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Youth Competition Guidelines

 2014 USA Ultimate State HS Championships

2014 USA Ultimate HS Regional Championships

2014 USA Ultimate Youth Club Championships

Competition Guidelines

 


 

Updates for 2014

 

 

2014 USA Ultimate State HS Championships

States holding USAU State HS Championships

USAU State HS Championship program is an expanding program. States are chosen to host a USAU State HS Championship at the discretion of the Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs. The four criteria weighed in granting USAU sponsorship to a new State HS Championship are:

  1. Existence of a USAU sanctioned state tournament in previous years
  2. Competent organizers to host the event
  3. Keeping the growth at a level where high quality training can be provided to new organizers and
  4. Geographic balance.

 

In 2014 the states hosting USAU State HS Championships are: Northern California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
 

 

Requirements for State Championships and Sanctioned State Tournaments

  1. A "state championship" is a select sanctioned state tournament owned by USA Ultimate and run by the USA Ultimate State Youth Coordinator.
  2. A "state tournament" is an independent event sanctioned by USA Ultimate. State tournaments are most often used to prepare for running a state championship in upcoming seasons.
  3. The state tournament or championship (from here on out: state tournament) must be publicly announced at least 4 weeks prior to the event. Announcement must include:
    1. Date of event
    2. Location of event
    3. Contact information for event
    4. Registration requirements
  4. The state tournament must include every HS team in the state that meets the Tournament Director's deadlines.
    1. In the event that there are too many in-state teams to accommodate at a state tournament, there must be USAU qualifying event(s) for the state tournament.
    2. If there are USAU qualifying events, then every team must participate in one of these events in order to qualify.
      • For example, if North Carolina were running qualifying events in Raleigh and Wilmington, then Charlotte teams must also compete in a qualifying event in order to be eligible for the state tournament.
    3. The state tournament can include teams from outside of the state as long as it does not prohibit in-state teams that have met the registration requirements.
    4. Sanctioned Developmental or Division II events can be qualifying events. They must be used as part of the qualifying process for the high school state championships. If they are not part of the qualifying process, then teams must self-select to participate. Teams cannot be directed to participate in a Developmental or Division II event outside of a qualifying process.

 

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to approval by the USA Ultimate Youth Programs Manager. 

Team Info 
  1. All teams must submit an official 2014 State Youth Championship roster by the deadlines outlined below. USAU membership dues and individual waivers must also be submitted prior to participation at the State Championships. Players may not pay onetime event fees for Championship events. .
  2. Event/Team Registration Deadline
    1. Team name, contact info, and chaperone information must be entered into the USAU online rostering system by Friday, two weeks prior to your state tournament. Teams without this information registered in the online system by this deadline will be ineligible to compete in the State Championships.
    2. Each team must have a registered chaperone who has passed a USAU background check (Please see the Rostering 101 guide for details on the online rostering system and manual rostering instructions).
    3. It is recommended that membership dues, waivers, and roster should be submitted prior to this deadline.
    4. *Note: There may be additional registration information required by your State Youth Coordinator. Contact your State Youth Coordinator in advance of the registration deadline for more details.
  3. Rostering Deadline: Wednesday before the State Championships
    1. The online rostering system is strongly preferred for teams submitting rosters by the rostering deadline, but they may manually fill out and submit a paper roster. (Please see the Rostering 101 guide for details on the online rostering system and manual rostering instructions).
    2. Online rostering must be completed by the Wednesday prior to a team's State Championship (For example, if a team's state championship is May 10-11, rostering must be completed by 5PM MT on Wednesday, May 7)
    3. Paper late rostering must be received at USAU Headquarters by close of business on Wednesday prior to a team's State Championship.
    4. State Youth Coordinators may set an earlier deadline for rostering in communication with his/her Regional Youth Director.
  4. On-site Rostering: The morning of the State Championships
    1. On-site rostering is only allowed using a paper roster.
    2. Note: State Youth Coordinators may choose not to accept on-site rosters or player additions.
    3. There is a $50 late fee for teams that submit a paper roster on-site at the State Championships.
  5. Multiple team affiliations are not allowed. No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).
  6. Player Eligibility
    1. USA Ultimate High School Championship events are competitions for school based teams. All players on teams participating in the event must meet the following guidelines for "High School Players."
    2. High School Players - To be considered a High School Player students must meet the following requirements
      1. Students must be regular members of the school they represent in order to participate in an interscholastic athletic activity.
        1. Students are a "regular member" of a school if they are enrolled half time or more, exclusive of interscholastic athletic activities
        2. In cases where schools can provide supporting documentation, USA Ultimate allows two or more schools meeting certain requirements to compete as a consortium (single-team from multiple schools) in the USA Ultimate High School division. More details can be found here.
    3. Students must not turn 20 prior to June 1st of the current school year.
    4. Students must not have graduated or received a GED before January 1st of the current school year.
    5. Students who are home schooled will be considered eligible to participate on a team at a USA Ultimate Championship event as follows:
      1. If the student is part of a USAU-recognized home school cooperative, they may participate as part of that cooperative’s Ultimate team, provided that team meets the state tournament participation requirements.
      2. If the student is not part of a USAU-recognized home school cooperative, they may participate as part of the Ultimate team at the public high school that they would normally attend, provided that team meets the state tournament participation requirements.
  7. State Eligibility Exceptions
    1. State Youth Coordinators can request modifications to eligibility rules for their State each year. These modifications must be applied consistently and throughout the state. The proposals must be submitted to the Regional Youth Director by January 31st of that year for approval by the Regional Youth Directors and USA Ultimate staff.
    2. A player being determined eligible for a HS team at HS States via an eligibility modification does not make a player eligible for that same team at HS Regionals. All eligibility questions for HS Regionals should be directed to the Championship Series Manager.
  8. Violations of these rules may result in disqualification from the current USAU High School championships and possible sanctions through the USAU conduct process.
  9. Clarifications - These rules are designed to be as fair as possible for all of the wide range of players participating in the USAU High School Championships. 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 coach, team representative, or the player in question may submit an inquiry to the Youth Eligibility Committee via its eligibility form.
    2. The inquiry form must be filled out completely, and submitted between January 1st and March 31st. Late requests will be considered at the discretion of the committee.
    3. The inquiry will be reviewed by the Eligibility Committee, and responses sent by e-mail.
    4. Email youth_elig_chair@usaultimate.org if the form is not available or for any other questions.
    5. The eligibility committee will rule on a player’s case based on the published Youth Competition Guidelines, and is not the mechanism for requesting changes to the guidelines. Please contact the Manager of Competition and Athlete Program on the process for proposing changes.
  10. Failure to abide by any of the above rules may result in the immediate disqualification of the team or individual.
  11. Teams should make a copy of their roster prior to mailing it to USAU Headquarters for their records. This copy should be brought to State Championships in case it needs to be referenced.
  12. All teams, regardless of whether they turn their rosters in to HQ or at the tournament, should contact their State Youth Coordinator no later than 2 weeks prior to the tournament to let the coordinator know they intend to participate (or other deadline as set and communicated to the teams by the coordinator). Click here for coordinator contact info.
  13. Please see the Rostering 101 guide for detailed instructions on how to get your roster done right and for links to the appropriate forms needed (roster, waivers, etc.).
  14. Mail rosters to:

 

State Youth Championship Roster
(State/Name of Team)
USA Ultimate
4730 Table Mesa Dr.
Suite I-200C
Boulder, CO 80305
(303) 447-3472 or 1 (800) 872-4384

Minor (Under 18) Player Info
 
Minors participating in the State Youth Championships must have the appropriate forms completed prior to participation (waiver, medical release). A team with minors on it must have an approved, background-checked chaperone listed on the team’s official roster. The medical release form is the responsibility of the chaperone; it must be brought to each USAU event and kept on hand by the chaperone. This form will allow medical personnel to treat an injured minor without a parent/guardian having to be present. (Without this form a doctor might not be able to treat an injured minor.)
 
Chaperones
 
Beginning in 2011, each team with athletes younger than 18 will have to have a USAU certified chaperone who has passed a background check. The chaperone will need to be listed on the official team roster. See here for more details.
 
Important Documents
 
The following documents can be found here:
HS State Championship rosters can be found here and are also provided through online registration system.

  

Please refer to Rostering 101 for more detailed instructions on online and manual rostering.

 

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2014 USAU HS Regional Championships

Application and Team Selection
 
Applications for the 2014 USAU HS Regional Championships will be available on the USAU website in January 2014. Applications will be due by March 14, 2014 (5PM Mountain Time) and invited teams will be notified by March 21, 2014. Teams that meet the Requirements for Applicants will be eligible to receive an invitation. Teams will be selected based on team strength and geographic representation. A team’s contributions to the development of youth Ultimate may be considered as a tiebreaker in cases where teams can’t be separated based on strength and geography.

 

Requirements for Teams 
 
In order to compete at a HS Regional Championship a school’s team (e.g. Varsity, Junior Varsity, A or B) must compete in the previous year's USAU state championship or sanctioned state tournament in the state in which that team resides (e.g. for Amherst Reg. HS to compete at Northeasterns in 2014, they must have competed at the USAU MA State Championships in 2013)
  1. 50% of the team's players at the previous year's state tournament must have been regular members of the school.
  2. In the event that the state tournament has a mixed (coed) division, teams from that division may qualify to compete at a HS Regional Championship in the Boys or Girls Division, provided the gender ratio for the mixed division of the state tournament was 4/3.
  3. Each player on the Roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event.
  4. For 2014: In the event that a team did not attend a 2013 USAU state championship or sanctioned state tournament, it may still apply for a HS Regional event under one of the two following conditions:
    1. It plans to and does attend a 2014 USAU state championship or sanctioned state tournament.
      1. Programs that submit applications based upon planned attendance of a 2014 USAU state championship but do not attend may have sanctions placed upon the program.
      2. This exception is a one year exception. Teams that do not attend 2014 state championships should expect to be unable to apply for 2015 Regional events. This rule will be reviewed at the end of the season.
    2. In the cases where a USAU state championship or sanctioned state tournament does not exist, the team must submit a "High School Development Proposal". Both the application and proposal are due by the application deadline. It is highly recommended that you submit the application early in order to have time to develop a quality high school development proposal.
  5. Multiple team affiliations are not allowed. No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).
     
High School Development Proposals - As a part of the application process, applicants that do not have a current state championship will be required to submit a high school development proposal. This proposal will outline how the applicant will help develop local youth Ultimate opportunities, building toward an eventual sanctioned state tournament. This proposal will be included as part of the HS Regional application. For more information or questions about developing your proposal, please contact the Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs – baker@hq.usaultimate.org.
 
Player Eligibility
 
  1. 2014 Boys' Division
    1. Player eligibility for HS Regionals is the same as above.
  2. 2014 Girls’ Division
    1. Base player eligibility for HS Regionals is the same as above.
    2. For 2014
      1. In order to encourage growth and to support traveling teams, girls’ teams competing at a HS Regional event will be allowed to add up to 5 players to their roster who do not attend the same school.
      2. These additional players must in all other ways be eligible for the girls’ division. 
      3. Aside from these additional players, all other rostered members of the team must be students at the school they are competing
      4. All player additions must be noted as such on the official roster for the HS Regional event.
    3. New for 2014: Girls’ club team
      1. Girls’ teams that are interested in participating in HS Regionals, but cannot meet the above criteria, may apply as a club team from multiple schools.
      2. Club teams will receive secondary consideration during the application phase.
      3. While the players may come from different schools, they must in all other ways be eligible for the girls division.
      4. Contact the Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs for the Combination Team Application – baker@hq.usaultimate.org
    4. For 2015:
      1. USA Ultimate will review these exceptions in preparation for the 2015 season.
      2. The scheduled plan is to scale down the number of additions in 2015
         

 Event Registration

 
Information on paperwork requirements and deadlines will be sent to selected teams along with the invitation to the event.
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2014 USA Ultimate Youth Club Championships
 

Overview

The goal of this event is to provide national level competition for youth Ultimate players and encourage local, non-high school based playing opportunities for youth within the USAU structure. In 2014, USA Ultimate will be accepting bids for two separate divisions – U-19 and U-16. The guidelines that follow are USAU’s requirements for qualification and criteria for acceptance for the USAU Youth Club Championships. As this is a growing division, these guidelines and the bid allocation process are subject to change.

 

U-19 Application Process

  1. Phase 1: Applications for the 2014 USAU Youth Club Championships will be due by March 3, 2013 (5PM Mountain Time). Bids will be awarded according to the team selection process on March 10, 2014.
    1. USAU sanctioned Youth Club Leagues must fill out the application by the deadline.
    2. At-large applicants (teams not based on USA Ultimate Youth Club Leagues) that were accepted in 2013 with a "Youth Club Development Proposal" must submit a progress report of their original plan, including plans for the upcoming year.
    3. At-large applicants (both new and returning) must fill out the application in order to receive instructions for the required youth club development proposal. Both the application and proposal are due by the deadline stated above. It is highly recommended that you submit the application early in order to have time to develop a quality youth club league development proposal.
  2. Phase 2: Applicants that miss the Phase 1 period can apply during Phase 2 for any available spots or to be added to the waitlist should a Phase 1 team turn down a bid in any division. The waitlist application will be made available on the USAU website in April. The deadline for the waitlist application process will be May 9, and teams will be notified of the status of their bids by May 30.
    1. USAU sanctioned Youth Club Leagues must fill out the application by the deadline.
    2. At-large applicants must fill out an application in order to receive instructions for the required youth club development proposal. Both the application and proposal are due by the deadline stated above. It is highly recommend that you submit the application early in order to have time to develop a quality youth club league development proposal.

 

The purpose of multiple bid deadlines is to accommodate leagues and teams that want to know early in the year how many bids they will receive and in which division(s). In recognizing that not all leagues are ready to bid early, Phase 2 was created to fill any vacant bids after Phase 1 and give a second opportunity for new leagues/teams to apply.


At-large team proposals - As a part of the application process, At-large applicants will be required to submit a youth club development proposal that outlines how the applicant will develop a local youth club league and work with USAU to sanction this league within the next two years. Applicants who successfully receive a bid based on their youth club development proposal may apply for such a conditional bid for two consecutive years. After the two years from the time the proposal is accepted, if no viable USAU sanctioned youth club league has been developed, it will be at the discretion of the Youth Programs Manager to determine whether the team can continue to apply for bids to the Youth Club Championships. An application must first be submitted in order to receive instructions on developing this proposal.

 

Team Selection Process: This process is designed to encourage communities to develop Youth Club playing opportunities outside of the high school structure that is already supported by the USAU High School Eastern and Western Championships. The incentives created by the combination of national and regional-level high school and youth club events encourages the development of increased playing opportunities for both individuals and teams.

The only leagues that are guaranteed bids to the event are from 2013 USAU-sanctioned youth club (non-HS affiliated) leagues that submit an application in Phase 1. Youth club league bids in Phase 2 will be granted only on a space permitting basis. All other applicants are considered At-large and will be invited on a space permitting basis. Please refer to the chart below for the priority in which bids will be awarded to At-large applicants, as priority is still given to USAU-sanctioned HS leagues over other groups.
 

  

Team Classification Description Application
Phase
Bid Priority*
Youth Club Teams Teams based on 2013 USAU-sanctioned youth club (non-HS affiliated) leagues Phase 1 1st - Bid guaranteed
Youth Club Teams Teams based on 2013 USAU-sanctioned youth club (non-HS affiliated) leagues Phase 2 3rd – Space permitting
At-Large Teams 
(may apply for a bid for 2 consecutive years only)
Teams not based on 2013 USAU-sanctioned youth club leagues Phase 1 2nd – Space permitting
At-Large Teams 
(may apply for a bid for 2 consecutive years only)
Teams not based on 2013 USAU-sanctioned youth club leagues Phase 2 4th – Space permitting
       

* Leagues that request to drop in team classification after bid acceptance are not guaranteed to have that request granted and may put their bid at risk if such a drop is deemed necessary and is granted. Teams that are permitted to drop in classification after bid acceptance may be subject to a lowered bid priority on their future bid applications.


Bid Allocation Limits:

Bids may be awarded to a youth club league or at-large applicant for more than one team in a single division. After a first bid in each division is granted, subsequent bids will be considered with the lowest priority. Please see the chart below for details on how many bids per division a league may receive.

In order to incentivize growth in the number of opportunities for girls to play Ultimate in a single gender environment, the number of bids that a league can receive in each division and across divisions will be limited at the Youth Club Championships.  The limits on the number of teams per division and across divisions will be determined according to the following maximum allowable ratios of Boys' division bids to Girls and Mixed bids:

 

Boys' Bids Girls Bids Mixed Bids
2 1 0
2 1 1
1 1 1
1 0 1

 

League Requirements

For the purposes of Team Selection for the YCC, leagues will be defined as follows:

  1. USAU Youth Club League
    1. USAU sanctioned
    2. Provides playing opportunities for youth in a youth-focused environment
    3. Open registration/enrollment
      1. Registration deadlines are acceptable, but must be communicated clearly and enforced consistently
      2. Limitations on player registration are acceptable for logistical reasons, but must be communicated clearly and enforced consistently
      3. Skill level of players may not be a factor in determining a player’s ability to register
    4. Competition and team makeup is not based on school affiliation
    5. Minimum of 4 league meetings (scheduled game days per team) over a minimum of 4 weeks
  2. USA Ultimate reserves the right to determine whether leagues applying for bids to the YCC meet the above criteria.

 

Team and Player Requirements

  1. On-time receipt of application
  2. Adequate adult support structure (at least 2 chaperones over 25)
  3. All players must not turn 19 prior to June 1st of the year of the USAU Youth Club Championships in order to be eligible.
  4. Each player on the roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event.
  5. Teams must be made up of players residing in the same (USAU adult club) region, with residency defined as:
    1. the location where the person is living for the majority of August, AND
    2. the location where the person is living for the majority of the 3 months prior to August
    3. If the above definition means that a player does not have a region as their "residence", then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player.
    4. Teams are allowed a maximum of 2 out-of-region players.
  6. If the team is a league sponsored team, all players must either:
    1. have participated in the season that the application is based on OR
    2. be registered to participate in the league the year of the YCC prior to the beginning of the YCC.
    3. "Participation" is defined as competing in a minimum of two league competitions. Leagues are encouraged to set a higher standard of participation.
  7. Multiple team affiliations are not allowed. No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).
  8. USAU reserves the right to determine whether players on applying teams meet the above criteria.
     

Event Registration

Information on paperwork requirements and deadlines will be sent to selected teams along with the invitation to the event.

U-16 Application Process

  1. Phase 1: Applications for the 2014 USAU Youth Club Championships will be due by March 3, 2014 (5PM Mountain Time). Bids will be awarded according to the team selection process on March 10, 2014.
    1. USAU sanctioned age-divided Youth Club Leagues must fill out the application by the deadline.
    2. At-large applicants (teams not based on age-divided USA Ultimate Youth Club Leagues) must fill out the application in order to receive instructions for the required youth club development proposal. Both the application and proposal are due by the deadline stated above. It is highly recommended that you submit the application early in order to have time to develop a quality youth club league development proposal.
  2. Phase 2: Applicants that miss the Phase 1 period can apply during Phase 2 for any available spots or to be added to the waitlist should a Phase 1 team turn down a bid in any division. The waitlist application will be made available on the USAU website in April. The deadline for the waitlist application process will be May 9, and teams will be notified of the status of their bids by May 30.
    1. USAU sanctioned age-divided Youth Club Leagues must fill out the application by the deadline.
    2. At-large applicants must fill out an application in order to receive instructions for the required youth club development proposal. Both the application and proposal are due by the deadline stated above. It is highly recommend that you submit the application early in order to have time to develop a quality youth club league development proposal.
       

The purpose of multiple bid deadlines is to accommodate leagues and teams that want to know early in the year how many bids they will receive and in which division(s). In recognizing that not all leagues are ready to bid early, Phase 2 was created to fill any vacant bids after Phase 1 and give a second opportunity for new leagues/teams to apply.

At-large team proposals - As a part of the application process, U-16 At-large applicants will be required to submit a youth club development proposal that outlines how the applicant will develop a local youth club league with multiple age divisions and work with USAU to sanction this league within the next two years. Applicants who successfully receive a bid based on their youth club development proposal may apply for such a conditional bid for two consecutive years. After the two years from the time the proposal is accepted, if no viable USAU sanctioned youth club league has been developed, it will be at the discretion of the Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs to determine whether the team can continue to apply for bids to the Youth Club Championships. An application must first be submitted in order to receive instructions on developing this proposal.

Team Selection Process: This process is designed to encourage communities to develop Youth Club playing opportunities for athletes under the age of 16.

The only leagues that are guaranteed bids to the event are from 2013 USAU-sanctioned youth club (non-HS affiliated) leagues that submit an application in Phase 1. Youth club league bids in Phase 2 will be granted only on a space permitting basis. All other applicants are considered At-large and will be invited on a space permitting basis.

At this time, there will only be a boys' division at the 2014 Youth Club Championships. We will continue to evaluate the likelihood of a girls or mixed division throughout the winter and spring.

League Requirements
For the purposes of Team Selection for the YCC, leagues will be defined as follows:

  1. USAU Youth Club League
    1. USAU sanctioned
    2. Provides playing opportunities for U-16 youth in a youth-focused environment
      1. In order to be a qualifying youth league for U-16 play, the league must be set up in a way that provides for playing opportunities for different age groups to play with others in a similar age demographic.
      2. Note – this does not mean that the league must have U-19 and U-16 categories but that there are multiple age divisions. Those divisions may vary from community to community.
    3. Open registration/enrollment
      1. Registration deadlines are acceptable, but must be communicated clearly and enforced consistently
      2. Limitations on player registration are acceptable for logistical reasons, but must be communicated clearly and enforced consistently
      3. Skill level of players may not be a factor in determining a player’s ability to register
    4. Competition and team makeup is not based on school affiliation
    5. Minimum of 4 league meetings (scheduled game days per team) over a minimum of 4 weeks
  2. USA Ultimate reserves the right to determine whether leagues applying for bids to the YCC meet the above criteria.



Team and Player Requirements

  1. On-time receipt of application
  2. Adequate adult support structure (at least 2 chaperones over 25)
  3. All players must not turn 16 prior to June 1st of the year of the USAU Youth Club Championships in order to be eligible.
  4. Each player on the roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event.
  5. Teams must be made up of players residing in the same (USAU adult club) region, with residency defined as:
    1. the location where the person is living for the majority of August, AND
    2. the location where the person is living for the majority of the 3 months prior to August
    3. If the above definition means that a player does not have a region as their "residence", then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player.
    4. Teams are allowed a maximum of 2 out-of-region players.
  6. If the team is a league sponsored team, all players must either:
    1. have participated in the season that the application is based on OR
    2. be registered to participate in the league the year of the YCC prior to the beginning of the YCC.
    3. "Participation" is defined as competing in a minimum of two league competitions. Leagues are encouraged to set a higher standard of participation.
  7. USAU reserves the right to determine whether players on applying teams meet the above criteria.
  8. Multiple team affiliations are not allowed. No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).

 

Event Registraton

Information on paperwork requirements and deadlines will be sent to selected teams along with the invitation to the event.
  

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Competition Guidelines

Spirit of the Game 
 
Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the players themselves. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed-upon rules of the game, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate adverse conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other 'win at all costs' behavior are contrary to the Spirit of the Game and must be avoided by all players.
 
Spirit of the Game sets Ultimate apart from other competitive team sports. For over 30 years, Ultimate has flourished, reaching a highly competitive level, without the use of referees. In Ultimate, the honor system works. Sure, human nature rears its ugly head from time to time - just as in any sport, just as in life. Yet, one of the many beauties of Ultimate is how, even amid the most difficult of situations, utmost graciousness is allowed to meet that challenge head on. Through this balance, Ultimate players are free to demonstrate the most honorable and the most joyous sides of human nature in sport.
 
Most Ultimate players care deeply about Spirit of the Game. The organizational challenge for USAU is to foster an environment where the challenge does not become, "to see what I can get away with". Rather than dictate what Spirit of the Game is or should be, it is up to each player to do so for him or herself within the context of the teams he or she plays with and against.

 

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Gender Division Eligibility

  1. Males are eligible to compete in the Boys and Mixed divisions.
  2. Females are eligible to compete in the Boys, Mixed, and Girls divisions.
  3. On-field gender ratio rules for the Mixed Division are described in the Mixed Division Gender Ratio section of the Competition Guidelines.
  4. The eligibility of transgender athletes will be governed by the USA Ultimate Policy on Transgender Athletes. Contact USA Ultimate HQ for more information.
     

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 Coaching Certification Requirements

 During games at USAU Championship events where field access is restricted (e.g. semifinal and finals of the USAU College Championships), sideline access will only be granted to players, coaches that are designated by the team and have completed the USAU Coaching Ethics Workshop, USAU event staff, and media.

All other non-player support staff, including additional coaches that have not completed the USAU Coaching Ethics Workshop, must read, sign and agree to abide by the USAU Coaching Ethics Code and USAU Spirit of Coaching statement.

Limits on number of coaches and other non-player support staff will be determined by specific event guidelines.

This policy was approved by the Board of Directors in December 2008 and is to be implemented for the 2009 youth and college championship events and beyond.

The original Coaching Certification policy, which required Level I certification, was approved by the Board of Directors in the summer of 2006 as an incentive for coaches to get Level I certification as well as to ensure compliance with USAU standards of knowledge and behavior at USAU's highest profile games. Recognizing the need for increased access to the clinics, and wishing to align the specific topics of coaching ethics and professionalizing with the sideline requirement, the policy was revised in 2008.

Coaches should make plans to attend the Coaching Ethics Workshop between January and March of each year in order to ensure access to the sideline for all games at the Championship events.

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Name/Logo/Uniform Guidelines
 
USAU reserves the right to alter, or require a team to alter, a team name, player nickname, team logo, jersey graphic, or uniform and/or suggest alternatives at or in conjunction with a USAU program or event should USAU personnel determine that the existing name, logo, graphic, or uniform might hinder the mission of the organization or the goals of a specific USAU program or event. Alterations must meet with the approval of USAU personnel.
 
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Uniform Requirements
 

Player Uniform Requirements

  • All players participating in the USAU High School Eastern and Western Championships and the USAU Youth Club Championship tournaments for a given team must wear jerseys of identical color and design.
  • Teams must have two jerseys of distinctly different color.
  • Jerseys must have numbers on the back.  The numbers must be at least 6 inches high and be one or two digit Arabic numerals.  No two players on a given team may use the same number or numbers with the same value (e.g. 00 and 0, 01 and 1, etc.).
  • Uniform bottoms (shorts, pants, skirts) worn by players on the field must be the same color.
  • It is recommended that uniform accessories including tights, undershirts, hats, and socks be of identical or coordinated style and color.
  • USAU reserves the right to disqualify and/or fine players who fail to meet the uniform requirements.
  • The uniform requirements for USAU State HS Championships are to be determined by the State Youth Coordinator. 

 

Coach Uniform Requirements

  • All coaches participating in the USA Ultimate HS Regional Championships or Youth Club Championships must wear either a uniform of identical color and design as the team, or professional coaching attire as defined below.
  • Professional coaching attire is defined as any combination of the following:
    • The team jersey, or a sleeved shirt/polo matching the team uniform colors (and/or high school, if the team uses the school colors for their uniforms).
    • Team shorts/skirt or hemmed slacks/shorts/skirt of an appropriate solid color
    • Business casual attire
    • Closed toe shoes such as cleats, flats or athletic shoes. Flip flops, open toed sandals and bare feet are not considered professional coaching attire.
  • Coach jerseys and shorts are not subject to the number requirements for players.
  • Names, logos, and graphics on jerseys must comply with the Name/Logo/Uniform Guidelines above.
  • It is recommended that uniform accessories including weather related gear, tights, undershirts, hats, and socks be of identical or coordinated style and color.
  • USA Ultimate reserves the right to remove from the sideline/field and/or fine coaches who fail to meet the uniform requirements.
  • These requirements do not apply to State Championships
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Formats
 
State Championship tournament formats will be determined by coordinators using USAU guidelines for the Championship Series. Contact your State Youth Championship Coordinator for information. Formats for HS Regional Championships, and the YCC will depend on the number of teams and fields, with the goals of determining a champion, showcasing the division at its best, and providing a great playing experience for all the teams.
 
Note that formats in the current USA Ultimate Formats Manual is being updated to meet the following guidelines. State Youth Coordinators must contact their Regional Youth Director to have a format approved.
 
Event Competition Schedule Standards
 
  1. Only eligible players can compete in sanctioned youth events.
  2. Maximum amount of time that players are at the fields is 9 hours per day.
  3. Maximum amount of actual game time is 6 hours per day.
  4. For standard 2 hour rounds (games to 15),there is a max of 3 games a day (6 per weekend)
  5. Minimum of 30 minutes from hard cap to beginning of the next round.
  6. If teams have more than 2 games per day, an 1-hour break between games is recommended.
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Seeding

 

  • Seeding for the State HS Championships will be done by the SYC using the following information: input solicited from all the captains of participating teams; results of head to head match-ups prior to the Championships; results of last year's Championships; and other applicable information such as team composition during or prior to the Championships. (The coordinator has the authority to adjust rankings according to the best information available.) 
  • Seeding for the USAU Youth Club Championships and USAU HS Easterns and Westerns will be done by the USAU Championship series staff using the following information: input solicited from all the captains of participating teams; results of head to head match-ups prior to the Championships; results of last year's Championships; and other applicable information such as team composition during or prior to the Championships and geographic location. 

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Forfeit Rule
 
  1. A team must play all its games at a tournament.
    1. Any team that declines to finish a scheduled game or games or attempts to decide a match by any manner other than playing Ultimate on the field will forfeit those games. Should both teams in a match choose not to play, then it will be considered a double forfeit.
    2. At the discretion of the event's USAU coordinator, consideration may be given to situations that might warrant an exception being made, provided it does not affect the fairness or integrity of the competition.
    3. Consideration should be given if a team misses the first game of the first day because of travel problems.
  2. If one team is not ready to play at game-time, points may be assessed in accordance with the current edition of the USAU Official Rules of Ultimate (Section VIII.A.4). Under these conditions, if the score of the game reaches 8–0, the team that has failed to signal readiness will technically forfeit the game (see rule above).
  3. A team will be considered to have forfeited any game where the number of players that can safely participate falls below the minimum requirement set by the Event Organizer for that specific event. (See "Player Minimums" below)
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Rules
 
2014 USAU Youth and High School Championship events will be played using the current edition of the USAU Official Rules of Ultimate. Any changes to these rules must be pre-approved by the USAU Championship Series headquarters staff.
 
Approved for 2014:
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The following changes have been approved for use in the 2014 Youth Division:

Endzone Size - Endzone length will be shortened to 20 yards. This change allows for consistency with WFDF rules used in international competition and increases the number of field sites that can be used for Ultimate.

Contact Call - If contact occurs between the thrower and marker that would constitute a foul under XVI.H.3.a but the thrower does not release the disc, "contact" may be called. Play does not stop and the marker resumes the stall count at "one". Other than resetting the stall count to "one" after the first instance, the "contact" call is treated as any other marking violation. The marker may contest the "contact" call by calling "violation", which stops play. If the thrower calls "contact" after beginning the throwing motion and subsequently releases the disc, it is treated as if the thrower called "foul".
 


Observers

 

Only USAU Certified Observers or Instructional Observers are permitted to officiate at USAU Championship or Championship Series Events.

If officials are used during USAU Youth or High School Championship events, their duties must be in line with those described in the USAU Observer Manual. Any changes to these duties must be pre-approved by the Championship Series Manager.

If captains want observers to be present at a tournament, they must notify the event coordinator at least 4 weeks prior to the tournament. This will facilitate recruitment prior to the event. The use of observers is subject to the availability of observer staff.
 

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Gender Ratio for Mixed Division
 
Youth Club Championships
 
  1. The gender ratio for the Mixed Division of the Youth Club Championships will be 4/3 (4 men and 3 women, or 4 women and 3 men).
  2. The receiving team will determine if the current point will be played with 4 men and 3 women or 4 women and 3 men. The pulling team must match the gender ratio of the receiving team.
  3. If the pulling team cannot match the gender of all 7 players, then it must play with fewer than 7 players, matching the gender of as many players as possible.
  4. Injury timeouts
    1. In the event of an injury time-out where a player leaves the field, the replacing player must be the same gender as the injured player.
    2. If a team replaces players, the opposing team has the option of substituting a like number of, or fewer players.
    3. The replacing player(s) must be the same gender as the player(s) they replace.
    4. If a team calls an injury time-out but does not have a replacement player of the same gender as the injured player, it may not replace that player and must play with fewer than 7 players.

 

State HS Championships

  1. At USAU State HS Championships that include a mixed division, the gender ratio for that division will be determined by the USAU State Youth Coordinator after consulting with the affected teams' captains and coaches.
  2. Please note that for teams to be eligible to apply for participation at the HS Regional Championships, the mixed division of a sanctioned state championship or a sponsored USAU State HS Championship must have the gender ratio of 4/3.

 

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  Player Minimums

  1. USAU Youth and High School Championship events set specific player minimum requirements for both registration and competition.
  2. Registration Minimums: Set to determine whether a team can officially register for an event.
    1. For Sanctioned/Championship Tournament play: 10 players minimum. For mixed: 4 players per gender.
    2. For League Match play: 10 players minimum. For mixed: 4 players per gender.
    3. For Regional Events/Youth Club Championships: 12 players minimum registered and attending. For mixed: 4 players per gender.
  3. Competition Minimums: Set to determine whether a team can continue to compete safely at an event.
    1. For Sanctioned/Championship Tournament play: 7 players to start, 5 to continue playing. Fewer than 5 is a forfeit. For mixed: 4 players per gender to start. 5 to continue playing.
    2. For League Match play: 10 players minimum. 7 players to start, 5 to continue playing. Fewer than 5 is a forfeit. For mixed: 4 players per gender to start. 5 to continue playing.
    3. For Regional Events/Youth Club Championships: 7 players to start, 5 to continue playing. Fewer than 5 is a forfeit. For mixed: 4 players per gender to start. 5 to continue playing.
  4. Contact the event organizer or USAU headquarters to determine any requirements beyond these minimums.

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Violations and Sanctions

Failure to abide by any of the Competition Guidelines may result in sanctions through the USA Ultimate conduct process. Such sanctions may be imposed on a team or individuals associated with a team deemed to be in violation of the guidelines, and may include, but are not limited to, suspension or disqualification from USA Ultimate competition.

In order to help teams follow the Competition Guidelines and avoid violations, USA Ultimate will continue to work to improve registration procedures and communication of information pertaining to youth competition. As these improvements are made by the organization, teams will continue to be held more fully responsible for following procedures and understanding information. Because consistency in holding all participants to the same administrative and competitive standards is vital to the integrity of the competition, because many violations lead to unfair advantages in competition, and because it is often difficult to determine intent, guideline violations will result in serious repercussions. Such repercussions will provide an incentive for players and teams to understand the guidelines fully, follow the guidelines carefully, and avoid intended or unintended violations in the future.
 

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