USA Ultimate Competition Working Group Meeting - College Division Update

Posted: December 10, 2015 01:59 PM
Team Incentive Program, Fall Competitive Opportunity, STAR Enhancements, Topics of Discussion
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 10, 2015)—Last weekend, USA Ultimate conducted its annual Competition Working Group retreat, welcoming 27 of its key volunteers and athlete representatives to discuss and plan various elements of the national governing body’s competitive structures and outreach efforts. 
Various subgroups focused on youth competition & outreach, beach ultimate and the college and club divisions met throughout the weekend, and in the coming weeks USA Ultimate will provide some detail on the topics discussed, decisions that were made, and in some cases describe future considerations that require additional input from the ultimate community. These reports will be issued on a departmental basis, beginning with some insight into the college division.
The college working group consisted of USA Ultimate staff members, including outgoing Manager of Competition & Athlete Programs Ty Krajec and his recently hired successor Tom Manewitz, as well as national developmental director Amy Hudson, national men’s director Jeff Kula, national division III director Kevin Kula and national women’s director Beth Nakamura.
With the publication of the 2016 College Division Guidelines earlier this fall, much of the discussion was instead focused on strategic and programmatic ideas designed to incentivize and reward college teams that maintain various standards that align with USA Ultimate’s mission.  In the coming weeks, the working group will identify best practices and create a formal team incentive program that recognizes college programs for character development, community outreach and competitive excellence – elements which echo the organization’s mission to advance the sport by enhancing and promoting character, community and competition. 
Although not entirely fleshed out, possible incentives that are currently under consideration include a recruiting presence at the Youth Club Championships, priority invitation to a yet-to-be-determined fall mixed playing opportunity and other public recognition ideas, paving the way for lesser-known schools and programs that don’t often play on a national stage to earn increased exposure and attention.
Another discussion covered ways to enhance the administration of USA Ultimate’s Season Training and Recruitment (STAR) program, including the development of a formal curriculum modeled after the Learn to Play program.
The one update to the 2016 college guidelines since they were published in October addresses seeding for nationals as it pertains to teams’ performance at regionals. Although order of finish at regionals will be strongly considered in determining seeds for nationals, it will not be binding – a change that was successfully implemented for the 2015 Triple Crown Tour postseason. 
The final noteworthy discussion that took place, following continued feedback from the community throughout the year, was centered around the creation of a USA Ultimate championship-level mixed fall playing opportunity. With the community having expressed to USA Ultimate a strong interest in such an opportunity, it’s currently considering the overall timing of such an event(s) and the form and scope it will take. 

At the conclusion of this series of working group recap articles, we'll be conducting a Q&A with the key volunteers and USA Ultimate staff for each of these subgroups. Please send any questions you'd like us to ask to

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