The 2021 version of this rule required that if a team had a player or players changed in handicap at any time from the draw through the team’s last game in an Event, and it made the team’s handicap more than two goals over the upper limit of the Event, the team could not continue and had to conform itself to the original Event handicap limits. This resulted in real or perceived pressure on the USPA Handicap Committee to not re-handicap players who are playing above their ratings on an emergency basis for fear of being blamed for “blowing up” the team.
The 2022 revisions to this rule allow the rostered team at the time of the draw to continue to play together for an entire Event or League it has entered, or for a Series of Events it has entered, even if rostered players are raised in handicap during the Event, League or Series of Events. That team need not reform; instead, it must give the difference in team handicaps to its opponents. The rule also allows the rostered team to be different from the team on the entry form if the team captain elects to declare before the first game in the Event, League or Series of Events that the team on the field for that game is the rostered team. The rule does not protect substitutes; it only protects the rostered team. Read the revised rule carefully and keep it in mind when you choose your rostered team.
*Changes are designated with bold type*
RULE 1- TEAMS
- There shall be four players on each team to start every game, subject only to the provisions of Rule 1.d below. Each team shall designate one player as its Captain, who shall have the sole right to represent the team and to discuss with the Umpires(s) procedural matters arising during the game. Other players on either team may request a time out from the Umpires(s) when allowed elsewhere in these rules or the Tournament Conditions. (See Rule 21.d, f, g; Tournament Conditions, Section VIII (“Instant Replay”).)
- The aggregate handicap of a team must, at the time of the draw, fall within the limits specified for each Event. No team whose handicap is higher or lower than the specified limits shall be permitted to participate, except as provided in Rule 1.c and 3.c. For the purposes of these Rules, an “event” or “Event” is a USPA Event or a Club Event as those terms are defined in Part I of the Tournament Conditions, and the terms “League” or “Series of Events” have the same meaning as they do in Part I of the Tournament Conditions.
- If a teams has entered an Event, League, or Series of Events and has a rostered player or rostered players changed in handicap at any time from the draw through the team’s last game in the Event, League, or Series of Events resulting in the team’s total handicap being over or under the handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events, the rostered team will remain eligible for that Event, League or Series of Events but must play with the new handicap in all remaining games. A “rostered player” is a player who is listed as one of the top four team members on the team’s roster when the team enters an Event, League, or Series of Events (i.e., is a member of the “rostered team”). If a team plays its first game in an Event, League, or Series of Events with one or more players who are not listed as one of the top four team members on the team’s roster at the time of entry, the rostered team will be the team described above, unless the team’s Captain notifies the USPA Tournament Manager or Tournament Coordinator before the first game begins that the players in its first game should be treated as “rostered players” for purposes of this rule. All other players will be treated as substitutes. This rule shall apply on a “single Event-by-single Event” basis to any team that enters one or more but not all Events in a Series of Events.
- Any substitution of players on such a team must bring the team’s handicap within the handicap limits of the Event, League, or Series of Events.
- In an Event, League, or Series of Events played on the flat, any such team having a new total handicap over the handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events must give an opponent the goal difference of the team handicap over the upper handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events or the opponent’s team handicap, if that team handicap is also over the handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events.
- In a handicap Event, League, or Series of Events, any such team having a new total handicap over the handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events must give an opponent the full handicap difference. In a handicap Event, League, or Series of Events, any such team having a new total handicap under the handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events shall receive from an opponent the full handicap difference.
- If a team has entered an Event, League, or Series of Events and has a substitute player or substitute players changed in handicap at any time from the draw through the team’s last game in the Event, League, or Series of Events resulting in the team’s total handicap being over or under the handicap limit of the Event, League, or Series of Events, the team may not continue with that substitute or those substitutes and must conform itself to the original handicap limits of the Event, League, or Series of Events.
- In the event one or more players are not available to start a game, and no eligible substitute is available, the team may play up to half the game with less than the full team provided the aggregate team handicap on the field meets the upper and lower handicap requirements of the Event. The team handicap may be altered when the team is changed.
- The Umpire(s) may impose an appropriate penalty and assess a yellow card to the unprepared players(s) if a team is not mounted, on the field and prepared to begin the game, including (if possible) in the manner described by Rule 1.d above, at the designated starting game time set by the Host Tournament Committee. If a team is not mounted, on the field and prepared to begin the game, including (if possible) in the manner described by Rule 1.d above, within 15 minutes after the designated starting game time set by the Host Tournament Committee, the Umpire(s) shall declare a forfeit. Disciplinary sanctions as set forth in Rule 33 may be imposed by the Host Tournament Committee and/or the Association.
- American Rule: Each team in a USPA Event shall, excluding the sponsor, have a minimum of one Registered Player Member as defined in the Association’s Constitution and By-Laws, regardless of handicap level. An Affiliate Player Member with Canadian citizenship and a USPA handicap shall be considered a Registered Player Member for the purposes of this rule only.
1. TEAMS a…INTERPRETATION: The Captain is the representative of the team and it is through the Captain that the Umpire communicates with members of a team. The Captain’s right to discuss does not include a right to debate or question judgment calls of officials. The Captain may point out what he believes to be a procedural error; or request definition of a call or decision if the Umpire failed to announce the call properly, but may not become argumentative or prolong the discussion. The discussion is over when the Umpire says it is over and prolongation may invoke a penalty.
1. TEAMS a…EXAMPLES: Blue #2 loses a stirrup. When play stops, he calls for time to replace the equipment. This is permitted under Rule 21.g even though Blue #2 is not the Captain.
Red #3, a Captain, rides to the Umpire when a foul is called and questions the severity of the penalty awarded. This is questioning a judgment call and not permitted. The whistle sounds and a foul has been called and, as Red #3 rides to hit the penalty he passes the Umpire and says “That was a good call, Blue #1 has been doing that all day.” This type of working the Umpire” is not permitted.
The whistle sounds against Red #1. Red #3 calls loudly to his teammate, “Good play. There was no foul and that is a terrible call.” This conversation is not permitted as it is an attempt to influence the Umpire.
The whistle sounds against Blue #4 who then asks Blue #3 what he did wrong. Blue #3 replies, “That was a tough break, but lineup and let’s play.” This is advice to a teammate. This is not a challenge to the Umpire’s judgment, and is permitted.
The Umpire announces a Penalty 3 against Blue and drops the ball on the 60-yard line. Red Captain points out the error and requests repositioning on the 40-yard line. This is permitted as it concerns a procedural error and does not question a judgment call.
1. TEAMS b…EXAMPLE: The Red Team would like to enter an 8-12 goal tournament, but only has a 7 goal team available for their first game. Team Red offers to *assume” 8 goals. This is not permitted. Team Red must meet the minimum handicap level of 8.
1. TEAMS c…EXAMPLES: After its first game in an 8-12 goal league, Red has a player re-handicapped bringing the team total to 13 goals. Red may complete the league at 13 goals, but must give an additional handicap goal to any opponent.
Team Blue has several players re-handicapped in mid-year resulting in the teambeing 3 goals over the event limit. Three goals are too many, so the team must be rebuilt.
Team Red is completing an 8 goal event with a 9 goal team. Red’s 0 goal sponsor is injured in a fall and leaves the game. Any substitute, or combination of substitutes, may total 9 goals as Team Red has already given up the handicap goal at the beginning of the game. In any subsequent game of this event, either Team Red’s O goal sponsor returns to play or the team must substitute him with a -1 goal player to qualify for the tournament conditions.
In a series of 12-16 goal tournaments, Team Blue is re-handicapped to 17 goals. The Team may finish the event in progress, but must reorganize before the next draw.
1. TEAMS d. EXAMPLES: Team Red is entered in a 4-8 goal tournament. At game time, Red’s 2 goal player is not at the field. Team Red may start the game as a 6 goal team. If the player turns up, making Team Red 8 goals, the scoreboard should be changed to reflect the higher handicap.
Team Blue’s 5 goal player is late for a 16-20 goal game. As only 15 goals are available to take the field, Team Blue must forfeit the game.
Team Red enters a 6 goal tournament with two 2-goalery, a 3-goaler, and a -1 goaler. The -1 is not at the field at game time and the other 3 players want to play the game. Not permitted. Team Red is a 7 goal team without the -1 goal and must forfeit the game.
1. TEAMS e…INTERPRETATION: Any change in schedule is to be made by the Committee before the scheduled time. Once the scheduled time arrives, the Umpire is in charge and the game should start promptly.
1. TEAMS e…EXAMPLE: The Red sponsor calls 15 minutes before game time saying he is delayed in traffic and asks to delay the game 30 minutes. The request to delay the game 30 minutes must be directed to the Host Tournament Committee and it must be made before game time.
1. TEAMS f…INTERPRETATIONS: The definition of ” sponsor” refers to the individual responsible for the team. The designation of the team sponsor” is left to the Host Tournament Committee and all such designations should be made before the start of the event. A team sponsored by a player who is considered a Registered Player Member for purposes of Rule 1f must have at least one additional player who is considered a Registered Player Member for purposes of Rule 1.f.
A team sponsored by an Affiliate Member must have at least one player who is considered a Registered Player Member for purposes of Rule 1.f. It is the team’s burden to convince the Host Tournament Committee that the individual designated as a “sponsor” is responsible for the team and meets the commonly accepted definition of “sponsor”.
In the event of multiple sponsors, one shall be designated as the “primary sponsor” and there shall be at least one additional player on the team who is considered a Registered Player Member for purposes of Rule 1.f.
Should a team be supported by a non-playing “sponsor”, one player shall be designated as the “sponsor” and there must be at least one additional player on the team who is considered a Registered Player Member for purposes of Rule 1.f.