New Zealand Pulls Out of 2021 WFDF Events

A player from New Zealand skies U.S. opponents at WJUC 2018.
A player from New Zealand skies U.S. opponents at WJUC 2018. Photo: Jolie J Lang–UltiPhotos.com

New Zealand Ultimate has announced that they will not be sending teams to any WFDF events in 2021. Currently, WFDF still has the World Ultimate and Guts Championships, the World Under-24 World Championships, and the World Championships of Beach Ultimate slated for the year.

While vaccine development has made prospects for international ultimate more favorable in 2021, New Zealand Ultimate and their High Performance Committee looked at the practical requirements to attend international events in the coming year and concluded that logistical difficulties and overall uncertainty make it impossible for them to compete internationally at this time. In particular, the New Zealand government has heavily restricted travel in and out of the country, with fines starting at 3,100 New Zealand dollars (approximately $2,200 USD) for mandatory isolation upon re-entry for anyone without a special waiver.

New Zealand has been held up as one of the global leaders in COVID-19 response, and New Zealand Ultimate was able to hold their mixed national championships earlier this month, a luxury that most nations did not enjoy in 2020.

A statement from WFDF on plans to hold WUGC in 2021 is expected on or after January 15, following consultation with teams and consideration of local and international restrictions affecting these events.

UPDATE: A previous version of this post said a statement from WFDF on WUGC 2021 was expected by the end of this year. The post has been edited following communication from WFDF about their updated timeline for this statement.

  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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