What is a USA Ultimate Affiliate?

Affiliates are local, community-based disc organizations that run at least 2 ultimate programs or events per year for their local ultimate community and that have partnered with USA Ultimate in order to: 

Grow their organizational capacity to provide more opportunities for people to play ultimate;
Operate high quality events and programs (leagues, tournaments, camps, clinics, practices/training, etc);
Support youth, serve local teams, and provide USA Ultimate branded programs and services; and
Network and collaborate with the larger national infrastructure of ultimate organizations around the U.S. 


Who should apply to be a USA Ultimate Affiliate?

Ideal candidates are local disc organizations that have a strong desire to grow youth ultimate and to strengthen their local ultimate community by offering high quality programs, services, and benefits to their constituents.  Legal incorporation should be in place or something that the organization is ready to pursue.

Why affiliate with USA Ultimate?

Working together, there is the potential to build a strong national infrastructure for ultimate through a network of local communities that can engage new players & kids all over the country to try our awesome sport!

It’s GREAT for local organizations! Through support of the national governing body, affiliates gain special access to all the benefits of a full-time headquarters staff along with the increased visibility, resources, opportunities, and national programs. USA Ultimate’s goal is to help you grow the sport!
It’s a model with PROVEN SUCCESS! Mimicking the success of other sports by establishing a proven infrastructure model, wherein a network of organizations are working together with common goals, strategies, and mutual support, will allow the sport to thrive all around the country as well as produce top athletes to represent the USA on the international stage.
It’s the FUTURE of the sport! Imagine local and regional staff working to grow the sport through a connected, national infrastructure as part of the same Olympic and ultimate family.  Imagine ultimate being offered on the menu for our youth at every school, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, JCC, CYO, etc.  THAT is where we want to take ultimate, and we invite all to join us!


My organization already has insurance. Why should we partner with USA Ultimate?

Our #1 goal is national stability, growth, and collaboration for the ultimate sport in order to support each organization to achieve its full potential!

Ultimate past...

1968 Ultimate is invented
1979 Ultimate Players Assn. formed
1981 1st Women's Club Championship
1988 1st HS State Championship
1991 1st Master's Championship
1992 1st UPA salaried employee
- UPA has ~7,000 members
- There are no opportunities for youth to play
1998 1st Mixed Championship
2001 1st time in World Games 
- Ultimate communities are isolated, teams often have to travel far to play other teams, there is not much in terms of national infrastructure, communities operate independently and are not linked to a greater network
2002 1st manager of youth development hired
- UPA has ~15,000 members
- USA Ultimate strives to advance and grow ultimate in every town, community and corner of the US and to let the world know that ultimate is not about throwing a frisbee to your dog.

Ultimate present...

2003 1st College Championship on CSTV
2010 UPA rebranded as USA Ultimate
2013 1st club championship broadcast on ESPN
2014 USA Ultimate leads the world in the development of ultimate and has the best teams representing us in international competition. Everything we have worked towards helps us to become a recognized member of the US Olympic Committee
- Ultimate is offered in more schools, colleges, and communities than ever before.
2015 USAU has >50,000 members and over 5 million people play ultimate in the US
- Athletic directors, broadcasters, journalists, and people throughout the US understand that ultimate is a real sport played by millions.
- USAU has 18 full time & 1 part time staff all striving to advance and grow ultimate in every town, community and corner of the US.
- Ultimate has come a long way, but there is still much more we can do.  USA Ultimate develops the game, rules, competitive structure, programs and important relationships that help advance the sport. Local Affiliate organizations provide these benefits and more for local players, teams, schools and community groups.

Ultimate future...

USA Ultimate and local organizations work in partnership to keep advancing the sport together to higher levels, providing the best opportunity for continued success and development of the sport.
USA Ultimate and local organizations benefit from working together to achieve more than by functioning independently.
There are regional offices with dedicated, paid staff throughout the US.
Ultimate is offered in every school and community for people of all ages!
Ultimate becomes as recognizable, accepted, and widespread as soccer, hockey, lacrosse and rugby!


What is the purpose of the Affiliate Program?

Advance ultimate across the nation by building a national infrastructure that unites and supports local ultimate organizations and reduces the "reinvention of the wheel" within each community.
Strengthen local organizations to succeed with healthy growth, prosperity and development.
Assist organizers in developing safe, fun, high-quality programs in their communities.
Grow youth ultimate and get more kids playing and loving the ultimate sport!
Model our organizational structure after other successful sport governing bodies and align ourselves with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) ideals.


What does it take to become an affiliate?

For a local disc organization that is interested in becoming a USA Ultimate Affiliate, just follow these steps:

Read through the information on this page about the program.
Set up a call with USA Ultimate's Director of Member Services & Community Development to discuss any questions that your leadership may have.
Discuss the program with your organization's board and key leadership.
Apply for the program to indicate strong interest in being considered.
Sign the Operations Manual's Appendix A as a formal agreement, after receiving notification of successful approval.
Become an official, recognized affiliate of USA Ultimate and grow the sport in your local area!


Benefits of affiliation

In addition to being a proud member of our larger ultimate community, affiliates receive:

Direct staff support from the national office. With a number full time staff including several dedicated to the affiliate program, we are here to help you achieve your organizational goals.
Recognition as a USA Ultimate partner. When people see the USA Ultimate logo, they know they will be playing in an event with the highest commitment to safety, fun and professionalism. USA Ultimate is also recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee…..come be part of the family!
A highly reduced USA Ultimate Affiliate-level membership cost for participants in affiliate events (even less for brand-new players).
General liability, participant accident and directors and officers insurance coverage.
Rebate dollars from national headquarters for all affiliate-level memberships. Use these funds to develop your local programs! Growth in membership = greater rebate dollars!
Exclusive opportunity to apply for grants to help build programs, develop or enhance existing events, foster community partnerships or for organizational development.
Complimentary and discounted marketing and promotional materials for use at events, distribution to city officials and school and program administrators.
USA Ultimate staff-led programs and program trainer development.
Complimentary registration for the annual US Open Championships and Convention, ultimate’s most comprehensive professional development and networking event in the world for ultimate’s coaches, officials and administrators.
Preference in hosting USA Ultimate-run events providing an opportunity to highlight the sport and programs within your community, bring in national-level competitors and share in profits.
Exclusive access to our online registration system, supported by a national company. Enjoy a streamlined registration process allowing participants to make a single transaction for both USAU and affiliate fees. Includes features such as event and team profile pages, scheduling, score reporting, stats tracking and more.
Access to send targeted communications to USAU members regarding programs in your community.
Survey results from participants in your events.
Access to financial support for youth players with demonstrated need for assistance to purchase a USA Ultimate membership under the Play it Forward Program


Affiliate Participation

All affiliates participate in the program by doing the following each year. While some or all of these may constitute a change to an organization's existing processes, affiliates understand that achieving these landmarks will improve the viability, health and sustainability of each organization and the national structure.

Identify a person to serve as a Local Outreach Representative to support outreach in the community and be the local point of contact for potential players.
Offer at least one USA Ultimate education or outreach program (annually) built at headquarters to constituents in your area and identify an eligible person to become a trained teacher/facilitator for the associated clinic/workshop.
Register each of your events with USA Ultimate including at least one youth program and organize and operate events in accordance with the USA Ultimate event health and safety requirements.
Register all participants as Affiliate-level members unless participating in a USA Ultimate-owned event (such as a college/club/youth/high school championship or regular season event) which requires full USAU membership.
Send a representative to the annual USA Ultimate Annual Convention.
Promote, recognize and award Spirit of the Game according to the USA Ultimate rating system.
Strive to be the primary support system for all leagues and teams in your area.
Serve as a true partner and supporter of USA Ultimate!

How can I learn more about the program?

Review materials to learn more about affiliate operations.
Contact the program director at affiliate@usaultimate.org or 800-872-4384.