Will be forced to restrict registrations and team sizes despite 50% increase in expected capacity
[lead]WFDF receives overwhelming number of bids for the 2017 World Championships of Beach Ultimate[/lead]
The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) announces that it had received requests for bids to send teams to the 2017 World Championships of Beach Ultimate (WCBU) from an unprecedented and unexpected number of countries. After working with the local event organizers, the event capacity was able to be increased to 120 teams, but WFDF will still have to restrict registrations and team sizes for the event because of absolute capacity constraints. The WCBU will be held on the beaches of Royan, France, over the week of 18-24 June 2017.
Following the last WCBU event in 2015 in Dubai – which hosted 65 National teams from 20 nations, the 2017 event was expected to see interest from 75-80 teams and 1,200 athletes. “We received bids from almost 200 teams from 47 different member national associations during the Expression of Interest period. No one anticipated that level of demand and, after consultation with the TOC and WFDF’s independent event management and consultant BULA, regrettably only 120 teams will be offered bids to participate in Royan next summer,” said WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch.
The Tournament Organising Committee (TOC) representing the French Flying Disc Federation (FFDF) is made up of 12 senior staff members, each bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team in their respective areas of expertise. They have spent the last two weeks looking at all possible ways to meet the new demands with specific attention on the venue, transport, accommodations, security, first aid, communications, and tourism. Working within the constraints of the facilities available both at the venue and within the small seaside town, and keeping within the limitations imposed by local and regional authorities, the TOC was able to increase their hosting ability quite substantially but nowhere near enough to meet the full demand. Event Director Amandine Constant stated “The FFDF initially bid to host the event with services offered for around 1,200 athletes. We worked very hard in a short time to increase our capacity by 50%, and we look forward to hosting the event with the same level of professionalism, quality, and security as was promised during our bid phase, without compromise.”
The decision to limit bids for team registrations has meant that there are 33 national associations who have been affected and have some teams not able to attend. “The TOC looked at many ways to increase capacity and include more teams and players within the constraints mentioned” stated Patrick van der Valk, BULA President. “In the end it was simply not possible. We fell victim to our own success. I truly feel horrible for all the players and teams affected. This is the first time we faced this situation and hopefully it will be the last time. WFDF will look at the possibility to split out the masters’ divisions for future Beach Ultimate events, opening up the ability for maximum participation across all divisions.”
Essential to keeping within the event participant restrictions imposed by the local authorities, all teams will be capped at a maximum of 16 people (15 players and 1 non-playing team member). This team size cap, which was endorsed by the WFDF Athletes Commission and the WFDF Beach Ultimate Committee, has allowed us to ensure all countries had the opportunity to register a team for WCBU 2017.
We understand that there have been some questions about the delayed communication regarding team bids and team size restrictions, but we trust that all interested parties will understand that TOC, WFDF, and BULA acted immediately upon receiving the late surge of expressions of interest coming in just before the deadline. It has taken some time to work with the TOC to investigate all possible avenues to enable more teams and players to participate.
For all teams and athletes, the official channel for all communication should be through their National Association Beach Ultimate Representative. All official bids have now been confirmed and team fee invoices sent.