DiscNW Team Event Participation Policy
The Northwest Ultimate Association (DiscNW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Seattle with the mission to “serve as a regional resource, promoting growth in the sport of Ultimate and instilling the spirit of sportsmanship at all levels of play.”
In order to accommodate the needs of participants of “all levels of play” the organization strives to manage playing environments for participants of all ages and skill levels. A variety of opportunities are available for youth ultimate players, but the population of youth players is evolving. Some youth players are not fully challenged by the level of competition at youth events. These players are now registering for adult events in order to satisfy their needs which are not otherwise being met.
Safety and legal issues are a concern regarding youth participation in adult events. Because most youth players are smaller in size and less experienced than their adult counterparts, dangerous situations can arise. Of course, some youth players are larger in size and more experienced than their adult counterparts. Nevertheless, DiscNW is responsible for preventing reasonably foreseeable situations that may endanger youth players.
The participation of youth players in adult leagues alters the nature of play and type of experience of the adult players. Some adult players feel that they need to adjust game strategies and play less aggressively when smaller youth players are on the field in order to avoid physical and emotional injury. The quality of play for all players, not just for youth players seeking new opportunities, must be evaluated by DiscNW.
The purpose of this policy is to set a definition for youth players and to set rules for youth player participation at DiscNW team events in a way that improves the overall level of play.
Youth and Adult Player Definitions
- A youth player is defined as any ultimate player who is under eighteen (18) years of age on the first day of the event.
- Any player eighteen (18) years or older on the first day of the event is an adult player.
Definition of an 18+/ Adult Event
- Any adult player is eligible to participate in an 18+/Adult Event unless other restrictions apply (such as single gender events, masters events, etc.).
- Youth players are permitted to participate but must submit a youth waiver with both the player’s signature and the signature of one parent/guardian.
- The player must also submit an eligibility request form that contains the signature of the player’s coach or someone else qualified to make the recommendation. The DiscNW Director of Youth Operations and the Event Coordinator must approve the eligibility request. In the event those parties cannot make a determination, the final decision will be made by the DiscNW Executive Director.
- Youth players must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to participate.
- No more than twenty-five percent (25%) and not more than six players on a team roster for an 18+/Adult Event may include youth players. In a coed league, no more than three (3) youth players of each gender are permitted. If warranted, exceptions to this rule may be granted with approval of the Event Coordinator with agreement from the Executive Director and the Director of Youth Operations.
- An event may also add additional restrictions. For example, each player under 18 could be required to be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or chaperone at the event. Another example is that the team captain must also sign an agreement to supervise the youth player during the event. A third example is that an event may be designated as 21+ only.
Definition of an All-Ages Event
- Any adult player or any youth player eleven (11) years or older is eligible to participate in an All-Ages Event.
- At least twenty-five percent (25%) of a team roster for an All-Ages Event must include adult players.
- Each team must have at least two (2) rostered adults at each game.
- At least one adult must be on the field for each team during the game.
- All youth players must submit a youth waiver with both the player’s signature and the signature of one parent.
Definition of a Youth Event
- The DiscNW Youth Eligibility Requirements are posted online at http://www.discnw.org/youth/eligibility.html. The Youth Eligibility Requirements serve to define Youth Events for school based teams.
- The Event Coordinators, with agreement from the Executive Director and the Director of Youth Operations, may make exceptions to the rules stated in this policy.