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College Eligibility 2015 [message #138826] Thu, 16 January 2014 18:10 Go to next message
Messages: 22
Registered: May 2011
Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Junior Member
Recently I emailed USAU asking why one of my teammates was ineligible to play the 2015 spring season. He graduated high school in 2010 and should have this coming season and then 1 final 5th year left before he is ineligible. This is their response:


Thanks for contacting us about this. You can find more information on the Eligibility Rules here: "Name Withheld" played sanctioned high school ultimate and graduated in 2010, therefore he is subject to the following rule:

High School Participation Initial Participation excludes participation in sanctioned events while in school prior to high school graduation and sanctioned high school events that occur immediately following high school graduation that are part of the spring high school competitive season.

1. For individuals who graduate from high school in 2010 or later:

a. The player's initial governing body participation date is taken as the earlier of:

i. Date of the player's first participation in a post-high school graduation (including G.E.D.) national governing body sanctioned event that is not part of either that spring's high school competitive season or another officially sanctioned Youth event, or

ii. Date of the player's first participation in a national governing body sanctioned event following the player's 19th birthday if the player is not enrolled in high school

iii. Date of the player's first participation on a college team in a national governing body sanctioned college regular season or championship series event.

"Name Withheld"'s first post-high school national governing body sanctioned event was Des Moines Summer League in May 2010. This would fulfill criteria i. and act as his initial participation date. Initial participation is defined as:

Initial Participation -- If more than five (5) years have elapsed between initial participation in an ultimate event sanctioned by a national governing body and 1 June of the current year, the player is not eligible.

Therefore he would be eligible only through the 2014 college season. I'm sorry this may not have been the answer either of you had hoped for, however "Name Withheld" is eligible to play this season. I have updated this in the system and his 5 Yr College Eligibility should have a green check mark now. I would also suggest forwarding him this email so he is aware of his situation and also will have my contact information in case he has any other questions.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks and good luck this season.

Ty Krajec

Manager Competition & Athlete Programs

(303) 447-3472 x 125

Essentially this means that if a high school senior has graduated and plays summer league he won't be allowed a 5th season and this rule will be enacted as of 2015 and first applied to the high school class of 2010. Does this seem like a reasonable rule? I have a ton of friends who will miss out on what they thought was their final season of college ultimate due to this and I was wondering if anybody could explain USAU's rationale behind making such a rule. To me it seems that they are discouraging high school seniors from signing up for any USAU sanctioned events between date of graduation and first college spring tournament.
Re: College Eligibility 2015 [message #138835 is a reply to message #138826] Fri, 17 January 2014 11:24 Go to previous message
Messages: 241
Registered: April 2009
Senior Member
Most of the summer leagues I have played in start the first week in June. So if a 2010 HS senior played in a league that started In June, they would still be eligible in 2015. Maybe you could argue the start date of the league? Or claim the player in question didn't play till June. Do you have the date of graduation for the player? If that wasn't until June, then he should be fine through 2015 too.

I agree that this rule causes some problems:

In a similar vein, if a high school player were to go to a club tryout tournament in May, they would be sacrificing one year of eligibility in college ultimate. I have played on a good number of club teams that had tourneys in May and had high schoolers trying out. If they were listed on the roster, they could definitely be affected by this. (So I agree that USAU has encouraged seniors to hold off playing any non-youth events until after June 1st.)

Although I have no documentation to support this, I always thought the intention of this set of regulations was to discourage "red shirting". Basically high school players can't avoid starting the clock on their eligibility if they are playing in sanctioned events.

I can't think of anything else this rule was trying to do, and I really don't know why they felt the need to change it from the 2009 and earlier rules. Per those rules your teammate would be eligible I believe, so to me it seems like these rules sought out to prevent high school players who also play club, from playing 5 years of college ultimate.

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