Changes to the 2012 Club Series Structure

Posted: February 10, 2012 04:52 PM


Improved Geographic Structure, Regular Season, Rankings and Bid Allocations Among ‘12 Changes

Boulder, Colo. (February 8, 2012)—
As part of the final year of its five-year strategic plan, USA Ultimate unveiled today changes to its club division’s competition structure for the 2012 season.

After soliciting a significant amount of input over the course of the last two years from key groups of the community, USA Ultimate has implemented a plan for the upcoming season that addresses several specific goals identified by the USA Ultimate Board of Directors, a 25-member Club Restructuring Task Force, the national governing body’s Championship Committee, staff and volunteers. These goals included: 

  • The creation of a more formal regular season, which leads into the USA Ultimate Club Championship Series
  • The introduction of divisional playing opportunities for teams at different levels
  • Thorough evaluation and subsequent changes to the geographic breakdown of the division to address various travel, event and competition related issues
  • Improvement of the bid allocation process for the Club Series
  • Opportunities to showcase the sport of Ultimate at its highest level

As a result, the following elements will be introduced to the competitive structure across the Mixed, Open and Women’s club divisions in 2012: 


  • Geographic regions have been redrawn and expanded from six to eight North American regions:
    • Great Lakes
    • Mid-Atlantic
    • North Central
    • Northeast
    • Northwest
    • South Central
    • Southeast
    • Southwest


2012 Club Regionals

  • Sections within each region will also be redefined and announced by February 29.

  • Strength bids to the 2012 Club Championships will be awarded based on 2012 regular season performance, rather than 2011 Club Championships finish. Each region will receive one automatic bid to the 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championships, with eight additional bids awarded on the basis of team strength as determined by the USA Ultimate 2012 regular season rankings.
  • Bids to regional tournaments will be allocated to sections through a combination of automatic bids, strength (based on rankings), and size (based on number of teams) criteria.
  • The Masters division will continue to use the 6 Region format as in the past.  More information on Masters will be posted in the series guidelines.


  • For 2012, an official yet flexible regular season will take place, consisting of USA Ultimate-sanctioned events between June 9 and September 2. Any game between two eligible registered club division teams in a USA Ultimate sanctioned event will count towards official regular season results.
  • Based on official regular season results, a ranking system will be used to allocate strength bids to the 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championship Series.
  • Roster composition rules, to  be announced by February 29,  will be implemented for the regular season to ensure fairness and continuity in the rankings system, while allowing for a reasonable amount of flexibility, particularly in 2012.



  • New opportunities to showcase the sport will be leveraged to highlight the top teams in the nation. The U.S. Open Championships (July 5-8), as well as a partnership with two existing elite-level club tournaments (TBD) during the regular season will serve as these showcase events, and contribute significantly to the rankings.
  • Performance of teams during the 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championship Series will dictate their placement into tiered playing opportunities (see below) during the 2013 regular season.

    The initial improvements in 2012 represent just the beginning of many forthcoming changes to USA Ultimate’s club division structure. On March 15, USA Ultimate will continue to involve the Ultimate community in its decision making process by distributing two potential plans for 2013 to its club division members and asking for feedback. The two proposals, based on input received over the past two years, are designed to build upon this year’s modifications by refining the ideas of tiered playing opportunities, promotion and relegation, and competitive incentives while also creating more opportunities to showcase Ultimate at its highest level in the United States.