Opening Pull: WFDF and USAU Events Impacted by COVID Concerns

Beach Worlds cancelled, USAU college regular season delayed, and World Games tryouts postponed.

WCBU 2017 at Royan, France. Robert Engelbrecht — Ultiphotos.com

Opening Pull is Ultiworld’s weekly wrap-up of the previous week in ultimate, available both here on the site and as an email newsletter. We’ve gathered the news you need to know and highlights you need to see. Check back weekly or subscribe now to receive Opening Pull in your inbox along with a rundown of the previous week’s content on Ultiworld.

 

World Beach Ultimate Championship Cancelled, WJUC Moved

It is not exciting to bring more news in 2022 that echoes 2021: the World Championships of Beach Ultimate have been cancelled. The event, which was slated for Huntington Beach, CA, was postponed last November. In a press release Tuesday morning, WFDF cited a lack of participants as the key factor for the folding of ultimate’s greatest sand event.

“The uncertainty of travel restrictions and lack of training abilities for a lot of teams due to the ongoing pandemic has seen the numbers dwindle over the past few months…” said WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch in the release. “Unfortunately, many of the WBUC divisions dropped this week to levels that were no longer playable and the lack of critical mass significantly impacted the financial viability of the event.”

The organizers will set about recovering whatever funding they can so they can begin the reimbursement process. The intention is to refund 100% of player fees and most of the team fees that had been committed thus far.

US Beach National team players like Dena Elimelech, Melissa Gibbs, and Khalif El-Salaam expressed their dismay on Twitter.

The World Junior Ultimate Championships, scheduled for August 6-13th, were moved from the Dominican Republic to Poland. There was reportedly a lack of interest from teams in attending and WJUC joins the European U17 championships in Poland, simplifying the logistical challenges of hosting the events. After the last WJUC was cancelled, hopes are high for this event to take place.

Early College Events Won’t Count for Rankings, Remain Sanctioned

For competitive purposes, the USA Ultimate 2022 college season has been delayed until February 25. While events prior to that date can maintain sanctioned status, they will not be included in the USA Ultimate rankings that inform postseason bids and seeding.

The postponement comes after the omicron variant has led to increased case rates across the US. The 2021 college season concluded with a championship event that unfortunately came with a number of post-tournament cases within the participant group.

In additional USA Ultimate news, the US National Team tryouts for the World Games have been postponed.

League Signing Szn

The new year in ultimate has opened with players committing to teams in the Western Ultimate League, Premier Ultimate League, and AUDL.

The Oregon Onyx, the WUL’s newest franchise, announced a number of signings, headlined by Schwa’s Claudia Tajima. Myisha and Takisha Tarvin, Dani Runzo, and Chris Beaulieu were also announced as additions to the inaugural roster.

The PUL’s Indy Red also had a list of signings, including Parcha’s Shani Rosenthal. Sydney Olund, Kelly Kerker, and Kristin Dudley are all returning.

Mechanix Bansfield tweet

The AUDL’s Detroit Mechanix signed Machine’s Johnny Bansfield, the biggest name to suit up for the franchise. It’s been years since they’ve outscored an opponent, but after a big year for Michigan in other areas of ultimate, Bansfield’s addition reignites hope that the Mechanix can #BreaktheStreak.

Oh, and the New York Empire brought back Jack Williams.

Coming Up

  • Our College Awards are in full swing, as we approach the conclusion of D-III with the All-American teams and are set to begin D-I’s awards. We’ve also been posting some very impressive graphics to celebrate the winners, so if you’re not following our social media channels, you’re missing out!
  • Stay tuned for more semi-pro news.
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