Tournament Director's Certification Program
USA Ultimate’s Tournament Director Certification Program (TDCP) was developed to educate event organizers about best practices for event management and provide tools to help organizers run high-quality events. The TDCP addresses USA Ultimate's strategic goal of providing the highest quality competitive events in the U.S.
The cornerstone of the TDCP is the Tournament Director’s Manual. In it, organizers will find important and useful information, based on industry best practices and the experience of top event organizers across the country.
TD Certification Process
The process of becoming a Certified Level I Tournament Director is simple:
• apply for the online clinic
• read the Tournament Director's Manual and the linked resources
• watch your USA Ultimate associated email account for an email from "USA Ultimate Manager - Events" with subject "USA Ultimate-[your-name] Tournament Director Certification Program"
• take the online exam (open-book—please make use of any and all resources)
You must be at least 18 years of age to become a certified USA Ultimate tournament director.
If you have comments or questions about the TDCP test questions, manual content or registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an effort to improve tournaments, as of January 1, 2016, TDCP Level I Certification will be a requirement for certain USA Ultimate volunteers:
• National Directors
• Regional Coordinators and Directors
• Conference and Sectional Coordinators
• State Youth Coordinators (Competition)
• Tournament Directors for any USA Ultimate sanctioned, season, championship series, or national or regional championship event.
As of January 2016, the cost for certification is $33. The certification will be good for up to two years; it will expire at the end of the second calendar year.
The certification exam is free for many USA Ultimate volunteers, including national and regional directors; regional, conference, sectional and state coordinators; championship series and state championship event tournament directors; and tournament directors who run a sanctioned tournament for a USAU Affiliate organization.
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A fantastic group including several excellent tournament directors contributed to the development of the TDCP and the Tournament Director’s Manual:
- William Bartram
- Melissa Battis
- Dave Branick
- Rusty Brown
- Zara Cadoux
- Brian Canniff
- Seann DeMaris
- Jeff Jordan
- Fran Kelley
- Kim Kreitner
- Rob Luhrs
- Colin McIntyre
- Bruce Mebust
- Michelle Ng
- Rodger Oakes
- Chris Olig
- Rob Popp
- Shiellah Quintos
- Andy Saeman
- Josh Seamon
- Scott Severson
- Dale Wilker
- USA Ultimate Headquarters Staff
Thanks to Ryan Anderson for her copy editing.
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The tournament experience highlights the second "C" in USA Ultimate’s Mission Statement: to advance the sport of ultimate in the United States by enhancing Character, Community, and Competition. While tournaments are definitely not unique to our sport, they seem to be more prevalent in ultimate across skill levels and they are not just at the end of the season. Single games outside of tournament play can address both Character and Competition. It is the exposure to a tournament, to numerous teams and scores of players, to the immersion in the sport and to one’s fellow athletes, both teammates and opponents, for a day or longer that demonstrates the ultimate community.
Tournaments are a huge part of ultimate and tournament experiences, both positive and negative, have a large impact on participants’ experiences of our sport. So it is very important that athletes, coaches, chaperones, family members and fans enjoy our tournaments. There is a direct correlation between the quality of the tournament and how much participants and attendees enjoy it.
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