Since starting The ShowGame in 2012 we have learned a lot from very humble beginnings. As we have moved on to even more exciting projects and grown to reach more people, we have come across lots of different viewpoints about what we are and what we are hoping or trying to do. So, we wanted to write a short piece to explain what The ShowGame is for us, what we see it as being for the community and what we hope it can be in the future.
In our eyes, more people reading about Ultimate means more people talking about Ultimate. Anything we can do to foster a sense of fandom is positive for the sport, and this was the simple push behind our tournament preview and reports. We’ve had a good response from these pieces in general, and have also been (fairly) critiqued. We aim to continue this, and hope to increase the depth of our coverage as well as increase the divisions that we cover.
We’ve also published articles about issues within the community. Our discussion pieces are deliberately designed to voice contrasting opinions and to bring the many sides of these debates to a wider readership. As players, we see no lack of opinions at practices and on the sidelines when it comes to issues both large and small in UK and world Ultimate but these viewpoints rarely make it further than those practice or sideline discussions. Our aim here is not to limit any debate to a set number of contributors, but instead to allow new contributors to respond and continue the discussion as things progress. We know that it can seem quite a leap from having some thoughts to publishing them online, but we hope that The ShowGame will act as an online space for people who want a platform for their experiences and opinions, and contributors will keep coming to us with their viewpoints.
We believe that bringing together as many contributors as possible will lead to a richer and more balanced debate, and, as a result, one that is hopefully more in tune with the different needs of the community. The smallest decision can have a huge effect at this stage in the development of a sport as young as ours. We want The ShowGame to reflect this, and for it to play a role in the continued growth of the sport in this country. Our hope is that the community will continue to engage with us to help achieve this aim.
Personally, we’ve all been so inspired by old blogs, by projects like The Huddle and continually are inspired by current Ultimate media – not only in the level of information and entertainment these sources provide, but also with how they address the demand for equality and transparency that our sport, and its players, demands and deserves. We’re also inspired by those who we’ve had the pleasure of working with as part of The ShowGame, and of course by the many amazing people that make up the community whose path we cross – whether as players or as The ShowGame. Our hope, then, is to be a continuation of all of those aspects as the Ultimate community flourishes – to entertain, to inform and to promote the core values of equality and transparency that run through our sport. In doing so, we hope to help ensure that Ultimate flourishes and develops in this country and beyond in the way that the community wants, needs and deserves.
But of course, we can’t do it alone. As we’ve mentioned, and past readers will have seen, we have been lucky enough to have a wealth of contributors who have made The ShowGame what it is – but we want more. We want to hear from you if you agree with these values and our vision – because whilst we are going to continue doing what we do, it only really happens when you get involved. Something that we have seen many times is first-time-writers being worried about publishing their work, before immediately being pleasantly surprised by the positivity they’ve received.
It’s set to be another exciting year in Ultimate in 2016, and the most important for the UK Ultimate community in a while. There’s no better time to step up and get your voice heard, whether covering your university team’s crux tournament, building momentum for Tour with pre-season articles or voicing your opinion in our discussion series. Get writing and get involved and help us make this the best year of Ultimate yet!