Tournament Director's Certification Program


USA Ultimate’s Tournament Director Certification Program (TDCP) was developed to educate event organizers about best practices for event management and provide tools to help organizers run high-quality events. The TDCP addresses USA Ultimate's strategic goal of providing the highest quality competitive events in the U.S.  

The cornerstone of the TDCP is the Tournament Director’s Manual 2.0 (updated November 2017). In it, organizers will find important and useful information, based on industry best practices and the experience of top event organizers across the country. 


TDCP logo

  Process and Requirements  


Apply for online Certification Clinic

Apply for online Re-certification Clinic 

Tournament Director's Manual 2.0

Showcase Game Manual


TD Certification Process 

The process of becoming a Certified Level I Tournament Director is simple:

•  You must be at least 18 years of age, be a current member in good standing, and your SafeSport Status* must be passed to become a certified USA Ultimate tournament director.

*Note: SafeSport training is now included as a member benefit from USA Ultimate and included in membership dues (This is available once you have a current membership). To check your SafeSport Status and/or get the training, login to the home page of your USA Ultimate account.  Toward teh top of the page, you will see your SafeSport Status on the right side of the page.  Click on SafeSport and follow instructions from there. 

•  apply for the online certification clinic (see below for re-certification)

•  read the Tournament Director's Manual and the linked resources

•  watch your USA Ultimate associated email account for an email from "USA Ultimate Manager - Events" with subject "USA Ultimate-[your-name] Tournament Director Certification Program"

•  take the online exam (open-book—please make use of any and all resources) 

If you have comments or questions about the TDCP test questions, manual content or registration, please contact

TD Re-certification Process 

The process of recertifying as a Certified Level I Tournament Director is simple:

• for the online recertification clinic (see above for initial certification)



In an effort to improve tournaments, as of January 1, 2016, TDCP Level I Certification will be a requirement for certain USA Ultimate volunteers:

•  State Youth Coordinators (Competition)

•  Tournament Directors for any USA Ultimate sanctioned, season, championship series, or national or regional championship event. 

As of January 2016, the cost for certification is $33. The certification will be good for up to two years; it will expire at the end of the second calendar year.  As of November 2017, the cost for re-certification is $16. The re-certification will be good for up to two years; it will expire at the end of the second calendar year. 

Both certification and re-certification exams are free for many USA Ultimate volunteers, including state youth coordinators; championship series and state championship event tournament directors; and tournament directors who run a sanctioned tournament for a USA Ultimate Affiliate organization or USA Ultimate State-Based organization.

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A fantastic group including several excellent tournament directors contributed to the development of the TDCP:

  • William Bartram
  • Melissa Battis
  • Dave Branick
  • Rusty Brown
  • Zara Cadoux
  • Brian Canniff
  • Seann DeMaris
  • Jeff Jordan
  • Fran Kelley
  • Kim Kreitner
  • Christie Lawry
  • Rob Luhrs
  • Colin McIntyre
  • Jake McKean
  • Bruce Mebust
  • Michelle Ng
  • Rodger Oakes
  • Chris Olig
  • Rob Popp
  • Shiellah Quintos
  • Andy Saeman
  • Josh Seamon
  • Scott Severson
  • Qxhna Titcomb
  • Dale Wilker
  • USA Ultimate Headquarters Staff


Thanks to Ryan Anderson for her copy editing.

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The tournament experience highlights the second "C" in USA Ultimate’s Mission Statement: to advance the sport of ultimate in the United States by enhancing Character, Community, and Competition.  While tournaments are definitely not unique to our sport, they seem to be more prevalent in ultimate across skill levels and they are not just at the end of the season. Single games outside of tournament play can address both Character and Competition.  It is the exposure to a tournament, to numerous teams and scores of players, to the immersion in the sport and to one’s fellow athletes, both teammates and opponents, for a day or longer that demonstrates the ultimate community.  

Tournaments are a huge part of ultimate and tournament experiences, both positive and negative, have a large impact on participants’ experiences of our sport.  So it is very important that athletes, coaches, chaperones, family members and fans enjoy our tournaments.  There is a direct correlation between the quality of the tournament and how much participants and attendees enjoy it.  


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