2016 Competition Working Group Meeting - Youth Competition Update

Posted: December 8, 2016 10:09 AM

2017 Youth Competition Guidelines, Youth Club Regionals, Outreach Strategies Discussed

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dec. 8, 2016) – USA Ultimate’s Competition Working Group met 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 competition divisions. The meeting included 10 USA Ultimate staff 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, beginning with youth competition. College, club, beach and outreach will follow. 
The youth competition working group consists of USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs – Youth Connor Maloney and four regional youth directors: Fran Kelley (Central), Christie Lawry (Northeast), Jon Nethercutt (South) and Ben Snell (West). 
2016 Youth Competition Working Group
L-R: Maloney, Nethercutt, Lawry, Snell, Kelley
Much of the working group’s discussion centered on youth club ultimate and the recently released 2017 youth competition guidelines. The guidelines, with regard to eligibility for the Youth Club Championships (YCC), were reviewed and the intent of the new eligibility rules was clarified. The language included in the guidelines was revised to make exceptions to the new rules more explicit, and a statement was drafted by the group to better explain the intent of the rule, including growth and support of youth ultimate and youth programs, as well as to provide additional detail about eligibility exceptions.
The group also discussed the overlap that will occur between YCC and U.S. Open Championships competition schedules, with the two events being combined for the first time in 2017, including creating opportunities for youth teams to watch showcase games across the men's, mixed and women's divisions. They also considered options for creating strength-based divisions at YCC, with opportunities for teams to move up or down across divisions based on their play at the tournament, to ensure meaningful and competitive games at all levels. Potential rules for international teams’ participation at YCC were also considered, to balance the unique opportunity for international experience with competitive fairness of domestic youth club competition.
With the introduction of Youth Club Regionals set for 2017, the youth competition working group continued to work through eligibility rules for the events, which will take place next fall, including age divisions and eligibility rules. 
The youth competition group also collaborated with the youth outreach working group to identify target areas for growth, including new states and divisions to be added to USA Ultimate’s state championship structure. The groups discussed communication and program strategies to ensure competition and outreach coordinators and resources are used to complement each other, so new players and teams can move easily from outreach programs to new and existing playing opportunities.
To view the youth competition working group’s statement regarding the new eligibility rules included in the 2017 youth competition guidelines, please click here
2016 Competition Working Group

Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.