No more Regionals and structured regular season in tiers.
August 24, 2020 by Ravi Vasudevan in News with 0 comments
The European Ultimate Federation (EUF) has revealed their strategic plan for the coming years. They have put together a presentation and released introductory videos on five key points of focus1, each of which has been assigned a task force. These points are:
The EUF is looking for volunteers for all of these task forces. There will also be Q&A sessions for each of the task forces on September 2nd starting at 7:00 PM Central European Summer Time (1 PM Eastern). Here full schedule for the Q&A:2
- 7:00 PM CEST – EUF Awards & IT and Tooling
- 7:30 PM CEST – Media & Spirit of the Game
- 8:00 PM CEST – Club Championship Series
Of particular note is the proposed club championship restructure. The current structure qualifies teams from national championship events to EUCR (Regionals) to the EUCF.3 However, the EUF has observed a number of drawbacks to this system. The EUCR tournaments feature a lot of blowout games and the two weekends of the EUCR and the EUCF make for a very short club season in Europe.
Haude Hermand, an EUF Board member, spoke about the problems with the current EUCR system. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we make European teams better?'” she said. “You don’t get better by blowing out teams 15-2 or getting blown out 15-2. You get better by playing teams that are slightly better than you. We want more close games throughout all the levels in Europe.”
In the new structure, club teams will be grouped at the beginning of the season into tiers based on the strength of their nation4 and national results.5 There will then be invitational tournaments throughout the regular season based on where club teams fall in this grouping. Teams will gain ranking points in these tournaments that will directly determine qualification to EUCF. This structure will completely replace the EUCR tournaments.
There will be three sub-groups of the EUCS task force focused on these major tasks:
- Transitioning from the current structure to the new one over the next three to five years.
- Developing a fair ranking system and determining sanctioning requirements for non-EUF tournaments to be included in the ranking algorithm.
- Determining contingency plans for the 2021 season in the case that the COVID-19 pandemic still affects club play throughout Europe.
This plan has many parallels to the USA Ultimate club restructure back in 2013 and the advent of the Triple Crown Tour, seeking to make the regular season more meaningful. Unlike the TCT, in this format, the regular season itself serves as the qualifier for the EUCF, whereas in the USAU system the regular season determines the number of bids to Nationals for each region.
If this plan is implemented, it would mark a significant shift in the elite club competitive landscape in Europe. Many questions still need answers: What happens to unofficial events like Tom’s Tourney and Windmill? What will be the cost requirements for teams to play in a regular season? How can regular season results be used for EUCF qualification in a fair way?
You can join the EUCS Q&A at 8:00 PM Central European Summer Time on September 2nd if you are interested in joining this task force or if you want to ask questions to the EUF directly. Ultiworld will be providing more coverage as the structure develops.
There was originally a sixth point on Erasmus and Youth Camps but this task force has been tabled for next year. ↩
Note: A previous version of this article did not give the full schedule. ↩
Strength of a nation will be defined by the previous year’s EUCF finish and, eventually, the standings of the previous year’s regular season. ↩
National results will likely be the results from previous year’s national championship. ↩