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The Ultimate in Bristol Survey – RESULTS

Club President Patrick Ward gives us some background to, and some interesting data from, the recent Ultimate in Bristol survey.

Forms response chart. Question title: Age. Number of responses: 46 responses.Forms response chart. Question title: Gender. Number of responses: 46 responses.


A few months ago we ran a survey to try to find out a little bit more about the ultimate players we have here in Bristol, as well as discovering why they play and where they want the sport to go in the future.

In total we had 46 responses which, while not bad, we know to be far short of the entire population of ultimate players in the city. Bristol has a strong history of ultimate and has produced some the best teams and players in the country over the last 30 years – names such as Bristol University’s Mythago, Nice Bristols and Bristol Plastic Factory are etched in the history of the sport in the UK. Bristol Ultimate (BU) is one of the largest ultimate clubs in the country and works as the umbrella organisation behind the current crop of elite teams including the national champions Bristol Women and Bristol Open who last season had the most successful season for a Bristol open team in over a decade. BU also contains a resurgent Bristol Mixed Squad and its new affiliate club North Bristol Ultimate – who are an open access ultimate team for all levels and ages. Ultimate in Bristol has also been growing at speed, mirroring the growth of the sport as a whole and sees the University of the West of England’s teams competing at the university level, as well as Disco Biscuits, a popular recreational team in the city.

In the responses to the survey we got a good mix of people from across this population which gave us a good range of answers to each question. We have reopened the survey if you would like to go and complete it, it can be found here – . We’d love to hear more from all – regardless of age, playing experience or current ultimate ambitions.

Forms response chart. Question title: Where did you first discover ultimate? . Number of responses: 46 responses.

The first section was about discovering who is currently taking part in ultimate here in Bristol – as previously mentioned you can see that there was a large range of people responding. As you can see above, a huge portion of our players discover the sport at university and, while this is probably mirrored nationally, it shows the work we can do to try to get more people discovering ultimate earlier in schools and juniors club which will help with the future development of the sport. The charts also show how dedicated most people are to the sport with 82% of the responses taking part in ultimate related activities at least once a week. With the thrill of playing competitively and also for fun being the major driving factors behind that commitment.

Forms response chart. Question title: Which of these would you say best describes why you play ultimate?. Number of responses: 46 responses.


The next section was all about the current state of ultimate in Bristol and especially Bristol Ultimate as a club and asked participants to rank certain aspects of the current provision from 1 to 5. 1 meant that they strongly agreed with the statement. As you can most people seem generally pretty satisfied with how Bristol Ultimate as a club is being run. Interestingly, despite the high costs of regular tournament participation, most find the club to be offering excellent value for money which is a credit to the hard work the treasurers do to make sure the sport stays accessible to all. However, the answers were more spread in regards to the progress that BU is making. Hopefully this will drive some discussion on the future of the sport and the club. In what is probably the most interesting question in the survey we asked whether those surveyed believed that BU should provide more welcoming opportunities or focus more on the competitive side of the sport – and amazingly it was an exact 50/50 split! More analysis will be done on this in future articles but it certainly shows the difficult task of keeping everyone happy while also advancing the club and the sport. Currently Bristol Ultimate is committed to providing opportunities for all and its new affiliate club North Bristol Ultimate plays a massive part in this – you can look out for more plans coming in the future. On the competitive side of things with the elite men’s, women’s and mixed squad – Bristol is strongly placed to achieve big results across the 2019 season.

The final section of the survey asked for what people would like to see more of from Bristol Ultimate. Unfortunately the results of this question don’t show up brilliantly on the image however, the most common answer was a request for more socials as it’s getting to take part with their friends and make new ones that drives a lot of people to participate. Another theme that popped up in the comments was a request for more local tournaments and leagues and even a club-run fitness night.

Here are some selected quotes from the any other comments section of the survey:

“The elite level of the club is at an all time high in terms of achievement, but unfortunately the lower level (2nd teams) is struggling. This is seemingly due to a lack of newer/lower level players coming to training & tournaments.
The club as a whole needs to decide if this is something we see as an issue, or if we are happy with concentrating our efforts on the elite level teams (which I assume is one of things this survey is designed to do!).”

“It works well, well for me at the moment. I can turn up not every week and I still feel part of the group”

“Need to develop a junior programme, outreach to local schools”

“More sessions/pick-up/leagues please. Once a week is not enough. Thanks!”

Patrick Ward
Bristol Ultimate President