Playing Opportunities, Beach National Team Structure, Beach-Specific Rules Discussed

Colorado Springs, Colo. (February 4, 2020) – USA Ultimate’s Competition Working Group met in Denver last December for its annual meeting to discuss various aspects of the sport’s competition structure across all age divisions – youth, college, club, masters and beach. The meeting included 10 USA Ultimate staff members, two members of the board of directors and 29 key volunteers and was held over two days. Following the meeting, we are releasing summaries of each smaller group’s discussion. The club division recap was released late last month, followed by the masters division recap. The youth and college updates are still to come. 

The beach working group consists of USA Ultimate Manager of Events and Beach Division Manager David Raflo, East Coast Regional Beach Director Samantha Broaddus, Great Lakes Regional Beach Director Becky LeDonne, Gulf Coast Regional Beach Director Max Grove and West Coast Regional Beach Director Grant Boyd. Grove took over for outgoing regional director Sean McCall, who served in the role for several years. McCall also attended the meeting while LeDonne was unable to do so.

2020CWG Beach Rotator
2019 Beach Working Group
L-R: Boyd, Raflo, Broaddus, Grove, McCall
(Not Pictured: Becky LeDonne)

The beach working group spent much of their time discussing the beach division guidelines, brainstorming how to encourage additional playing opportunities and clarifying beach-specific competition rules. The beach division guidelines will continue to include bid priority to local organizations that offer beach/sand playing opportunities. The priority structure both rewards organizations already offering those opportunities and incentivizes the introduction of opportunities in other areas. This year’s guidelines also require teams to demonstrate their commitment to the Beach Championships earlier so teams on the waitlist can be notified of vacancies with more lead time. 

More details are available in the 2020 Beach Division Guidelines, which are now available. In addition, phase one applications for the 2020 Beach Championships are open. Applications should be completed by Friday, February 7. 

The 2020-21 USA Ultimate Rules is our first edition to include beach-specific rules in Appendix E: Beach Ultimate Rules Adaptations. The adaptations include number of players, field dimensions (including line clarifications), shoe restrictions, game lengths and definitions for sand stoppages and sand fouls.

With WFDF’s 2021 World Championships of Beach Ultimate (WCBU) set to be announced soon, planning discussions continued. There will be tryouts for the Men’s, Mixed and Women’s National Teams, while all masters division teams will be selected based on an application process similar to prior years. Applications to coach the men’s, mixed and women’s teams will be available soon, with coach selections to follow in the spring. Once coaches are in place, more planning can be done for WCBU tryouts, including their timing and coordination with the 2021 World Games tryout process.  

The working group also decided the state of Florida should have a dedicated Regional Beach Director. A job description and application is available here.

Stay tuned to for more updates from the 2019 Competition Working Group meeting.

2019 Competition Working Group