A. Definition, Power, and Authority
a. “Event Disciplinary Authority (‘EDA’)” means any tournament director, certified Observer, Sectional/Conference or Regional Coordinator, State or District Youth Coordinator, Regional Youth Director, National Director, member of the USA Ultimate Administration performing their duties in some specific capacity, officer or agent of USA Ultimate, or some other USA Ultimate-appointed individual or group charged with decision making regarding conduct pertaining to a specific USA Ultimate event or program in progress.
b. An EDA may, as necessary, impose sanctions or penalties for violations of the Conduct Policy or event rules to ensure expedient administration of their duty in anticipation of or during a USA Ultimate event. The EDA process is specifically for use during events in progress, which may include a connected series of events overseen in the context of a larger event structure. EDAs may only impose sanctions in accordance with the level of authority they possess in relation to the smaller or larger event. EDA authority does not extend beyond the ongoing event in progress (i.e., to other unrelated events or across multiple years).
i. For example, a sectional coordinator may impose a sanction at a sectional event, while a National Director may impose a penalty that extends across the larger postseason “series” of events for which they are responsible.
c. In the event that there is more than one EDA at an event, communication and coordination between the multiple EDAs with jurisdiction are encouraged to ensure that relevant perspectives and responsibilities are considered, consistent results are achieved and the appropriate course of action is determined.
B. Information Sharing
An EDA should share information up the chain of command, including with any higher-level volunteer involved in the event and USA Ultimate staff, if appropriate. In the event that disagreements between multiple EDAs at a particular event arise, the highest-level EDA who is available during an event shall make the final decision.
C. EDA Enforcement
An EDA may act on their own initiative to impose sanctions or penalties for violations of the code of conduct, within the guidance of this and other applicable organizational and local policies. In addition, an individual may allege a complaint against a player, team, participant or
attendee by directly contacting the appropriate EDA, who may act upon the complaint as they see fit. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the situation, no written complaint is necessary.
a. Enforcement Recommendations – EDAs have the discretion to impose sanctions as they deem appropriate within the context of the situation and the guidance of this and other applicable organizational and policies. The recommendations below are meant as guidance for EDAs. They are not binding, and they do not represent all potential violations that may occur or sanctions that may be imposed during an event under an EDA’s purview.
i. Intentional Physical Assault – Any intentional physical misconduct with intent to harm is considered a major violation and merits immediate suspension from the remainder of competition, and a complaint should be filed through the USA Ultimate Judicial process.
ii. Discrimination and Harassment
- Use of racist, sexist or homophobic slurs or language directed at another individual with the intent to harm merits immediate suspension from the remainder of a competition, and a complaint should be filed through the USA Ultimate Judicial Process.
- If other discrimination or harassment occurs at a tournament or single event:
a. First Violation – Verbal warning noting the offending conduct along with potential repercussions.
b. Second Violation – Immediate suspension from the remainder of competition. An EDA may also determine that the alleged conduct merits review by the Judicial Committee and whether a complaint should be filed.
- If other discrimination or harassment occurs in a league or other longer-term competition:
a. First violation – Verbal warning noting the offending conduct along with potential repercussions.
b. Second Violation – A suspension of a specified number of games depending on the severity of the incident. The offending actor should meet with league leadership to discuss appropriate behavior prior to returning to play.
c. Third Violation – Expulsion from the program with no refund.
iii. Violation of Competition Rules – Enforcement of the rules of ultimate is reserved for the players and, if applicable, the observers. However, competition rules may require immediate action from an EDA, in consultation with an EDA up the chain of command or USA Ultimate staff. Such violations may include:
- Eligibility violations
- Intentionally misreporting scores
- Roster violations
D. Appeals of an EDA Decision
a. Immediate Appeal – If a higher-level EDA is reachable during the event, a USA Ultimate member may appeal the initial decision made by the lower-level EDA.
i. For example, in a USA Ultimate national series event such as conference/sectionals or regionals, an EDA decision may be immediately appealed to the National Director of the appropriate division, either in person or via telephone or email communication. If the National Director can be reached in time to make a meaningful decision on the matter, the National Director’s decision is final with respect to how to proceed during an ongoing event. If the National Director cannot be reached in time to make a decision on the matter, the original EDA decision stands during the ongoing event.
ii. In situations where there may be no clear higher-level EDA, such as a USA Ultimate sanctioned event that is not part of a larger event series, the EDA decision may not be appealed. This Policy encourages USA Ultimate members to conduct themselves in a manner that is in conformance with the requirements of this Policy and to ensure quick decision making and finality during ongoing events.
b. To the Judicial Committee – If the sanctions imposed by an EDA continue beyond the tournament or event where the conduct violation took place, a decision may be appealed as an Administrative Appeal as set forth in the USA Ultimate Judicial Process. Either the sanctions or the decision itself may be appealed by a member if the EDA is believed to have acted in error or in an unfair manner.