In what may be a first for Ultimate, every Australian player intending to compete at the 2013 Australian Ultimate Championships will be required to take the rules accreditation test prepared by the World Flying Disc Federation, according to Force Sideline, an Australian ultimate news website. In addition, six players from each team must also pass the “advanced” level.
Force Sideline adds: “A lack of rules knowledge is a real Achilles heal of the self-officiated model…The rules accreditation system is clearly a step in the direction of aiming to make the sport stronger and decrease the downside associated with self officiating.”
Most ultimate governing bodies in other countries require at least one team representative pass a rules test (including in the United States). But that doesn’t always translate into good rules knowledge during the game. At high-level tournaments here in North America, we do have the benefits of observers (who, at least theoretically, know all the rules), but issues remain.
The WFDF test is not arduous — you have to correctly answer just 8 out of 10 (and the test is open book). But it does require you to know some important distinctions.
It will be interesting to see if something similar comes to other WFDF countries — and possibly to North America.