn their gear and admired their company culture. I’ve also gotten to know the five siblings that founded the company — Zahlen, Xtehn, Vehro, Rohre, and Qxhna. So when I reached out to them with an idea that would bring our businesses together, the conversation was open and productive from day one.


Let me assure you: Savage will always be Savage. Five will always be Five. And ARIA will always be ARIA. All of the current owners of Savage, Five, and ARIA remain key stakeholders in XII Brands. The key difference is, we are now working together as a team. We’re sharing resources, sharing ideas, and growing together for the betterment of our community.


I and the rest of the Savage crew will continue working out of our headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, serving the Ultimate community along with the other sports we’ve added to our roster in recent years, from disc golf and dodgeball to Spikeball, soccer, quidditch, and baseball. We will continue being a full-service company, designing and creating all of our products in-house, with a growing emphasis on our GreenLine of fabric made from 100% recycled bottles. I, along with Dan Lee and my brother Dan Curran, are the co-owners of Savage as well as co-owners of XII Brands.


Five is still based in Seattle, with the same sales/marketing team and designers you know and love. Their focus is and will always be Ultimate Frisbee. The Five siblings are still actively involved as well — and notably, they’re all part owners of XII Brands. We are all invested in the success of this venture.


The biggest change for Five is our goal to produce all U.S. orders domestically and with recycled fabric — at the XII headquarters in Richmond, Virginia — as opposed to overseas. This means a drastically reduced carbon footprint for all domestic orders. Five and Savage are both working with partners in Canada, France, and the Philippines to produce international orders, which will further reduce our collective carbon footprint. 


And let’s not forget ARIA, which brings a disc company under the XII fold. Created by Five’s founders in 2015, ARIA specializes in discs specifically formulated for playing Ultimate. ARIA operations will now be shared between Seattle and Richmond. With our newly expanded resources, we can proudly say that our goal is to take over the Ultimate disc market. If you haven’t been converted, you’ll be hearing from us soon.


The creation of XII Brands has been quietly in the works for over a year, and I’ll admit that it feels cathartic to finally share it with you. I’m sure you’ll have questions (check out the FAQs at XIIBrands.com for starters), and we’ll all work together to answer those in the coming weeks. But for now, I hope you’ll share in my excitement for this new partnership that I feel confident will bring good things for the communities we’ve made it our mission to serve. We can’t wait to show you what’s in store for the future.


Your Ultimate partner, 


Todd Curran, CEO of XII Brands

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4 Reasons Why 2020 is Going to be the Best AUDL Season Yet

4 Reasons Why 2020 is Going to be the Best AUDL Season Yet

The first pull of the 2020 American Ultimate Disc League season is fast approaching, and we honestly can’t wait for April 4 to get here. Some major developments took place during the off-season, so we put together a quick breakdown of all the important news you might have missed out on while hibernating and/or frolicking in the snow. Be sure to check out our AUDL Partner Store, and keep reading to find out what’s new, what’s changed, and why 2020 is gearing up to be the best year ever for the AUDL. 

Savage Ultimate AUDL GreenLine Jerseys Official Apparel Store

The AUDL is Getting New Uniforms and Going Green With Savage

In a groundbreaking partnership, Savage signed a three-year deal to become the official on-field apparel company of the AUDL, as well as the official apparel merchandise partner for the 2020-2022 seasons. 

What’s so great about that? For the first time in history, every team and every player in the AUDL will step onto the field wearing eco-friendly uniforms made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Using Savage’s proprietary GreenLine fabric is just another big step in the AUDL’s commitment to being eco-conscious and reducing their carbon footprint. Other recent environmental efforts include the 50K Tree Planting Challenge, where the AUDL partnered with ForestPlanet to plant 20 trees for every fan through the gate during Championship Weekend, totaling 50,000 new trees planted. 

We’re thrilled to be working together toward reducing the environmental impact of Ultimate and bringing our new GreenLine fabric to the players and fans. The fabric is lightweight, sweat-wicking, antimicrobial, comfortable, and sublimation-friendly — plus it’s rated UPF 50+, the highest level of UV protection you can get from clothing. 

Switching over to GreenLine fabric is just part of why we’re so hyped about the uniforms this season. A whopping 14 teams will be debuting new and updated jersey designs this April. Montreal Royal, Austin Sol, NY Empire, Philadelphia Phoenix, Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, DC Breeze, San Jose Spiders, Atlanta Hustle, Minnesota Windchill, Dallas Roughnecks, Tampa Bay Cannons, San Diego Growlers, Indianapolis AlleyCats, and Boston Glory will all be taking the field in brand-new jerseys, with the rest of the teams following suit in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. 

Savage’s design staff spent a great many hours working with these teams on the designs for their new kits, and we can’t wait to see them in action. Fans can purchase authentic replica team jerseys now on sale in our brand-new Savage AUDL Partner Store. Order by March 12 to have your gear on game day.

Be sure to follow Savage on Facebook and Instagram, because we’ll have even more AUDL products rolling out throughout the season in the Savage AUDL Partner Store.

AUDL Boston Glory Official GreenLine Team Jersey On Sale Powered By Savage

 

Boston Glory Joins the AUDL

This year marks the first major expansion of the league since 2016, with the recent addition of Boston Glory, who will be joining the newly reconfigured East Division alongside the Montreal Royal, New York Empire, Ottawa Outlaws, and Toronto Rush. Boston is a city known for its passionate fans, top-tier athletes, and heated rivalries with NY teams, and we’re certain Glory will be no exception. 

The city has long been home to one of the best Ultimate communities in the world, and the Glory roster certainly includes some of Boston’s best, with plenty of handpicked locals who earned their spots through rigorous tryouts in the middle of a blizzard. Glory also scooped up some talented out-of-town players with early announcements last month that they had secured commitments from Tannor Johnson, Tyler Chan, and Henry Babcock.

While the bulk of the team is comprised of players making their first appearance in pro Ultimate, the Glory roster also includes four seasoned AUDL players: Maxwell Rick, Rusty Ingold-Smith, Davis Whitehead, and Brendan McCann, who played an incredibly impressive 2019 season with Minnesota Wind Chill, scoring the second-most points per game and showing off his effective D-line handling.

It’ll be interesting to see how all this amazing talent comes together and how the team matches up with the rest of the division, especially NY Empire. Boston-New York rivalries have long been notorious in the sports world, so we’re sure to see some major heat, intense gameplay, and certainly some smacktalk go down this season. On May 2, Empire and Glory will face off for the first time in history and we’ve already got our popcorn ready. Keep an eye on the Savage Blog for more on Boston Glory and why we’re so stoked to watch them play their first season.

AUDL 2020 Division Realignment: East West Midwest and New Atlantic Division

 

We’ll See A New Division Structure and Welcome the New Atlantic Division

Not only are we welcoming a new team this season, but we’re also welcoming the new Atlantic Division. With Boston joining the league, there’s been some major reshuffling of division alignment and an entire new Atlantic Division has been formed. The South has been dissolved and Austin and Dallas have been shipped out West. The Dallas Roughnecks have made it to Championship Weekend every season since the team first joined the league in 2016, so they’re definitely a force to be reckoned with, and we’re curious to see if they can continue this streak and claim their spot as the best of the West. 

Raleigh, Atlanta, and Tampa have moved over to the new Atlantic, where they will be joined by Pittsburgh from the Midwest, DC and Philadelphia from the East, and Tampa from the South. These new divisions should make for some memorable games this season.

AUDL Ultimate Frisbee Game of the Week Broadcast AUDL.tv Fox Sports 2 FS2 Roku

 

AUDL Signs Fox Sports 2 Deal

The AUDL recently announced that they’ve partnered up with Fox Sports 2 (FS2) for the next two years. This means that Fox will broadcast every AUDL Game of the Week throughout the 2020 and 2021 seasons — and that more people will be able to watch AUDL games than ever before. 

In 2018 and 2019, the AUDL’s Game of the Week partner was Stadium, and this new deal certainly is a major step up. FS2 reaches around 57 million homes each month compared to Stadium reaching around 25 million homes. Teaming up with a major sports network with a massive online following is a huge win, and hopefully, this expanded exposure will lead to an increase in people getting excited about and involved with this sport that we love so much. 

The AUDL Game of the Week program will air on Wednesday nights on FS2 throughout the 2020 season. The Game of the Week will also be streamed live on audl.tv and on the brand new AUDL Roku app that’s also slated to launch before the season starts. 

A new team, a new division, a new major broadcasting deal, and new eco-friendly uniforms featuring our exclusive eco-friendly GreenLine fabric are all huge changes for the 2020 AUDL season, and we couldn’t be more stoked for April 4. Stay tuned to the Savage Blog throughout the season for more AUDL coverage including interviews with Beau Kittredge, Khalif El-Salaam, Goose Helton, and more. 

Visit the AUDL Partner Store and get those orders in by March 12 to have your gear in time for game day!




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These are the 12 most common questions the Savage sales team hears from you

These are the 12 most common questions the Savage sales team hears from you

When you’ve been in the custom team apparel game as long as we have, you start to get the same customer questions over and over… and over again. And we don’t mind answering them! Ordering custom jerseys for yourself or your team can feel like a big undertaking, and it’s bound to come with some uncertainty. But to keep things simple, and to give our sales reps a handy little landing page for directing ordering-related FAQs, we’ve put together this post with answers to their most common queries. (Be sure to check out our main FAQ page for even more answers.) We hope it’s helpful.

1. How long will it take to get my gear?

Well, that depends on what you’ve ordered. Here’s the basic breakdown.

  • Regular online store items should ship out from our fulfillment center within 7-10 days. This includes Mystery Gear.
  • Team Marketplace items will take longer to ship out according to the details provided in each item’s description. You can find this listed right at the top of every Team Marketplace page, along with the ordering deadlines.
  • Other items that are produced on demand will also list a delivery timeline within the product description. 
  • Custom orders take 4-6 weeks — and that begins after you’ve made your payment and finalized your design. We repeat: We can’t start on your order until we’ve been paid and have all of the necessary art files. This blog post explains why our production process for custom gear takes as long as it does.

2. How does the design process work?

Every custom order that you place with Savage comes with three free hours of design time with one of our staff artists. In most cases, this is enough time to help your vision come to life and create a design that you’re excited about. Here are the stages of the design process at Savage:

  • Talk with your sales rep about what you want. Maybe it’s a fully sublimated jersey with a rainbow background and unicorns leaping above your team’s name.
  • Ideally, you’ll provide some high-quality art files for us to use, if you want something specific (maybe you’ve already drawn the unicorn). Or some solid examples if you don’t have specific images you want to use.
  • Your sales rep will relay your needs to the art team, who will put together a mock-up (or mock-ups) using any provided art files. 
  • Your sales rep will send the mock-up back to you for approval. At this point, there may be some back-and-forth if you want to make any tweaks to the design. Like make the unicorns bigger or change their color. 
  • Once your jersey is perfect, you’ll sign off on the mock-up and invoice, pay for your order, and production officially begins.
3. Can you print this blurry photo that I found on Google? 

    In most cases, we can’t print random images that you found online. First of all, there are copyright issues, which we discuss in-depth in this post. There’s also the question of quality — we need high-resolution files in order to produce high-quality prints for your gear. That said, you can show us any type of image to use as an example of what you’re looking for, but when our artists have to recreate a low-quality image, it can add significantly to your design time and may put you over your three-hour quota. High-res Illustrator files are our favorite.

    4. How long does the design process take?

    Again, custom orders get three hours of free design time with one of our staff artists, but the design process usually takes a week or two altogether. This varies based on how clear your vision is, the quality of the images you provide, and how quickly you get back to us when we ask you questions. Here are a few tips for reducing art time so we can lock down your order and send it into production ASAP.

    5. How does Savage gear fit? 

    This post takes a closer look at the sizing of our fully sublimated jerseys, and we’re working on adding photos to all of our product listings that will show our gear on different body types. We also have size charts with exact measurements on most of our gear. Still confused? Never hesitate to reach out to your sales rep if you’re unsure about what size to order. 

     6. My order is wrong. Where is my refund?

    If you feel you’ve received an incorrect order, reach out to your sales rep right away so we can figure out what went wrong. If you’ve ordered from our online store, we should be able to quickly determine how or why you were sent the wrong item and get it remedied quickly. If it’s a custom order, we’ll need to go back through the design and production process to find where the error occurred. We will always try to find the best resolution for everyone, whether that means a refund, exchange, or reprint. 

     7. Can I get a better discount? 

    It never hurts to ask, although we are limited to how much we can discount custom gear because of the high costs of production. We have some discount options available, with the highest being 30% off. Keep in mind that discounts can’t be combined. If teams have financial limitations, they should ask their sales rep about how we can help. Savage’s Greenbackr program is a great way to crowdfund your team’s uniforms and other financial needs.

    8. Will you sponsor me? 

    In most situations, we will reach out to a person or team if we are interested in sponsoring them. At this time, we do not sponsor individuals outside of our Savage Squad. If you are an individual with a significant following who would like to work with us, or a team interested in a sponsorship, you’re always welcome to contact sales@savageultimate.com. Please be as detailed as possible when you reach out.

    9. Why does my item not match the image online perfectly?

    In most cases, the images you see in our online store are not photographs — they are digitized 3-D renderings of our designs created using computer software. We work hard to make them look as much like real life as possible.

    10. Where can I give feedback?

    We love feedback — both positive and negative! Share your thoughts with your sales rep or fill out this survey and they'll pass it along to the right people. Also look for a comment card included in your order.

    11. How much will my order cost?

    We offer a range of options for a range of budgets, including screen printed jerseys, spot sublimated jerseys, and fully sublimated jerseys. From there, costs vary based on quantity and design. You can find all of the details of our pricing for full subs here and other gear here. Custom disc prices are here.

    12. Can you contact USPS/UPS/FedEx for me to find my package? 

    Unfortunately, once we ship out your order, it’s the responsibility of the carrier. In most cases, they will not disclose a package’s location to us — only the customer, so it’s better for you to inquire first. Because of this, we can’t be held responsible for third party delays, lost packages, duty fees, etc.

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    Savage's custom jersey production process, from start to finish

    Savage's custom jersey production process, from start to finish

    Ever wondered what really goes into making a custom Savage jersey? Or why the process takes 4-6 weeks? Unlike some of our competitors, we’re proud to handle every step of the process in-house, from design to production to shipping it to your doorstep. If you order custom Ultimate jerseys, disc golf gear, quidditch jerseys, or any other custom athletic apparel from Savage, this is what it takes for it to go from an idea in your head to a piece of apparel you can wear on the field.

    Step 1: The Custom Jersey Ordering Process 

    You’ll start by reaching out to sales@savageultimate.com with an idea for custom jerseys for you or your team. Our sales coordinator connects you with a member of our sales staff who will be your liaison for the entire ordering process. You’ll talk budget, timeline, and general needs, and we’ll officially get the ball rolling on your order.

    Step 2: The Custom Jersey Design Process 

    Every customer gets three free hours of design time included in their order, which is usually more than enough time to finalize your designs. This includes Team Marketplace orders. Having a good idea of the design you want, and quality art files, will speed up this stage of the process significantly. You’ll share your ideas and art files with your sales rep, who will communicate what you need to the Savage design team. There will be some back and forth to settle on the final design for your gear, which typically takes one to two weeks to reach final approval. This blog post has some tips for getting through the design stage as efficiently as possible.

    Step 3: The Custom Apparel Production Process 

    Once you’ve officially signed off on the design mock-ups for your gear, we pass the order over to our production department. While screen printed and spot sublimated orders are printed onto existing jersey and T-shirts, all fully sublimated gear is printed on our GreenLine fabric (made from 100% recycled bottles), then cut out and sewn up. After that, we pack up your order and send it on its merry way. 

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    Amanda Dallas advocates for more inclusivity in quidditch

    Amanda Dallas advocates for more inclusivity in quidditch

    In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 5, Savage is highlighting some of our favorite female athletes in some of our favorite sports throughout the week. Next up: Quidditch player Amanda Dallas.

    Amanda Dallas, simply called Dallas by those who know her, has been playing quidditch for nearly a decade. She's the co-commissioner for Major League Quidditch, a board member with US Quidditch, and coordinator for the US National Quidditch Team (USNT). When she's not in quidditch mode, the North Jersey resident works in NYC as a technical project manager for IT and security at Better.com. Take it away, Dallas!

    Savage: How did you get into playing quidditch? What drew you to the sport? 

    Amanda Dallas: I’m not your average quidditch player. There’s no strong connection to Harry Potter here — I didn’t even read all the books. A friend of mine in college co-founded the NYU team and recruited me to play. I was very much against it in the early stages and thought it was way too weird — and to think, I didn’t even start playing during the capes era! The people on the NYU team, however, won me over, so I stuck around longer than intended. Ultimately, I ended up enjoying how fast-paced, physical and unique quidditch is. I was drawn into volunteering by Alex Benepe, one of the sport’s founders, noticed the potential for growth and now here I am!

    Savage: What's unique about being a woman in the world of quidditch? How do you think being female in this sport compares to other sports? 

    AD: It’s an entirely different experience sharing the field with all genders and not just your own. Sure, you can do so in rec, intramural and pickup leagues. But those are nowhere near as competitive and certainly not as physical. Inclusivity is literally built into this sport’s DNA and, you can be not only one of the best females at a position, but one of the best of any gender. Unfortunately, it’s rare to get that opportunity in sports. 

    Savage: Are there any challenges to being a woman in quidditch? 

    AD: There are numerous challenges, as I’m sure you can imagine. The most prevalent being the frequency of which you’re underestimated solely for being a woman playing a full-contact sport with men. It becomes even more challenging when you’re a female coach in a sport where, like most others, the primary gender of coaches is male. In some of the early years I was overlooked. Now that more people are familiar with me and what I’ve done, I’m underestimated a lot less, but there were times when I would raise an issue to referee and they’d look to my male teammate for confirmation or dismiss me entirely. There are still hiccups here and there; even after nine years I don’t always get credit for what I do. Just last year an opponent came up to me at USQ Cup to praise our male head coach (on The Warriors) for how well he trained the beaters — for which the primary training responsibilities fall to me.

    At all levels, but particularly the collegiate level, there are still women and other genders outside the binary that aren’t being treated the same as their male counterparts. I ran a fantasy tournament last summer where only women and those outside of the gender binary were permitted to attend. As part of the tournament, we hosted workshops to go over basic skills: cutting, tackling, throwing, etc. The number of players that showed up to the throwing workshop, specifically, was horrifying. Some of the players had been on notable, high-level teams for well over a year and yet no one took the time to just explain basic throwing dynamics to them.  

    There is no quick fix to this, but there are small changes individuals can make. Male coaches need to spend just as much time with females and those outside of the gender binary. They’ll spend hours fostering a male chaser’s skill set but then disregard that their female chaser — who goes to the right spot, can score if she gets the ball but struggles to catch a pass — could be an absolute game-changer if they just practice catching for a few more minutes each practice. I’ve been so fortunate to work with some of the most talented women in this sport on both The Warriors and the USNT, and I can tell you, they didn’t all walk onto the field as the stars that they are today. They worked for it and someone worked with them. 

    Savage: Thoughts on bringing more women into quidditch?  

    AD: MLQ is currently working on some new youth and gender initiatives to implement in the future. As for what currently exists, last season we introduced the Coleman Clause. Named after Lisle Coleman — a queer non-binary individual who has really pushed quidditch, as a whole, to make strides toward equality for all genders — the Coleman Clause is a coach hiring policy requiring each MLQ franchise to fulfill at least one of the following requirements in their coach hiring process. A team must:

    1. Have at least one applicant for Head Coach or Assistant Coach that is a gender-minority player; OR
    1. Hire at least one gender-minority individual as a Head Coach or Assistant Coach; OR
    2. Have a pre-existing Head Coach or Assistant Coach that is a gender-minority player

    for the upcoming season.

    In our first season with this policy we added four female coaches and retained one from the season prior. Fortunately, we did not have to penalize any teams, thus, all met the requirement. 

    In addition to the Coleman Clause, we also introduced a new requirement for all MLQ managers and coaches. All MLQ managers, assistant managers, head coaches and assistant coaches are required to complete Athlete Ally’s Champions of Inclusion, a free comprehensive online curriculum for coaches on LGBTQ+ respect and inclusion within athletics.

    Lastly, MLQ currently has a volunteer opening for an MLQ Diversity and Inclusion Manager. We created this role in the hopes of finding someone passionate about and knowledgeable in the development and execution of strategic initiatives and programs related to diversity and inclusion. It’s our hope that having someone specifically dedicated to this role will increase the participation of LGBTQ+ athletes and athletes that are both female and identify outside of the gender binary. 

    Savage: Who are some of your favorite female quidditch players? 

    AD: Hallie Pace of the USNT and Texas Hill Country Heat is easily one of the most inspiring — not just women — but athletes in quidditch. She’s small in stature but is an absolute beast on the field. It’s uncommon nowadays to see two women in a beater set together on pitch, but if Pace is on a team, it’s just an expectation that a double female set is somewhere in that arsenal.

    Second to Pace in my book is my Warriors teammate and USNT chaser Lindsay Marella. Marella is a natural-born athlete and just transforms any quaffle line she plays on. She can tackle anyone, cut and has a cannon of an arm. Marella truly is one of the elite athletes in this sport, regardless of gender. But even with the accolades she has achieved, she continues to work harder every day to improve, stays humble and advocates for other genders outside of the binary.

    Savage: What are your hopes for the future of the sport? 

    AD: I truly hope the sport continues to grow its gender and diversity inclusion and become more accessible to all. There are still many issues we have yet to solve and many minds we have to change, but nothing is impossible. Quidditch has grown at an incredible pace and as long as volunteers and athletes continue to push the limits of innovation and take risks, there’s a bright future ahead of us.

     

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    Don't Underestimate Women's Dodgeball Player Shauna Roe

    Don't Underestimate Women's Dodgeball Player Shauna Roe

    In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 5, Savage is highlighting some of our favorite female athletes [like Ultimate player Jenny FeySpikeballer Tori Farlow, and disc golfer Hannah McBeth] in some of our favorite sports throughout the week. Next up: Dodgeball player Shauna Roe.

    Shauna Roe has been playing dodgeball competitively for around 8 years, playing on the Canadian National Team for 6 years. When she's not hurling balls, the 28-year-old is a full-time advertising copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. Take it away, Shauna!

    Savage: How did you get into playing dodgeball? What drew you to the sport? 

    Shauna Roe: My first experience with dodgeball, as with most people, started in elementary and high school. In college, I was asked to play on the extramural dodgeball team, who desperately needed girls that year. I actually said no at first! The idea of competitive dodgeball seemed outlandish to me, and I’d never really played a throwing sport before, so I figured there’d be no role for me. At my first practice, I realized there were in fact many roles to be played on the court, beyond knowing how to throw, including catching, calling plays, and drawing in balls.

    What drew me to dodgeball was ultimately the persistence of Humber coach, Victor Gravili, who is now the coach of the national program and a good friend of mine. 

    Savage: What's unique about being a woman in the world of dodgeball? 

    SR: The power of underestimation. I love dodgeball because the game can change in an instant. A catch can bring a 4v2 to a 3v3. Sometimes you’ll see a single player eliminate five opponents to win the game. You really never know what could happen. 

    A lot of these moments I see happen with women. In co-ed, we’re often underestimated. A team will leave a female player for last, only to have her make a huge catch. Or a woman you’ve never seen before turns out to have a softball background and therefore has a canon for an arm. 

    Savage: How do you think being female in this sport compares to other sports? 

    SR: Dodgeball is very much still in its infancy as a sport. In my mind, this gives women an opportunity to define how women play it. I love this article’s POV on why men are, the vast majority of the time, better than women at sports. In short: Sports, especially those well-established, were designed by men, for men*. The rules, the court sizes, the skills involved, and so on. When women enter these sports, they’re playing an adjusted version of a “men’s game,” versus a game designed by women, for women. 

    As an increasing number of women have entered competitive dodgeball, I’ve personally noticed differences created between how men play and how women play. The strategies can be different. The play calls can be different. I would even argue the players valued most excel in different skills that are perhaps less valued in a men’s game. 

    All this to say, compared to other sports, women in dodgeball can influence the sport to work around them, not the other way around. 

    Savage: Are there any challenges to being a woman in dodgeball?

    SR: I think the challenges women face in dodgeball are similar to all sports — less popularized, less viewership, a perceived slower or less intense game, to name a few. 

    Dodgeball is far from perfect in this regard, but I do see a lot being done to address the challenges, whether it’s putting the women’s final last on the schedule (often men’s is last as a ‘grand finale’), or ensuring an equal amount of men’s and women’s games appear on the live stream. I think little things like that go a long way. 

    Savage: Thoughts on bringing more women into dodgeball? Youth initiatives? 

    SR: Dodgeball Canada has YMCA youth nights for girls and boys that are run by volunteers and Team Canada players. They’ve also started a Dodge In Schools program, aimed to re-introduce dodgeball into schools as a sport that’s inclusive and skill-building.

    After working on a project at work a few years ago relating to indigenous women, I developed a relationship with the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto. Knowing the positive and empowering experience dodgeball has given me, I’ve always wanted to introduce an indigenous women’s team to our leagues, hoping it’s a similar experience for them. 

    Savage: What are your hopes for the future of the sport?

    SR: I would love to see dodgeball move into a more legitimized space. I would love to see more high-performing athletes migrate to the sport (especially women). I would love to do an interview without the Ben Stiller movie being referenced. I would love to tell people I play dodgeball without having to follow with “yes, I’m serious.” 

    I believe dodgeball has the potential to be more universally viewed as a sport (not a game) that requires skill and athleticism, and comes with major entertainment value. Hello, TSN!

    Savage: Who are some of your favorite female dodgeball players?

    SR: There are many. But today, as I write this, these three come to mind:

    • Hwei Xian, Team Malaysia — Because she never quits, has the quickness on court that I wish I had, and makes really smart decisions at important moments. 
    • Jiji Fayad, Team Australia —Because she’s really fun to watch, makes clutch plays all the time, and has a great amped-up face.
    • Shadae Berkley, Team Canada — Because her work ethic inspires mine daily, she’s a caring teammate who’s always reminding me to keep my chin up, and most importantly, she drives me to practice (I owe her so much gas money, it’s nuts). 

    Psst: Shop the Women's Mystery Sale here.

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    Hannah McBeth talks about being a woman in pro disc golf

    Hannah McBeth talks about being a woman in pro disc golf
    In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 5, Savage is highlighting some of our favorite female athletes [like Ultimate player Jenny Fey and Spikeballer Tori Farlow] in some of our favorite sports throughout the week. Next up: PDGA rising star Hannah McBeth.

    Hannah has been competing as a professional disc golfer since the end of 2017. When she's not traveling the world  competing in events with her husband (five-time World Champion Paul McBeth), they're relaxing at home in Goode, Virginia with their German shepherd, Harrison. You're up, Hannah!

    Savage: How did you start playing disc golf?
    Hannah McBeth: I was dating someone who played the sport. He and his friend group would play every weekend, and after watching them throw into trees/water/rough for hours every Saturday (they were beginners) I got tired of watching and wanted to learn for myself. I immediately fell in love with it! I loved how you could do it by yourself, and didn’t have to rely on having a team or signing up for a league.

    Savage: What's unique about being a woman in the world of disc golf?
    HM: I love being a woman in professional disc golf. Our sport is continuing to grow every year and there are lots of women taking it seriously and wanting to move up to pro. The atmosphere for women’s disc golf is really positive, especially at the beginner/amateur level. The camaraderie and competitive drive in pro absolutely exists, but there is also this strong support felt between all of us. Disc golf is different than any other sport I’ve played because it isn’t a team sport. Even though we are courteous and tell each other “good shot” or “nice putt,” everyone is mostly focused on and looking out for themselves. We all want the sport to continue growing and improving, and I think a lot of pro women have been inspired to start working harder and practicing more.

    Savage:  How do you think being female in disc golf compares to other sports?
    HM: All the other sports I have played have been women-only team sports, but in disc golf I’m ALWAYS practicing with guys. This encourages me to be the best I can be and not shy away from challenges or harder practices, but it can be challenging if I’m not keeping my pride in check. A professional male out-driving me on every hole doesn’t intimidate or bother me. It’s taught me to take the focus off others and be mindful about my own game and practices. Their mistakes don’t bother me and my mistakes don’t bother them.

    I choose to surround myself with positive, patient people who want to see me succeed. I don’t think every woman in disc golf has that opportunity. I know sometimes women go out with their significant others and are easily discouraged by the difference in skill level. Maybe their guy isn’t as patient, or the course is super wooded, or the discs aren’t right for them, etc. I would encourage those women to get involved with other women who play the sport! It can be so much more fun. That's what I did when I started playing. I found a women’s league and it made disc golf fun, not frustrating.

    Savage: What are some of the challenges of being a woman in disc golf? 
    HM: There are challenges in every sport for every athlete. The focus should be on what you do with them. Right now, one challenge is with tee pads and tournaments setting fair pars for our division. I have played on several courses that were considered “too hard for me.” I have been told multiple times (remember, I haven’t been competing long) “getting par here is going to be like a birdie, so you’re most likely going to get a bogey+.” When you go through experiences like that you learn to focus on what you can control. For me, I can control how often I practice, my training habits, and my mentality. I can’t control unlucky kicks, unfair pars, difficult fairway designs, or long tee pad locations. That's how I tend to look at any challenges I tend to face as an athlete in disc golf.

    Savage: What are your thoughts on bringing more women into disc golf?
    HM: Being an athlete for as long as I have, I know for a fact that if someone finds enjoyment in a sport or activity, they are going to make it a priority in their life. In disc golf we call it “catching the bug.” The issue is there are limited resources for women looking to improve. We have too many women climbing up the ranks with poor form in putting and driving. When they move into a wooded course they can’t keep it in the fairway, or when they move from wooded to open they don’t have the distance they need. We need more resources (coaching) and training opportunities (pro clinics) so the women in the sport can continue to have fun and play, but also improve if they want.

    Savage:  What are your hopes for the future of the sport?
    HM: My hope for the future of the sport is that more people would take themselves seriously as professionals. It’s important to take practice, workout, and nourishment seriously. We also have many incredible athletes in the sport who aren’t getting appropriate sponsorships or opportunities because they don’t know how to self-market effectively. I think everyone is hoping the sponsors will come to them and give them a big opportunity, but in reality, we could educate ourselves on brand deals and marketing more. I have seen several companies offer free or discounted product to disc golfers in exchange for social media posts when in reality these athletes could be asking for more.

    Savage: Who are some of your favorite female disc golfers?
    HM: My all-time favorite female disc golfer is Elaine King. Elaine is a straight-shooter on and off the course. She isn’t afraid to tell it like it is to help you succeed, even if you’re about the throw your disc (as a five-time world champion she’s allowed to do that). When Elaine compliments you, you know you can trust what she’s saying and it feels so incredible. She has a big heart for women coming into the sport but is also a very tough competitor to the ones who have been here for a while. She has proven that it is possible to be completely focused and competitive while at the same time remaining kind and courteous to those around you. My second favorite is Kristin Tattar. She has overcome so much adversity in life and every time continues to quietly work hard and push herself. Her work ethic is the most inspiring part of her game to me, and I am so excited she is our current U.S. Women’s champion.

    Psst: Our Women's Mystery Sale is running through the end of the week, with women's mystery jerseys starting at $7. Shop all the discount jerseys here.
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    Tori Farlow is blazing trails for pro female Spikeball players

    Tori Farlow is blazing trails for pro female Spikeball players

    In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 5, Savage is highlighting some of our favorite female athletes [like Ultimate player Jenny Fey] in some of our favorite sports throughout the week.

    Today we're talking with pro Spikeball player Tori Farlow of High Point, N.C. She started playing as a student at UNC Wilmington, where she graduated with a degree in Exercise Science. When she's not dominating tournaments with her partner Olivia Jenkins as team Boboddy, Tori works as a personal trainer and soccer coach. Take it away, Tori.

    Savage: How did you get into playing Spikeball?

    Tori Farlow: I first saw Spikeball back in 2016 on my college campus. As someone who is highly competitive and has a passion for sports, I immediately felt the need to play. So, my friend group and I started playing and then created a club on campus as well as held our very first tournament. After discovering that there were nationally sanctioned tournaments we decided to use them as a fun way to hang out with friends on the weekends, but I never thought it would become such a large part of my current life.

    My partner at the time was my friend Charissa Wright (Veinte Hamburguesas) and we had never played another women's team until we went to nationals in D.C. and played in the women's division. We surprisingly came in third place and quickly realized it was something that we were fairly good at and wanted to pursue.

    Due to personal reasons, after the 2017 season together Charissa resigned from playing and I played one year with Jordi Vigna (Razzmatazz) and now starting my second season with Olivia Jenkins as team Boboddy for the 2020 Roundnet season. We are excited to compete at the top level and to hopefully be a part of the first teams to ever go to a Spikeball World Championship in Belgium.

    Savage: What's unique about being a female Spikebal player?

    TF: The unique thing about being a woman in Roundnet is that we are the elite of the few so it also means that we get the opportunity to be the original trailblazers of the sport. We get to put our view on rules as well as discuss new ones, and when you really think about it, we are shaping the new way and style of how people will play in the future.

    Something about being a female playing Roundnet is that since we are so hard to come by it can sadly be difficult to create a women's division at every tournament, but this also creates a fun opportunity. When there aren’t enough teams to create a women's division at a tournament, we just play in advanced with a ton of talented men, which allows Olivia and I to do one of our favorite things: beat guys at a sport.

    Savage: What's the hardest part about being a woman in Spikeball?

    TF: The biggest challenge that we come up against is just finding athletic women who are also willing to travel.

    Savage: Do you have any ideas for bringing more women to the sport?

    TF: There have been many suggestions on how to grow the women’s side of the sport, and realistically I don’t think it will ever become equal to the number of men that play — which for me isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it's just how it is and it’s something to embrace. I think a better way to get more women involved is just raising the awareness of the game in a sports environment. I think introducing roundnet in colleges with intramurals or clubs and using it in high schools as a way to warm up for a different sport will yield more results for participants because these women will be athletes who are more likely to understand and enjoy it rather than introducing it to women who don’t have an athletic background.

    Savage: What are your hopes for the future of Spikeball?

    TF: I would love to see the sport continue to grow, but for that to happen I think there needs to be a couple of changes to the game to make it more of a spectator sport. I don’t think any sport flourishes without viewers. Right now, elite roundnet is almost so impressive that it isn’t fun to watch. There are minimal rallies and less room to see the big, fun athletic plays that people love to watch. The game has been so perfected at the top level, especially for men, that the game has been extremely shortened.

    Savage: Who are some of your favorite female Spikeball players? 

    TF: My favorite females in the sport include my awesome partner Olivia Jenkins, my friend Jordi Vigna, and the beast of a beauty Sarah Zook. These women are some of the most athletic girls I have ever met and have such great hearts.

    Psst: Be sure to check out Savage's Women's Mystery Sale, running this week only. Also peep Savage's Spikeball Showcase featuring replica Spikeball jerseys and fan jerseys here.

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