Colorado Springs, Colo. (May 20, 2021)—Following the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the increasingly positive direction of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., USA Ultimate updated today its requirements for the use of masks at sanctioned events. These updates represent the latest revisions to the organization’s Return to Play guidelines and have been recommended by the medical advisory working group after thorough evaluation of the potential risks in a normal ultimate environment.
These guidelines are designed to address two primary types of events – local tournaments and events, in which participants are residents of the same state, and national-level tournaments, which include participants from multiple states:
A. At events in which participants are state residents, all COVID-19-related safety standards, including mask requirements, are subject to the guidance of the relevant state and local authorities.
B. At events in which participants are traveling in from other states, additional screening and/or COVID-19-related safety standards are required in addition to the relevant local health and safety regulations. These additional standards are designed to mitigate the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission commonly associated with travel to and from areas of the country where differences exist in infection and vaccination rates, community spread, healthcare system capacities, vaccine accessibility and local health regulations.
Organizers of USA Ultimate-sanctioned events with participants from other states may choose to implement one of the following risk mitigation options:
1. All participants must wear a mask when on the field of play and during all other times that six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
2. All participants (e.g., players, coaches, event staff, observers, chaperones, etc.) will be provided with the option to report their vaccination status as part of the event registration process (or testing status).
a. Participants who provide proof of completed vaccination (i.e., two weeks after final dose) will not be required to wear a mask at the event, unless otherwise required by state or local regulations.
b. Participants who submit proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test will not be required to wear a mask at the event, unless otherwise required by state or local regulations. The test must have been performed within 72 hours of the start of the event and submitted prior to participation.
c. Participants who do not meet the criteria in 2a or 2b above may participate provided they wear a mask when at the event.
d. Off-field mask requirements for other event attendees, including but not limited to parents, spectators, media, etc., will be subject to the applicable federal, state or local guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
e. Organizers will be responsible for checking registration materials and communicating expectations for their event to participating teams and individuals. Players and/or teams that don’t comply with these or other event rules are subject to removal from the event.
These safety regulations are subject to change at any time, with or without notice, as the landscape of the pandemic, including the health and safety guidelines issued by various levels of federal, state and local government, continues to shift. These guidelines are intended to provide greater flexibility at both the local and national levels while still offering a safe and cautious approach to returning to play, mitigate risk and provide reassurance to participants.
Additional information about major USA Ultimate events this summer is being finalized in collaboration with local organizers and will be shared directly with teams during the invitation and registration process.