The College Division is limited to individuals who are meet both the academic and participation eligiblity requirements. 

Eligibility Inquiries

Before emailing the College Eligibility Committee be sure to:


If you are still unclear about your eligiblity situation, email coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org.  Inquiries are handed on the following timeline:

  • Sep 15th, 2017-Mar 1st, 2018 --  Players may submit general eligibility inquiries and should receive acknowledgement within two business days.  Within one week they will receive an answer, or the notification that their inquiry is elevated to be an official case. Players will receive case decision within 3 weeks (2 for committee research/discussion, 1 for voting) of their inquiry being an official case

  • Mar 2nd, 2017 -Sep 14th, 2018  -- Players may submit general eligibility inquiries and should receive an answer within two weeks, or the notification that their inquiry is elevated to be an official case. If the inquiry is elevated to be an official case, then the case will be on hold until Sep 15th.  At that point, the case will be treated as if it were first submitted on Sep 15th.


Consortium Program

USA Ultimate offers a program that allows two or more schools meeting certain requirements to compete as a consortium (single-team from multiple schools) in the USA Ultimate College Series. Please note that this program is the ONLY way students can play with a team from a school that they do not attend.

All schools in the proposed consortium must:

  • have a prior academic consortium with a significant formal relationship each other
  • have a history of athletic collaboration (between athletics other than Ultimate)
  • share the same athletic facilities (between athletics other than Ultimate)

 

Schools in the proposed consortium must, at a minimum, meet the above requirements in order to apply. Merely meeting the requirements does not guarantee that the consortium will be approved. In order to ensure fairness of competition in the college division and minimize the potential for abuse of the rules, consortium applicants will be evaluated against an extremely high standard, and on a case by case basis, in terms of meeting the above requirements.  Prior approval of a consortium between two institutions does not guarantee approval on subsequent applications.

To apply, schools must submit a single, unified consortium application in writing to the USA Ultimate College Eligibility Committee by December 31st of the year prior to the year in which the schools wish to compete under single-team status (December 31, 2017 for the 2018 College Regular season and Series).

The proposal must include:

  • USA Ultimate College Consortium Application
  • a letter describing how all the schools in the proposal meet all of the requirements
  • supporting documentation providing evidence that all schools in the proposal meet the requirements


NOTE: USA Ultimate may reject a consortium proposal for insufficient information and/or documentation.

Consortiums are approved for two years, and upon expiration, the schools may re-apply for approval.  The application for re-approval must be received by the Consortium Deadline (December 1st).  Status may be revoked at any time if any of the schools in the consortium no longer meet the required criteria, or the USA Ultimate deems such action beneficial to the growth of Ultimate.

Any school in a consortium may withdraw from the consortium if they make such a request in writing to the USA Ultimate National College Director by February 15th of the year in which they wish to compete separately. The request must include the reason for wishing to withdraw. Schools that withdraw from a consortium cannot apply for another consortium until the following year.  Games played during the current season with the consortium in place will not be counted for the teams comprising the consortium if the consortium is dissolved.  For teams who played against the team with a consortium before it was dissolved, the game will count towards the eligible team’s 10 game minimum, although the game result won’t impact the rankings algorithm.

The withdrawal of one or more schools from a consortium does not dissolve the consortium of the remaining schools.

Without regard to the aforementioned rules, the status of any school (whether a member of a consortium or not) during their Conference Championship tournament in the USA Ultimate College Series will remain the same throughout that year's College Series.

Please email electronic copies of your application, letter, and supporting documentation to coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org by the December 31st deadline. If hard copies of your application or supporting documentation are requested, please mail to:

USA Ultimate College Division
Attn: Single-team Consortium
5825 Delmonico Drive
Suite 350
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
 

If you are still unclear about your school's consortium situation, email coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org

Consortium Inquiries are fielded on the following timeline:

Jan 1st-Sep 14th  --  Consortium inquiries will receive a response with two weeks. Consortium applications submitted during this period will not be considered for the current year, and will be considered on September 15th as if they had just been submitted.  Player will receive acknowledgement of the receipt of the application within two weeks of application.  

Sep 15th-Dec 31st -- Consortium inquiries will receive a response within the same timeline as general eligibility inquiries.  Consortium applications will be pre-screened, and either elevated to the committee for discussion/voting (3 weeks total), or rejected outright if the application failed to meet the outlined criteria.

 


College Eligibility Rules

Last Revision: Summer 2017

Table of Contents

 

Changes effective for the 2018 College Season:

  • Sanctioned League Participation -- New language was included that alters the date in which league participation is used for a start date. Leagues will now count as sanctioned participation as of the the final date of the league. This is a substantive change that will directly effect participants in summer leagues that begin prior to and end after June 1. If you participated in such a sanctioned league, and it began your eligibility, your start date will now be viewed as starting after June 1.

 

Changes effective for the 2017 College Season:

  • Exclusions from Initial Participation -- New language was included to specifically exclude all USA Ultimate events classifed as "Insured Play." This is not a substantive change, with the exception of hat tournaments. Hat tournaments that took place after June 1, 2012, are no longer considered an event sanctioned by USA Ultimate for the purposes of determining initial participation.  

 

Prologue

The intent of these rules can be summed up in two parts: to have schools represented by teams whose players are all current, legitimate students, and to limit the players in the College Series to less than five (5) years of post-high school Ultimate experience. To be eligible to compete in any event of the USA Ultimate College Championship Series (Conference Championships, Regionals, and Nationals) or official games during the 2018 USA Ultimate College Regular Season, a PLAYER must meet ALL of the following requirements:

Academic Eligibility

Applicability -- The following registration requirements, including exceptions, must be applicable throughout the entire spring semester at a school on a semester system. For quarter system schools, the registration requirements must be applicable throughout two of three quarters (any combination of fall, winter, and spring).  Students must be enrolled in at least one course required for graduation in the last semester or  quarter used to determine their eligibility.

Degree Seeking Enrollment -- S/he must be both accepted and enrolled in a regularly matriculated degree program at the school for which eligibility is to apply. Programs that culminate in only the awarding of a certificate are not considered "degree-seeking." (see non-degree-seeking exceptions)

Half-time Status -- S/he must be considered at least a half-time student by his/her school registrar (two (2) full time classes or equivalent as defined by the registrar).

1. Graduate students engaged in research, teaching, or thesis production which will lead towards the awarding of a degree qualify under this rule.

2. Correspondence and Internet courses and those taken through a "Continuing Education" or "Extension" program may not be used to fulfill the above requirements, unless approved through the USA Ultimate Coursework Validation process.  Email coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org for information on this process.

3. Students seeking a second Bachelor's Degree or Associate's Degree must have full-time status to be eligible, unless the Light load exception is to be invoked, in which case this requirement is waived.

Academic Eligibility Exceptions

Non-degree-seeking exception (spring semester): A student taking classes full-time in a non-degree-seeking program at the school for which eligibility is to apply may have the degree-seeking requirement waived provided:

1. S/he must furnish proof of confirmed acceptance (e.g. Letter of Acceptance, Deposit for Enrollment) in a regularly matriculated degree program for the summer or fall semester at that same school.

2. The program in which s/he is accepted and enrolled for the summer or fall does not extend offers of admission for the spring semester

3. The spring semester classes taken will be credited towards the degree program in which s/he is enrolled for the upcoming summer or fall semester.

4. The student submits an Eligibility Inquiry to coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org providing documentation from school officials confirming the above facts.

Non-degree-seeking exception (fall or winter quarter): A student taking classes full-time in a non-degree-seeking program at the school for which eligibility is to apply may have the degree-seeking requirement waived provided:

1. S/he is accepted and enrolled in a regularly matriculated degree program for the spring quarter at that same school.

2. The program in which s/he is accepted and enrolled does not extend offers of admission for the quarter in which s/he is taking full-time classes.

3. The fall or winter quarter classes taken will be credited towards the degree program in which s/he is enrolled for the upcoming spring quarter.

4. The student submits an Eligibility Inquiry to coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org providing documentation from school officials confirming the above facts.

Light load exception: The half-time requirement is waived for students who are BOTH:

1. taking at least the minimum course load required to graduate, where "minimum course load" is at least one class; and

2. going to graduate at the conclusion of the winter or spring term in the current year.

Students qualifying under the above are not eligible for subsequent College Series competitions before graduating with the degree to which this "light load" status was applied.

Participation Eligibility

Definition of Participation -- Participation as it pertains to the college eligibility rules is defined as a player playing at an event or a player being included on an official roster for an event. 

Initial Participation -- If more than five (5) years have elapsed between initial participation in an ultimate event sanctioned by a national governing body and June 1 of the current year, the player is not eligible.  See Military Service Exemptions.

Exclusions from Initial Participation -- Initial Participation excludes participation in the following USA Ultimate events classified as "Insured Play":

1. Practice/Tryout;

2. Scrimmage;

3. Skills Clinic;

4. Hat Tournament that took place after June 1, 2012; and

5. Skills Camp. 

Sanctioned League Particiation - Participation in sanctioned league play shall be deemed to start a participation clock as of the conclusion date of the sanctioned league. 

High School Participation – Initial Participation excludes participation in sanctioned events while in school prior to high school graduation, sanctioned high school events that occur immediately following high school graduation that are part of the spring high school competitive season, and participation in sanctioned leagues immediately following a player’s high school graduation but prior to June 1st of the year of high school graduation.

Starting or continuing participation in Sanctioned Leagues after June 1st of the year of high school graduation will still begin that player's College Eligibility.

 

1. For individuals who graduate from high school in 2010 or later: 

a. The player's initial governing body participation date is taken as the earlier of: 

i. Date of the player's first participation in a post-high school graduation (including G.E.D.) national governing body sanctioned event that is not part of either that spring’s high school competitive season or another officially sanctioned Youth event, or

ii. Date of the player's first participation in a national governing body sanctioned event following the player's 19th birthday if the player is not enrolled in high school

iii. Date of the player’s first participation on a college team in a national governing body sanctioned college regular season or championship series event.

2. For individuals who graduated from high school in 2009 or earlier: 

a. If a player participated in an event sanctioned by a national governing body while in high school (or before), initial national governing body participation date is taken as the earlier of: 

i. June 1st of the year after the year of high school graduation, or

ii. The player's first post-high school graduation national governing body sanctioned event that is not part of that spring's high school competitive season or another officially sanctioned Youth event and that occurs after June 1st of the year of high school graduation.

iii. Date of the player’s first participation on a college team in a national governing body sanctioned college regular season or championship series event.

b. If a player participates in a post-high school graduation national governing body sanctioned event that is not part of either that spring's high school competitive season, officially sanctioned Youth event, or on a college team at a regular season or series event, prior to June 1st of the year of high school graduation, the player's initial national governing body participation date is taken as June 1st of the year of high school graduation.
 

Participation Eligibility Exceptions

All participation eligibility exception reviews are handled on a case by case basis and are not establishment of precedent.

Military Service Exemptions -- Exemptions may be in place for players if their US military service directly prevented their USA Ultimate College Series eligibility or attendance as a part of a participating team. For each college series that a player is granted this exemption they will receive a one year eligibility extension. Requests for Military Exemptions must be submitted to and approved by the USA Ultimate College Eligibility Committee.  Contact coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org to apply for an exemption.

Domestic Exchange Students – Domestic exchange students must apply to have their situation reviewed, but may only be eligible to play at the institution from which they are receiving their degree. 

Foreign Exchange Students – Foreign exchange students may also apply to have their situation reviewed, but may not take advantage of any of the Academic Eligibility exceptions.  They must be full-time, degree seeking students and must submit all required documentation in English. Foreign exchange students must provide evidence of initial participation from the governing body for ultimate of their home country. 

Team Eligibility

School Composition -- Each player's eligibility must apply at the same college or university (or schools in a current USA Ultimate approved consortium).  If the school has multiple branches or locations, all players must be attending the same branch or location. 

Team Registration -- Each team must have a designated Team Organizer who will be responsible for the integrity, completeness, and timeliness of the team's Roster.  Before playing in any Series event, each team must meet the registration requirements outlined in the series guidelines.

Membership Status

1. Each player on the Roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the Series.

2. Each player must produce a picture ID upon demand of the tournament director or USA Ultimate official at a sanctioned event.

3. Violation of these rules may result in disqualification from the current Series and/or disqualification from any or all USA Ultimate sanctioned events for up to one year. This penalty is applicable to any and all players on the violating team at the discretion of USA Ultimate, and may include USA Ultimate events after the graduation of violating players.

Clarifications

These rules are designed to be as fair as possible for all of the wide range of schools and players participating in the Series. Experience has shown that there can be cases where these rules do not determine absolutely the eligibility of a particular player. 

The following procedure is available for players/teams for whom the rules are not clear: 

1. The team Spokesperson or the player in question may submit an inquiry to the College Eligibility Committee Chair at coll_elig_comm@usaultimate.org. 

2. The inquiry must be made and submitted by March 1st of the year to which the inquiry pertains. Late requests will be considered at the discretion of the Eligibility Committee. 

3. If the inquiry is deemed worth of case consideration, it will be reviewed by the Eligibility Committee (or a proxy approved by the Eligibility Committee), and responses e-mailed. 

4. This clarification procedure is NOT intended to allow exceptions to the eligibility rules. Rather, it allows accurate and consistent determination of eligibility status WITHIN these rules.