USA Touch Open Nationals Update
TEMPE, Ariz – We are excited to announce details for the 2021 USA Touch Nationals to be held in Austin, Texas from November 11 – 13 at Hun’s Field. After a challenging year in 2020 where we weren’t able to get any official USA Touch events off the ground, we are excited to stage this event in Texas. We last held the USA Touch Nationals in Texas in 2008 and are very pleased to take the event back to the Lone Star State.
This year’s event brings difficult challenges, and USA Touch has had to make tough decisions about how to run this event in COVID-19 times. We have made the decision to limit the number of teams that can participate in this event. The numbers that we will accept will be as follows:
Men’s Open – 10 total teams
Women’s Open – 6 total teams
Mixed Open – 6 total teams
To give as many clubs the opportunity to be at this event, each club will be restricted to entering one (1) team in each division, with a maximum of two (2) total teams in the event. Any team who misses the deadlines for registration will be added to a waiting list on a first paid, first served basis. As is required by tournament rules, a player may only play for one (1) team for the duration of any USA Touch tournament.
To register for the event, each team/club will be under the following entry requirements:
September 15th – registration links will be opened for each division at the following times:
9:00am Pacific time – Men’s Open
10:00am Pacific time – Women’s Open
11:00am Pacific time – Mixed Open
Each team will need to be part of a registered USA Touch club and only two (2) teams will be accepted for each club
Each team will require a $600 nonrefundable deposit (tournament entry will be a total of $1600) to secure their spot on the team roster. This deposit is payable at time of registration on or after September 15th
Registration is a first paid, first entered basis – teams that miss the deadline will be added into a ‘waiting list’ for any division they register for
Once our teams are confirmed and registration is validated by club, we will have the following guidelines:
October 15th – complete payment will be due by 6:00pm Pacific time to finalize your team’s entry into the event. Any team that does not meet the deadline will be removed from the event and a waiting list team will be offered the spot depending on the waiting list order
Any team who misses this deadline will forfeit their $600 deposit
Each team will be required to provide a full-time USA Touch Level 2 referee or equivalent to enter the tournament. We understand that this is a big ask for each team to get a person to Level 2. We also believe this is a great opportunity to drive a sustainable and world-class referee program within the US, which will in turn, drive the growth of the sport here as well. We have the following events to allow clubs to push to get their designated referee to the appropriate level:
Each referee should take the USA Touch Introductory Course that is provided online on the USA Touch website as a requirement for all referees regardless of their current level. This course covers the main rules for the FIT 5th Edition Rules that this event will be played under
Once this course has been completed, we have held 3 in-person courses at the various USA Touch ID Camps this summer in Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco that have given participants the ability to complete the Level 1 certification. The following events are still open to give people the ability to advance their qualifications and be in the best possible situation to add value to the National event
Austin USA Touch ID Camp – the referee classroom portion of this event will be held on the 11th of September and the on-field evaluation will be part of the ID Camp on the 12th of September
San Diego Invitational – there will not be a classroom portion at this event on September 25th. Jay Alston will be in attendance to assist with referee coaching and help people move as far along the pathway as possible
USA Touch Junior Nationals – this event will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on the 8th and 9th of October. There will be a classroom session available in the early evening of the 7th of October and referees will be evaluated throughout this tournament to improve the quality of referee skills
October 22nd - each team’s referee will need to be named to tournament officials and registered with USA Touch
Any team that attends the event without their full-time referee in attendance will be ineligible to play in the event
The ability to have our entire membership focus on referee development is much needed at our current level of experience. As mentioned above, our growth in experience and skill as players will only grow in response to that of our referees moving forward
Final announcements and draw details will be available by November 1st. To meet this deadline, we will require the following:
October 29th – final team rosters will need to be submitted to tournament control by 6:00pm Pacific time – each player will need to be verified as a registered member of USA Touch at this date also. To give tournament control the appropriate time to validate all registered members on a team roster, anyone who is added to a roster after this date will have a $35 fee levied per player
Each team will require a minimum roster size of 12 and a maximum of 16 at this date
As we operate in unprecedented times, we believe it is important to have protocols that make players feel safe to compete and provide everyone with the ability to protect themselves as they see fit. We as an organization must also protect ourselves from liability should something happen beyond our control. We want to be clear about what to expect at the tournament so that should individuals feel they need to take further precautions, they may do so. As a policy, the 2021 USA Touch Nationals will operate under the following guidelines:
Each participant will be required to show a valid completed vaccination card or show a negative COVID test within a 72 hour window of the start of the tournament. Please note that the 72 hours are required for the start of the tournament and not travel to Austin.
Each team will be required to gather this information for their teams and produce a signed waiver for their teams and for each player individually – this information will be collected at tournament check-in
Any player who does not produce a waiver will not be eligible to participate in the tournament
Please do not attend if you are sick or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 without the appropriate measures being taken to show that you are not positive with COVID-19
Players are not required to wear masks at the tournament. We encourage everyone to have a conversation within your teams to come up with practices that your team is comfortable with so you can protect yourselves and set expectations accordingly.
Sanitizer will be made available at the tournament as well as hand washing in the restrooms. We encourage all players to continue to take all the personal sanitizing measures recommended by the CDC.
We intend to run the event under the circumstances we are currently faced with. Each State, County and City have their own requirements for what can happen. Although we intend to run this event, the situation might arise where the City of Austin or local governments will not allow an event to run. We cannot control that and each player and club will participate at their own risk. USA Touch will only refund tournament entry fees if the event is cancelled for any reason. Personal expenses are at the risk of each player and club.
Thank you everyone for your patience and we look forward to hopefully coming together in November!