2017 Triple Crown Tour Guidelines Released, Changes Clarified

Posted: February 10, 2017 10:12 AM

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Feb. 10, 2017) – The 2017 Triple Crown Tour guidelines, the rule set that will guide all club-level competition throughout the 2017 season, were released today. 

Each year, following the end of the competitive season, the club working group gathers to evaluate the season and discuss any changes that may or should be implemented for the next year. The club working group is comprised of six athlete representatives, two from each gender division; three national directors and the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs – Club. 

Below is a list of the most significant departures from the 2016 guidelines, many of which have been announced previously, as well as a brief explanation of the change. 

1. Change in timeline of the TCT regular-season and postseason schedules.

In discussions over the past year, the club working group took into account the community’s preferences for season timing. With the decision to move the U.S. Open later in the year, which was heavily favored by the surveyed teams and announced last summer, it became necessary to adjust what had become the more traditional timing of the other flight-level events, preserving appropriate amounts of time between the season’s major tournaments. 

2. Modified the length of the U.S. Open and Pro Flight Finale events to three days each.

Last year, in addition to views on season timing, the community was surveyed on their preferences for the lengths of the U.S. Open and the Pro Flight Finale. Teams were in favor of condensing the U.S. Open to three days and extending the Pro Flight Finale across a third day, adjustments that will be implemented in 2017. 

3. Pro-Elite Challenge is the new qualifying event for the final two bids in each division to the Pro Flight Finale. (The Elite-Select Challenge was the qualifying event in prior two seasons.)

With the change in the season schedule, the timeline between the Elite-Select Challenge and Pro Flight Finale was too condensed for the teams who earned the bids to commit to attending the Pro Flight Finale and to make travel arrangements. But the club working group wanted to ensure teams outside the Pro Flight still maintained an opportunity to earn a bid to the Pro Flight Finale. The Pro-Elite Challenge’s spot on the calendar will give teams earning bids eight weeks to make all necessary arrangements. 

4. New sanctions for teams withdrawing from flight-level TCT events after committing to attend. 

In an effort to ensure high-quality events and help event organizers in their planning and preparation, if teams elect to drop out of a flight-level event that they have already committed to attending, the team will be charged a fee. The closer it is to the event date when a team drops, the higher the fee. 

5. Implementing WFDF Mixed Gender Ratio Rule B at the 2017 at U.S. Open and allowing flexibility for teams or tournament directors to experiment with Rule B at other sanctioned, regular-season events. 

Late last year, a survey was sent to all club teams that participated in the 2016 postseason series in an effort to gauge interest in implementing WFDF’s Rule B for the 2017 season. Most teams favored experimenting with the rule before implementing it for an entire season. As a result, the U.S. Open was designated as the sole 2017 event where the rule will be readily enforced, but teams and tournament directors may implement the rule as they see fit throughout the season. Tournament directors may implement the rule for their event(s), and teams may mutually agree before games to use the rule.

USA Ultimate encourages teams and event directors to experiment with the rule in 2017 and intends to adopt the rule for all regular-season and postseason play in 2018.

For more information and clarification on Rule B, see WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2017 - Appendix v1.0, Section A7.3 or visit the Mixed Division Gender Ratio section of the 2017 TCT guidelines.

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