Statement Regarding 2019 College Championship Events

Posted: July 26, 2018 12:35 PM

Colorado Springs, Colo. (July 26, 2018) – After concluding another exciting college season, we are already looking ahead to next year and planning our 2019 college championship events – the Division III College Championships, May 18-19, in Bryan College Station, Texas, and the Division I College Championships in Round Rock, Texas. Since making the announcement about the 2019 events, we have heard and understand the concerns potential participants and others have expressed about competing in possibly hot and humid conditions. As we plan next year’s events, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of everyone while helping coaches and athletes prepare to compete safely.

As always, we considered a variety of factors when reviewing bids and selecting our 2019 hosts, including facilities, location, cost, community support and weather. We believe that Bryan College Station and Round Rock offer the best combination of factors necessary to hold successful events. Last May, we hosted representatives from the 2019 local organizing committees at our 2018 events in Rockford, Ill., and Milwaukee to get a behind-the-scenes look at what putting on a successful championship event entails. And over the course of the next 10 months, we will continue to work together to produce another pair of safe, high-quality, fun and exciting events. However, every event comes with unique challenges. As we considered our options in 2019, a significant amount of discussion centered around the weather, particularly the potential for hot temperatures and high humidity in Texas. Those concerns remain at the forefront of our planning process.  

In response to several questions we fielded, and in order to help teams prepare for the tournaments, we wanted to provide some preliminary information about dealing with hot and humid weather.

Planning for these potential conditions will focus on several key areas: infrastructure, scheduling, staffing and communication.

In addition to our standard health and safety measures which require play to be suspended when the heat index exceeds 100, the following is a non-exhaustive overview of some of the planning and discussion that is taking place, along with some of the steps being taken in preparation for the events.

  • Infrastructure: Air-conditioned medical space, additional shade tents for teams and spectators, extra water and ice, fans and misters, cold towels and maximized use of grass fields.

  • Scheduling: Rotation of teams on and off artificial turf fields, possibility of adjusting the competition schedule (including evening and night games under the lights).

  • Staffing: Medical director and staff, additional staffing for water and ice, additional observers and field staff. 

  • Communication: Team-wide, pre-event health and safety education and information, pre-event and in-game weather monitoring, planning, communication and adjustments.

USA Ultimate events already have a high standard for planning, safety and communication, and we are always looking for ways to improve. Our staff and local partners have experience hosting events in all kinds of conditions, including heat and humidity. We will continue to rely on these experiences and resources to provide a fun and safe event for all involved. In the meantime, we are happy to answer any questions and address any further concerns between now and the events next spring, and we look forward to seeing everyone next year in Texas. 

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.