Colorado Springs, Colo. (May 3, 2021)—USA Ultimate announced today the dates and location for the 2021 D-I and D-III College Championships.
While these two tournaments normally occur at different venues over successive weekends in May, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to a postponement of the 2021 editions and a reimagined event. For the first time, USA Ultimate will stage a combined experience, December 17-20, at SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco, Calif.
The event will be co-hosted by California Ultimate with support from the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.
“We are very excited to be heading to Norco and to work with our great teammates at California Ultimate,” said USA Ultimate Chief Executive Tom Crawford. “While this is going to be a different style of event compared to our traditional college championships, we think the atmosphere and energy has the potential to be off the charts and that bringing the divisions together for the first time will lead to an especially fun, competitive and unique national championship. SilverLakes is an ideal venue and will help create an amazing environment… college ultimate is back!”
All totaled, the combined event will host 72 of the nation’s top college ultimate teams in the Division I and Division III ranks. The field will be comprised of 40 D-I and 32 D-III teams with invitations split equally between men’s and women’s teams.
All teams will qualify through a series of conference and regional tournaments this fall as outlined in a revamped set of competition guidelines announced by USA Ultimate last month.
SilverLakes has previously played host to several ultimate tournaments, including club sectional and regional championships, and is slated to host this year’s Select Flight Invite in August. Situated 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Riverside County, SilverLakes features 20 full-size grass soccer fields and four synthetic, lighted fields, plus additional facilities, including equestrian arenas, a concert venue and other spaces used for entertainment, hospitality and corporate events.
“The California Ultimate Association is proud to bring the 2021 USA Ultimate College Championships back to the west coast for the first time in 16 years,” commented executive director Grant Boyd. “We are especially excited for the greater Los Angeles and Ontario areas to see the action and culture that make our emerging sport – in particular the college game – so beloved and unique. We look forward to hosting athletes, families, and alumni from across the country at beautiful SilverLakes.”
The awarding of the 2021 College Championships to Norco brings a third major ultimate tournament to Southern California in the span of four months, joining the USA Ultimate elite-level National Championships in San Diego this October and the WFDF World Beach Ultimate Championships in Huntington Beach next April.
After the cancellation of the 2020 D-I and D-III College Championships, which were scheduled to occur in Milwaukee, Wis. and Obetz, Ohio respectively, USA Ultimate announced that the D-I event would return to Milwaukee this May. However, a postponement to the fall required moving both events to a warmer climate.