Games to be broadcast live on ESPN3/WatchESPN
Alongside the ultimate community and various regional partners, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to welcome the 2016 USA Ultimate National Championships. The four-day event is USA Ultimate’s premier tournament and will be held at Mercyhealth SportsCore Two in Loves Park, today through Sunday.
The event features more than 1,200 athletes, 48 teams (16 men’s, 16 women’s and 16 mixed) narrowed from a field of more than 700 teams that compete in USA Ultimate’s Triple Crown Tour, a series of sanctioned tournaments throughout the summer which represents the highest and most prestigious level of competitive ultimate in North America. Please refer to the separate game times and schedule for additional information.
USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States, joins forces with RACVB and Ultimate Chicago for the event. The championships began in 1979, but this will be the first Midwest venue for the games. Most recently, the championships were held in Frisco, Texas (2013-15), and Sarasota, Florida (2000-2012). Rockford’s bid, prepared and submitted by RACVB, edged out proposals from San Diego, California, and other destinations around the country.
As part of a partnership with ESPN and USA Ultimate, matches from the semifinal and final rounds of competition at SportsCore Two will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, which brings 24/7 live programming via smartphones, tablets, Xbox One, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. According to ESPN, the combined broadcast of ESPN3/WatchESPN will reach more than 83 million households across the country. The agreement allows for highlights from the event to be featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, as well. Also on Sunday at 2:58 p.m. Chicagoland Skydiving Center will do a celebratory jump before the last championship game at Wedgbury Stadium.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to bring the USA Ultimate Championships to our community and to showcase the great facilities at SportsCore Two. Winning an event of this caliber is a testament to the hard work of the RACVB, Rockford Park District and many regional partners to make Sportscore Two and the Rockford region one of the best sports destinations in the country,” said John Groh, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau president/CEO.
Free Kids Clinics offered by Girls’ Ultimate Movement
USA Ultimate is partnering with Ultimate Chicago to host a free Girls’ Ultimate Movement (GUM) clinic for girls ages 7-18 on Saturday from 2:30-4 p.m. at SportsCore Two as part of the 2016 USA Ultimate National Championships. All levels of experience are welcome and this event is free to attend and each participant receives a free disc.
Chicago and the Midwest boast many competitive elite-level teams and will be represented at the 2016 National Championship by Chicago Machine and Madison Club in the men’s division, Madison NOISE in the mixed division and Madison Heist in the women’s division. Machine reached the semifinals at last year’s championships and enters this year’s event seeded fifth overall. Teams from Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan and Kansas will also represent the Midwest in Rockford next week.
“Ultimate Chicago is ecstatic to be part of the 2016 National Championships,” said Gail Reich, tournament director of the 2016 Championships. “We are a long-standing non-profit that provides many leagues throughout the year for both youth and adults alike. Our ultimate community will be excited to both watch and support this fantastic, high-caliber event and cheer on our local teams. We’re thrilled that fans and players of all ages and ability are within a short drive of Rockford, making these championships very accessible. We are looking forward to working with the Rockford Area CVB to make this event a success.”