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Tips and help for tournament organizers

2011-2012 LeagueVine tips for tournament directors:

BULA tips for tournament directors:

  1. Legal paperwork other Beach Ultimate tournament directors had to go through

  2. How to obtain lines for fields

  3. Buy BULA discs at distributor price. No minimum!

  4. What rules to use

  5. Tournament scheduling software

  6. How to promote your tournament

  7. General organizing tips

  8. Accommodations

  9. Financial tips

  10. Music suggestions

  11. Where to buy cones, discs, t-shirts etc...

  12. Spirit of the Game rating system

  13. BULA Assistance

  14. Other good resources
1. Legal paperwork other tournament directors had to go through

The following is a synopsis of the information sent to BULA by various tournament organizers:

Canada Estonia Latvia Mexico Portugal
South Africa Spain Switzerland Trinidad UK USA


From: Donnie McPhee, Parlee Beach Tournament, New Brunswick, Canada.

The tournament organizers contacted the Provincial park sports coordinator at Parlee Beach and asked if the park was interested in a small project that might someday bring allot of national publicity to the Park. By keeping the park staff involved every step of the way they never needed permits. According to Donnie, the key has been to grow slowly and to keep the staff and the park informed. They have tons of local support and claim it is the easiest tournament you could ever run.

From: Steve Ott, Brittania Beach Tournament, Ottawa, Canada.

In Ottawa they needed to book the beach as a sporting event from the municipal council. The City of Ottawa charged them C$40. The Council wanted a contact and the organizers had to provide a diagram of the beach, the number of fields, and the area they would use as the Council did not want the tournament to take up more than 50% of the useable beach area. Lastly the organizers had to provide a CAN$ 1,000,000 liability insurance waiver which cost them a couple of hundred $ Canadian.


From: Raul Mägedik, Pärnu hat tournament, Pärnu, Estonia.

The organizers needed 2 permits: 1) a permit from the local city government's sport office that no other sport event would be at the same time at same place, and 2) a permit from the local police department to organize public event in the city. Raul's advice is that you start at the city government, they know exactly what permits you must have and what you need to organize public sport event in the city. The last important point Raul made was that in order for players from Russia and Ukraine to obtain visas they must receive invitations in a specific format format dictated by the local Estonian embassies. Since a personal invitation is not accepted, Raul worked with an official organization to get these visas approved.


From: Aiga Grasmane, Jurmalas Bite, Riga, Latvia.

After consultation with the local government it was agreed upon that no permits were needed. However it limited them to using fields just outside the popular places.


From: Fernando Najera, Fiesta en Pie de la Cuesta, Acapulco, Mexico.

No permits were required since the field are in an isolated area away from the big hotels.


From: Sofia de Campos Pereira, Bar de Peixe hat tournament, Aldeia de Meco, Portugal.

The organization needed approval from the City Counsellor of the Câmara Municipal of Sesimbra. The cost to pay the Maritime police for 'protection' was variable and cost as little at 3 Euros one year and as much as 1000 Euros the year after.

South Africa

From: Matthew Shaer, UVUYO, Cape Town, South Africa.

The permit to use the beach is obtained at City of Cape Town Parks and Bathing Services at a cost of $700 per day.


From: Valerio Iani, Dr.SAND & Mr.GRASS, Tenerife, Spain.

The permits were obtained at the sport and coastal department of Santa Cruz.

From: Sarah Gilbert, Porró Open, Barcelona, Spain.

In Spain the public beaches are run by the Coastal Department (Departamento de Costas). They concede or deny coastal "beach use" permit for events held throughout the year. One year we applied directly for this permit from the Coastal Department for 300.000 ptas (1.860 euros). The following years we petitioned the Town Hall of Castelldefels to include us in their event calendar for the year which they then submit to the Coastal Department, which made it free.

From: Ulf, Copa Pescadisco, Mallorca, Spain.

Beach use permits were obtained from the government of the city and the government of the State. Furthermore they had to agree that the tournament had no political background, that 2 hospitals would be informed of possible injuries, and that a first aid car must be available within 10 minutes.


From: Flo, MagicMaggia, Maggia Valley, Switzerland.

A permit needed to be obtained at the community as well as the "canton".


From: Ozzie Patton, Trinidad & Tobago Carnival, Trinidad.

Beach space permit from the tourist industry government group, TIDCO are required as well as possible security permits from the same organization.


From: Dave, C.U.B.E., Aberdeen, UK.

Since Balmedie Beach is a scottish park/reserve... therefore they had to go through the Park Rangers. However, contact with an official from Aberdeen City Council helped progress things. All they needed was an e-mail from them confirming acceptance of the tournament. Although the need for permits has not yet arisen, as the tournament grows this might change.


From: Tim Finan, Battle on the Beach and Singer Island, Florida, USA.

The first place to contact is the Parks & Recreation Department to find out who to contact and what to do to secure a permit. Many times you will need to pay a filing fee for the permit and issue an insurance policy naming the city as additionally insured. Some parks (beaches) will charge a fee for the use of the space. For Tim's tournaments he needed to secure a permit through the city, pay a usage fee and provide insurance.

From: Ed Pulkinen, Memorial Hat and Beach Tournament, Savanna GA, USA.

They got a permit from the City of Tybee Island as well as a permit from the department of Natural Resources.

From: Mike Adlis, Wildwood, Wildwood NJ, USA.

The organization is able to obtain our permits to play by going to city hall and seeing if the dates we are requesting are available. The following permits are requested: Event permit to play beach ultimate, vehicle permits to drive supplies onto the beach, alcohol permit to drink beer on the beach, vending permits to be able to sell merchandise.

From: Jet Quenemoen, Sandblast, Chicago Il, USA.

The permits were received from the chicago park district and cost 1250$/day. However, since they used the UPA, they received 'non-profit' status and got half off. As well, the UPA provided the insurance that the park district needed.

From: Tim Herbert, DA BUT, Annapolis, MD, USA.

A detailed event permit request with tournament details, including date, number of people, space requirements, etc. was submitted to Sandy Point State Park. The more professional and detailed the letter, the better the chances of obtaining a sizable section of the beach and be allowed to have 2 supply vehicles right next to the beach. The cost was only $25 since the Park makes their money from the entrance fee - each individual entering Sandy Point must pay a $4 fee on weekends.

2. How to obtain lines for fields

The easiest way to get fields is to go to They can get you great fields for 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 Beach Ultimate.

However, if for some reason you want to make your own fields, this is what you need and how you do it:
  • 5 x 100m rolls (500m total) of poly-propylene strap (non-elastic!)
  • 28 metal rings (see picture)
    Metal ring
  • A hole punch and fitting tool for the rings. Otherwise a quality sewing machine (with large needles), or find a friendly shoemaker ;-)
  • Optional: 16 Mountain climbing hooks (carabinas).
The Process
  • Cut 1 roll in to 4 equal parts (=25m each). These are the endzone lines. (To measure large distances you could use the athletics track)
  • Cut, or fold and sew, 4 rolls to make 4 L-shaped lines of 75m x 25m.
  • Attach rings to each corner, at each end of the lines, and at 15m (endzone) from end of the 75m length.
  • Connect the lines using the carabinas, or a piece of rope, or other methods.
5-on-5 field

What is the difference for lines for 4-on-4 field?
  • The assembly is the same, just the measurements of the lines have to be adjusted accordingly:
5-on-5 field

How much would this cost?

The cost is liable to change according to which country you are in, but these are some average prices: lines (500m) =150 euro, rings (28) = 20 euros, shackles (12) = 25 euros. Total = 195 euros for 2 fields

How much time will it take?

The best example we have of the construction process shows that it took 6 hours (4 people) to make the lines. Putting in the rings = 1 hour (2 people), by shoemaker with a pressure machine (like stapler), not sewn! If sewn = 1 hour (2 people), with a good sewing machine with quite a big needle. It is hard work! Some of the BULA people spoke to a local sail maker and after describing the layout and a simple sketch, he constructed the lines in under one week.

How long will the fields last?

Fields in Barcelona have survived 5 seasons without maintenance.

3. Buy BULA discs at distributor price

Bula discsGenerate some additional revenue for your tournament by selling BULA discs. Through our partnership with Jump+Reach, you can purchase BULA discs at highly discounted distributor prices with no minimum order. Contact Heiko Kissling at and let him know you got this from our website.

Options are:
  1. White disc with blue and yellow logo and text
  2. Sparkling blue disc with silver and yellow logo and text
  3. Sparkling blue disc with black and yellow logo and text
4. What rules to use
BULA supports 2 sets of rules:
  1. 4-on-4 Beach Ultimate, where the field is shorter (but not narrower), where an endzone-to-endzone pass is worth 2 point, and were the stall count is to 6.
  2. 5-on-5 Beach Ultimate, which is more like classic grass Ultimate.
Which one do you want to play? Try both and let us know what you think. We'd love to hear about improvements for the game.

Fun/Alternative rules:
  • HACK rule: A score is worth 2 points if everyone during that offensive play touches the disc at least once. As not to make the game go too fast, an additional rule can be enforced: whenever a HACK point is scored, the points the game is played to goes up by one. So a game that's 2-2 played to 11 would become 4-2 played to 12. (Suggestion by: Melle Clark, USA)
5. Tournament scheduling software

Creating schedules so that every team is happy can be a nightmare... However, there are several packages on the market that can help you with this. None of them are perfect, but they can help you a lot. Check them out:
  1. Australian Flying Disc Association Tournament Formats
  2. Matchmaker Software
  3. Team Sports Scheduling System v3.0
  4. Google Directory of League Management Software
  5. UPA schedule example
6. How to promote your tournament
  • Since a large part of the Ultimate community is online, this would be the first place to start. Many European Ultimate players subscribe to Eurodisc where as in North America the Newsgroup is very popular.
  • Just send us an email with information about your tournament, and we will send it to the subscribers of the BULA Beach Ultimate News. Players from all over the world sign up to be one of the first ones to receive information about new Beach Ultimate tournaments.
  • Giving out flyers at local nightlife scene.
7. General organizing tips
  • Plan 4-6 months beforehand so you are in control and get the date that you want. Make sure the basic necessities (permits, accommodation, field, food, first aid, party) are taken care of. Get in touch with all parties such as, local police, beach services, parks personnel and local businesses.
  • Make sure there is enough drinking water close by.
  • Set up additional activities such as golf course in the dunes, volleyball net for disc tennis, and a flubber guts competition.
  • Make the tournament also fun for non-playing friends/family/kids as well as spectators.
  • Cheap, or free alcohol is always a good idea, but make sure this is allowed.
  • Make sure that medical services such as the red cross or local hospitals can quickly be available in case of accidents.
  • Make sure ice is available for injuries.
  • A tournament shuttle bus can be a good idea.
  • 2 way radios are a good way to keep the organization running smoothly
  • Giving automatic entry (NOT fee waiver) to teams/individuals that won the Spirit of the Game award and/or the team that won the tournament will help keeping the Spirit and a high level of play in the following years.
8. Accommodations
  • Sometimes cheap housing might be found in local schools, gymnasia, or campsites.
  • When getting hotels, assign the rooms a week in advance and fax the hotel the list of people, in their room groups. The hotels then have something solid to look at and plan around and you come out looking more professional. Of course, you do have to deal with the occasional cancellation or room change...
9. Financial tips
  • Minimize the risk of loosing money and have teams pay in advance.
  • Make sure you take into account that bank might charge transfer fees to the recipient of the money.
  • Check out how Paypal can facilitate payment for you.
  • Giving a donation to local charity creates goodwill and is just a nice thing to do.
10. Music
  • Youth Centres could lend the PA equipment for free (make sure you don't need a sound permit)
  • Michele Mengucci is always ready to play for Ultimate crowds (like he did in Portugal, Italy, Spain, etc..)
11. Where to buy discs, cones, videos, t-shirts etc...

13. BULA Assistance

If after reading his you still have questions, and need help with your tournament, contact Patrick van der Valk

14. Other good resources