USA Ultimate

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USA Ultimate
Sport Ultimate
Founded 1979
CEO Tom Crawford
Country  United States
Official website

USA Ultimate is a not-for-profit organization that serves as the governing body of the sport of Ultimate (also known as ultimate frisbee) in the United States.

It was founded in 1979 as the Ultimate Players Association, but rebranded itself as USA Ultimate on May 25, 2010.


Its mission is "to advance the sport of Ultimate in the United States by enhancing and promoting Character, Community, and Competition." [1]

A major focus of USA Ultimate is the Championship Series; it sanctions certain tournaments that are held throughout the year in three divisions (Club, College, Youth) and runs the championship tournaments at the end of the respective seasons. These events are governed by the 11th Edition Rules. While the national champion is crowned in various divisions of the USA Ultimate Championships, four Canadian teams have won championships over the years in different divisions- Vancouver's Furious George (Club Open), University of British Columbia (College Women's), Stick Dog (Masters Women's), and Winnipeg's MOFO (Youth Club Mixed).

In 2008, the 40th Anniversary of the birth of Ultimate, USA Ultimate adopted a Five Year Strategic Plan with input from Ultimate players throughout the United States, in hopes of facilitating the growth and evolution of the sport for the next forty years. [2]

Club Series[edit]

The Club division is subdivided into Open, Women's, Mixed, and Masters divisions, which have their season in the fall. The first national championship took place in 1979 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Women's division was added in 1981. The Masters Open and Women's divisions were added in 1991; the Masters Women's division was discontinued in 1997. The Mixed Division was added in 1998. Club national tournaments were held in Sarasota, FL for a number of years, but in 2012 USA Ultimate began moving around the location.

The Triple Crown Tour was established in 2013. The three achievements are: winning the US Open tournament, winning the national championship, and finishing the season with a #1 season ranking. San Francisco's Revolver in the open division won all three achievements in 2013.

College Series[edit]

The College division is subdivided into Open and Women's divisions, which have their season in the spring. Over 300 Open teams and 200 Women's teams took part in the College Championship Series in 2005. The College Open division was first held in 1984 in Somerville, MA and was won by Stanford University. The College Women's Division was added in 1987.

Youth Series[edit]

Originally, the National Youth championship was loosely a high school-based competition, with guidelines determining how many players must be from one high school. In the early 21st century, USA Ultimate moved more towards a complete high school nationals, which launched in 1998 in Maplewood, NJ.

In 2005, two significant changes were made: High School Nationals was split into Easterns and Westerns, split by the Mississippi river, held in May each year, and a Youth Club Championships was created, for club teams assembled from various cities/regions across North America, held in August each year at the National Sports Center. Certain states hold Ultimate state tournaments. [1]

Other Programs[edit]

Aside from the championship series, other programs exist, such as Innovation Grants which are given out to local Ultimate organizations who apply for funding for special programs.

USA Ultimate is run by a twelve-person Board of Directors that is elected by the membership; a director's term is three years, rotated such that four seats come up for election each calendar year. At least one representative is elected from each of the six USA Ultimate Club regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Central, Southwest, Northwest) with the remaining six elected from the membership at large. The Board is responsible for hiring and overseeing the executive director, budgeting, strategic planning and considering proposals, policies and rule changes.

Over 35,000 people are currently members of USA Ultimate. Memberships cost $50 per calendar year for adults and college students, $35 per year for coaches ($60 for a combined coach/player), and $30 per year for players under 19 years old who have not yet graduated from high school. A lifetime membership is also available for $900. Membership allows participation at sanctioned events, as well as a subscription to the quarterly USA Ultimate newsletter and discounts on some Ultimate paraphernalia. [3]

USA Ultimate is a member of the World Flying Disc Federation, the international governing body for flying disc sports. WFDF is a member of the General Association for International Sport Federations (GAISF), The International World Games Association (IWGA), and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).

Championship Series History[edit]

Club Series[edit]

Open Women Mixed Masters Open Masters Women Grandmasters Open
2015 Revolver Brute Squad Drag'n Thrust Boneyard Baylands Kite Flying Team Johnny Walker
2014 Johnny Bravo Scandal Drag'n Thrust Tejas Loose Cannon Surly
2013 Revolver Scandal Drag'n Thrust Surly Godiva No Country
2012 Doublewide Fury Blackbird Surly No Country
2011 Revolver Fury Blackbird Surly Stick Dog Scrapple
2010 Revolver Fury Polar Bears Surly Stick Dog Scrapple
2009 Chain Lightning Fury Axis of C'Ville Troubled Past Well Done Death or Glory
2008 Jam Fury Mental Toss Flycoons Surly
2007 Sockeye Fury Shazam Returns Death or Glory
2006 Sockeye Fury Mischief Throwback
2005 Furious George Riot Brass Monkey Old and in the Way
2004 Sockeye Riot Shazam Kavu
2003 Furious George Fury Donner Party Refugees
2002 Furious George Lady Godiva Donner Party Old Sag
2001 Condors Lady Godiva Trigger Hippy Keg Workers
2000 Condors Lady Godiva Spear Keg Workers
1999 Death or Glory Fury Raleigh Llama Old and In The Way
1998 Death or Glory Lady Godiva Redfish Bluefish Cigar
1997 Death or Glory Lady Godiva YESSSS! S-Prime
1996 Death or Glory Lady Godiva Windy City Great Dames
1995 Death or Glory Lady Godiva Squash What?
1994 Death or Glory Felix US Tampico Pickled Peppers
1993 New York Maine-iacs Beyondors Texas Woo Dolls
1992 New York Maine-iacs Rude Boys Over the Swill
1991 New York Lady Godiva Red Menace Hot Flashes
1990 New York Maine-iacs
1989 New York Crush Club
1988 Tsunami Lady Godiva
1987 New York Condors
1986 Windy City Condors
1985 Flying Circus Condors
1984 Tunas Condors
1983 Windy City Fisheads
1982 Rude Boys Zulu
1981 Condors B.L.U.
1980 Glassboro
1979 Glassboro

College Series[edit]

Division I Open Division I Women's Division III Open Division III Women's
2015 University of North Carolina University of Oregon Franciscan University Rice University
2014 University of Colorado Ohio State University Bentley University Rice University
2013 University of Pittsburgh University of Oregon Middlebury College Bowdoin College
2012 University of Pittsburgh University of Washington Carleton College - Gods of Plastic Claremont Colleges
2011 Carleton College - CUT University of California-Santa Barbara Claremont Colleges Carleton College - Eclipse
2010 University of Florida University of Oregon Carleton College - Gods of Plastic Pacific Lutheran University
2009 Carleton College - CUT University of California-Santa Barbara
2008 University of Wisconsin–Madison University of British Columbia
2007 University of Wisconsin–Madison Stanford University
2006 University of Florida Stanford University
2005 Brown University Stanford University
2004 University of Colorado UC Davis
2003 University of Wisconsin–Madison Stanford University
2002 Stanford University UC San Diego
2001 Carleton College - CUT University of Georgia
2000 Brown University Carleton College
1999 North Carolina State University Stanford University
1998 UC Santa Barbara Stanford University
1997 UC Santa Barbara Stanford University
1996 UC Santa Barbara UNC Wilmington
1995 East Carolina University UC Santa Cruz
1994 East Carolina University UC Santa Cruz
1993 UNC Wilmington UC Berkeley
1992 University of Oregon UNC Wilmington
1991 UC Santa Cruz UC Santa Barbara
1990 UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Barbara
1989 UC Santa Barbara UC Davis
1988 UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Barbara
1987 Chabot College University of Kansas
1986 University of Massachusetts Amherst
1985 University of Pennsylvania
1984 Stanford University

Youth Club Championships[edit]

U-19 Open U-19 Girls U-19 Mixed U-16 Open
2014 TYUL Triforce (Raleigh) DiscNW Cyclone (Seattle) Oregon Flood (Corvallis) DiscNW Doomsday (Seattle)
2013 ATLiens (Atlanta) DiscNW Rampage (Seattle) BUDA YCC Mixed (Boston) Seattle Dynasty (Seattle)
2012 Minnesota Superior (Minneapolis) DiscNW Rapture (Seattle) BUDA YCC Mixed (Boston) Seattle Rebellion (Seattle)
2011 DiscNW Monstars (Seattle) DiscNW Tune Squad (Seattle) Bay Area Disc Happy Cows (Bay Area) TYUL One Huck Wonders (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill)
2010 DeVYL (Delaware Valley) DiscNW (Seattle) Bay Area Disc (Bay Area)
2009 DiscNW "L-Pod" (Seattle) DiscNW (Seattle) Skyline (Minnesota)
2008 DiscNW "Overcast" (Seattle) DiscNW (Seattle) Eugene
2007 DiscNW "Juggernaut" (Seattle) DiscNW "Blackout" (Seattle) I-20 (Atlanta)
2006 SEPDA (Philadelphia) DiscNW "Blackout" (Seattle) MOFO (Winnipeg)
2005 DiscNW (Seattle) DiscNW (Seattle) Nashville

High School Championships[edit]

Easterns: Open (Boys) Girls Westerns: Open (Boys) Girls Centrals: Open (Boys) Girls Southerns: Open (Boys) Girls
2014 Masconomet Regional High School Amherst Regional High School Northwest School Northwest School Hopkins High School Holy Family Catholic High School Carolina Friends School North Carolina Saga
2013 Lexington High School Amherst Regional High School South Eugene High School Monarch High School Holy Family Catholic High School Holy Family Catholic High School University School of Nashville North Carolina Saga
2012 Amherst Regional High School Amherst Regional High School East High School No Championship Held Hopkins High School Holy Family Catholic High School University School of Nashville YHB Girls
2011 Amherst Regional High School Amherst Regional High School Northwest School Northwest School
2010 Amherst Regional High School Amherst Regional High School South Eugene High School Northwest School
2009 Pennsbury High School Paideia School Hopkins High School Nathan Hale
2008 Columbia High School Paideia School Lakeside School Northwest School
2007 Pennsbury High School Amherst Regional High School Northwest School Churchill High School
2006 Amherst HS Hurricanes Amherst Regional High School Northwest School Nathan Hale
2005 Amherst HS Hurricanes Amherst Regional High School Northwest School Nathan Hale

Youth Championships[edit]

Open Women's
2004 Amherst HS Hurricanes Yale Secondary Ultimate
2003 Amherst HS Hurricanes Amherst HS Varsity
2002 Paideia HS Gruel Amherst HS Varsity
2001 Paideia HS Gruel Amherst HS Varsity
2000 Seattle MoHo Amherst HS Varsity
1999 University School of Nashville Brutal Grassburn Amherst HS Varsity
1998 Amherst HS Stuyvesant HS

The Callahan Award[edit]

The Callahan Award is an annual award given by The Callahan Award committee, with assistance from USA Ultimate, to the best male and female college ultimate players. In addition to honoring extraordinary physical talent and skills, the Callahan Award also honors sportsmanship and leadership. Each Open and Women's team can nominate a single player for the award. Beginning in 2000, players could also be nominated for the Callahan by USA Ultimate college regional coordinators.

The winners are selected through online balloting by other college ultimate players. The award is named after Henry Callahan, one of the early pioneers and ambassadors of ultimate. The Callahan Award was initially created by Charles Kerr and was first awarded in 1996.

Past Callahan Winners[edit]

Open Women's
2015 Jonathan Nethercutt (University of North Carolina) Alika Johnston (University of Virginia)
2014 Jimmy Mickle (University of Colorado) Cassie Swafford (Ohio State University)
2013 Dylan Freechild (University of Oregon) Claire Chastain (University of North Carolina-Wilmington)
2012 Nick Lance (Georgia Institute of Technology) Paula Seville (University of Michigan)
2011 George Stubbs (Harvard University) Leila Tunnell (University of North Carolina)
2010 Eli Friedman (University of Oregon) Shannon O'Malley (University of Washington)
2009 Will Neff (University of Michigan) Georgia Bosscher (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
2008 Joe Kershner (University of Arizona) Courtney Kiesow (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
2007 Dan Heijmen (University of Wisconsin–Madison) Anna 'Maddog' Nazarov (UCLA)
2006 Tim Gehret (University of Florida) Alex Snyder (University of Colorado)
2005 Joshua "Zip" Ziperstein (Brown University) Cara Crouch (University of Texas)
2004 Joshua "Richter" Ackley (University of Colorado) Miranda Roth (Carleton College)
2003 Ben Wiggins (University of Oregon) Chelsea Dengler (University of Oregon)
2002 Michael Zalisk (Tufts University) Pauline Lauterbach (Brown University)
2001 Alex Nord (Carleton College) Lindsay Goldsmith (Swarthmore College)
2000 Justin Safdie (Brown University) Johanna Neumann (Tufts University)
1999 Fortunat Mueller (Brown University) Jody Dozono (University of Oregon)
1998 Brian Harriford (Louisiana State University) "AJ" Johnson (Stanford University)
1997 Jim Schoettler (Stanford University) Dominique Fontenette (Stanford University)
1996 Keith Monohan (Oregon State University) Val Kelly (University of Pennsylvania)

Ultimate Hall of Fame[edit]

Class of 2004
  • Suzanne Fields - Inaugural Class
  • Irv Kalb - Inaugural Class
  • Tom "TK" Kennedy - Inaugural Class
  • Dan "Stork" Roddick - Inaugural Class
  • Larry Schindel - Inaugural Class
  • The "80 Mold" Disc - Special Merit
Class of 2005
  • Jon "JC" Cohn - Player
  • Kelly Green - Player
  • Jim Herrick - Player
  • Kathy Pufahl - Contributor
  • Sholom "Eric" Simon - Contributor
  • The "Founders": Buzzy Hellring, Jonny Hines, Joel Silver - Special Merit
Class of 2006
  • Tom "Timba" D'Urso - Player
  • Steve Mooney - Player
  • Ann (Cohan) Orders - Player
  • Heather Morris Raker - Player
  • Robert L. "Nob" Rauch - Contributor


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See also[edit]

External links[edit]