Founders Sectionals #2 Seed DQ’ed For Roster Mistakes

The Bandits got disqualified for playing with unrostered players.

The Bandits on USA Ultimate.

There’s that recurring nightmare for Ultimate team captains in the week leading up to the series. You sit up in bed in a cold sweat. “Did we somehow screw up the roster?!”

It’s a nightmare that became a reality for one team at Founders Mixed Sectionals as the tournament’s two seed, The Bandits, were disqualified for having ineligible players.

After a 2-0 start on Saturday, two Bandits players were reported by another team and found to be ineligible. The Bandits played without those unrostered players and won the next two games, then discovered they had two other players who were not on the roster at the conclusion of pool play.

All four wins became forfeits. Season over.

A Bandits player I spoke with told me the captain was aware the two reported players (who are not current USAU members) were not on the roster prior to the games Saturday.

Yeah, it’s a shame and, yeah, the USAU website isn’t overly user-friendly but everyone has to do it. Thems the rules, so to speak. You’ve got to know who’s on your roster. The Bandits weren’t going to challenge AMP and Ambiguous Grey for the lone bid to Nationals from the Mid Atlantic anyway, but I’d imagine the other people on the roster who had nothing to do with this wanted to, you know, compete in the series.

***

It seems like situations like this happen with some frequency in college. There was the crazy Florida situation when Florida’s A team didn’t get their roster in and used the C team’s bid to play in sectionals. A really good NC State team had a mishap in 2009. As long as there are college students and deadlines, stuff like this is going to keep happening.

My alma mater found themselves in a tight spot in 2010 when they failed to mail the roster in to Boulder by the deadline.

It’s Thursday morning and the roster is due Friday at 5 PM or they can’t compete in the series. Putting it in the mail is no longer an option — not even first class. Not going to work. Not enough time. Not possible.

So the club president and a couple other guys hoped in the car and made the easy 1,442 mile drive through the night from Edinboro, Pennsylvania to Colorado to hand deliver the roster.

The next 24 hours had the stomach constantly turning in knots. Are they going to make it? If they don’t make it, will the club president be murdered by the fifth year guys on the team who had sabotaged their own lives professionally and financially to play their last season of eligibility? The margin of error was thin enough that a flat tire would sink the hopes of competing in the series. Everyone is worried sick and they’re texting people pictures of the Rockies like jerks.

With about 90 minutes to spare, they walk in to the UPA office and turn in the roster.

“Here’s our roster.”

“Great. What school?”

“Edinboro.”

“That’s in Northern Colorado, right?”

“Pennsylvania, actually.”

“Wait. What?”

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