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WFDF Updates Rules Appendix: No More Community Members, Ratio Rule A

In addition to the rules of ultimate, which was last updated in 2017, the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) also maintains an appendix, which is used only for its major world and continental championship events. The appendix opens with, “The intention of these rules is to provide additions to the basic rules in order to create a smooth-running, spectator-friendly, well-resourced elite sports event.” WFDF has released an update to the rules appendix today. You can see the new appendix here and view all the tracked changes here. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most significant rules changes and an explanation on how these changes will affect WFDF championships going forward.

No more Community Members from 2020 Onwards

The first changes regard roster rules for national teams. The current roster rules will remain in effect through 2019. This was

D1. 6. Team Roster Composition for 2019 events – A National Team may have on its roster:

D1.6.1. any number of Legal Citizens or WFDF Citizens
D1.6.2. a maximum of four (4) Resident Non-Citizens
D1.6.3. a maximum of one (1) Ultimate Community Member replacing one of the Resident Non- Citizens

Legal citizens are defined as any passport-holding members of a country. WFDF Citizens are people who have lived in the country for at least four years prior to the start of a championship. Resident non-Citizens are those who have lived in the country for at least 20 months prior to the start of a championship. The last category is the most vague: “Players are deemed to be ‘Ultimate community members’ at the discretion of the National Association if they are considered to be a significant part of that Country’s ultimate community, but do not fall under the above categories….” There are some guidelines on what a national governing body should consider when adding a community member to their roster, but none of those guidelines were mandated and essentially countries could simply add a single player to their roster without restriction.

The new rules remove this ability altogether. From 2020 onwards, which will include WUGC 2020 in the Netherlands, are only allowed four Resident Non-Citizens and no community members. However, there is an exception for Small Ultimate Communities:

D1.9. Team Roster Composition – Small Ultimate Community for 2020 events and beyond

D1.7.2. Teams from small Ultimate communities will be allowed to add one (1) extra Resident Non- Citizen to their Roster.

D1.7.3. For Teams from small Ultimate communities, the length of time for Resident Non- Citizens referenced in section D1.5.3 will be reduced to ten (10) months.

Small ultimate communities are defined in D1.2.1 as countries who have a maximum of 150 registered players of each gender playing in a given adult division. Previously a small communities in mixed had to have a maximum of 300 players registered in the country, but now the rules state that for a mixed roster, the country may have a maximum of 150 male OR 150 female players. This means that even if a country has 400 registered male players but only 149 registered female players, they can still use the small community rules for their mixed national team roster.

Ratio Rule A in Effect for Future WUCC Events

The appendix defines rules for determining the gender ratio of points in the mixed division. These are defined as:

7.2. Ratio Rule A (“prescribed ratio” rule):

A7.2.1. At the start of the game, after the first disc flip, an additional disc flip happens with the winner selecting the gender ratio for the first point. For the second and third points the ratio must be the reverse of the first point. For the fourth and fifth points the ratio must be same as the first point. This pattern of alternating the ratio every two points repeats until the end of the game (half time has no impact on the pattern).

A7.3. Ratio Rule B (“end zone decides” rule):

A7.3.1. At the start of the game, after the first disc flip, an additional disc flip happens with the winner selecting which end zone is “End zone A”, with the other end zone becoming “End zone B”. At the start of each point the Team that is at End zone A must choose the gender ratio. This process applies for the first half. For the second half, at the start of each point the Team that is at End zone B must choose the gender ratio.

In previous editions of the appendix, Ratio Rule A was used in World Games and National team events. Ratio Rule B was used at WUCC 2018 last year. However, the new appendix rules state that Ratio Rule A will also be in effect for all future WUCC events.

Chief Medical Officer

B1.7 defines a WFDF Chief Medical Officer (CMO) who can determine if a player is suitable to play after sustaining a major injury at a WFDF event. It also details how a medically disqualified player can return to play throughout the tournament. They have to be cleared by the CMO, and another health care professional cannot overrule the CMO.

Uniform Guidelines

There are a number of very minor wording changes to the uniform guidelines. Here are some substantive changes:

  • C9.2 says players must wear matching hats throughout the event (previously, this was only required for showcase games).
  • C10.2 has been modified so that players no longer need to wear matching socks/stockings during showcase games.
  • C12.3 has been added stating that players may not wear political statements or symbols
  • C12.5 states that players, subs and team officials may be REQUESTED to not use props that could negatively impact the image of the sport. However, it does not specify that teams have to obey this request.

Bids for WFDF events and World Ultimate Rankings

E.4 shows some significant changes to the way countries will be given bids to WUGC, WU24, WJUC and WMUC and E.5 shows some slight changes to the way bids are given to WUCC. These changes are too complex to describe here, so check out the rules for yourself.

E.9 gives a much more extensive view on how the World Ultimate Rankings will be calculated. This now includes continental events in addition to the world events that were used before. World beach events are also included now in the rankings.

  1. Ravi Vasudevan
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    Ravi Vasudevan is Ultiworld's European editor and a host of the podcast EuroZone. Emails about EuroZone should go to eurozoneultimate@gmail.com. Ravi played for WPI in the US until 2008. He has been living and playing in Europe since 2009 and has competed at WUGC 2012, WUCC 2014 and WUCC 2018.

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