USA Ultimate Competition Working Group Meeting: Youth Competition Update

Posted: December 11, 2017 12:26 PM

2017 Youth Club Warm-Up Events, YCC Formats Discussed

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Dec. 11, 2017) – USA Ultimate’s Competition Working Group met in Denver last weekend for its annual meeting to discuss various aspects of the sport’s competition structure across all age divisions – youth, college, club and beach – as well as outreach. The meeting included eight USA Ultimate staff members, two members of the board of directors and 25 key volunteers and was held over two days. Following the meeting, we are releasing summaries of each smaller group’s discussion, 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 Joy Ferenbaugh and four regional youth directors: Fran Kelley (Central), Christie Lawry (Northeast), Jon Nethercutt (South) and Ben Snell (West). 

2017 Youth Competition Working Group
L-R: Nethercutt, Lawry, Kelley, Ferenbaugh, Snell


For a second straight year, youth club ultimate was a large focus of discussion for the group, including ways to improve upon changes implemented in 2017. The youth club regional events held in the fall this year will be rebranded as the Youth Fall Cup beginning in 2018. The events will still be spread out around the country, but any team will be able to attend as long as they have a USA Ultimate certified chaperone and coach. Teams are encouraged to attend any, or all, of the events, not just those in their region.

In addition, Youth Club Warm-Ups will be held in summer 2018. The events will be hosted by local affiliates and organizations and can be already existing events, but they will be promoted by USA Ultimate. The events will be additional opportunities for teams to compete in the lead-up to the Youth Club Championships (YCC) and can be used as one piece of information taken into account for YCC seeding. 

Next year’s iteration of the Youth Club Championships will be very similar to the 2017 edition, with the same divisions contested and the same competition format in large divisions. Teams will be able to request a division – Division I, Division II or either – in their application. Efforts will be made to honor the requests as much as possible. The decision to maintain the tiered format came after the youth working group examined survey feedback from the 2017 event and found high levels of satisfaction with the format, the number of close games and the event overall. 

The number of teams participating at YCC will be capped in 2018, limiting the total number to 90-95 teams. Eligibility rules introduced in the youth competition guidelines for the 2017 season will remain in effect for the 2018 season. In addition, the grandfather clause for players initially affected by the college rule has been removed. Bid priority outlines will also remain the same for 2018, with one clarification: Geographic distribution of domestic teams will be prioritized over the admittance of B and C teams and international teams. 

Guidelines for high-school-based play only saw one true change: Organizers of high school state championship events must announce dates and locations for their events six weeks before the event occurs, a change from the previous deadline of four weeks. To aid in event organization and communication, the working group and youth competition staff will also put a renewed focus on encouraging tournament directors to enforce existing late fees for high school state championship events. Fees are in place both for teams missing registration deadlines and for players added after the roster deadline. 

The group also discussed recommendations for younger players, in particular for middle school players, and middle school state championship events. 

Stay tuned to for more summaries from the 2017 Competition Working Group meeting. The youth outreach recap is up next. 

2017 Competition Working Group

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