Detroit Mechanix Women's Team
We are happy to announce that the Detroit Mechanix will be supporting both an open and a women's team during the 2018 season. Tryouts for both teams will begin on Saturday, January 27. For more information on the tryouts, click here.
The team has spent a couple of months reaching out to members of our community and gathering feedback. We understand that the AUDL, in its current form, does not seem gender equitable. A lot of this falls on the individual teams not doing enough for the women's community (us included), and not necessarily the league itself. With the recent announcement of the EuroStars Tour partnership, the AUDL is paving a path for the league to become what it needs to be in the coming years.
Unfortunately, as a small market, what the AUDL is doing with women's games will not affect us (Detroit) this season. Because of this, we felt the need to take additional steps towards progress and start a women's team.
The current plan for this season is to give the women's team the same benefits we offer to our open (AUDL) team. This includes live streaming all of the games, and providing high-resolution video of the games for highlights and promotions. We hope that this influx of media from women's games will help move us forward into a more unified generation of players!
We have not yet solidified who the women's team will play yet, but we are hoping other AUDL teams in our division (or close, out-of-division teams) will join us in this adventure. Should other AUDL teams choose to follow us, the Detroit Mechanix are willing to host women's games on the same day as our home (AUDL) games.
Whether this becomes the start of a women's professional league, or just a series of showcase games, we are looking forward to the possibilities this will bring. We understand this is not an entirely gender equitable situation for the 2018 season, but it has to start somewhere, and we are willing to be that spark.
What do you say; Pittsburgh, Chicago, Indianapolis, Madison, and Minnesota? Are you in?
Q: What is Detroit's long term vision for both the men's and women's teams?
A: Sustainability. We want to get to a point where there is never any doubt about the next season. Alleviating this pressure will help us focus more on how to bring a better experience to the fans, and how to better the community. Ideally, we would move towards a direction where gender equity is a thing of the past because we have reached actual equality. Our vision is having two pro leagues (men's and women's) side-by-side. It would be really cool to have a women's team in each city there's a men's team to create that bond and support. We want to unify Michigan ultimate and bring everyone together. Michigan youth ultimate is our future, and we want to give them as much support and leadership as possible to succeed.
We can't achieve a future of unification and and youth development with only men in the driver seat. We are actively seeking to bring women onto the team in prominent roles. This goes hand-in-hand with youth development. Girls youth ultimate in Michigan won't succeed unless they have women to lookup to.
Q: Why did you choose a women's team over a mixed team?
A: The AUDL is an open league, and we are very grateful for the opportunities they have given us. With the AUDL, we have been able to grow ultimate so much over the past six to seven years. Adding a mixed team didn't seem like the logical option to us. We want to provide equal playing opportunities for women, so adding a women's team to the open team seemed the most equitable. This doesn't rule out the possibility of playing mixed showcase games against other teams.
Q: Are women allowed to tryout for the open team and the women's team?
A: Absolutely. Women are allowed to, and encouraged to, tryout for the open team. If someone makes both teams, it will be entirely up to them which team(s) they wish to represent.
Q: Is there more than one opportunity to tryout?
A: Yes. There will also be tryouts on February 10 and February 17. If you are unable to make the January 27 tryout, please fill out the registration, make of note of your absence at the first tryout, and we will notify you of the next opportunities.to represent.
Q: How can I give my feedback?
A: We have started a survey for the women in the ultimate community to fill out. Please let us know your thoughts here!
Q: Do you accommodate players who are already committed to a college and/or club team?
A: Absolutely. We have always been 100% college team first, while still being active with the Mechanix as much as possible. We have scheduled our AUDL season around important dates for college and club ultimate, and plan to do the same with the women's team. We want to provide everyone with more opportunities to play, not in place of!