USAU Announces Club Nationals “Draw-style” Pools and More for Upcoming Season

Some key changes for the upcoming club season.

The USA Ultimate Club National Championship trophy at the 2022 Club Championships. Photo: Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.

On Wednesday, USA Ultimate announced changes for the 2023 club season, emerging from the Club Competition Working Group meetings in December 2022.

Perhaps the most significant change is that the process for deciding pools for the club National Championships will be a “World Cup-style” draw. Teams will be placed into four buckets, each of four teams: a 1-4 bucket, a 5-8 bucket, a 9-12 bucket, and a 13-16  bucket. The top four seeds will be assigned by post-Regional rankings, similar to how seeding has been traditionally done. But each of the other buckets will have one team randomly assigned to each pool. However, teams will be reassigned if they are given a pool with another team in their region, unless their region has three or more total bids.

Here are the other key changes:

  • The Pro-Elite Challenge will be split into two regional events in order to reduce travel, similar to how Select Flight Invite has East and West events.
  • A point of emphasis on equity in the women’s division, including addressing concerns about field assignments for teams competing in the division.
  • A point of emphasis on enforcing uniform and attire requirements.
  • A roster cap of 26 players for individual events, and 32 players for the season for Top Select, Elite, and Pro Flight teams.
  • Players can play on multiple rosters up until July 4, after which they can change rosters, but not return to a team they previously were rostered on after switching.
  • Teams in the Pro Flight play-in bracket at the club National Championships can opt to change their matchups, although doing so will change how 2024 event invites are given out to a rankings-based system and not a Nationals standing-based system.

The full club guidelines should be announced in the next 6-8 weeks.

Club Working Group participants:

  • Marc Zigterman (USA Ultimate Manager for Competition & National Team Programs in Club)
  • Adam Goff (National Men’s Director)
  • Carolina Gonzalez-Llanos (National Women’s Director)
  • Genevieve Leo (National Mixed Director )
  • AJ Merriman (Men’s Division Representative)
  • Eli Motycka (Mixed Division Representative)
  • Clare Frantz (Women’s Division Representative)
  • Kirstin Johnson (Women’s Division Representative)
  • Pawel Janas (Men’s Division Representative)
  • Sarah Meckstroth (Mixed Division Representative)
  1. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).

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