U.S. Open Moves to Early August With Youth Club Championships in Blaine, Minn.
Posted: July 11, 2016 01:32 PM
Colorado Springs, Colo. (July 11, 2016)—Last month, USA Ultimate announced plans to reschedule the U.S. Open Ultimate Championships & Convention from its traditional Fourth of July weekend and move it to a date later in the summer.
Following a discussion at USA Ultimate’s recent board of directors meeting, the board unanimously approved the rescheduling of the U.S. Open to early August and combining it with the Youth Club Championships.
The 2017 edition will be held at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. A final date has not yet been confirmed.
The proposal to reschedule the tournament and merge it with USA Ultimate’s largest event was submitted by the organization’s Competition and Club Working Groups, which recommended the move based on player feedback and continued analysis and discussion.
Following the working groups’ annual winter meetings last December in which the overall timing of the Triple Crown Tour was discussed, USA Ultimate sought feedback directly from teams participating in major Triple Crown Tour events via a survey issued last April. Additionally, international teams were polled. When asked about their preference on the timing of the U.S. Open, the majority of respondents preferred late July or early August.
Subsequent dialogue with working group representatives and athletes helped to identify early August as an optimal window, while combining it with the Youth Club Championships makes logistical sense because of a world-class competition venue; a supportive and passionate local organizing committee and volunteer base; a central geographic location that serves as a hub for the world’s second-largest airline; a broadcast-friendly stadium and a built-in fan base.
The National Sports Center previously hosted the U.S. Open in 2014 and will host the 2016 Youth Club Championships from August 12-14.
Combined, the weekend will now attract more than 100 teams and 2,300 athletes with the possibility of growing in the future, including possible invitations to international teams in the youth division.
The duration of the U.S. Open will also be changed as it is set to become a three-day tournament in 2017 – a change that was also preferred by the majority of survey respondents.
While the Fourth of July weekend has provided several advantages, there were also many drawbacks that negatively impacted the participants’ experience, including travel costs and conflict with personal holiday traditions. The relative early spot on the club season calendar also presented competitive challenges with teams fielding small or incomplete rosters that have not yet spent enough time training and practicing together.
The proposal to the board also addressed overall scheduling of the various major Triple Crown Tour events with a recommendation being made based on a considerable amount of working group discussion and additional survey feedback.
Moving forward, beginning in 2017, the Triple Crown Tour calendar is expected to occur in the following order, and in the following general timeframe:
|June – August
||Independent sanctioned regular season events
||Select Flight Invite
|Late August/Early September
||Pro Flight Finale
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