2021 Youth Division

Competition Guidelines

Updates for 2021

Youth League Sanctioning

2021 USA Ultimate Middle School Guidelines

2021 USA Ultimate High School State Championships

2021 Youth Club Warm-Ups

2021 USA Ultimate Youth Club Championships at the U.S. Open

2021 USA Ultimate Youth Fall Cup Events

Event Competition Guidelines

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, USA Ultimate activities and programs for the year will be evaluated and planned with the health and safety of our members and the broader community as the top priority. In collaboration with its Medical Advisory Working Group, along with guidance from other medical experts, public health officials and sports organizations, USA Ultimate will work during 2021 to provide opportunities for safe and healthy ultimate and ultimate-related activities that are in line with its Return to Play Guidelines and all applicable state and local health and safety regulations. 

Guidelines for programs and events will be developed and published with the goal of clear communication and transparency, as well as an understanding of the need to plan far enough ahead to create viable opportunities while remaining flexible to allow for necessary adjustments to the structure and/or timing of activities. USA Ultimate’s goal is to offer safe opportunities to play that continue to build on the high-quality events and programs the community has come to expect, and to tailor these programs to fit the evolving health and safety situation over the course of the year.


Updates for 2021

  1. Each team attending High School State Championships must have one HS certified coach, in addition to all coaches having coach memberships, SafeSport training and completed USAU background checks.
    • U20, U17 and High School coaches will require High School certification; a Middle School certification will not be accepted for these divisions. 
  2. Rosters for Middle School and High School State Championships must be completed one week before the event for traditional State Championships.
  3. New forms for teams applying for YCC:
    • Youth Development proposal updates
    • Out of Region players at YCC
  4. Acknowledging that not all players’ gender identity may align with their sex assigned at birth, we will be using the terms “man-matching” and “woman-matching” in reference to on-field personnel matchups in the U20 mixed division.
  5. All Chaperones must have a USAU membership. A Chaperone Membership that covers the cost of your SafeSport certification is now available on the membership purchase page. You must have a current, green-light background check through NCSI before you will be able to purchase the chaperone membership.

Youth League Sanctioning

League Sanctioning Requirements

  1. Submit all player materials (rosters and USAU waivers) to USAU within the first week of the league beginning (rolling rosters are accepted – the first must be submitted with the 1st week of league).
  2. Submit all Chaperone names BEFORE the event occurs. All chaperones must have all requirements met before the youth event occurs. If more chaperones are added throughout the event, please make sure you are submitting their names to USAU along with any additional player rosters. 
  3. All players must have verified USAU Waivers.
  4. All players must have a current player membership.
  5. All materials must be finalized and received by USAU within 5 business days of the conclusion of the league (including Payment of missing memberships).

Beginning in 2021, if organizations have outstanding events open from the previous year (events that have never been closed out with USAU) they will not be considered during Phase 1 for YCC. 

USA Ultimate Middle School Guidelines

USAU Youth Rules Recommendations

With the adoption of the 2020-21 Rules of Ultimate, USA Ultimate has introduced recommendations for different ages of youth play.  These recommendations can be found under Appendix D: Youth Rules Adaptations.

Youth programs are not required to follow these recommendations, but we would like to know what rules and format our youth programs are following. If you are NOT using the new recommendations, please fill out this form and let us know what rules and/or format you are using and why.

If you are using the new recommendations, please use the form to give us your feedback on these new rules.

Requirements for USAU Middle School State Championships

NOTE:  The information listed below applies to a conventional State Championship Tournament. If your State Youth Coordinator (SYC) determines that a normal State Championship cannot, or will not, be held for safety and health reasons, they may choose to run an Alternate State Championship (such as a Skills Challenge, a Disc Golf event, etc.).    

If your state is holding an alternate event, the registration and rostering timelines and requirements may be different for you. Your SYC will have detailed instructions for your event.

A bid document must be submitted to the State Youth Coordinator, who will submit it to the Regional Youth Director (RYD) and Youth Competition Manager.  If your state does not have an SYC, it should be submitted to the Regional Youth Director. Contact information for SYCs and RYDs can be found here.

The State Championship must be publicly announced to local organizers and via USA Ultimate web properties at least six weeks prior to the event. Announcement must include:

  • Date of event
  • Location of event
  • Contact information for event
  • Registration requirements

Team Info

All teams must submit an official 2021 State Championship roster by the deadlines outlined in the guidelines. USAU memberships and all individual waivers must also be completed prior to participation at the State Championships.  

Players that are members of a USAU Affiliate may participate in the MS State Championships with their Affiliate membership, rather than a full membership.  

New players who are participating in a MS State Championship for the first time can purchase a Youth Intro membership rather than the full youth membership.  

Players also can participate with a one-time event fee.

  1. Event/Team Registration Deadline
    • All teams competing in a State Championship or Qualifying Event must be registered in the USAU online system (EMS) for the appropriate event two weeks prior to the event.
      • Teams without this information registered in the online system by this deadline will be ineligible to compete.  
      • Teams that miss the deadline may contact the State Youth Coordinator. Late admittance may be granted pending completion of registration steps (USAU qualified Chaperone and Coach Member).
      • Registering your team in EMS requires having a chaperone and coach on the roster.  Players can be rostered until one week before the event.
    • Each team must have a registered and rostered Chaperone who has:
      • created a USAU account and purchased a membership
      • passed a USAU background check
      • completed SafeSport training 
      • signed all waivers

        Each team must have a chaperone listed on the event roster (please see the Team Organizers page for details team creation and event registration) by the team registration deadline. In order to meet the event deadlines, teams must have chaperones begin the background check process no later than two (2) weeks prior to the team registration deadline.

    • Each team must have one USAU Coach Member and all coaches must be registered & rostered Coach Members who have:
      • passed a USAU background check
      • completed SafeSport training
      • completed CDC Concussion training
      • completed USAU Coach training
      • purchased a Coach level membership
      • signed all waivers

        Each team must have a Coach Member listed on the event roster (please see the Team Organizers page for details team creation and event registration) by the team registration deadline. In order to meet the event deadlines, teams must have a Coach Member begin the background check process no later than two weeks prior to the team registration deadline.

    • *Note: There may be additional registration information required by your State Youth Coordinator. Contact your State Youth Coordinator in advance of the registration deadline for more details.
  2. Rostering Deadline: One week before the State Championships
    • Online rostering must be completed one week prior to a team’s State Championship (for example, if a team’s State Championship is May 11-12, rostering must be completed by 5pm MT on May 4).
    • State Youth Coordinators may set an earlier deadline for rostering in coordination with his/her/their Regional Youth Director.
  3. On-site Player Additions
    • State Youth Coordinators may choose not to accept on-site rosters or player additions. This will be communicated to the teams during registration.
  4. Player Eligibility
    • USA Ultimate Middle School Championship events are competitions for school-based teams. All players on teams participating in the event must meet the following guidelines for “Middle School Players.”
    • To be considered a Middle School Player, students must meet the following requirements:
      • Students must be regular members of the school they represent in order to participate in an interscholastic athletic activity. 
        1. Students are a “regular member” of a school if they are enrolled half time or more, exclusive of interscholastic athletic activities.
        2. In cases where schools can provide supporting documentation, USA Ultimate allows two or more schools meeting certain requirements to compete as a consortium (single-team from multiple schools) in the USA Ultimate Middle School division. More details can be found here. The State Youth Coordinator, in conjunction with the Regional Youth Director, may determine that schools without a prior history of collaboration can function as a consortium at the Middle School level.
      • Students must be enrolled in Middle School.
    • Students who are home-schooled will be considered eligible to participate on a team at a USA Ultimate Championship event as follows:
      • If the student is part of a USAU-recognized homeschool cooperative, they may participate as part of that cooperative’s ultimate team, provided that team meets the state tournament participation requirements. This home school cooperative must be renewed every two years and may be reviewed by USA Ultimate at earlier intervals if needed.
      • If the student is not part of a USAU-recognized homeschool cooperative, they may participate as part of the ultimate team at the public middle school that they would normally attend, provided that team meets the state tournament participation requirements.
      • If a student is a regular member of a school they may not play with any other school, regardless of any homeschool designation.
  5. Violations of these rules may result in disqualification of a team or individual from the State Championships and possible repercussions through the USAU conduct policy.
  6. Clarifications and Exceptions: These rules are designed to be as fair as possible for the wide range of players participating in the State Championships. Experience has shown that there can be cases where these rules do not absolutely determine the eligibility of a particular player. The following procedure is available for players/teams for whom the rules are not clear:
    • The coach, team representative or the player in question should consult with the State Youth Coordinator.
    • The State Youth Coordinator will consult the Regional Youth Director and USAU Youth Competition Manager for how to proceed.
    • In the event that the coach, team representative, or the player feels that the decision is biased, or all aspects have not been considered, she/he/they may submit an appeal to the Youth Eligibility Committee via its eligibility form.
    • The inquiry form must be filled out completely, and submitted between January 1 and April 5. Late requests will be considered at the discretion of the Committee.
    • The inquiry will be reviewed by the Committee, and responses sent by email. 
    • Email youth_elig_chair@usaultimate.org if the form is not available or for any other questions.
    • The Eligibility Committee will rule on a player’s case based on the published Youth Competition Guidelines; this is not the mechanism for requesting changes to the guidelines. Please contact the Youth Manager of Competition and National Team Programs on the process for proposing changes.
  7. Click here for USAU Staff contact info.
  8. Click here for detailed instructions on how to complete your roster and for links to the needed forms.
  9. Click here for the Medical Authorization Form (required for minors).

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to the discretion of the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and National Team Programs.

USAU High School State Championships

The USAU State High School Championship program is expanding. Organizations are chosen to host a USAU State HS Championship at the discretion of the State Youth Coordinator, Regional Youth Director and Manager of Youth Competition and National Team Programs, with priority given to State-Based Organizations and Affiliates.

The criteria weighed in granting USAU sponsorship to a new State HS Championship are:

  1. Reliable organizers to host the event.
  2. Keeping the growth at a level where high quality training can be provided to new organizers.

A “state tournament” can be an independent event, run by a local organization or organizer, but it must be sanctioned by USA Ultimate. State tournaments are most often used to prepare for running a State Championship in upcoming seasons.

A State Championship is a specific state tournament, owned by USA Ultimate and run by the USA Ultimate Competition State Youth Coordinator.

In 2020, there were no USAU State Championships due to the pandemic.

In 2019 the states hosting USAU State HS Championships were: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Alternatives to State Championships in 2021

NOTE:  The information listed above applies to a conventional State Championship Tournament. If your State Youth Coordinator (SYC) determines that a normal State Championship cannot, or will not, be held for safety and health reasons, they may choose to run an Alternate State Championship (such as a Skills Challenge, a Disc Golf event, etc.).    

If your state is holding an alternate event, the registration and rostering timelines and requirements may be different for you. Your SYC will have detailed instructions for your event.

Requirements for State Tournaments and Championships

A bid document must be submitted to the State Youth Coordinator (SYC), who will submit it to the Regional Youth Director (RYD) and Youth Competition Manager. If your state does not have an SYC, it should be submitted to the Regional Youth Director. Contact information for SYCs and RYDs can be found here.

  1. The state tournament or championship must be publicly announced to local organizers and via USA Ultimate web properties at least six weeks prior to the event. Announcement must include:
    • Date of event
    • Location of event
    • Contact information for event
    • Registration requirements
  2. The state tournament must include every HS team in the state that meets the State Youth Coordinator’s deadlines.
    • In the event that there are too many in-state teams to accommodate at a state tournament, there must be a USAU qualifying event(s) for the state tournament.
    • If there is a Qualifying Event for one team within a state, then every team within the same State Championship must participate in a Qualifying Event in order to qualify. 
      1. Example: If North Carolina were running Qualifying Events in Raleigh and Wilmington, then Charlotte teams must also compete in a Qualifying Event in order to be eligible for the state championship tournament.
    • The State Championship can include teams from outside of the state as long as it does not prohibit in-state teams that have met the registration requirements from participating.
    • Teams cannot be directed to participate in a secondary event (such as a Division II or developmental division) without a Qualifying Event, unless they choose to do so.

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to the discretion of the State Youth Coordinator, Regional Youth Director and USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and National Team Programs.

Team Info

All teams must submit an official 2021 State Championship roster by the deadlines outlined below. All participants must be full USAU members in good standing. USAU membership dues and individual waivers must also be submitted prior to participation at the State Championships. Players may NOT pay one-time event fees or Affiliate Membership fees for Championship events.

Players who have never had a USA Ultimate membership may be eligible for an Intro Rate membership.  Team managers with new players should contact the Youth Competition Manager about these players prior to having new players purchase their memberships.

  1. Event/Team Registration Deadline
    • All teams competing in a State Championship or Qualifying Event must be registered in the USAU online system (EMS) for the appropriate event two weeks prior to the event.
      • Teams without this information registered in the online system by this deadline will be ineligible to compete.  
      • Teams that miss the deadline may contact the Competition State Youth Coordinator to request late acceptance and are subject to a $75 late fee. Late admittance may be granted pending completion of registration steps (USAU cleared Chaperone and Coach Member), but the SYC is not obligated to allow late teams to participate.
      • Registering your team in EMS requires having a chaperone and coach on the roster. Players can be rostered until one week before the event.
    • Each team must have a registered Chaperone who has:
      • created a USAU account and purchased a membership
      • passed a USAU background check
      • completed SafeSport training 
      • signed all waivers

        Each team must have a chaperone listed on the event roster (please see the Resources page for details team creation and event registration) by the team registration deadline. In order to meet the event deadlines, teams must have chaperones begin the background check process no later than two weeks prior to the team registration deadline.

    • Each team must have at least ONE Certified coach on the roster. For 2021, High School coaches must have a High School Certification. Information on where to obtain certification can be found here.
      • If your team is competing in the State Championships for the first time, or if you need assistance with coach certification requirements, please contact the Youth Competition Manager.
    • Every coach on the roster must be a registered Coach Member who has:
      • passed a USAU background check
      • completed SafeSport training
      • completed CDC Concussion training
      • completed USAU Coach training
      • purchased a Coach level membership
      • signed all waivers
    • Each team must have a USAU HS certified Coach Member listed on the event roster (please see the Resources page for details about team creation and event registration) by the team registration deadline. In order to meet the event deadlines, teams must have any coaches begin the background check process no later than two weeks prior to the team registration deadline.
      • No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two or more rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).
      • A Coach who meets chaperone requirements (over 21 years of age) can fulfill both roles on one team roster.
      • It is recommended that all player membership dues and waivers should be submitted prior to the team registration deadline.
    • Note: A Chaperone or Coach Member’s background check may expire prior to the end of the State Championship, in which case they must renew his/her background check prior to its expiration.

      There may be additional registration information required by your State Youth Coordinator. Contact your State Youth Coordinator in advance of the registration deadline for more details.
  2. Rostering Deadline: One week before the State Championships
    • Online rostering must be completed one week prior to a team’s State Championship (For example, if a team’s state championship is May 11-12, rostering must be completed by 5pm MT on May 4).
    • State Youth Coordinators may set an earlier deadline for rostering in coordination with his/her/their Regional Youth Director.
  3. Player Eligibility
    • USA Ultimate High School Championship events are competitions for school-based teams. All players on teams participating in the event must meet the following guidelines for “High School Players.”
    • To be considered a High School Player, students must meet the following requirements:
      • Students at public and private schools must be regular members of the school they represent, during the entire term during which the event is held, in order to participate in an interscholastic athletic activity.
        1. Students are a “regular member” of a school if they are enrolled half time or more, exclusive of interscholastic athletic activities.
        2. In cases where schools can provide supporting documentation, USA Ultimate allows two or more schools meeting certain requirements to compete as a consortium (single-team from multiple schools) in the USA Ultimate High School division. More details can be found here.
      • Students must be enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade.
      • Students in 7th or 8th grade in states where there is no middle school playing opportunity available may play with their associated high school based on approval from the high school coach, the player’s parents and the high school administration. 
      • Students ineligible under the above requirements and any of their state’s eligibility exceptions may apply for an eligibility exception. Please contact your State Youth Coordinator for an application.
    • Students must not turn 20 years old prior to June 1 of the current school year.
    • Students who are home-schooled will be considered eligible to participate on a team at a USA Ultimate Championship event as follows:
      • If the student is part of a USAU-recognized homeschool cooperative, they may participate as part of that cooperative’s ultimate team, provided that team meets the state tournament participation requirements. This home school cooperative must be renewed every two years and may be reviewed by USA Ultimate at earlier intervals if needed.
      • If the student is not part of a USAU-recognized homeschool cooperative, they may participate as part of the ultimate team at the public high school that they would normally attend, provided that team meets the state tournament participation requirements.
      • If a student is a regular member of a school they may not play with any other school, regardless of any homeschool designation.
    • Players under the age of 18 must have a completed Medical Authorization form onsite at the event with their coach or chaperone.
  4. State Eligibility Exceptions
    • The USAU Youth Guidelines provide a framework for school-based play across the country. However, State Youth Coordinators can create modifications to eligibility rules for their entire state up to one month before the event date with Regional Youth Director and USA Ultimate approval.
    • If approved, these modifications will supersede the USAU eligibility guidelines for that state and must be applied consistently and to all teams within that state. These exceptions can be found here after April 1.
  5. Coach Requirements
    • All teams are required to have a minimum of one USAU HS certified coach present and listed on the official event roster for all State Championships and Qualifying Events. Coaches for High School State Championships must be over 18, and they cannot be a student at the school for which they coach.  Information on where to obtain certification can be found here.
  6. Violations of these rules will result in disqualification of a team or individual from the State Championships and/or Qualifying Event and possible repercussions through the USAU conduct policy
  7. Clarifications: These rules are designed to be as fair as possible for the wide range of players participating in the State Championships.  Experience has shown that there can be cases where these rules do not absolutely determine the eligibility of a particular player.  The following procedure is available for players/teams for whom the rules are not clear:
    • The coach, team representative, or the player in question should consult with the State Youth Coordinator and the State Eligibility Exceptions, which will be linked here in April.  
    • If the case is not clarified by the State Exceptions, the player can submit an exception request to the State Youth Coordinator, who will consult the Regional Youth Director and USAU Youth Competition Manager for how to proceed.
    • In the event that the coach, team representative, or the player feels that the decision is biased, or all aspects have not been considered, she/he/they may submit an appeal to the Youth Eligibility Committee via its eligibility form.
    • The inquiry form must be filled out completely, and submitted at least two weeks before the rostering deadline for the event.  Late requests will be considered at the discretion of the Committee.
    • The inquiry will be reviewed by the Committee, and responses sent by email. 
    • Email youth_elig_chair@usaultimate.org if the form is not available or for any other questions.
    • The Eligibility Committee will rule on a player’s case based on the published Youth Competition Guidelines; this is not the mechanism for requesting changes to the guidelines. Please contact the Youth Manager of Competition and National Team Programs on the process for proposing changes.

Important Documents

Click here for State Youth Coordinator contact info.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to complete your roster and for links to the needed forms.

Click for the Medical Authorization Form (required for minors).  This is NOT the same as the USAU liability waiver.

2021 Youth Club Warm-Ups

Overview

These tournaments may be run by local organizers for youth club players in June and July if in compliance with all applicable health and safety regulations, including USA Ultimate Return to Play Guidelines. The goal of these events is to provide accessible competition for youth ultimate players during the summer, prior to YCC. These tournaments will serve two major functions:

  1. To provide warm-up opportunities for teams preparing to go to YCC in August.
  2. To provide an additional playing opportunity for those teams that are unable to attend YCC.

Bid Application

Any organization that wants to run a Warm Up should email the Youth Competition Manager in order to get an application. Organizations must show that they are complying with all USA Ultimate and local/state health and safety requirements and have requirements in place for participating teams that ensure adequate adult supervision and quarantine contingencies in place.

Application and Team Selection

Application deadlines will be set by the tournament organizer. Teams must be eligible by the USAU YCC guidelines to participate in these events:

  • Teams should be given bid priority based on YCC guidelines
  • Events must offer equal playing opportunities for boys and girls 
  • Players must be full USAU members in good standing to participate
  • Players must have competed in a High School State Championship or a USAU sanctioned league to be eligible

Team and Player Requirements

  1. On-time receipt of application
  2. Adequate adult support structure
    • At least one rostered Coach with USAU Coaching certification (this is in addition to a coach level membership)
      • Coaches with pre-existing, active Ethics and Level 1 certifications qualify.
      • New 2021 certifications for coaches must be Middle School level for U15 or U12 teams and High School level for U20 and U17 teams.
    • Two USAU qualified Chaperones over the age of 25
  3. Players in the U20 division must not turn 20 before January 1, 2022.  
  4. Players in the U17 division must not turn 17 before January 1, 2022. 
  5. Each player on the roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event. Players may not pay one-time event fees, or Affiliate Membership fees, for Warm-Up events.
  6. Teams must be made up of players residing in the same (USAU adult club) region, with residency defined as:
    • the location where the person is living for the majority of August, AND
    • the location where the person is living for the majority of the 3 months prior to August
    • If the above definition means that a player does not have a region as their “residence”, then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player.
    • Teams are allowed a maximum of 4 out-of-region players.
  7. Multiple team affiliations are not allowed. No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).
  8. A coach who meets chaperone requirements can fulfill both roles on one team roster.

Event Registration

Information on paperwork requirements and deadlines will be sent to attending teams along with the invitation to the event.

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to the discretion of the USA Ultimate Youth Manager of Competition and National Team Programs.

2021 USAU Youth Club Championships

August 7-9 in Blaine, Minn.

NOTE:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Ultimate has had to change our traditional guidelines both for bid priority, bid offer timelines, and potentially the format of YCC. These changes are specifically for 2021, and should not be considered the new normal for YCC. 

All teams will be expected to comply with local, state, and USA Ultimate medical and safety requirements for the event, including the Return to Play Guidelines. While safety and health requirements are still changing, teams should think about the potential need for additional chaperones (3 or more) and extra rooms at their hotel/lodging (in case players must be quarantined).
USAU will be providing updates as we get closer to the event, but teams should be making their arrangements with potential COVID-related issues in mind.

Overview

The goal of this event is to provide national-level competition for youth Ultimate players and encourage local playing opportunities for youth within the USAU structure. In 2021, USA Ultimate will be accepting bids for two separate age divisions – U20 and U17.  The guidelines that follow are USAU’s requirements for qualification and criteria for acceptance for the USAU Youth Club Championships.  As this is a growing division, these guidelines and the bid allocation process are subject to change. 

Beginning in 2021, if organizations have outstanding events open from the previous year (tournaments and/or leagues that have never been closed out with USAU) they will not be considered for Phase 1. 

Application Process and Dates

This year, there will not be phases for bid application acceptance

March 19, 2021

April 15, 2021

Begin offering bids to teams/organizations with completed applications

May 30, 2021

Final date for bid acceptance
(bids offered on/after this date have a week to accept or decline)

June 12, 2021

Final decision on YCC/U.S. Open

June 18, 2021

Due date for Bid Deposits (deposit = 12 player fees + tax; approximately $927*)
*Note- this may change due to the pandemic

July 16, 2021

FINAL FEE PAYMENT DUE – all player fees must be paid by this date

Second teams within a single division from a specific organization, and international teams, may apply at any time, but their applications will not be considered until after Phase 1.

The purpose of multiple bid deadlines is to accommodate leagues and teams that want to know early in the year how many bids they will receive and in which division(s). In recognizing that not all leagues are ready to bid early, Phase 2 was created to fill any vacant bids after Phase 1 and give a second opportunity for new leagues/teams to apply.

Development proposals – As a part of the application process, applicants that do not meet a given criterion will be required to have a current youth club development proposal that outlines how the applicant will contribute to the development of youth ultimate in his/her/their area, and work with USAU to promote youth ultimate, over the next two years. 

  • Applicants who successfully receive a bid based on their youth club development proposal may apply for such a conditional bid for two consecutive years.

IF you have not attended YCC previously, please complete the proposal and email it to the Youth Competition Manager.

After the two years from the time the proposal is accepted, if no viable USAU sanctioned State Championship, youth club program, or high school league has been developed, it will be at the discretion of the Manager of Youth Competition and National Team Programs to determine whether the team can continue to apply for bids to the Youth Club Championships. 

Team Selection Process

This process is designed to encourage communities to develop both youth club playing opportunities outside of the school structure and school-based opportunities that support the USAU High School State Championship series. 

NOTE: For 2021, we are adopting a different priority structure due to the pandemic. This system will be less formally structured and more flexible as the ability to play has not been equal across the country. Please contact the Youth Competition Manager if you have any questions.

  1. 2019 YCC Bid priority – based on priority guidelines for that year
    • Priority Status 1-4
    • Priority Status 5-8
    • Priority status 9-12
    • Priority status 13-16
  2. 2020 Youth Opportunities – based on number of opportunities, not what those opportunities were
    • 4 or more opportunities
    • 3 opportunities
    • 2 opportunities
    • 1 opportunity
    • 0 opportunities
  3. 2021 Youth Opportunities
    • School-based and Club options
    • School Based OR Club options, but not both
    • # of participants
  4. SBO or Affiliate Status

For the purposes of YCC bid priority, we understand that health and safety concerns have had varying impacts on local organizations’ abilities to create opportunities for youth. Therefore, for 2020 and 2021, we will be counting traditional opportunities (State Championships, club leagues, etc.) and non-traditional opportunities (Skills Challenge, Ultimate Disc Golf, etc.) equally.

We do not want the 2021 priority structure to keep any club or organization from submitting bids for YCC. For example, clubs submitting bids for the first time should not worry that it will preclude them from obtaining a bid. However, we do need a way to rank bid applications in order to offer bids in a consistent, equitable order.

International Teams

International teams will be placed according to the discretion of the USA Ultimate staff. Some things that may be considered include:

  • The number of bids available in the division
  • Prior attendance at YCC
  • Association with their home country’s governing body for ultimate

Bid Allocation Limits

Organizations can only receive one bid per division during the Phase 1 allocations. No organization may receive more than two bids in any division.

League Requirements

For the purposes of Team Selection for YCC, leagues will be defined as follows:

  1. USAU Youth Club or High School League – must be run within the preceding 12 months at the time of application
    • USAU sanctioned
    • Provides playing opportunities for youth in a youth-focused environment
    • Competition and team makeup is not based on school affiliation
    • Minimum of 4 league meetings (scheduled game days per team) over a minimum of 4 weeks
  2. USA Ultimate reserves the right to determine whether leagues applying for bids to YCC meet the above criteria.

ALL TEAMS – COVID CONTINGENCIES: Due to the rapidly changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, all teams will be expected to comply with local, state, and USA Ultimate medical and safety requirements for the event. While these are still changing, teams should think about the potential need for additional chaperones and extra rooms at their hotel/lodging (in case players must be quarantined).

USAU will be providing updates as we get closer to the event, but teams should be making their arrangements with potential COVID-related issues in mind.

U20 Team Requirements

  1. On-time receipt of application
  2. Adequate adult support
    • At least 2 USAU qualified Chaperones 25 years of age or older with a USAU membership, signed waivers, a current NCSI background check, and SafeSport certification
    • At least one rostered Coach with USAU Coaching certification (this is in addition to a coach level membership).  Information on where to obtain certification can be found here.
      • Coaches must be High School level certified.
    • No Coach or Chaperone may be listed on two or more rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).  Those fulfilling the roles of Certified coaches and Chaperones CANNOT compete in ICC (the adult Open) during YCC.
    • A Coach who meets the Chaperone requirements may fulfill both roles on one team roster.
  3. Must be made up of players residing in the same (USAU youth) region, with residency defined as:
    • The location where the person is living for the majority of August, AND
    • the location where the person is living for the majority of the 3 months prior to August
    • If the above definition means that a player does not have a region as their “residence”, then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player.
    • Teams are allowed a maximum of 4 out-of-region players.  If you have out-of-region players, you will need to provide the reasons that these players are on your roster in this form.
  4. Each team must provide a volunteer scorekeeper for each of their games at YCC.

U20 Player Requirements

  1. Each player on the roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event. Players may not pay one-time event fees, or Affiliate Membership fees, for Warm-Up events.
  2. All players must not turn 20 before January 1, 2022.
  3. Players must have either:*
    • participated in the USAU High School State Championships or State Qualifying Event during the academic year immediately preceding the USAU Youth Club Championships, OR
    • participated in a USAU-sanctioned youth club league with a start date during the 12 months prior to the current Youth Club Championships and been enrolled in high school or middle school during the academic year immediately preceding the USAU Youth Club Championships.
  4. *Player Eligibility Exception Process: Players that do not meet above requirements but wish to participate may be granted an exception and are encouraged to apply for one. These situations require completion of a Player Exception Application (FORM LINKED HERE).
    • Examples include, but are not limited to:
      • Players who do not meet Rule 3a or 3b above, but are enrolled at a school whose top (Varsity/A) team participated in the most recent USAU High School State Championship or Qualifying Event will be allowed to participate (must complete form linked above in Player Eligibility Exception Process).
      • All players who have not yet attended High School and do not meet Rule 3a or 3b above will be allowed to participate (must complete form linked above in Player Eligibility Exception Process).
    • All other players will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • College students that have completed their freshman year, or played in college series with their college team, are not eligible. 
    • USAU reserves the right to determine whether players on applying teams meet the above criteria.
  5. No player may be listed on two or more rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).

U17 Team Requirements

  1. On-time receipt of application
  2. Adequate adult support
    • At least 2 USAU qualified Chaperones 25 years of age or older with a USAU membership, signed waivers, a current NCSI background check, and SafeSport certification
    • At least one rostered Coach with USAU Coaching certification (this is in addition to a coach level membership).  Information on where to obtain certification can be found here.
      • Coaches must be High School level certified
    • No Coach or Chaperone may be listed on two or more rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions). Those fulfilling the roles of Certified coaches and Chaperones CANNOT compete in ICC (the adult Open) during YCC.
    • A Coach who meets the Chaperone requirements may fulfill both roles on one team roster.
  3. Must be made up of players residing in the same (USAU youth) region, with residency defined as:
    • The location where the person is living for the majority of August, AND
    • the location where the person is living for the majority of the 3 months prior to August
    • If the above definition means that a player does not have a region as their “residence”, then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player.
    • Teams are allowed a maximum of 4 out-of-region players. If you have out-of-region players, you will need to provide the reasons that these players are on your roster in this form.
  4. Each team must provide a volunteer scorekeeper for each of their games at YCC.

U17 Player Requirements

  1. Each player on the roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event. Players may not pay one-time event fees, or Affiliate Membership fees, for Warm-Up events.
  2. All players must not turn 17 before January 1, 2022.
  3. Players must have either:*
    • participated in the USAU High School State Championships or State Qualifying Event during the academic year immediately preceding the USAU Youth Club Championships, OR
    • participated in a USAU-sanctioned youth club league initiated during the 12 months prior to the current Youth Club Championships and been enrolled in high school or middle school during the academic year immediately preceding the USAU Youth Club Championships.
  4. *Player Eligibility Exception Process: Teams and Players that do not meet above requirements but wish to participate may be granted an exception and are encouraged to apply for one. These situations require completion of a Player Exception Application (FORM LINKED HERE).
    • Examples include, but are not limited to:
      • Players who do not meet Rule 3a or 3b above, but are enrolled at a school whose top (Varsity/A) team participated in the most recent USAU High School State Championship or Qualifying Event will be allowed to participate (must complete form).
      • All players who have not yet attended High School and do not meet Rule 3a or 3b above will be allowed to participate (must complete form).
    • All other players will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • USAU reserves the right to determine whether players on applying teams meet the above criteria.
  5. No player may be listed on two or more rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).

Event Registration

Information on paperwork requirements and deadlines will be sent to selected teams along with the invitation to the event.

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to the discretion of the USA Ultimate Manager of Youth Competition and National Team Programs.

2021 USA Ultimate Youth Fall Cup Tournaments

Overview

The goal of these events is to provide an additional, accessible opportunity for youth ultimate players, opposite the traditional spring school season and the summer club events, with an emphasis on new players and/or teams in the U17 and U15 age divisions.  

In 2021, USA Ultimate will be accepting bids for three separate age divisions – U20, U17, U15.  The guidelines that follow are USAU’s requirements for qualification and criteria for acceptance for the USAU Youth Fall Cup events.  As this is a growing division, these guidelines and the bid allocation process are subject to change.

Bid Application

Any organization that wants to run a Fall Cup should email the Youth Competition Manager in order to get an application. Organizations must show that they are complying with all USA Ultimate and local/state health and safety requirements and have requirements in place for participating teams that ensure adequate adult supervision and quarantine contingencies in place.

Bid Priority

Teams that meet requirements will be eligible to receive an invitation.  Teams will be selected based on geographic representation and gender equity. A team/organization’s history and/or contributions to the development of youth ultimate may also be considered.

Team and Player Requirements

  1. On-time receipt of application
  2. Adequate adult support structure
    • Each team must have two registered Chaperones who are over the age of 25 and have:
      • created a USAU account and purchased a membership
      • passed a USAU background check
      • completed SafeSport training 
      • signed waivers 

        Please see the Resources page for details team creation and event registration.  In order to meet the event deadlines, teams must have chaperones begin the background check process no later than two weeks prior to the team registration deadline.

    • Each team must have a registered Coach Member who has:
      • passed a USAU background check
      • completed SafeSport training
      • completed CDC Concussion training
      • completed USAU Coach training
      • purchased a Coach level membership
      • signed waivers
  3. Players in the U20 division must not turn 20 before January 1, 2022.
  4. Players in the U17 division must not turn 17 before January 1, 2022.
  5. Players in the U15 division must not turn 15 before January 1, 2022.
  6. Each player on the roster must be a USA Ultimate member in good standing at all times during the event.
  7. Teams must be made up of players residing in the same (USAU youth) region, with residency defined as:
    1. the location where the person is living for the majority of August, AND
    2. the location where the person is living for the majority of the 3 months prior to August
    3. If the above definition means that a player does not have a region as their “residence”, then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player.
    4. Teams are allowed a maximum of 4 out-of-region players.
  8. USAU reserves the right to determine whether players on applying teams meet the above criteria.
  9. No player, coach, or chaperone may be listed on two or more rosters at the same event (including across multiple gender or age divisions).
  10. A Coach who meets the Chaperone requirements may fulfill both roles on one team roster.

Event Registration

Information on paperwork requirements and deadlines will be sent to selected teams along with the invitation to the event.

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to the discretion of the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and National Team Programs.

Competition Guidelines

Minor (Under 18) Player Info

Minors participating in the State Championships or Qualifying Events, Youth Club Warm-ups, YCC, or Youth Fall Cup events must have a Medical Authorization Form completed prior to participation. A team with minors on it must have an approved, background-checked chaperone listed on the team’s official roster.  The medical release form is the responsibility of the chaperone; it must be brought to each USAU event and kept on hand by the chaperone. This form will allow medical personnel to treat an injured minor without a parent/guardian having to be present. Without this form, a doctor might not be able to treat an injured minor.

Note:  A Medical Authorization is not the same as the USAU Membership waiver or Infectious disease waiver.

Spirit of the Game

Spirit of the Game is a set of principles which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules or the basic joy of play. 

All players are responsible for knowing, administering and adhering to the rules. The integrity of ultimate depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should remain paramount. 

It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner that simulates what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction. An intentional infraction is cheating and considered a gross offense against the Spirit of the Game. Players are morally bound to abide by the rules and not gain advantage by knowingly committing an infraction, or calling one where none exists.

For more information on Spirit of the Game, click here.

Gender Division Eligibility

In their USA Ultimate membership account, every athlete should select the gender identity option that best aligns with their gender identity. When registering for a USA Ultimate sanctioned or championship series event, athletes should select to participate in the division in which they feel most comfortable and safe based on their indicated gender identity.

  1. Players who select Man (cis or trans) as their gender identity option are eligible to compete in men’s divisions or as a man-matching player in mixed divisions.
  2. Players who select Woman (cis or trans) as their gender identity option are eligible to compete in men’s or women’s divisions, or as a woman-matching player in mixed divisions.
  3. Players who select the Non-Binary or Prefer to Self-Report gender identity option are eligible to compete in the division in which they feel most comfortable and safe, as per USA Ultimate’s Gender Inclusion Policy (approved 11.2020).
    • Note: For those who select Prefer to Self-Report, there will be a fill-in option to provide any additional information regarding your gender identity. This is for internal educational purposes only and will not be shared.
  4. On-field personnel ratio rules for the mixed division are described in the On-field Personnel Ratio for Mixed Division section of the Competition Guidelines.

Coaching Certification Requirements

The following describes coach requirements for High School State Championships:

  • Every team must have one High School certified coach present and on the roster.
  • All coaches must be rostered and have a current coach level membership.

The following describes coach requirements for YCC at the USOCC.

  • Each team must have one rostered Coach with USAU High School Coaching Certification (this is in addition to a current coach level membership).
  • All other coaches must be rostered, which means that they have a current coach level membership.

Information on upcoming certification clinics can be found here. If there is not a clinic in your area, contact your local organization to request getting a clinic set up near you.

Name/Logo/Uniform Guidelines

USAU reserves the right to alter, or require a team to alter, a team name, player nickname, team logo, jersey graphic, or uniform and/or suggest alternatives at or in conjunction with a USAU program or event should USAU personnel determine that the existing name, logo, graphic, or uniform might hinder the mission of the organization or the goals of a specific USAU program or event. Alterations must meet with the approval of USAU personnel.

Uniform Requirements

  1. Player Uniform Requirements
    • All players participating in the USAU Warm-Up events and the USAU Youth Club Championship tournaments for a given team must wear jerseys of identical color and design.
    • Teams must have two jerseys of distinctly different colors.
    • Jerseys must have numbers on the back.  The numbers must be at least 6 inches high and be one or two digit Arabic numerals. No two players on a given team may use the same number or numbers with the same value (e.g. 00 and 0, 01 and 1, etc.).
    • Uniform bottoms (shorts, pants, skirts) worn by players on the field must be the same color.
    • It is recommended that uniform accessories including tights, undershirts, hats, and socks be of identical or coordinated style and color.
    • USAU reserves the right to disqualify and/or fine players who fail to meet the uniform requirements.
    • The uniform requirements for USAU State HS Championships are to be determined by the State Youth Coordinator.
  2. Coach Uniform Requirements
    • All coaches participating in the USAU Warm-Up events or Youth Club Championships must wear either a uniform of identical color and design as the team, or professional coaching attire as defined below.
    • Professional coaching attire is defined as any combination of the following:
      • The team jersey, or a sleeved shirt/polo matching the team uniform colors (and/or high school, if the team uses the school colors for their uniforms).   
      • Team shorts/skirt or hemmed slacks/shorts/skirt of an appropriate solid color    
      • Business casual attire    
      • Closed toe shoes such as cleats, flats, or athletic shoes. Flip flops, open toed sandals, and bare feet are not considered professional coaching attire.    
    • Coach jerseys and shorts are not subject to the number requirements for players.
    • Names, logos, and graphics on jerseys must comply with the Name/Logo/Uniform Guidelines above.
    • It is recommended that uniform accessories including weather related gear, tights, undershirts, hats, and socks be of identical or coordinated style and color.
    • USA Ultimate reserves the right to remove from the sideline/field and/or fine coaches who fail to meet the uniform requirements.
    • These requirements do not apply to State Championships.

Formats

State Championship tournament formats will be determined by coordinators using USAU guidelines for the Championship Series. Contact your State Youth Competition Coordinator for information.  Formats for HS State Championships and Youth Club Warm-ups will be determined by the Local Organizer/Tournament Director.  Formats for Fall Cup events and YCC will depend on the number of teams and fields, showcasing the division at its best, and providing a great playing experience for all the teams.

Note that formats in the current USA Ultimate Formats Manual are being updated to meet the following guidelines.  State Youth Coordinators must contact their Regional Youth Director to have a format approved.

Youth Event Competition Schedule Standards

  1. Only eligible players can compete in sanctioned youth events.
  2. Maximum amount of time that players are at the fields is 9 hours per day.
  3. Maximum amount of actual game time is 6 hours per day.
  4. For standard 2 hour rounds (games to 15), there is a max of 3 games a day (6 per weekend).
  5. Minimum of 30 minutes from hard cap to beginning of the next round.
  6. If teams have more than 2 games per day, a 1-hour break between games is recommended.

Seeding

Seeding for the State HS Championships will be done by the SYC using the following information: input solicited from all the captains of participating teams; results of head-to-head match-ups prior to the Championships; results of last year’s Championships; and other applicable information such as team composition during or prior to the Championships. 

  • The coordinator has the authority to adjust rankings according to the best information available.

Seeding for the USAU Youth Club Championships will be done by the USAU Championship series staff using the following information: input solicited from all the coaches of participating teams; results of head-to-head match-ups prior to the Championships; results of last year’s Championships; and other applicable information such as team composition during or prior to the Championships and geographic location. 

Forfeit Rule

  1. A team must play all of its games at a tournament.
    • Any team that declines to finish a scheduled game or games or attempts to decide a match by any manner other than playing ultimate on the field will forfeit those games. Should both teams in a match choose not to play, then it will be considered a double forfeit.
    • At the discretion of the event’s USAU coordinator, consideration may be given to situations that might warrant an exception being made, provided it does not affect the fairness or integrity of the competition.
    • Consideration should be given if a team misses the first game of the first day because of travel problems.
  2. If one team is not ready to play at game-time, points may be assessed in accordance with the current edition of the USAU Official Rules of Ultimate. Under these conditions, if the score of the game reaches 8-0, the team that has failed to signal readiness will technically forfeit the game (see rule above).
  3. A team will be considered to have forfeited any game where the number of players that can safely participate falls below the minimum requirement set by the Event Organizer for that specific event. (See “Player Minimums” below).

Rules

2021 USAU Youth and High School Championship events will be played using the current edition of the USAU Official Rules of Ultimate. Any changes to these rules must be pre-approved by the USAU Championship Series headquarters staff.

Observers

Only USAU Certified Observers or Instructional Observers are permitted to officiate at USAU Championship or Championship Series Events.

If officials are used during USAU Youth or High School Championship events, their duties must be in line with those described in the USAU Observer Manual.  Any changes to these duties must be pre-approved by the Championship Series Manager.

If captains want observers to be present at a tournament, they must notify the event coordinator at least 4 weeks prior to the tournament. This will facilitate recruitment prior to the event. The use of observers is subject to the availability of observer staff.

On-field Personnel Ratio for Mixed Division

  1. Youth Club Championships
    • The personnel ratio for the mixed division of the Youth Club Championships will be 4/3 (4 man-matching players and 3 woman-matching players, or 4 woman-matching players and 3 man-matching players).
    • The receiving team will determine if the current point will be played with 4 man-matching players and 3 woman-matching players or 4 woman-matching players and 3 man-matching players. The pulling team must match the entire seven-player personnel ratio of the receiving team.
    • If the pulling team cannot match the on-field personnel ratio of all 7 players, then it must play with fewer than 7 players, matching the personnel ratio with as many players as possible.
    • Injury timeouts
      • In the event of an injury time-out where a player leaves the field, the replacing player must maintain the same personnel ratio as was with the injured player.
      • If a team replaces players, the opposing team has the option of substituting a like number of, or fewer players.
      • The replacing player(s) must maintain the same personnel ratio as was with the player(s) they replace.
      • If a team calls an injury time-out but does not have a replacement player to maintain the same personnel ratio as was with the injured player, it may not replace that player and must play with fewer than 7 players.
  2. State HS Championships
    • At USAU State HS Championships that include a mixed division, the on-field personnel ratio for that division will be determined by the USAU State Youth Coordinator after consulting with the affected teams’ captains and coaches.
    • Please note that for teams to be eligible to apply for participation at the mixed division of a State Championship, Youth Club Warm-Ups, YCC, or Youth Fall Cups must have an on-field personnel ratio of 4/3 (4 man-matching players and 3 woman-matching players, or 4 woman-matching players and 3 man-matching players).

Player Minimums

  1. USAU Youth and High School Championship events set specific player minimum requirements for both registration and competition.
  2. Registration Minimums: Set to determine whether a team can officially register for an event.
    • For Sanctioned/Championship Tournament play: 10 total players minimum, and for mixed divisions, at least 4 man-matching and woman-matching players.
    • For League Match play: 10 total players minimum, and for mixed divisions, at least 4 man-matching and woman-matching players.
    • For Youth Club Warm-Ups:  12 total players minimum registered and attending the event, and for mixed divisions, at least 4 man-matching and woman-matching players.
    • For Youth Club Championships: 12 total players minimum registered and attending the event, and for mixed divisions, at least 4 man-matching and woman-matching players.
    • For Fall Youth Cup events: 12 total players minimum registered and attending the event, and for mixed divisions, at least 4 man-matching and woman-matching players.
  3. Competition Minimums: Set to determine whether a team can continue to compete safely at an event.
    • For Sanctioned/Championship Tournament play: 7 players to start, 5 to continue playing. Fewer than 5 is a forfeit. For mixed: 8 players to start, 4 man-matching and woman-matching players. to start.  5 to continue playing.
    • For League Match play: 7 players to start, 5 to continue playing. Fewer than 5 is a forfeit. For mixed: 8 players to start, man-matching and woman-matching players. 5 to continue playing.
    • For Regional Events/Youth Club Championships: 7 players to start, 5 to continue playing. Fewer than 5 is a forfeit. For mixed: 8 players to start, 4 man-matching and 4 woman-matching players. 5 to continue playing.
  4. Contact the event organizer or USAU headquarters to determine any requirements beyond these minimums.

Violations and Sanctions

Failure to abide by any of the Competition Guidelines may result in sanctions through the USA Ultimate conduct process. Such sanctions may be imposed on a team or individuals associated with a team deemed to be in violation of the guidelines, and may include, but are not limited to, suspension or disqualification from USA Ultimate competition.

In order to help teams follow the Competition Guidelines and avoid violations, USA Ultimate will continue to work to improve registration procedures and communication of information pertaining to youth competition. As these improvements are made by the organization, teams will continue to be held more fully responsible for following procedures and understanding information. Because consistency in holding all participants to the same administrative and competitive standards is vital to the integrity of the competition, because many violations lead to unfair advantages in competition, and because it is often difficult to determine intent, guideline violations will result in serious repercussions. Such repercussions will provide an incentive for players and teams to understand the guidelines fully, follow the guidelines carefully, and avoid intended or unintended violations in the future.

Application and compliance of the above guidelines will be subject to the discretion of the USA Ultimate Manager of Competition and National Team Programs.