WFDF renews agreement with BULA on Beach Ultimate governance for 2016-2019

In Official Communication, Press Release * Official Communication by WFDF

The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) is pleased to announce that it has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BULA Ltd (BULA) on the governance of the Flying Disc sport of Beach Ultimate.  WFDF and BULA had signed an initial MOU in 2011 and this agreement extends the working arrangement for four years through 2019.

BULA is a beach sports and lifestyle organization whose mission is to help organizers and players further develop the sport and the Spirit of Beach Ultimate worldwide. BULA (formerly known as Beach Ultimate Lovers Association) had been operated largely as a not-for-profit organization through mid-2014 and the relationship under the previous Memorandum of Understanding between WFDF and BULA had been based on that principal. In mid-2015 BULA formally notified WFDF of a change in its legal status to a for-profit commercial organization.

Notwithstanding the change in BULA’s legal status, both WFDF and BULA wish to continue their working arrangement for the benefit of the Beach Ultimate Community, and therefore established this MOU, with certain adjustments from the previous agreement.  Key elements of the new MOU include that: (1) WFDF shall recognize BULA as its “Official Beach Ultimate & Beach Lifestyle Partner;” (2) WFDF shall host Beach Ultimate Events going forward “in association with BULA” over the period covered under the term of this MOU; and (3) the primary role of BULA partnering with WFDF is to act as an independent event management and promotion consultant offering its services to WFDF and the Event Tournament Organizing Committees (TOCs) in order to support successful events.  

“WFDF is excited to continue our constructive and successful relationship with BULA,” commented WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch.  “Beach Ultimate has become one of the fastest growing disciplines in global disc sports, and we acknowledge the commitment and efforts that Patrick and BULA made to grow and nurture the sport and develop ways to showcase it. Our latest World Championship of Beach Ultimate in Dubai earlier this year is an example of the great relationship we have and we both intend to continue to build on this success.”

Patrick van der Valk, BULA President and chair of the WFDF Beach Ultimate Committee stated “BULA is proud to have started the World Championship of Beach Ultimate in 2004 and, after successful growth, to now hand over the overall responsibility and bid selection to WFDF who can take Beach Ultimate to the next level, in particular when it comes to Multi Sport events like the ANOC World Beach Games.  BULA will continue to help WFDF manage the World and Continental Championships and assist local Tournament Organizing Committees as before. I am looking forward to BULA acting as WFDF’s official Beach Ultimate and beach lifestyle partner. We share with WFDF the desire to grow the sport and keep a strong focus on the Spirit of the Game.”

The MOU is in force immediately and is in effect through 31 December 2019.  It outlines and regulates key areas of the WFDF relationship with BULA on the governance of Beach Ultimate as a Flying Disc sport, event management, the commitment to Beach Ultimate development, and the provisions for the WFDF Beach Ultimate Committee.  

Patrick van der Valk, while serving as the President of BULA, will continue to serve as Beach Ultimate Chair and a director of WFDF, roles among others of which he is expected to maintain. Another BULA officer Pedro Vargas is also a member of the Ultimate Events Sub-committee. In order to mitigate any potential conflicts of interest (as defined by WFDF’s Conflict of Interest Policy and its Ethics Committee), these roles must be seen and remain as separate responsibilities and any conflicts of interest shall be brought to the immediate attention of the WFDF President and the Beach Ultimate Committee and/or WFDF’s Ethics Commission.  In order to ensure that any conflict of interest is mitigated, a deputy chair of the Beach Ultimate Committee has been chosen who does not have any commercial ties to BULA (Jose Pires, a committee member from France, has been appointed), and any committee member with commercial ties to BULA will recuse themselves from commercial decisions involving BULA.

In addition, WFDF’s existing National Members with oversight for Ultimate will continue to remain the representatives for Beach Ultimate in their respective countries, and the WFDF Beach Ultimate Committee members will now be required to be endorsed by their respective National Governing Bodies.  Finally, BULA has formally withdrawn as a Provisional Member of WFDF due to its new status.  “Both WFDF and BULA worked thoughtfully to find the appropriate way for BULA to continue to support the growth of the sport and the organization of world class Beach Ultimate events alongside WFDF,” added Rauch. He concluded by saying “that the new MOU and contract template are designed to identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest that might arise given BULA’s revised corporate form so that we can continue to benefit from its experience and expertise.”