2016 Competition Working Group Meeting - College Update

Posted: December 9, 2016 01:31 PM

STAR and ACE Programs, Fall Mixed Events, 2017 College Season Discussed

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dec. 9, 2016) – USA Ultimate’s Competition Working Group was in Denver last weekend for its annual meeting to discuss various aspects of the organization’s programs, including outreach programs and the youth, college, club and beach divisions. The meeting included 10 USA Ultimate members, two members of the board of directors and 23 key volunteers and was held over two days. Following the meeting, we are releasing summaries of each smaller group’s discussions. The first recap, from youth competition, was released yesterday. Following this college update will be club, beach and outreach. 

The college working group consists of USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs – College Tom Manewitz along with Jeff Kula (National Men’s College Director), Beth Nakamura (National Women’s College Director), Kevin Kula (National Division III College Director) and Amy Hudson (National Developmental College Coordinator).

2016 College Working Group
L-R: J. Kula, Hudson, K. Kula, Manewitz, Nakamura

With the 2017 college guidelines already set, the working group focused on preparations for the 2017 college season and current and upcoming programs, including the ACE Program, the new fall mixed regional events and the STAR Program.

After a successful first year of the Achieving College Excellence (ACE) Program, which recognizes growth and sustainability of college programs based on team development and alignment with the three Cs of USA Ultimate’s mission – Character, Community and Competition, the college working group discussed additional incentives for the program’s second year. Additions for 2017 could include more direct contact between USA Ultimate and school administrations to encourage support of their ultimate program and additional promotional opportunities for ACE teams, among other incentives. ACE Program applications will be available for teams in the early part of the 2017 college season.

The college working group also discussed the introduction of the fall mixed events for college teams, which was introduced in response to growing interest in mixed playing opportunities. The group committed to three to five high-quality regional events to be held around the country next October and November. They developed a survey that will be released to college teams in the next couple of weeks; the survey results will inform more details of the planning, including the event locations, timing, size and format, so we hope college teams will take the time to provide their input through the survey. There is also potential to experiment with gender ratios at these events. 

The College Season Training and Recruitment (STAR) Program will add a women’s specific team start-up program in 2017 that will provide additional resources and support to those looking to start a women’s program at their college or university. More information about the program and how to apply is still to come. 

The college working group also took the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming 2017 season. Coordinator communication and training and plans for next year’s conference and regional events were discussed with eyes on continuing to provide high-quality events and always working to improve the athletes’ experiences. 

Stay tuned to usaultimate.org for more summaries from the 2016 Competition Working Group meeting. The beach division recap is up next. 

Previous 2016 Competition Working Group Updates:


2016 Competition Working Group

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