USA Ultimate Announces New Team Selection Procedures For WUGC

Posted: December 8, 2014 03:41 PM
Application and Tryout Process Used to Select Open, Women’s and Mixed Teams Beginning in 2016
Boulder, Colo. (December 8, 2014)--USA Ultimate has adopted a new selection process for teams representing the United States in the open, women’s and mixed divisions of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) World Ultimate and Guts Championships (WUGC). Beginning with the 2016 edition, player selection will be determined by an application and tryout process, similar to other U.S. National Teams. 
Since 1983, USA Ultimate has traditionally chosen its national champions from the previous season to represent the United States at WUGC. However, given its commitment to achieving sustained excellence in international competition, USA Ultimate hopes this change will ensure the continued success of its national teams in an increasingly competitive environment.
USA Ultimate will continue to select its national champions to represent the U.S. at WUGC in the masters divisions.
Currently USA Ultimate uses a similar application and tryout process to select national teams for WFDF’s World Junior and U23 Ultimate Championships, as well as the World Games, and an application process for the WFDF World Championships of Beach Ultimate (WCBU).
In the last edition of each major international event in which American teams were chosen by an application or tryout process, the U.S. National Team won eight gold and one silver medal in the open, women’s and mixed divisions. (2014 WJUC: 1 gold, 1 silver; 2013 U23: 3 gold; 2013 World Games: 1 gold; 2011 WCBU: 3 gold). In the last three editions of WUGC in which USA Ultimate national champions represented the U.S., teams brought home three gold medals, three silver, two bronze and a fourth-place finish. 
The new selection process for WUGC was approved by the USA Ultimate Board of Directors and included input and recommendations from USA Ultimate’s International and Competition Working Groups.
Although a primary goal of these new procedures is to maximize competitive performance of the American delegation at WUGC, several other benefits were identified by the working groups that led to this change. In replicating the process used to pick national teams for other WFDF events, tryouts offer a fairer system of selection for athletes and allows for the participation of a wider geographical cross section of players. This broader reach is expected to engage more of the national ultimate and sporting communities in support of the U.S. National Team, while also providing an opportunity to build community across the highest level players and team leaders in the sport. 
The change also minimizes conflict between the quadrennial WUGC event and the regular season of the Triple Crown Tour by removing an international event from the national champion’s schedule, and by encouraging competitive parity by reducing the motivation for top players to migrate to a handful of top teams in a WUGC year simply to access international playing opportunities. 
The updated selection procedures for WUGC represents the continued development of USA Ultimate’s national team program. Selection of coaches and players for the 2016 WUGC will occur in 2015, with coach selection in the summer and athlete applications and tryouts in the fall. The composition of these WUGC teams – both coaches and players – will also play a significant role in the selection and preparation of the national team for the 2017 World Games. 
Additional details be found here. The selection process requires a minimum level of participation in USA Ultimate events to establish eligibility. It also includes an emphasis on ensuring that the process is informed across each gender division, and that each team is comprised of athletes and coaches who possess the necessary experience and qualities to be successful.

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