Beach Division Guidelines


2020 USA Ultimate Beach Division Guidelines




Registration Guidelines


Registration Deadlines

Phase 1 Deadline

Phase 2 Deadline

Final Roster Deadline

Event Dates


Team Requirements

Final Roster Deadline

Requirements for Final Roster

Registration Clarifications and Exceptions

Player Maximums

Player Minimums

Geographic Requirements

Rosters Closed



Player Requirements

Age Limits


Division Requirement



Tournament Fee



Competition Guidelines

Spirit of the Game

Name/Logo Uniform Guidelines

Uniform Requirements





Gender Ratio for Mixed Division



The goal of the USA Ultimate Beach Division is to provide national level competition for players in the sand. USA Ultimate will host one event in 2020: the Beach Championships, which will be held in Virginia Beach, Va., on May 9–10. The guidelines that follow are USA Ultimate’s requirements for qualification and criteria for acceptance for this year’s event.

In order to award bids early enough so that teams can prepare and finalize their teams, and so that organizers can make the necessary preparations, there is an early registration period (Phase 1) during which the minimum number of teams (six per division) must register in order to hold the event for each division. If the minimum registration requirements are met during Phase 1, a late registration period (Phase 2) may be opened up for additional teams to fill available spots in the tournament.

With the goal of growing the amount of beach/sand play and building a connected local and national infrastructure, USA Ultimate will be rewarding communities that provide local playing opportunities to members, and, in so doing, encouraging communities to offer those playing opportunities going forward. Bids will be considered, giving decreasing preference to the following:

  1. USA Ultimate affiliate with beach/sand activity;
  2. USA Ultimate affiliate without beach/sand activity;
  3. Unaffiliated organizations with USA Ultimate-sanctioned beach/sand activity;
  4. Applicant teams with history of USA Ultimate-sanctioned beach/sand participation;
  5. Applicant teams with history of beach/sand participation;
  6. Unaffiliated organizations with unsanctioned beach/sand activity;
  7. Unaffiliated organizations without beach/sand activity; and
  8. Applicant teams without history of beach/sand participation.


Applicants will be asked to specify under which of the eight categories they are applying. A current list of USA Ultimate affiliates can be found here. Along with the above, teams will be selected with emphasis being placed on geographic distribution and team strength. 




 Registration Deadlines

1. Phase 1 Team Registration Deadline: Team must submit the online application by February 7, 5pm MST to USA Ultimate headquarters. For a division to be held, at least six teams must register by the Phase 1 Team Registration Deadline. Note: Phase 1 registration does require the submission of a partial roster on the application of at least five players.  

2. Phase 1 Team Confirmations will be sent out by February 14.  

Phase 1 confirmed teams must have 10 current members rostered (all teams in mixed divisions must have at least 5 male and 5 female members rostered) and player fees paid by February 28.

3. Phase 2 Registration Deadline: For each division, if the minimum registration requirements (six teams/division) are met during Phase 1, additional teams may be able to register for the event through February 28. Phase 2 registration will be contingent upon tournament format and event requirements. Team must submit the online application by February 28, 5pm MST to USA Ultimate headquarters. 

4. Phase 2 Confirmations will be sent out by March 6. 

Phase 2 confirmed teams must have 10 current members rostered (all teams in mixed divisions must have at least 5 male and 5 female members rostered) and player fees paid by March 20.

5. Final Roster Deadline: April 13 – Teams will have until this date to add players to their roster, submit team info form and pay player fees.

6. Event Date – May 9–10 in Virginia Beach, Va.


Team Requirements 

There will be eight potential divisions in the Beach Season: men’s, mixed, women’s, masters men’s, masters mixed, masters women's, grand masters and great grand masters. After reviewing Phase 1 applications, neither masters men's nor masters women's have divisions at the 2020 Bech Championships.

1. All teams must meet the registration deadlines with the appropriate materials as outlined in this document.

2. Final Roster Deadline

a. Beach Championships – April 13, 5pm MST.

b. Earlier registration deadlines are outlined in the section above. Player requirements are outlined below.

3. Requirements for Final Roster:

a. Rosters must be finalized, via the online rostering system, by the appropriate date.

b. Players may be added or dropped to the roster between Team Confirmation and the Final Roster Deadline.

4. Registration clarifications and exceptions:

a. Roster Changes

i. Up until the Final Roster Deadline, an unlimited number of changes may be made to your roster.

ii. All rostered players must be entered into the online registration system prior to the Final Roster Deadline.

5. Player Maximums

a. Men’s, mixed and women’s divisions will be allowed a maximum of 18 players on a roster.

b. Masters divisions will be allowed a maximum of 20 players on a roster.

c. MIXED DIVISIONS: The number of rostered players of one gender may not exceed the number of the other gender by more than one. (Example: If a team has nine women on a roster, they must have at least eight men on the roster. A team could not have 10 women and eight men.)

6. Player Minimums

a. The USA Ultimate Beach Division sets specific player minimum requirements for both registration and competition.

b. Registration minimums: Set to determine whether a team can officially register for the event.

i. 10-player minimum registered and attending. For the mixed division, five players per gender.

c. Competition Minimums: Set to determine whether a team can continue to compete safely at the event.

i. Five players to start, three to continue playing. Fewer than three is a forfeit. For the mixed division, three players per gender to start and three to continuing playing.

d. Contact USA Ultimate headquarters to determine any requirements beyond these minimums.

7. Geographic Requirements

a. A team must represent at least one of the current club regions.

b. Teams are only allowed up to five out of region players depending on their roster size. The following are the out of region limits per roster size.

i. 15-20 players = Five out of region players

ii. 13-14 players = Four out of region players

iii. 11-12 players = Three out of region players

iv. 10 players = Two out of region players

c. Residence is defined as meeting BOTH of the following requirements:

i. Location where person is living for the majority of May, AND

ii. Location where person is living for the majority of either the three months prior to May 1 or immediately following May 31.

d. If the above definition means a player does not have a region as their "residence" then the player is considered to be an out-of-region player and counts towards a team’s out-of-region limits.

8. Rosters are closed once the Final Roster Deadline has passed. No players can be added to a roster for the event without the approval of USA Ultimate staff.

9. Failure to abide by any of the above rules may result in ramifications outlined in the "Violations and Sanctions" section of these guidelines.


Player Requirements

1. Age limits – The minimum ages (as of 12/31/20) for the 2020 USA Ultimate Beach Season are as follows:

a. Great Grand Masters Division: Men  50 years, Women  45 years (Note: The great grand masters division is an "open" division, which means either gender can play. There is a lower age limit for women playing in this division. However, there is not a separate great grand masters women’s division).

b. Grand Masters Division: Men  40 years, Women  37 years (Note: The grand masters division is an "open" division, which means either gender can play. There is a lower age limit for women playing in this division. However, there is not a separate grand masters women’s division).

c. Masters: Men  33 years, Women  30 years.

2. All players participating on a team must be registered on the team roster. Players may only participate in one division and be registered for only one roster for the Beach Championships.

3. All players registered on a team’s Final Roster must be current USA Ultimate members in good standing. 

4. All players must fill out (completely and correctly) the appropriate USA Ultimate waiver form for the year in which they will be competing. This form is good for the entire calendar year of USA Ultimate membership.

5. Tournament fee – $70.00/player tournament fee for all players listed on the Final Roster.

6. Failure to abide by any of the above rules may result in ramifications outlined in the "Violations and Sanctions" section of these guidelines.




Spirit of the Game

Spirit of the Game is a set of principles which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules or the basic joy of play. All players are responsible for knowing, administering and adhering to the rules. The integrity of ultimate depends on each player's responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should remain paramount. It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner that simulates what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction. An intentional infraction is cheating and considered a gross offense against the Spirit of the Game. Players are morally bound to abide by the rules and not gain advantage by knowingly committing an infraction, or calling one where none exists.

For more information on Spirit of the Game, click here


Name/Logo/Uniform Guidelines

USA Ultimate reserves the right to alter, or require a team to alter, a team name, player nickname, team logo, jersey graphic or uniform, and/or suggest alternatives at, or in conjunction with, a USA Ultimate program or event should USA Ultimate personnel determine the existing name, logo, graphic or uniform might hinder the mission of the organization or the goals of a specific USA Ultimate program or event. Alteration must meet the approval of USA Ultimate personnel.


Uniform Requirements

All players participating in the USA Ultimate Beach Championships for a given team must wear jerseys of identical color and design.

Teams must have two jerseys of distinctly different colors, one predominantly white and one predominantly dark. A jersey that is not white does not automatically qualify as a dark. Any color that may be described as light does not qualify as a dark jersey (e.g. yellow, light gray, light pink, light blue). 

Jerseys must have numbers on the back of the jersey. The numbers on the back must be at least six inches high, be one- or two-digit Arabic numerals, be solid and be in clear contrast with the jersey. No two players on a given team may use the same number or numbers with the same value (e.g. 00 and 0, 01 and 1). It is recommended that jerseys have numbers on both the front and back of the jersey.

Uniform bottoms worn by players on the field must be of identical color and design. Teams are not required to have numbers on their uniform bottoms. However, if teams do opt to include numbers they must be on the front left or right leg of their shorts, although teams may opt to do both. The placement must be the same for the whole team. The numbers must be at least two inches high, match the number on the back of their jersey and be in visible contrast with the jersey. 

It is recommended that uniform accessories, including tights, undershirts, hats and socks, be identical or coordinated in style and color.

Shoes or cleats are not permitted.

USA Ultimate reserves the right to disqualify and/or fine players who fail to meet the uniform requirements.


Violations and Sanctions

Failure to abide by any of the above guidelines may result in sanctions through the USA Ultimate conduct process. Such sanctions may be imposed on a team or on individuals associated with a team deemed to be in violation of these guidelines, and may include, but are not limited to, suspension or disqualification from USA Ultimate competitions. In order to help teams follow Beach Division Guidelines and avoid violations, USA Ultimate will continue to work to improve registration procedures and communication of information pertaining to the USA Ultimate Beach Division. As these improvements are made by the organization, teams will continue to be held more fully responsible for understanding and following Beach Division information and procedures. Because consistency in holding all participants to the same administrative and competitive standards is vital to the integrity of the Beach Season, because many violations lead to unfair advantages in competition and because it is often difficult to determine intent, guideline violations will result in serious repercussions. Such repercussions will provide an incentive for players and teams to understand the guidelines fully (or ask questions for clarification), follow the guidelines carefully and avoid violations.



The format for the event will be determined by USA Ultimate Championship Series staff, with the goal of determining a champion, showcasing the division at its best and providing a great playing experience for all the teams.



The USA Ultimate Beach Championships event seeding will be done by USA Ultimate staff and Regional Beach Directors using the following information: input solicited from all the captains of participating teams, results of head to head match-ups prior to the Championships and team composition prior to the Championships. USA Ultimate has the authority to adjust the seedings according to the best information available.



The 2020 Beach Season will be played under the current 2020-2021 Edition USA Ultimate rules. See Appendix E for Beach Ultimate Rules Adaptations.


Gender Ratio for Mixed Division

1. The gender ratio for the mixed division and mixed masters division will be 3/2 (three men and two women, or three women and two men).

2. At the start of the game, after the first disc flip, an additional disc flip happens with the winner selecting which end zone is the "Genzone." At the start of each point, the team that is at the "Genzone" must choose the gender ratio. This process applies for the entire game.

3. If a team cannot match the gender of all five players, then it must play with fewer than five players, matching the gender of as many players as possible.

4. Injury timeouts:

a. In the event of an injury timeout where a player leaves the field, the replacing player must be the same gender as the injured player.

b. If a team replaces players, the opposing team has the option of substituting a like number of, or fewer, players.

c. The replacing player must be the same gender as the player they replace.

d. If a team calls an injury timeout but does not have a replacement player of the same gender as the injured player, it may not replace that player and must play with fewer than five players.