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UKU Tournament Rules

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UKU Tournament Rules



Membership & Eligibility

Entering Events


Squad Sizes

Tie Breakers for Pools


Event Specific Rule Appendices

Complaints Procedure


  1. Overview

  1. These rules apply at all UKU events. Many competitions may also have additional stipulations that must be taken into account for all specified events, but the rules herein are considered the minimum at all UKU events.
  1. The Event Specific Rule Appendices can be found below.

  1. Membership & Eligibility

  1. All UK-resident Players or players representing a UK Club at an international tournament are required to hold a Membership at the level suitable for their needs and for the Tournament they are participating in (full details here:
  1. Students at UK universities are considered to be residents and must purchase UK membership to play.
  1. All non UK-resident Players must have public liability insurance in place for the event that they are taking part in.
  1. It is the Team’s responsibility to confirm that all non-UK resident Players on their Team have adequate and appropriate public liability insurance.  This may be in place through membership of another country’s National Governing Body for the sport of Ultimate.
  1. UK-resident Players are insured by the UKU personal liability insurance as long as they hold a Membership.
  2. Players representing an institution that has UKU Schools Affiliation are competing on the basis that they are covered by the liability insurance of that institution.
  3. A Team is only eligible to compete at UKU Events if the Team consists solely of eligible participants.
  1. Teams must adhere to both the general and event-specific roster rules, and membership/insurance requirements, to be eligible.
  1. Players may be deemed ineligible if they do not meet the additional event-specific requirements.
  2. If Players are found to be ineligible to play, they may be subject to an individual fine of £50, team fine of £200, team disqualification, or other appropriate remedy at the discretion of UKU.  
  1. At the discretion of the relevant divisional coordinator, UKU Committee or UKU Events Coordinator, if any Player is found to be ineligible to play;
  2. Before the first game the ineligible Team plays; any ineligible Players will be banned from playing for any Team during the Tournament (they must stop playing immediately).
  1. If this leaves the Team without enough Players to field a full line:
  1. The Team may choose to not take part in the Tournament, or;
  2. The Team may choose to play as a pick-up Team for the Tournament and will not be eligible to play for a
    medal position (automatically forfeit in the quarterfinals which may require rejigging of quarter final and subsequent matches to not disadvantage other teams).
  1. After the start of the first game the ineligible Team plays, any of the following may be applied:
  1. Any ineligible Players will be banned from playing for any Team during the Tournament (they must stop playing immediately);
  2. The Team that any ineligible Players played for must forfeit all of the games that they have played, up to and including the game when the Player(s) in the Team was found to be ineligible.
  1. If the current games are still in the group stages, the team may also request to continue playing as a pickup team (as above).
  1. If the Team that they played for has achieved a position in the Tournament that they would not have otherwise been able to get to had they had to forfeit all of their previous games, the matter must be looked into further by the TD and, at least, one other staff/committee member from UK Ultimate.
  2. It is possible that the Team may be disqualified from the event, unable to finish in any qualifying or trophy position at the event and/or any other additional sanctions may be imposed.
  1. If, after any of the above is imposed, an ineligible Team finishes in either a qualifying or trophy position, they shall not receive the award, and the next eligible team shall instead receive the award.
  1. If the breach is discovered after the tournament has finished;
  1. It is likely that the Team will be disqualified;
  2. If they finished in either a qualifying or trophy position, the Team shall be stripped of the awards, and the next eligible Team shall instead receive the award and/or qualifying spot.
  3. Additional sanctions may be imposed.
  1. If a breach is suspected to be intentional;
  1. The matter shall be fully investigated by the relevant divisional coordinator, UKU Committee or UKU Events Coordinator.
  2. No further action will be taken until the matter is resolved.
  1. If a breach is deemed to have been intentional;
  1. The relevant divisional coordinator, UKU Committee or UKU Events Coordinator may impose any ruling felt necessary;
  1. This may include but is not limited to, the club fielding the ineligible team being;
  1. Banned from attending the next divisional competition;
  2. Banned from attending the specific divisional competitions for the remainder of the division’s season;
  3. Banned from attending the specific divisional competitions for the next division’s season.
  4. Restricted to only being able to send a single team to a limited number of future divisional Tournaments.

  1. Entering Events

  1. Teams will enter all UKU Events in accordance with the UKU Terms & Conditions of Tournament Entry or the event-specific entry criteria, if applicable.
  1. Where event-specific criteria and the UKU Terms & Conditions of Tournament Entry conflict, the former will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.
  1. Entry requirements and deadline dates will be published on the relevant UKU Event Page.
  1. Information may also be posted in the UKU Event Announcements Newsletter.
  1. All entries, unless stated otherwise, will be managed through the UKU Membership & Events Portal.

  1. Rosters

  1. All entered Teams must have a complete roster for the event on the UKU Membership & Events Portal prior to the competition starting.
  1. Team rosters are to be kept up to date for the relevant Team that is entered into the UKU Membership & Events Portal up until the Wednesday after the Event.
  2. Where Team entry is not processed through the UKU Membership & Events Portal, Teams are required to enter the specific UKU Membership & Events Portal Roster Event to ensure that a complete Team roster can be submitted.
  1. A Player may only play for one Team at each Event.
  1. Players playing for two Teams may incur penalties for both Teams represented.
  2.  This extends across divisions, so that a Player may not play for both a Women’s and an Open Team at one Event.
  1. It is the responsibility of all Players, and in particular the Team captains and Club organisers, to look at the specific eligibility and rostering rules for any Events they enter and to ensure that they are followed
  2. Penalties, including but not limited to disqualification, may result from breaches of rostering rules.
  3. Whilst the rosters enable UKU to check if Teams are complying with the eligibility rules, we expect Clubs and Players to apply Spirit of the Game to all eligibility and roster rules.
  4. If any roster situations are not clarified by this section, or that in the relevant Event Specific Rule Appendix, any additional queries,clarifications or questions must be addressed directly to the relevant divisional coordinator, UKU Committee or the UKU Events Coordinator.

  1. Squad Sizes

  1. UKU recommends that Teams bring a minimum of 10 Players to an outdoor Event, and 7 to an indoor Event.
  1. In the Mixed division, it is recommended that Teams bring at least 5 players of each gender to an outdoor Event (or 4 of each, 8 total, for indoors).
  1. Teams with fewer than 10 (7) Players will not be excluded from competing, but should be aware that UKU does not endorse the extra physical burden placed on Players on small Teams.
  2. Teams who are unable, in a given point, to field the required number of female or male Players may not play additional Players of the other gender, and may not put pressure on the opposition to choose differently.
  1. If a Team cannot field the requisite Players of a gender then they must either play with those that they have for that point or to offer to forfeit the game.

  1. Tie Breakers for Pools

  1. After round robin pool play, rank all Teams in each pool by the number of games won.
  1. For tournaments where draws are allowed, award three points for a win and 1 for a draw, and instead rank the Teams by number of points.
  1. If Teams are tied, break that tie using the ranking criteria.
  2. Each ranking criterion is used to rank all of the tied Teams, not just to determine the highest ranked Team.
  1. If, after the application of a ranking criterion, all of the teams remain tied, go to the next criterion.
  2. If not all teams remain tied, but one or more subgroups of the teams remain tied, separate these subgroups from the ranking. Each subgroup is then to be ranked separately, starting with the first ranking criterion.
  1. Ranking criteria, in order:
  1. Number of games won, counting only games between the teams that are tied.
  2. Fewest games forfeited.
  3. Goal difference, counting only games between the teams that are tied.
  4. Goal difference, counting games against all common opponents.
  5. Goals scored per game, counting only games between the teams that are tied.
  6. Goals scored per game, counting games against all common opponents.
  7. Each team nominates on player to throw one disc from behind the goal line to the far brick point on a regulation playing field (or to some other chosen target on a field with no marked brick). Throwing order is determined randomly, by disc toss or otherwise. Teams are ranked in order by the distance from the resting place of each disc to the brick point, from closest to furthest.

  1. Kit

  1. Clubs are expected to consider the presentation of the sport and Teams when selecting kit and conducting themselves at UKU Tournaments. The regulations are not to prevent Clubs or Players expressing themselves, but to ensure the public view of the sport adheres to the ethos of spirit and accountability.
  2. At all UKU Events, Players must ensure that their kit is not offensive.
  1. We do not attempt to define what would be offensive in these rules, but would ask all Teams to consider the design not just from their own point of view but from the perspective of opponents, passers-by (including children or parents), Spectators, or media representatives and act accordingly.
  1. Offensive nicknames or Team names on shirts will also be considered a kit violation.
  1. Teams may be barred from playing in offensive kit, at the discretion of the UKU Events Coordinator and/or Tournament Director of the Event.
  2. Protective clothing or equipment is permitted as long as it does not present a hazard to other Players; such as hard padding (i.e. plastic skating/roller-blading knee pads).
  3. In the absence of Event-specific criteria, Teams are required to at least have shirts of substantially the same colour, in both light and dark, which enable them to be distinguished from their opponents.
  1. Teams are strongly encouraged to provide genuinely matching numbered shirts, and matching shorts, in order to improve the image of the sport to any spectators.
  1. ‘Matching shirts’ means that all articles are of the same design (not including sleeve length).
  2. In deciding whether a team does not have matching shirts, we will apply the following test: “Would a reasonable, neutral spectator notice from the sideline that members of the same team are wearing shirts of a different design?”
  1. In the instance where a Team is unable to provide a white or dark strip, the use of coloured bibs for one of the competing Teams in that game is permitted.
  1. The use of coloured bibs is at the discretion of the Teams competing in that game.
  2. UKU does not take any responsibility for the use or distribution of coloured bibs at any Tournament.

  1. Event Specific Rule Appendices

  1. In addition to the rules outlined in this document, the competition divisions listed below have additional stipulations that must be taken into account for all Events that are considered to be in that division.
  1. University
  2. Youth
  3. Club (General)
  4. Club (UKU Ranking Events)
  5. UKU National Championship Series & European Ultimate Championship Series (EUCS)
  1. Where the Event Specific Rule Appendix contradicts the UKU Tournament Rules, the Event Specific Rule Appendix will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.
  2. For competition divisions where there is no event-specific rule appendix, only the UKU Tournament Rules apply, unless otherwise stated.

  1. Complaints Procedure

  1. Any protests over the organisation, application of the rules, rostering, teams or individual players need to be addressed as indicated in the UKU Conduct and Complaints Policy.

  1. Definitions

  1. Clubis a group of people that have agreed to a defined committee or organised structure for the primary purpose of playing ultimate. A Club has some control over its own definition and may be quite flexible from year to year.
  2. Competitionmeans any UKU event including Outdoor, Indoor, Beach, University, Junior, School and Club events in all divisions, and can be used interchangeably with “Event” within the document, with the appropriate prefix if applicable.
  3. Entrymeans the confirmation of a Team’s participation in any UKU event through the completion of the event entry process, including payment of the Tournament Entry fee associated with the specific Tournament, and the accepted allocation of their spot at the event.
  4. Eventmeans a Tournament or Competition organised by UK Ultimate.
  5. Individualmeans any person attending a UKU event, including but not limited to, Players, coaches, and Spectators.
  6. Youthmeans the division in which the eligibility criteria stipulates an age limitation of Under-20, Under-17 or Under-14, or can be used in relevance to a YouthPlayer who competes in the respective division.
  7. Membermeans an individual who has paid for and holds the current year’s Membership.
  8. Membershipmeans the UKU annual subscription that provides members with access to UKU Competitions. Details regarding the membership options can be found here: 
  9. Playermeans an individual member of a Team that is competing in any UKU event.
  10. Schoolmeans any institution that is eligible to compete in the UKU Schools National Championship Series.
  11. Spectatormeans an individual that is attending any UKU event and not taking part competitively, with a connection to a Team entered into the event, for example, family member, friend or associated Club member.
  12. Teammeans either a specific instance of a Club entering an event, or a group of otherwise-unaffiliated individuals (Players) that choose to enter an event together.    
  13. Tournamentmeans the same as Competition in this instance and can be used interchangeably within the document.
  14. UK Ultimatemeans the National Governing Body for the sport of Ultimate in the United Kingdom, in some instances abbreviated to “UKU”.  
  15. UKU Ranking Eventmeans either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Competition that earns a Team ranking points with respect to their finishing position, that go towards that Team’s overall UKU Ranking.
  16. Universitymeans University, University College or Institute of Higher Education. Can also be used in the context of “University Event” to refer to an event specific to that division.

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