We all know the dogs just want to play frisbee, and the details regarding rules and formats are quite far beneath them. So this message is for the people lucky enough to throw the frisbees for our Canine Overlords.The UFO is preparing for the 2016 season, and we have some big changes to announce.

So here's the first one: Beginning in 2016, at UFO Majors, handlers will be allowed to play with more than 4 dogs, as long as ALL of the dogs belong to the handler. (There are no UFO-imposed limits at Locals, but your Local event organizer may have rules about this).There is no limit to the number of dogs a handler may enter, provided every dog authentically belongs to the handler.If a handler plays with another person's dog (a "borrowed dog"), then the 4 dog limit will be enforced.All dogs entered must play in the same division (Open, Intermediate or Novice/Beginner).We know that this rule does not affect too many handlers, but we bet there might be a few that appreciate it.

Second Big Change: This might be a new beginning for some, but it is definitely the end of an era for many. But we think that this is a positive change for the UFO.The UFO is changing the manner by which the World Cup Champion is determined. Beginning in 2016, the winners of the UFO Final Event will be the World Cup Champions.Qualifying for the final will still require 85 World Cup points, and those points will be earned in the same way as before, a team's best 2 Majors and best 2 locals. Once a team has a minimum of 85 World Cup points, they are qualified for the World Cup Final overall.At the final, no more World Cup Points will be awarded. The winner of the World Cup Final will become the new World Cup Champion.In recognition of its history as a purely points-race style title, the UFO will award a special prize to the team earning the most World Cup points going into the final. This is no longer a championship, but it is worthy of special recognition.There it is. The UFO Title has been decided purely by World Cup points since 2001. So this is a massive change for us. We hope it is a positive one that helps us to keep growing the World Cup Series!

And the third BIG CHANGE: The UFO is introducing a new feature to the World Cup: The Galactic Ranking of Interstellar Disc Dog Distance, hereby known as The GRIDDD. This is a new ranking system for Throw & Catch teams. Points will be earned in every local and major UFO event, including European, North American and World Cup Finals.The concept will be very simple: the points you earn on the field in T&C are added to your lifetime total. If you and your dog get 7 points in one round at a UFO event, you have earned 7 points towards your GRIDDD rank. Your place does not matter-your points earned on the field add on to your total, no matter your finish that day. This new aspect of the UFO event will be in effect for each round, at every Major and Local. There is no limit to the number of events you can enter per season, however, normal event entry rules will apply. So no, you and your dog cannot enter T&C 6 times at the same competition.It should be pointed out that points are earned for each distinct dog/handler team. You cannot earn points for one team with another dog.At the end of the season, after the World Cup Final, a special recognition of the team earning the most points for the season (The highest GRIDDD Rank) will be made. This does NOT replace the UFO World Cup Throw & Catch Championship, which is determined at the final.But the story does not stop at the end of the season. A team's GRIDDD scores will be tracked for lifetime points earned as well. When a team achieves certain points goals, this will earn the team a special award for clearing that milestone.The GRIDDD points tracking will begin in January 2016, and no prior events will be added to a team's total. Yes, we considered it. However, since nobody knew points would be used like this, it means it is simply not fair to retroactively apply points.Event hosts will not need to do anything new or different-the scores earned on the field, reported back to the UFO, are all we need to track a team's GRIDDD rank.Even though last years points were earned without the GRIDDD in place, we thought you all might like to see what is possible in 1 season. Here's a link to a page that shows the points accumulated in 2015 for every team that entered a UFO event: UFO hopes everyone has fun with this new element!

- The UFO