Masters Division Guidelines

2018 Masters Division Guidelines

Overview
 
Series Dates

Age Requirements

Masters Division Registration
Competition Guidelines
Violations and Sanctions
 

 
I. OVERVIEW
 
The Masters Division which includes: Great Grand Masters, Men's Grand Masters, Women's Grand Masters, Men's Masters, Mixed Masters, and Women's Masters, will have specific competition, eligibility, and geographic guidelines. USAU recognizes that each division has unique differences at this time and will adjust guidelines that best fit each division. As the sport of ultimate continues to grow, the Masters Division will need to continue to evolve to accommodate new age divisions. The next steps towards adding and/or restructuring age divisions are described in Section III (Age Requirements) below.
 
There were a few changes in the offseason that will be in effect for the 2018 Masters Championship Series. These changes include, but are not limited to:
 
•           Updates to the migration rule for regions with two (2) or less teams in the Men's Grand Masters and Men's Masters Divisions.
 
•           Roster flexibility to support participation in the Great Grand Masters and Women's Grand Masters divisions (see section IV.C.1.a.ii.).
 
•           USA Ultimate is considering implementing a "Super" Regional Championships format in 2019 to create additional competitive playing opportunities for Masters players. Players will be contacted later this year to provide feedback on potential format recommendations via surveys.
 
II. SERIES DATES
 
The Masters Division competitive series will run June 9, 2018 through July 22, 2018. Regional events, if required, will be held over the weekends of June 9-10, June 16-17, or June 23-24, 2018. The USA Ultimate Masters Championships will be held in Aurora, IL on July 20-22, 2018 at the Stuart Sports Complex.
 
III. AGE REQUIREMENTS
 

The minimum age for the 2018 USAU Masters Championships are as follows (age as of 12/31/18).

 
Great Grand Masters: 50 for male players; 45 for female players
Men's Grand Masters: 40
Women's Grand Masters: 37
Mixed Masters: 33 for male players; 30 for female players
Men's Masters: 33
Women's Masters: 30


USA Ultimate is considering future additional adjustments to age categories within the Masters Division. Both the age categories themselves and their nomenclature are being explored. Under discussion is the idea to create age divisions to help provide continuous playing opportunities for athletes at all stages of life. The Masters Division should be a key element that contributes towards the goals of building community and making ultimate a lifelong sport. Under consideration is the potential to create incremental age classifications such as Over-30, Over-35, Over-40, Over 45, etc., similar to Youth Division age classifications (e.g. Under-19, Under-16, etc.). Age classifications will be established based on a combination of factors, including the goal of providing continuous playing opportunities for adults, the viability of teams and events for each age group and gender, and consideration for WFDF rules for international play.

 

IV. USA ULTIMATE MASTERS DIVISION REGISTRATION
 
All teams will be required to adhere to the same registration deadlines in 2018.
 
A. Masters Series Registration
 
1. Team Registration Deadline 
 
- Friday, April 27 (by 5pm MDT/7pm EDT)
 
a. In order to participate in the USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series, teams must be created via the online rostering system and registered for their appropriate regional event with a valid event roster (10-player minimum) by Friday, April 27 at 5pm MDT/7pm EDT. This deadline is the same for all teams, regardless of when their regional tournament is held.
 
b. Instructions for creating a team and building an event roster can be found using the links below:

1. How to Create a Team
2. Register for an event and create an event roster

Using the links above, Team Managers will create their team in the rostering system, add players to the team’s personnel list, register the team for a regional event, and then add players to the event roster. Players must be on the team’s regional event roster in order to compete in the USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series.   

c. After the Team Registration Deadline, Team Managers may edit and add up to a maximum of 29 players to their USA Ultimate Masters Championships Series event roster until the Final Event Roster Deadline (see below). 

 
 
2. Final Event Roster Deadline
 
 

a. To participate in the USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series (regionals and/or nationals), players must be on a team’s Regional Championships event roster by the Final Event Roster Deadline, the Wednesday before the team’s regional tournament. 

 
Regionals Weekend Final Event Roster Deadline for the Masters Series:
June 9-10, 2018 Wednesday, June 6 (5pm MDT)
June 16-17, 2018 Wednesday, June 13 (5pm MDT)
June 23-24, 2018
Wednesday, June 20 (5pm MDT)
 

 

 

b. Up to 29 players can be on a team’s USA Ultimate Masters Championships Series event roster. Team Managers can add or remove players from their team’s event roster until the Final Event Roster Deadline.
 
 
B. Championships Deadline
 
1. Final event rosters for the 2018 Masters Championships are due on the following:

a. If a team is playing in a qualifying regional event, their final event roster is due on the Wednesday preceding their regional event at 5pm MDT/7pm EDT.

b. If a team has received an automatic bid to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships, their final event roster is due June 20, 5pm MDT/7pm EDT (the Wednesday preceding the last weekend of regional events).
 
2. Teams participating in the USA Ultimate Masters Championships will receive a qualifiers' packet with information relating to the championship event. Teams competing in the championship event must submit all required paperwork and player fees by Wednesday, June 27, 5pm MDT/7pm EDT. After a team accepts a bid to the Masters Championships, USA Ultimate staff will use the event management system to rollover the team (including the team’s event roster) to register the team for the Masters Championships. 
 
C. Team Requirements
 
1. Registration Clarification and Exceptions
 
a.   Event Roster Changes

i. All series players must be on a team’s Regional Championships event roster prior to the Final Event Roster Deadline.*

ii. Players may not compete on more than one team in the Masters Championship Series.*
 
*Exeptions:


•  Roster appeals: 

If a player has been accidentally omitted from a team’s event roster or requires additional clarification after the Final Event Roster Deadline, please contact Ernest Toney at USA Ultimate HQ (ernest@hq.usaultimate.org) to file a player appeal, by the deadlines in the table below. Please note this process is not for teams that miss the April 27 Team Registration Deadline.

•  Late additions to teams in the Great Grand Masters and Women's Masters divisions:

To assist participation in these divisions, while creating additional playing opportunities for players that meet the age requirements, the Masters Working Group approved these rules for 2018:

-  Women's Masters players (age 37+) that fail to qualify to the Masters Championships (i.e. their team gets eliminated at regionals) may join a Women's Grand Masters team's event roster for the Masters Championships.

-  Men's Grand Masters players (age 50+) that fail to qualify to the Masters Championships (i.e. their team gets eliminated at regionals) may join a Great Grand Masters team's event roster for the Masters Championships.

b. Player Appeals

i. The deadline for submitting a player appeal (including materials or any other requested documentation) is 5pm MDT, the day after the team’s Final Event Roster deadline.

 

Regionals Weekend

Final Event Roster Deadline 

Player Appeal Deadline

June 9-10, 2018

Wednesday, June 6 (5pm MDT)

Thursday, June 7 (5pm MDT)

June 16-17, 2018

Wednesday, June 13 (5pm MDT)

Thursday, June 14 (5pm MDT)

June 23-24, 2018


Wednesday, June 20 (5pm MDT)
 

Thursday, June 21 (5pm MDT)

 


ii. Appeals for late or incorrect registration of players may or may not be granted. 
 
c. Player Minimums
 
i. In order for a team to participate in the USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series, it must have at least ten (10) players on its Regional Championships event roster at the Final Event Roster Deadline.
 
d. Player Maximums
 
i. The maximum size of a team’s event roster for the USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series is twenty-nine (29) players.
 
2. Geographic Requirements
 
A team must represent one of the current eight Masters Regions.
 
a. Men's Masters / Mixed Masters / Men's Grand Masters 

i. At least 75% of the players on team’s roster must reside in the region a team is representing.
ii. No more than five (5) players may reside outside the region that the team is representing.
 
b. Women's Masters / Women's Grand Masters / Great Grand Masters

i. At least 51% of the players on a team must reside in the region a team is representing.
ii. No more than ten (10) players may reside outside the region that the team is representing.
 
c. Residence is defined as meeting BOTH of the following requirements:

i. Location where the person is living for the majority of July, AND
ii. Location where the person is living for the majority of either three (3) months prior to July 1 or immediately following July 31.
 
d. 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 and counts towards the team’s out-of-region limits.
 
3. Official Team Count

a. A division’s official team count will include all teams that meet the division’s registration requirements and competition guidelines. Teams must compete in a USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series event to be included in the division’s official team count.

b. In order to hold a championship event for a division, the division must have at least six (6) teams in its "official team count".
 
D. Player Requirements
 
1. Age Requirements – The minimum age (as of 12/31/2018) for 2018 USA Ultimate Masters Championships are as follows:
 
a. Great Grand Masters: 50 years – men; 45 years – women
b. Men's Grand Masters: 40 years
c. Women's Grand Masters: 37 years
d. Men's Masters: 33 years
e. Women's Masters: 30 years
f. Mixed Masters: 33 years – men; 30 years – women
 
2. Roster Requirements
 
a. All players participating in the Championship Series must be on a valid team’s Regional Championships event roster.
 
i. Men's Grand Masters, Men's Masters, Mixed Masters, and Women's Masters teams:
 
Teams in these division cannot add players to their team's Masters Championships event roster after the final event roster deadline for Regionals.
 
ii. Great Grand Masters and Women's Grand Masters teams:
 
Teams in these divisions may add players to their Masters Championships event roster (that meet the eligibility requirements listed above in section IV.C.1.a.ii of the guidelines) after the Regional Championships.
 
The ramifications for having an unrostered player (i.e. a player that is not on the team's regionals event roster) participate in the Championship Series with that team are outlined in the "Violations and Sanctions" section of these guidelines.

b. USA Ultimate Dues – All players must be current members in good standing before they can be added to a team’s event roster.

c. Liability Waivers – Each player must fill out (completely and correctly) the appropriate USA Ultimate waiver form for the year in which they will be competing. This form is good for the entire calendar year. Waivers may be submitted online via a player’s membership account page.
 
E. USA Ultimate Contact Information
 
Masters Championships
(Division/Name of Team)
USA Ultimate
5825 Delmonico Drive
Suite 350
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Ernest Toney
Manager – Competition and Athlete Programs
719-219-8327 x132
ernest@hq.usaultimate.org
 
V. COMPETITION GUIDELINES
 
A. Spirit of the Game
 
Ultimate has traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. 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.
 
Click here for more information about Spirit of the Game.
 
B. Regional Championships
 
1. Requirements for Regionals

a. Great Grand Masters Division

i. The Great Grand Masters Division will be required to host regional events if the division has more teams than bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships at the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline.


If a Great Grand Masters region has two (2) or fewer teams, the team(s) may opt to migrate to an adjacent region to compete, under the following conditions:

  • The team(s) must contact the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs and National Directors with a request to migrate to an adjacent region by Sunday, May 6 at 5pm MDT.  

  • Both teams (two-team regions only) must agree to migrate to an adjacent region to compete. 

Migrating teams will carry their original region’s bid with them to their new qualifying regional event. Migration decisions will be made on a case by case basis.


b. Men's Grand Masters Division

i. The Men's Grand Masters Division will be required to host regional events if the division has more teams than bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships at the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline.


If a Men's Grand Masters region has two (2) or fewer teams, the team(s) must migrate to an adjacent region to compete. Migrating teams will carry their original region's bid to their new qualifying regional event.

Teams will be contacted by the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and the National Men's Masters Director, after the Team Registration Deadline, if migration is required.


c.
Women's Grand Masters Division

i. The Women's Grand Masters Division will be required to host regional events if the division has more teams than bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships at the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline.

If a Women's Grand Masters region has two (2) or fewer teams, the team(s) may opt to migrate to an adjacent region to compete, under the following conditions:

  • The team(s) must contact the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs and National Directors with a request to migrate to an adjacent region by Sunday, May 6 at 5pm MDT.  
     
  • Both teams (two-team regions only) must agree to migrate to an adjacent region to compete.
     
Migrating teams will carry their original region’s bid with them to their new qualifying regional event. Migration decisions will be made on a case by case basis.


d. Men's Masters Division

i. The Men's Masters Men's Division will be required to host regional events if the division has more teams than bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships at the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline.

If a Men's Masters region has two (2) or fewer teams, the team(s) must migrate to an adjacent region to compete. Migrating teams will carry their original region's bid to their new qualifying regional event.

Teams will be contacted by the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and the National Men's Masters Director, after the Team Registration Deadline, if migration is required.


 

e. Women's Masters Women's Division

i. The Women's Masters Division will be required to host regional events if the division has more teams than bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships at the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline.

If a Women's Masters region has two (2) or fewer teams, the team(s) may opt to migrate to an adjacent region to compete, under the following conditions:

  • The team(s) must contact the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs and National Directors with a request to migrate to an adjacent region by Sunday, May 6 at 5pm MDT.  
     
  • Both teams (two-team regions only) must agree to migrate to an adjacent region to compete.
     
Migrating teams will carry their original region’s bid with them to their new qualifying regional event. Migration decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
 

f.
Mixed Masters Division
 
i. The Mixed Masters Division will be required to host regional events if the division has more teams than bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships at the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline.
 
If a Mixed Masters region has two (2) or fewer teams, the team(s) may opt to migrate to an adjacent region to compete, under the following conditions:
 
  • The team(s) must contact the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs and National Directors with a request to migrate to an adjacent region by Sunday, May 6 at 5pm MDT.  
     
  • Both teams (two-team regions only) must agree to migrate to an adjacent region to competee. 
 
Migrating teams will carry their original region’s bid with them to their new qualifying regional event. Migration decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
 
 
2. Regionals dates

Regional events for all divisions, if applicable, will be held over the weekends of June 9-10, June 16-17, or June 23-24, 2018.
 
C. USA Ultimate Masters Championships 
 
 

1.      Preliminary event scaling

The size of divisions at the Masters Championships will be based on the number of teams that meet the Team Registration Deadline requirements for the Masters Series.

Preliminary Division Size at Championships Number of Teams at Registration Deadline
 16 teams  See note below
 12 teams  20+ teams
 10 teams  16-19 teams
 8 teams  15 or fewer teams


Note: USA Ultimate will award up to 80 bids to the 2018 Masters Championships across the six competition divisions, with a max of 16 teams per division. The table above refers to the preliminary sizes for each division competing at 2018 USA Ultimate Masters Championships.

At the conclusion of the Team Registration Deadline, the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and National Directors will review registration numbers to determine the initial sizes of each division at the Masters Championships. After allocating preliminary bids and determining the capacity to host additional teams at the Championships, additional bids will be distributed to increase the division sizes (up to 16 teams) at the championship event in the following order;

a. Step 1:

12-team divisions - for every four bids that remain, award four (4) bids to the 12-team division with the largest team count at the Team Registration Deadline to increase the division size to 16 teams. In case of a tie, award bids to the division with the largest total player count at the time of the Team Registration Deadline. If fewer than four bids remain, refer to sub-point b.

b. Step 2:

10-team divisions - for every two (2) bids that remain, award two bids to the 10-team division with the largest team count at the Team Registration Deadline to increase the division size to 12 teams. In case of a tie, award bids to the division with the largest total player count at the time of the Team Registration Deadline.

c. Step 3:

8-team divisions - for every two (2) bids that remain, award two bids to the 8-team division with the largest team count at the Team Registration Deadline to increase the division size to 10 teams. In case of a tie, award bids to the division with the largest total player count at the time of the Team Registration Deadline.

2. Automatic bids 
 
a. 16-team divisions

Each region will automatically receive one (1) bid to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships.

If a region has four (4) or more valid teams registered at the Team Registration Deadline, that region will receive one additional bid. After additional automatic bids have been awarded to regions with four or more teams, all unallocated bids will be awarded as size wildcards.  
 
b.      12-team divisions

Each region will automatically receive one (1) bid to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships.

 
If a region has four (4) or more valid teams registered at the Team Registration Deadline, that region will receive one additional bid. After additional automatic bids have been awarded to regions with four or more teams, all unallocated bids will be awarded as size wildcards.
 
c.     10-team divisions

Each region will automatically receive one (1) bid to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships.
If a region has three (3) or more valid teams registered at the Team Registration Deadline, that region will receive one additional bid. After additional automatic bids have been awarded to regions with three or more teams, all unallocated bids will be awarded as size wildcards.

d.    8-team divisions
 
If a division has eight (8) or fewer teams registered at the Team Registration Deadline, all teams in that division will automatically be awarded bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships.
 
If a division has 9-15 teams registered at the Team Registration Deadline, each region will automatically receive one bid to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships.
 
3. Size Wildcards (all divisions)

a. The remaining bids to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships will be awarded based on the number of valid event rosters submitted at the Team Registration Deadline.  Size wildcard bids will be awarded in order one bid at a time, starting with the largest region, until bids have been exhausted.  In the event of a tie in the number of teams per region, total player count at the time of the Team Registration Deadline will be used to determine the larger region.
 
b. No region can qualify for more than five (5) total bids.
 
 
D. Name/Logo Uniform Guidelines
 
USA Ultimate 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 USA Ultimate program or event should USA Ultimate personnel determine that the existing name, logo, graphic, or uniform might hinder the mission of the organization or the goals of a specific USA Ultimate program or event. Alterations must meet with the approval of USA Ultimate personnel. Any sponsor logos on a team’s uniform other than the apparel manufacturer must be approved by USA Ultimate.
 
E. Uniform Requirements
 
1. Player Uniform Requirements
 

a. Regionals - Teams participating in Regionals are required to have players on their team wear matching jerseys while playing. Teams and players are encouraged to follow the uniform requirements for the National Championships.


b. National Championships-

 
i.      All players participating in the USA Ultimate Masters Championships for a given team must wear jerseys of identical color and design.
 
ii. Teams must have two jerseys of distinctly different color; one primarily dark and the other primarily white.

iii. Jerseys must have numbers on the back. The numbers on the back must be at least 6 inches high and be one or two-digit Arabic numerals, be solid and in clear contrast with the jersey. 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.).

iv. Teams must wear numbers on either the front of their jerseys or the front left or right leg of their uniform bottoms (shorts, pants, skirts). If teams opt to wear numbers on the front of jerseys, the numbers must be at least 4 inches high, match the number of the back of the jersey, and be located above the waist and clearly visible if tucked in. The front of the jersey is anything on the chest or abdomen; numbers on the front of sleeves do not fulfill this requirement.
 
v.      If teams opt to wear numbers on uniform bottoms, the numbers must be at least two inches high, match the number on the back of the jersey, and be in visible contrast with the bottoms. Uniform bottoms worn by players on the field must be of identical color and design.  
 
Number placement must be the same for the whole team.
 
vi.     It is recommended that the uniform accessories including tights, undershirts, hats, and socks be of identical or coordinated style and color. 
 
vii. USA Ultimate reserves the right to disqualify and/or fine players who fail to meet the uniform requirements.
 
F. Formats
 
The formats for the event will be determined by USA Ultimate Championship Series staff, with the goals of determining a champion, showcasing the division at its best, and providing a great playing experience for all the teams.
 
G. Seeding
 
Seeding for the USA Ultimate Masters Championships will be done by 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; prior Championship results; other applicable information such as team composition during or prior to the Championships (USA Ultimate has the authority to adjust rankings according to the best information available).
 
H. Forfeit Rule
 
A team must play all its games at a "qualifying" tournament in order to qualify for the next tournament in the Championship Series.
 
1. A team that forfeits a Series game, and every player on that team’s event roster, is disqualified for the remainder of the current Series, in every Division.
 
2. 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.

3. A team will be considered to have forfeited any game where the number of players that can safely participate falls below 5 players.     

4. At the discretion of the event's USA Ultimate 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.  Consideration should be given if a team misses the first game of the first day because of travel problems.

5. If one team is not ready to play at game-time, points may be assessed, in accordance with the 11th Edition 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.

6. The list of allowable forfeit scenarios is found in the formats manual.
 
I. Rules
 
The USA Ultimate Masters Championship Series will be played using the current edition of the USA Ultimate Official Rules of Ultimate.  Any changes to these rules must be pre-approved by the USA Ultimate Championship Series headquarters staff.  

1.    Re-approved for 2018:

The following changes have been approved for use in the 2018 Masters Championship Series:

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".
 
J. Observers
 
USA Ultimate will have a limited amount of observers on hand for the event. Teams wishing observers for their games must contact the Competition Director prior to their games to receive consideration of their request. Observers will be assigned at the discretion of Head Observer and USA Ultimate when scheduling conflicts arise. All finals will be observed.
 
K. Gender Division Eligibility
 
a. Males are eligible to compete in all divisions except for Women's Masters and Women's Grand Masters.

b. Females are eligible to compete in all divisions.
 
c. The eligibility of transgender athletes will be governed by the USA Ultimate Policy on Transgender Athletes
     
 
 
VI. VIOLATIONS AND SANCTIONS
 
Failure to abide by any of these 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 Masters Guidelines and avoid violations, the USA Ultimate will continue to work to improve registration procedures and communication of information pertaining to the USA Ultimate Masters Championships. As these improvements are made by the organization, teams will continue to be held more fully responsible for following procedures and understanding Masters information. Because consistency in holding all participants to the same administrative and competitive standards is vital to the integrity of the Championships, 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.