Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Table of Contents
- Ultimate in Ann Arbor
- Games / Events
- Communications / Email Lists
Ultimate in Ann Arbor
Q: I’m new to the area, where/how can I play? A: Information on upcoming leagues and one-day events is available on the Ann Arbor Ultimate website. You can find more information by checking our about page, by following us on social media, or by joining our announcements list (more information can be found in the communications section). If we are currently in the middle of a league, we may still be accepting registrations on our waitlist. If you are looking for youth, check out our youth page There are also various opportunities at local colleges.
Q: I’ve never played before, how can I learn? A: Completely new players are welcome to register for nearly any league (see division details for expected levels of play/competitiveness), and all league captains are expected to teach the basics of rules, throwing, and offensive/defensive movement. Ann Arbor Ultimate also hosts occasional clinics for beginners, which we advertise through our email list, Facebook, and website. We recommend reading USAU’s Ultimate in Ten Simple Rules as preparation before coming to the fields.
Q: Are there pick-up games around Ann Arbor? A: Yes! They are usually not affiliated with A2U, but you can check out our pickup page for more information.
Q: Do leagues fill up? A: They do! Not every league fills up, but some (like Winter) can have a high demand. We operate on a first come, first served basis. Signing up early is encouraged, and even rewarded in the way of a $20 cheaper registration. You are only officially added to a league after payment is received.
Q: How are league and team sizes determined? A: Usually, league sizes are a function of how much field space and time we can get for a particular day. We do our best to make this match the demand from previous years. Team sizes fluctuate, but generally we keep it somewhere between 12 and 15. Factors playing into team size include level of play, season, weather, and cost.
Q: What are the age requirements for Ann Arbor Ultimate leagues? A: Players 15 and up are welcome to register for any league/division. We host youth events, leagues, and camps from time to time that are aimed at middle school and high school players. These generally adhere to their own age range (check the description for more information).
Q: I am a parent/guardian. How do I sign up my child? A: No problem! For each minor (under 18), create an account for them as if they were signing up themselves. Go through the registration process as if you were them and you should be all set.
Q: For a minor (under 18) to play, is there anything special I need to do? A: Yes! According to state law, all minors are required to complete and provide a concussion waiver to a league official prior to the start of their first game. More information can be found on our concussion compliance page.
Q: Can I bring someone (director/treasurer/captain) my registration fee at the fields? A: No, registration payments must be paid via PayPal. Any exceptions will be noted in an event description.
Q: What if I can’t afford to pay the registration fee? A: We are able to offer price reductions under certain circumstances. Please contact email@example.com to request consideration.
Q: I want to play with my friends, how do I get on the same team? A: You can form a group after registration for a division. All participants must register individually, but after registration anyone can add members to their baggage group through their Ann Arbor Ultimate account. Note, waitlisted registrations are not eligible to join groups.
Q: How many people can be in a group? A: Typically the limit is three people. For smaller divisions, more competitive divisions, and divisions with gender ratio rules, there may be additional limitations on groups (e.g. winter league).
Q: Can I bring a whole team? A: Usually, no. Ann Arbor Ultimate almost never runs leagues and events "clique-style" and instead opts to form teams from individual registrations and groups.
Q: What if my group was separated during registration? A: It doesn't happen often, but it has happened. Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I'm on the waitlist—how likely is it I'll make it on to a team? A: There are nearly always a few spots that become available due to withdrawals. Players are moved on to teams from the waitlist on a first-come, first-served basis, unless moving a particular player off of the waitlist sooner would significantly improve alignment with gender balance expectations for a particular division. The farther down the list you are, the less likely you are to make it on to a team (list order can be viewed on the division’s “Players” page).
Q: How do I get my money back if I never make it off the waitlist? A: Refunds are issued shortly after the completion of each league. A full refund is issued for the case where no games are played. If you do not receive your refund within two weeks after the end of the season, please contact email@example.com
Q: What if I get added to a team from the waitlist mid-season? Can I get refunded for those missed games? A: Yes, if you are moved off the waitlist after some number of games have been played, you will be refunded for the games you missed.
Q: I registered and am not on the waitlist. What happens now? A: For leagues, you will be added to a team, have a schedule created, and receive a welcome email from a league official and/or your captain(s). Ann Arbor Ultimate will provide at least 24 hours notice before the first game, but aims for a few days. For other events, you may receive a welcome email, but if you do not, plan on showing up at the time designated in the event description.
Q: How are teams formed? A: We use a team generation algorithm to form our teams with very little human input. The algorithm uses player ratings (both from themselves and captains of past teams) to balance teams as best it can.
Q: What should I bring to the game? A: Bring white and team-colored (or a dark if you cannot match your team color) shirts, water, and cleats. Cleats are not strictly necessary, but you will find that having them provides a very large advantage.
Q: When should I show up? A: Generally, it is OK to show up a little early to warm up. Our field reservations start at the time listed on the website, so please stay out of the way if others are using the field before us.
Q: I have registered for a league, but I have a medical reason to stop playing this season. Can I withdraw and get a refund? A: Yes, you can withdraw from the league. If more than half of the games remain, you can get a refund of registration fee prorated for the remaining games of the season. If more than half of the games have been played when you request the withdrawal, no refund.*
Q: I did not realize at registration how often I would have conflicts with scheduled games (for work, etc.). Can I withdraw and get a refund? A: If games haven’t yet started, yes. If games have already started, no.
Q: I did not realize at registration that I would be moving away during the season. Can I withdraw and get a refund? A: Yes, you can withdraw from the league. If more than half of the games remain, you can get a refund of registration fee prorated for remaining games of the season. If more than half of the games have been played when you request the withdrawal, no refund.*
Send all additional inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Games / Events
- Q: What is the difference between co-rec and mixed? A: By default, our divisions are co-rec. We ask that during a point teams play a matching gender ratio (this is determined by the captains before the game and is often set by the gender endzone during a point). Co-rec divisions do not put any limits on registrations for each gender. In mixed divisions, teams are asked to play with at least 3 woman-matching players and at least 3 man-matching players on every point. Registration limits may be enforced for mixed divisions (see division summary and details).
Q: What factors determine game cancellations? A: Lightning, extreme heat or cold, rain such that fields may be damaged, other dangerous or negative conditions as determined by Ann Arbor Ultimate officials.
Q: How are players notified of cancellations? A: We attempt to send emails and add a notice on the Ann Arbor Ultimate homepage as soon as we can if a game is cancelled in advance. We will generally not send notification for games cancelled on the field.
Q: What do we do if we’re playing and we see lightning? A: Game play must stop and all players must take shelter for 20 minutes. If there is no more lightening sighted for a full 20 minutes, resume play.
Q: If a game gets cancelled due to weather, do I get reimbursed for that game? A: No refunds are issued for weather cancellations.
Q: What if a game gets cancelled, but I want to risk it and play, anyway? A: Ann Arbor Ultimate assumes no responsibility for continued play after an official stoppage of the game, or use of fields to play ultimate in the event of a game cancellation. Using fields after a cancellation can lead to injury, damage the fields, and/or damage to the A2U's reputation. Do not use the fields after a cancellation.
Also check out our weather page
- All pick-up players must have signed an Ann Arbor Ultimate waiver for that season/league.
- Teams can pick up players only if they have fewer than 10 registered players on the field for that game OR if the gender balance as expected for a particular division will be significantly better if the pick-up joins the game.
- Captains of both teams must come to a consensus to allow a particular individual to play and to approve the total number of pick-ups. This should be determined before the game starts, and revisited at half-time.
- Pick-up players should not play in more than half of the games of a particular league/division or otherwise abuse the welcoming of pick-ups to avoid registration.
In select divisions, Ann Arbor Ultimate Directors will help coordinate pickups to provide a more streamlined process. In these circumstances, captains can provide input about the number of pickups desired, and directors will send out a general call for pickups and assign players as deemed appropriate.
Q: I’m registered for a league, can I play in an additional division or time slot? A: Yes. You will automatically be added to our pickup listserv for a season if you are already playing in one division.
Q: I’m not registered for a league, can I play as a pick-up? A: For outdoor leagues/divisions, yes, see general info above. You can email the captains listserv asking if any teams need pickups. For indoor leagues/divisions, no. The registration fees for indoor are high enough that we consider playing as a pick-up to be unfair to the registered players.
Q: I’m a captain, and I know my team will need people for a particular upcoming game. How do I recruit pick-ups? A: First, email the league-wide email list for that season to recruit players who are already registered for that season. If no pick-ups are forthcoming, you may invite non-registered players to pick up. Please avoid recruiting “ringers” or players that could negatively affect the balance of the game or enjoyment of registered players.
Q: I am a registered player—can my friend or family member play as a pick-up on my team for a game or two? A: For outdoor leagues/divisions, sometimes; see the general information above. For indoor leagues/divisions, no. The registration fees for indoor are high enough that we consider playing as a pick-up to be unfair to registered players.
Communications / Email Lists
Q: How can I add myself to the Ann Arbor Ultimate announcements list? A: Follow the instructions on our announcements page and you will receive our next newsletter.
Q: How can I remove myself from the Ann Arbor Ultimate email list? A: We are sorry to see you go, but you can unsubscribe by sending an email to email@example.com from the address from which you would like to unsubscribe.
Q: How long do the email lists for various divisions and teams stick around? A: We clean our lists up periodically trying not to let a list stay active for more than a year. If you want to stay in contact with your team, we suggest exchanging contact info soon after the league ends.
Q: What other ways/places can I find info from Ann Arbor Ultimate? A: Our Facebook Page is a great way to keep up to date on everything A2U. There is also a Facebook Group for the community to post questions or announcements of their own. We also maintain a Twitter account if that is your preferred medium.
Q: How do I report a problem encountered at league? A: If you feel comfortable sharing the issue with one of your captains, we recommend chatting with them first, to see what they can do to help you out. Captains are your first point of contact to talk about things like playing time distribution, team strategy, and team bonding. Captains have the opportunity to report any issues or ask for input from A2U leadership in their weekly game reports. If the issue is something structural about the league or feedback you want to give to your captain anonymously, you will have an opportunity to record these thoughts in an end of season survey. If there is a pressing issue that needs addressing (e.g. reporting unsafe behavior on the field or inappropriate actions of another player that you would like to see addressed), that either you do not want to share with your captain or think they cannot help address the issue, please contact the directors, either an individual you feel comfortable with, or our collective email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to submit information anonymously, you can do so through our grievance google form, which is regularly checked.
Q: What happens when a grievance is filed? A: All grievances are taken seriously by A2U leadership. Our priority is making A2U a safe environment for our players, and we do not tolerate violence or discrimination in the league. We operate on a reconciliation-based model, not a punishment model, so our first steps are understanding the scale and scope of the problem and talking to players involved to understand all perspectives. This may happen through individual or group conversation, and it includes asking players what they feel would be a satisfying solution to the issue at hand, as appropriate. If a grievance is submitted anonymously, we may reach out to the captains of involved players for their input. In severe circumstances of violence or upon receiving repeated complaints, a player might be asked to leave the league for the session or a longer period of time.
Last Updated: December 6th, 2020