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USAU Statement On Distinction Between Union & BYU Regarding Bid Allocation

Difference is "subtle and nuanced" -- no "significant" reason to contradict stated guidelines in BYU case, says USAU.

BYU CHIAs referenced in this week’s College Update, there have been some questions as to why the BYU bid earned for the Northwest is being treated differently (that is, kept in the region) than the bid that Toronto Union, a mixed club team, earned for the Northeast last year (it was taken away and given to the ‘next team up’).

Union declined to participate in Sectionals and opted out of the USA Ultimate Series; USAU responded by taking away the Northeast region’s bid. BYU will not be able to compete past the Saturday of Conferences, but the bid will stay with the Northwest.

Here’s USA Ultimate Communications Director Andy Lee:

The differences between the two situations are indeed subtle and nuanced. In both cases, the guidelines state that the rankings from the regular season dictate bid allocation (with no specific reference to participation in the postseason).

In Union’s case, they had no plans whatsoever to compete in the postseason, whereas BYU intends to compete at their conference championships. This was an important consideration and significant difference. Since BYU is playing at their conference tournament, it’s possible they could fail to qualify for regionals. When the teams that earn their region bids to nationals participate at conference championships (or sectionals) and fail to qualify for regionals, we do not reallocate those bids.

At the club level, the implications of keeping the bid in the Northeast Region would have had a much larger impact and ripple effect throughout the TCT structure, such as which teams end up in the following season’s Pro and Elite Flights and which events those teams are invited to and eligible to compete at. That dynamic does not exist in the college division.

Also, because club division athletes have the ability to move from team to team each season, there is the possibility that teams can manipulate the bid allocation system by stacking bids for their respective regions during the regular season without any real intention of participating in the postseason, so then the integrity of the system is compromised. That is also not a legitimate concern in the college division.

Our decision in both cases was also informed by different groups of volunteers and national directors who brought different perspectives to the situations. Like I said, our guidelines don’t specifically address this in either case. (They only stipulate that if a team played its 10 games, its results would count towards the rankings.) Last year, with regards to Union, it was reasonable to look at the far reaching implications in order to determine the right decision.

With regards to BYU and this college season, we did talk about the Union situation quite a bit in our discussions with the national directors, but ultimately decided that there was not a significant enough reason to contradict the guidelines mid-stream. We viewed them as two different situations with different sets of circumstances.

In either case, we’ll be taking a closer look at these nuances in the off season and addressing them with the appropriate people when considering any potential revisions.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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