League Formats & Structure

League Formats

League Structure


League Formats

7-on-7

This is traditional ultimate played on a field 100 m long and 37 m wide with 7 players a side. Read the Rules of Ultimate for more info.

5-on-5

A popular variation on traditional ultimate played on a field 64 m long and 23 m wide with 5 players a side. The game is fast-paced and allows for substitutions on the fly. For more details, read the VUL Rules.

Standard League

Our most common league type. Almost all registration is done on a team-basis, where most players register as a Team with their friends.

If you don't have a team, you can still register as an Individual (or with 1-2 friends), and we will do our best to place you on a team with other individuals. Many of the teams we've formed over ther years have continued to play together. However, we cannot guarantee a spot with this approach, as it depends on the number of people who register and the available space in the league, so we recommend you try to find a team first, if possible.

Hat League

Our "mixer" leagues. All players register as an individual or with 1-2 friends, and the VUL forms all of the teams. The traditional way of doing this is drawing names from hats, but we take a more systematic approach and form balanced teams to help ensure even games. These leagues are a great way to meet new people.

Turf fields

We use "turf" to mean synthetic turf fields. All of the turf fields we use are "field turf" (not astroturf), and cleats or running shoes are fine. Play on synthetic turf fields will go ahead rain or shine, but will be cancelled if there's snow or ice. All turf fields also have lights, which means we can play into the evening in the fall & winter months.

League Structure

Timeslots

All leagues have one or more timeslots. A timeslot is a day and time when games occur (e.g. Monday evening, Saturday AM, Sunday PM). When you register, you will select the timeslot when you wish to play. Teams play in the same timeslot all season. 

Divisions

At the start of the season, teams are placed into divisions with other teams of similar skill and experience. Division sizes range from 6 to 10 teams depending on the league.

  • In the Summer, there are 6-8 divisions on each night, so there is a wide variety of competition.
  • In other leagues, there are anywhere from 1-5 divisions in each timeslot, depending on the league.

A team's starting division (seeding) is based on information provided during registration, other teams' requests, and last year's results. Divisions in Summer League can be roughly described as follows:

Division Description
1 Very experienced players (5+ years) and very competitive play
2-3 Experienced players (typically 3+ years) and competitive play
4-5 Players with some experience and a mix of competitive & recreational play
6-8 Players with some or no experience and/or a focus on recreational play

Semesters

Games are scheduled over 3-4 week periods called semesters. In one semester, teams play all other teams in their division. There are 2 games on most weeks ("double-header"), and one game on some weeks ("single-header").

At the end of each semester, teams are removed between divisions (re-seeded) to provide for balanced games over the course of the season. Usually a few teams move up a division and a few teams move down, but teams may move more than 1 division if necessary. 

Playoffs

Playoffs last 1-3 weeks depending on the league.

  • In Summer League, most teams have 3 weeks of playoffs with one game per night. The exception is 10-team divisions who have 2 weeks of playoffs and usually 2 games per night. 
  • The playoff format for other leagues varies depending on the number of divisions & teams.

For a typical schedule, view the playoff brackets we use. Note the start times are just examples.

Holidays

Games are not scheduled on most holidays and holiday weekends. 

However, games are scheduled on a few holidays: Family Day, Victoria Day, and Canada Day. Games are scheduled on those days to avoid complications with scheduling and because the majority of teams want the opportunity to play. If necessary, a team can contact their opponent to cancel on those nights. 

 

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