Affiliate Program FAQ


National Infrastructure Diagram   Affiliate State Org Foundation

Q: What is the basic idea of the Affiliate Program for the sport's national infrastructure?

A: To join forces of the national headquarters staff with local leaders of established local disc organizations that are independently incorporated (or seeking incorporation) with a dedicated board of directors and/or staff persons, most typically focused on a single greater metro area (like Triangle Ultimate) or on a specific subset of players (like Illinois Youth Ultimate), to create a network of high-functioning connected organizations who can grow the ultimate sport at all levels across the USA.

Q: Why does the national governing body want to work with established local disc organizations?

A: Local disc organizations provide a clear and distinct value to the sport by running local events & programs to directly engage new players with an introduction to the sport and to help develop players of all ages and levels of competition.  Most local orgs have been organically established by very committed and able volunteers who are passionate about spreading the joy of the sport.  USA Ultimate recognizes that their involvement is critical to growing at the grassroots level and engaging new players.  Representing the sport at the national and international level of competition is dependent upon continuing to reach more kids and new players.

Q: What benefits can a local disc organization offer to USA Ultimate and the national ultimate community?

A: In order to continue growing the sport effectively, the size of the USA Ultimate membership needs to grow as does the full network & array of playing opportunities that are available across the country to all age groups and competition levels.  Local disc orgs typically run multiple events & programs which engage many players who do not participate in national-level programs, series or championships.  Those events and players are not being counted by USA Ultimate without having some level of membership & connection to USAU, so a reduced Affiliate membership level (in terms of both cost & benefits) allows the sport's true participation numbers to be more accurately represented by USAU and increase the interest & impact that ultimate can have.  Additionally, there are multiple USAU programs (such as Learn To Play, Girls' Ultimate Movement, Coaching Development, Observer Certification, et al) that depend upon local organizers to operate local clinics all around the nation to improve the various key aspects of the sport (grow youth, increase gender equity, enhance coaching, develop officiation, etc).

Q: What benefits can USA Ultimate offer to local disc orgs and their communities?

A: See the full list of Affiliate Benefits HERE!  

As members of USA Ultimate, local event organizers, players and coaches in Affiliate events receive robust insurance coverage to protect them from unfortunate & unexpected expenses and to keep the local disc org from having to either purchase that coverage themselves or be in a position of financial liability and risk of extreme hardship.  Additionally, USAU offers free Learn To Play or GUM clinics/leagues, local Coach & Observer certification clinics, PE teacher training/outreach, assistance to underserved youth players, new girls teams, discounts to organizers, free TD certification, hosting preference, YCC team priority, recognition, marketing exposure, connections to other local org peers around the country, annual convention experience, written guides & documentation, etc.

Q: What are the commitments that a local disc organization makes by becoming an Affiliate?

A: Local disc orgs engage in a standing organization-to-organization relationship with USAU, rather than merely the event-by-event relationship offered by event sanctioning.  Each year they are committed to:

  • Sanctioning all events and programs owned by the Affiliate organization, ensuring high quality insurance coverage is in place for organizers and participants through player memberships & waivers, and being included as official USAU-supported programs.
  • Operating at least 2 of their own branded programs or events (seasonal leagues, tournaments, camps, etc) with at least one being youth-focused (high school league, youth club league, youth camp/clinic, etc).
  • Running at least 1 USAU-branded Outreach program (Learn To Play, Girls' Ultimate Movement, Coaching Development, Observer Certification, etc).
  • Sending a representative to the annual organizers' convention (currently being hosted in conjunction with the US Open Championship).
  • Requiring all players in their events/programs to become at least Affiliate level members of USAU and to sign the annual USAU waiver (can be hosted on the Affiliate's own website with signature collected electronically during event/program registration).
  • Ensuring that any youth team has at least one adult coach (with completed background check) and a chaperone if the coach is not yet age 21 or older, before the youth team participates in any event.
  • Identifying a Local Outreach Representative to serve as a public contact for the organization and listed on the USAU website.
  • Providing annual feedback on the program & experience.
  • Submitting an annual board report to let USAU staff know how to serve the organization most effectively.
  • Agreeing to the details in the Affiliate Operations Manual by signing in Appendix A.

Interested in Becoming an Affiliate?

If your local disc organization's leaderships would like to participate in the USAU Affiliate program and help grow the sport of ultimate in your local area, please submit an online application today.

We look forward to growing the ultimate sport with you!