USA Ultimate Announces New Competition Format For National Championships

Posted: September 5, 2013 12:08 PM
Pro Flight Designation, Qualification to World Ultimate Club Championships, Invite to U.S. Open and Prize Money all on the Line in Frisco
Boulder, Colo. (Sept. 5, 2013)—A new competition format will be introduced at the 2013 USA Ultimate National Championships next month in Frisco, Texas, the national governing body announced today. 
The four-day tournament and third leg of the season-long Triple Crown Tour will crown national champions in three divisions (men’s, women’s and mixed), determine the composition of next season’s Pro and Elite Flights, and serve as the qualifier for the 2014 World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) World Ultimate Club Championships and 2014 U.S. Open. 
The tournament begins on Thursday, Oct. 17 with pool play matchups, followed by single-elimination bracket play and placement games on Friday, Oct. 18. Semifinal matchups will be featured on Saturday, Oct. 19, and the championship games will be played on Sunday, Oct. 20.
As a result of the new format, the nation’s best ultimate teams will be showcased in the most exciting and meaningful matches in front of fans in Frisco, across the United States and around the world. The first two days of competition will occur at the FC Dallas MLS complex, while the semifinals and championship games on the last two days will take place at nearby Frisco Independent School District’s Cooley Field and 9,000-seat state-of-the-art Memorial Stadium. Extensive live streaming of pool play, the round of 16, quarterfinals and placement games will be provided by Ultiworld, while select semifinals and championship games will be covered live by ESPN.
The revamped format emphasizes an equitable and competitive playing environment that allows every team an opportunity to win a national title. It also provides a fair system for promoting and relegating teams to the Pro or Elite Flights of the Triple Crown Tour by prioritizing results at the National Championships while also placing value on regular season performance.
Sixteen teams per division: 16 teams in each of the men’s, women’s and mixed divisions will qualify for the 2013 USA Ultimate National Championships, for a total of 48 teams.
Four pools per division: Each division will be divided into 4 pools of 4 teams. Seedings will be based on a combination of regular season and postseason performance.
Day 1 Pool Play: Each team will play the other three teams in its pool. The schedule includes 5 rounds of play (3 games and 2 byes per team).
Day 2 Elimination Brackets: All 16 teams in each division advance to the round of 16 and will be matched up based on results from pool play (1st vs. 4th and 2nd vs. 3rd across pools). 

  o Winners of the Round of 16 games advance to the quarterfinals.

  o Losers of the Round of 16 games will play in placement games with matchups determined by final regular season rankings. The top two remaining ranked teams (based on final regular season rankings) will play for 9th place, the following two for 11th place, and so on.

  o Winners of the quarterfinals advance to the semifinals.
Day 3 Semifinals: Winners advance to the finals.
Day 4 Finals
* The new format for the National Championships provides an additional opportunity for promotion/relegation between Pro and Elite Flights based on the fact that the Triple Crown Tour’s 2013 Regular Season champions automatically qualify for a spot in the 2014 Pro Flight. 

Pro Flight Qualifiers
  o If the regular season champion advances to the quarterfinals of the National Championships, the winner of the 9th place game plays the quarterfinal loser with the LOWEST final regular season ranking to determine the 8th and final spot in the 2014 Pro Flight. (2014 Pro Flight consists of the top 8 teams from the 2013 National Championships.)
  o If the regular season champion DOES NOT advance to the quarterfinals of the National Championships, the two quarterfinal losers with the lowest final regular season rankings will play to determine the 8th and final spot in the 2013 Pro Flight. (2014 Pro Flight consists of 2013 regular season champion + top 7 teams from 2013 National Championships.)
Remaining teams placed into the 2014 Elite Flight
The top 4 teams in each division (semifinalists) qualify for the 2014 WUCC
Waitlist placement will be based first on final placement at the National Championships. Ties for 5th will be broken by final regular season rankings. 


The top 4 teams in each division (semifinalists) automatically qualify for the 2014 U.S. Open Championships.


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