The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) announced today that, after taking into consideration the high number of late team withdrawals and significantly reduced income collected from teams and players registered to participate at World Beach Ultimate Championships (WBUC), WFDF and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have determined that the event planned for April has too few teams to be viable and therefore has been canceled.
WFDF understands that this will be disappointing news for the teams and players who still were planning to participate at WBUC in 11 weeks’ time in Huntington Beach, California. LOC California Ultimate Association, led by Grant Boyd, has been preparing and planning since submitting their bid to host this Beach Championship back in 2019. The event was originally due to take place last November but was postponed due to the pandemic. This news is especially disappointing to them.
“We regret having to take this extraordinary decision, but the event was originally planned to host upwards of 100 National Beach Ultimate teams across the various divisions,” stated WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “The uncertainty of travel restrictions and lack of training abilities for a lot of teams due to the ongoing pandemic has seen the numbers dwindle over the past few months. To all the teams that have been training for this competition, it was important for the LOC and WFDF to be able to present you with a world-class event that was value for money and one that offered a competitive schedule worthy of the sacrifices each player made through training and investments.
Unfortunately, many of the WBUC divisions dropped this week to levels that were no longer playable and the lack of critical mass significantly impacted the financial viability of the event.” With regard to the team fees and player fees that have already been paid, WFDF has instructed the LOC to work with vendors and suppliers to claim back prepaid amounts that might be recoverable. After a full financial reconciliation in the coming weeks, WFDF will work to reimburse teams and players as much as possible. This amount will be at least 100% full reimbursement for all players fees paid and a very high percentage of the team fees back to all teams that had previously committed.
The event is canceled outright and will not be postponed until later this year. LOC Tournament Director Grant Boyd reflected on this decision: “After two years of intense effort to win the bid and bring to fruition California’s first World Beach Ultimate Championships, today WFDF and California Ultimate have made the heartrending decision to cancel the 2022 event. To say we are devastated is an understatement. To all of the players, Local Organizing Committee members, stakeholders, and national organizers who have been working tirelessly thank you. And to all of those giddy with anticipation for one of the most spirited and action-packed World Championships to usher our community out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we sympathize with your sense of loss and disappointment. We hold our heads up high knowing the effort and joy that was put into this event, and we pledge to bring this event back to California when the global landscape is right. While WBUC won’t be making waves this April, California Ultimate will be refocusing on developing youth programs and alternative competition structures in the greater LA area and across the state — always seeking to keep Ultimate growing.”
WFDF continues to plan and prepare for other major events scheduled to take place in the months of June, July, and August throughout Europe and the USA. WFDF’s other Ultimate World Championships, WJUC, WMUCC and WUCC, IWGA’s World Games and WFDF’s Disc Golf, and Overall tournaments are still in the planning and WFDF remains confident that they will be able to proceed without problems. WMUCC has a massive 117 teams who have paid their team fees and remain committed to moving forward with the event to be hosted in June in Ireland. WUCC is still at full capacity of 128 teams also having paid their team fees and are committed to attending and, with three months in the registration period still to go, WTDGC to be hosted in Croatia has 23 teams already signed up and could reach up to a possible 30, a huge increase from the 2016 inaugural event that hosted 6 teams.