November 6, 2012 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 9 comments
In perhaps the biggest change of all in the Triple Crown Tour, USA Ultimate’s newly announced Club Division restructure, teams who qualify for the Club Championships are required to play in their assigned tiers (and go to all scheduled tournaments) in order to be eligible for the Series, USA Ultimate announced in a live chat with Ultiworld yesterday.
They put it simply: “If a Pro or Elite Flight team chooses not to participate in the flight for which they qualified, they are not eligible to compete in the Postseason. We recognize that this is a change, but one that is aligned with the highest levels of nearly every other sport.”
This new rule is designed to ensure consistency at the top levels of the sport. Requiring teams to attend certain tournaments makes it much easier for organizers to market the event, create storylines, and plan media coverage.
However, the rule change is highly controversial, due to the out-of-pocket expense teams have to pay to travel to the assigned tournaments. Many of the top teams already travel long distances for tournaments against other elite competition, but the new requirements are distressing to some players.
It is hard to determine how expensive it will be for Pro and Elite Flight teams to travel until the schedule is announced this winter.