Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jan. 4, 2023) – USA Ultimate’s Competition Working Group met in Denver last month for its annual meeting to discuss various aspects of the sport’s competition structure across all divisions – youth, college, club, masters and beach. The meeting included eight USA Ultimate staff members, two members of the board of directors and 30 key community volunteers and was held over two days. Beginning with the beach division, we are releasing summaries of each smaller group’s discussion. The youth, club, masters and college recaps will be released in the coming weeks.
The Beach Working Group consists of USA Ultimate Manager of Events and Beach David Raflo, Florida Regional Beach Director Alex Jacoski, Pacific Regional Beach Director Grant Boyd, Great Lakes Regional Beach Director Hayden Weaver, Gulf Coast Regional Beach Director Max Grove and Atlantic Regional Beach Director Sam Broaddus. Weaver took over the Great Lakes role in 2022.
The Beach Working Group discussed a primary goal for 2023, which is identifying a baseline for beach ultimate information, specifically data collection on Beach Nationals, athlete base and domestic and international tournaments. The goal includes understanding demand and interest through data collection with athletes, members, coaches and organizers.
The discussion also included understanding participation from grass only, grass and beach and beach only athletes. The group had unanimous interest regarding better benchmarking for understanding who is playing beach ultimate.
The data collection will also be used to find all the beach tournaments that are offered and collect participation data in those sanctioned, unsanctioned and hat tournaments. The group will also focus on cataloging active beach locations for use.
The group also worked to update and change the 2023 guidelines which include a few significant changes:
- USA Ultimate will be adding two new divisions: Great Grand Masters Women’s and Grand Masters Mixed.
- Out of region player allowances will be slightly higher for all non-mixed divisions.
- For all mixed divisions, whichever gender-matching players have the majority on the starting line, a player of that gender-matching group must pull.
Stay tuned to usaultimate.org for more recaps from the 2022 Competition Working Group meeting.