MUFA Rulebook 2021

Summary of Changes from 2019 Version:
  • Updated “Ringer” definition to explicitly list North American professional ultimate leagues and include international professional leagues (e.g. Australia) in the definition of professional
  • Updated the version of the USA Ultimate rules that the league will be played in alignment with, from 11th Edition to the 2020-2021 Official Rules of Ultimate, unless specified in the MUFA Rulebook
  • Due to COVID-19 pandemic, increased the number of players available for subs to apply (e.g. the 2019 rules required rosters to be much smaller; in the spirit of preventing injuries and allowing people to gradually return to play in 2021, the minimums that a team must hit in order to get subs without opponent approval increased across all league formats)
  • Reiterated existing policy that a sub is someone who is registered, paid, and on the roster in the current MUFA league (e.g., only someone paid for Fall League 2021 can sub during Fall League 2021).
  • Playoff sub rules are broken out for each league, not just summer league. The policies about playoff subs have not changed. Although playoff subs do require permission of opposing teams, we do ask that opposing teams do not force teams to play with an unsafe number of players, and exercise flexibility in allowing subs to play as we return to the fields in 2021.
  • Time out length was explicitly capped at 2 minutes per time out.
  • Time out use in Hard Cap was clarified. They were not allowed in 2019, and are still not allowed in 2021. Language was added to explicitly prohibit the use of time outs in Hard Cap.
  • A recommendation for Soft Cap was included. It is not a requirement, but recommended that teams playing on fields with a game afterwards consider implementing a Soft Cap.
  • Hard Cap rules did not substantively change, but were divided into separate rules and sub-rules. Additional clarifying language on Hard Cap added, but not intended to change how they are implemented during leagues.
  • Rule 5.6 added to explain the gender-matching ratio rule in effect for Summer League. See the accompanying Gender Ratio signaling guide and work with your team to switch from language that potentially misgenders players. https://mufa.org/uploads/1/GenderRatioSignaling.pdf
  •  New Forfeit Policy added to the rules.

  

Definitions:

"MUFA Player" is defined as a person who is registered, paid, and on a roster for the current MUFA league (e.g., only someone paid for Fall League 2021 can sub during Fall League 2021).

"Ringer" is defined as a person who is under the age of 35 as of January 1 of the current year and has played at the USA Ultimate college or club national championships or played on a professional roster (AUDL, PUL, WUL, MLU or international professional leagues). You are considered a Ringer if you are currently on a professional roster regardless of your age.

*All rules apply to all leagues except where noted.

 
Section 0. General MUFA Rules

0.1   USA Ultimate 2020-2021 Official Rules of Ultimate apply except where USA Ultimate rules conflict with this rulebook. In those cases, this rulebook applies.

0.2   Captain's Clause: Any rule can be modified with the consent of both captains, except rule 1.1 and rules 4.1 – 4.4. These rules always apply.

 

Section 1.0.  Player Eligibility

1.1   Under no circumstances may a person participate in a MUFA league game if that person is not a MUFA Player. Any team allowing an individual who is not a MUFA Player to play on their team can be forfeited from the game and/or removed from the league. This rule overrides 1.2 and all rules in Section 2.0.

1.2   Any MUFA Player can play for any roster (e.g. a “substitute” or “sub”) with the permission of the opponent's captain. This rule overrides the rules in Section 2.0.

1.3   Official Subs (Summer League, regular season only) – Each team is allowed 2 permanent “Official Subs” on their roster that can be used anytime the team has fewer than 7 gender-matching players available. These subs must be listed on their rosters as subs. Official Subs must sign up for a team roster as an Official Sub. Teams must inform the opposing captain(s) of their use of any Official Subs; however, the opposing captain(s) has no say on the eligibility of an official sub.

1.4   Ringer Limits (Summer League only) –

1.4.1   TR Swiss: Maximum of 3 Ringers of each gender-matching player on the roster, 2 of each gender-matching preference on the field at one time (i.e. no more than 3 male-matching and 3 female-matching players on the Roster and no more than 2 male-matching or 2 female-matching players on the field at the same time

1.4.2   MW Swiss: Maximum of 2 ringers of each gender-matching player on the roster, 2 of each gender-matching preference on the field at one time (i.e. no more than 2 male-matching and 2 female-matching players on the Roster and no more than 2 male-matching or 2 female-matching players on the field at the same time)

 
Section 2.0. Substitution Rules

2.1   Open and Female-matching leagues

2.1.1   Regular Season: Team captains may recruit MUFA Players to play in place of missing players until there are 10 people on the team. Permission from the opposing captain(s) is NOT required.

The sub must be of equal or lesser rating than the person they are subbing for, and self-identify as the appropriate gender-match (e.g. male-matching or female-matching). The sub must also be of equal or lesser ability, regardless of the sub's rating, i.e. it is against the rules to substitute a stronger player for a weaker one, no matter what the ratings of the two people are.

2.1.2   Playoff Games: Subs must meet the same skill-requirements and gender-matching requirements detailed in 2.1.1., however, any subs used in the playoffs must have the other captain's permission.

2.2   Summer league

2.2.1   Summer League Regular Season. Official Subs (see 1.3) are allowed to play for the team they are registered as an Official Sub without the permission of the opposing captain, so long as there are fewer than 7 gender-matching players available.

Players who are not denoted as Official Subs are allowed, but require permission of the opposing captain(s); if the opposing team captain(s) allow subs to play, the must be MUFA Players.

2.2.2   Summer League Playoffs: Any subs used in the playoffs must have the other captain's permission.

2.3   Mixed Hat leagues

2.3.1   Regular Season: Team captains may recruit MUFA Players to play in place of missing players until there are two subs of each gender-matching preference (e.g. in a 4 male-matching/3 female-matching league, 6 male-matching and 5 female-matching total on a team for that game). Permission of the opposing team captain(s) is NOT required.

The sub must be of equal or lesser rating than the person they are subbing for, and of the appropriate gender-matching preference. The sub must also be of equal or lesser ability, regardless of the sub's rating i.e. it is against the rules to substitute a stronger player for a weaker one, no matter what the ratings of the two people are.

2.3.2   Playoff Games: Subs must meet the same skill-requirements and gender-matching requirements detailed in 2.3.1., however, any subs used in the playoffs must have the other captain's permission.

 
Section 3.0. Time Caps and Time Outs

Time Outs

3.1   Each time out lasts 2 minutes. The offense should be set and ready to check the disc with the defense by the end of 2 minutes.

3.2   Each team gets 1 time out per half.

3.3   Time outs are not allowed during Hard Cap. Time outs called when the Hard Cap is in effect are considered turnovers.

Point Caps

3.4   One team wins when they reach 13 points, win by 2, unless a Soft or Hard Cap is in effect (see rules 3.5 and 3.6-3.9 for Soft and Hard Caps, respectively).

Time Caps

3.5   There is no official Soft Cap. Captains may agree to one if they wish prior to the start of the game (recommendation would be to set a Soft Cap at 75 minutes after the start of the game when a second game is scheduled at the same field). At a set time period (recommended 75 minutes), add 2 points to which ever team has more and cap the game at that point value (e.g. if the game is 8-10, the teams would play to 10 + 2 points, or 12 points. The winner would not have to win-by-two in this situation).

3.6   The Hard Cap goes into effect at 85 minutes after the scheduled start time (e.g. if the game starts at 6:00 pm, Hard Cap goes into effect at 7:25 pm).

3.7   Hard Cap – at 85 minutes, one point is added to the higher score. Whichever team reaches that score first wins. If at 85 minutes one team leads by more than 2 points, the game is over.

3.8   The game is over at 90 minutes past the scheduled start time of the game. If the game is mid-point and/or a tie, the game shall stop at 90 minutes. There are no exceptions to this rule if another game is scheduled at your field.

3.8.1   If there is no game scheduled afterwards and Hard Cap is in effect, in the event of a tie, captains may agree to extend the hard time cap to finish the game/play one more point.

3.9   If a team refuses to end a game after Rules 3.7 and/or 3.8. is in effect and claims a forfeit, the other team can appeal this claim to the league administrator.

 
Section 4.0 Fields and Field Conditions

4.1   Absolutely no playing during lightning.

4.2   The game is cancelled if there is standing water on the fields or if the grass pulls out easily (city rules)

4.3   If a team refuses to end a game due to rules 4.1 or 4.2 and claims a forfeit, the other team can appeal this claim to the league administrator.

4.4   Lights - The team that wins the late (or only) game on a given field is responsible for turning off the lights. Failure to do so will result in a retroactive forfeit of the game. Rule 4.4 only applies to leagues that use fields with manual light controls.

4.5   A regulation ultimate field is 70 yards long with 20 yard long end zones (total of 110 yards) and 40 yards wide.

4.6   Cones - The team listed higher in the standings is responsible for bringing cones.

4.7   Colors – Whenever team colors conflict or are not assigned, the team higher in the standings wears white and the team lower in the standings wears dark.

 
Section 5.0. Gameplay Rules

5.1   Player control - it is the responsibility of every player to play under control. If a player cannot make a play without causing contact, EVEN IF THE PLAYER HITS THE DISC FIRST, then the play is not allowed and is considered a foul.

A player can be removed from a game or the league for dangerous play. Contact does not need to be made for an action to be considered dangerous. Note that this is a MUFA-specific rule and may differ from the current version of the USA Ultimate Rules.

5.2   Fouls – a foul does not need to be intentional to be a foul (e.g. intent to make or avoid contact with another player does not prevent a foul from occurring)

5.3   Line calls – whether or not a catch was made "in vs. out of bounds" or "in or out of the end zone" is determined by the player on the field with the best perspective. Note that this is often NOT the player who made the catch. Also, this rule may differ from the current version of the USA Ultimate Rules.

5.4   Brick – if a pull goes out the back or side of the end zone without touching the ground or a player, the receiving teams gets a “Brick.” This means that the player on the receiving team who is going to start the offense will bring the disc to the center (width-wise) of the field, 15 yards from the front of the receiving end zone.

5.5   Catch a disc in the end zone:

5.5.1   On a pull: catcher must take the disc where they catch it.

5.5.2   In own end zone while playing defense (e.g. playing defense while opponent is very close to scoring, a defensive player intercepts/catches the disc), the catching player may take the disc to the front end zone line and check it in. Player may instead establish a pivot and throw from where they caught it.

5.6   Summer League matching rules:

5.6.1   At the start of the game, an additional disc flip happens with the winner selecting the gender-matching ratio for first point. For the second and third points, the ratio must be the reverse of the first point, and alternates every two points through the end of the game. Half time has no impact on the pattern (e.g. “WFDF Ratio Rule A” or the “prescribed ratio” rule).

5.6.2   Teams shall conform with alternating gender-matching ratios, where it is required that each team have at least 4 male-matching players and 4 female-matching players to participate fully. A team cannot have more than 1 difference of male-matching to female-matching players on the field at any time (e.g. If a team only has 3 female-matching players available for a game, they are not allowed to play 5 male-matching/2 female-matching on the field at any time. This team would have to play 3/3 or 3/2, if they did not want to play every single point).

5.6.3   Teams are encouraged to signal the ratio at the start of each point (see the attached signal diagram).

5.6.4   Teams are encouraged to signal to teammates to ask for additional gender-matching teammates (see attached signal diagram).

 
Section 6.0. Complaints Procedure

MUFA is a private organization and as such, it can bar individuals or teams from participation in any of its events. MUFA’s complaint procedure is outlined in detail on the website.

Please report any problematic individuals or groups.

 
Section 7.0. Forfeit Policy

Background

When a team must forfeit a game due to not having enough players this creates a negative league experience for the other team, who was prepared and expecting to play a league game in accordance with the typical league schedule.

Every effort should be made by teams to avoid forfeits, and a forfeit should only be used as a last resort. Options for avoiding forfeits include finding other MUFA players who are registered in a league in the current season (i.e., are registered for Summer League) and contacting the captain of the other team early to discuss captains' modifications in order to play the game.

Please note that modifications should not include changing the gender-ratio for the game (i.e., no asking to play 5 male-matching-preference and 2 female-matching-preference), but may include loaning of players to the other team or playing with fewer than 7 players on the field..The other team is not required to accept your proposed modifications, and a team not accepting your proposed modifications is not a valid reason for a forfeit.

Definitions

"Advance Notification” An email sent to all opposing captains and cc'd to [email protected] by 4 pm on the day before game day.

“Sufficient Notification” An email sent to all opposing captains and cc'd to [email protected] by 4 pm on the game day.

“Default” A team "defaults" when they show up to a game with fewer than 3 MMP and 3 FMP without Sufficient Notification.

“Forfeit” A team "forfeits" when they cannot bring at least 3 MMP and 3 FMP but they do provide Sufficient Notification.

Forfeits

1.   Teams are allowed one Forfeit per season without penalty.

2.   Teams are allowed one additional Forfeit without penalty with Advance Notification

3.   3+ forfeits may be reviewed by the MUFA board and may result in removal from the next week's games, or removal from the league. Documented attempts to find subs to meet roster requirements, consistent Advance Notification, and recruitment of additional players will be taken into consideration during a review.

Defaults

1.   First offense: the team is not included in the next week's games.

2.   Second offense: the team is not included in the next weeks' games and will not be included in the playoffs. The team can apply to be reinstated for the playoffs if they do not forfeit any more games, but will not be automatically included.

3.   Third offense: the team will be reviewed by the MUFA board and may be removed from the league. Future MUFA participation may also be reviewed.

Standing Rules regarding Attendance

1.   A team may play with a minimum of 3 MMP and 3 FMP from their own roster or official sub list without forfeiting the game. The team must play down a player on the points when they cannot meet the gender match requirement.

2.   A team may play with fewer than 3 MMP and/or 3 FMP from their own roster or official sub list without forfeiting, but ONLY with the explicit consent of the opposing captain.

3.   Lending an opposing team a player does not automatically imply a forfeit.

4.   Teams that regularly show up with fewer than 4 MMP and 4 FMP will be reviewed by the MUFA Board and may be removed from the league.

5.   Teams that consistently ask opponents for rule modifications to accommodate their own lack of players can be reviewed by the MUFA Board and potentially removed.

6.   If both teams have fewer than 3 MMP and 3 FMP, the game is canceled by default. Captains may agree to play and record the result as a valid game.

7.   Captains from both teams may jointly agree to cancel any game.

8.   Teams can document their efforts to find subs or other good-faith attempts to meet roster requirements by cc'ing [email protected] on correspondence.