What are the major changes to this year’s program?
The IQA celebrated its fourth birthday as a nonprofit this month, and while the sport of real-life quidditch has been around for seven years, each year has seen extraordinary growth, development and expansion. In order to keep up with the ever-shifting player demographic, the expectations of event hosts and university administrations, as well as rules and safety changes to the game itself, the membership program must adapt. You can read a review of the most recent changes here. It is for these reasons, as well, that the current Vermont-based nonprofit that is the IQA has made the difficult and exciting decision to transition to US Quidditch.
All of these changes have been discussed and debated throughout the course of the last year, with input, energy, and effort from IQA staff, outside consultants, and the members themselves. These changes will enhance the sport and encourage sustainable development in local communities and across the nation.
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What are the major changes to this year’s program? Why did you make these changes?
This season USQ is offering one type of competitive team membership. The first year of our enhanced competitive league, complete with individual memberships, has been incredibly successful. We’ve been able to provide league updates and request insight from all players, not just team captains. We’ve been able to provide for our members and protect our league in the form of insurance coverage, and we’ve obtained the funding to ensure that we have the staff and resources to continue on a sustainable growth track. Last season’s basic level team lacked accountability for insurance and risk management and did not assist in the above development, yet still received similar benefits to our individual members.
USQ still plans on supporting non-member teams by continuing to work directly with new and developing teams, and it hopes to more actively facilitate recreational quidditch and alternative events in the upcoming season.
USQ understands that attendance at a large and competitive event often ‘hooks’ new players on the sport, so this season we are excited to announce an individual trial membership. For $10, a new member may be added to a team roster for and attend one event, excluding regionals and World Cup. If a trial member wishes to continue playing after this point, the individual can then purchase a full seasonal individual membership. Individual memberships will not be pro-rated with the purchase of a trial membership.
USQ is requiring each team to designate a coach, and this coach must complete the new USQ coach certification process. Teams will be unable to participate in official games until a coach has been certified.
USQ has partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance in order to bring the tenets of positive coaching to the sport of quidditch. USQ coaches will be Double-Goal Coaches® who strive to win while also pursuing life lessons learned through the game; USQ coaches will help their peers and players become Triple-Impact Competitors® who strive to impact the sport of quidditch on three levels by improving themselves, their teammates, and the game as a whole. In addition to the above, USQ coaches will complete an USQ policy and procedure training to ensure that, as leaders of their team, they understand the processes necessary for a successful competitive season.
By partnering with PCA, USQ joins the ranks of the organization’s other national partners, which includes high school AAU, USA Rugby, US Lacrosse, USA Water Polo, and USA Gymnastics. A USQ coach certification, in conjunction with the PCA, will bring legitimacy and respect to both coaches and teams, within your school and community.
USQ is requiring head referees to be members of the league through a new referee membership. By offering a membership unique to quidditch officials, USQ hopes to create a community that fosters development, communication, and competition among these field leaders. Referee members will be protected under the USQ member accident insurance policy and the league liability policy, as well as receive complimentary access to the head referee exam.
USQ will review applications to sponsor the individual membership dues of two member teams that already have seven registered member players, for a sponsorship of $700 per team (that will pay for the individual dues of an additional 14 players). Sponsorship applications are due on September 1. Applications must include an essay with a demonstration of the team’s need and a competition plan for the upcoming season; at least one reference; and an agreement to complete one community service project during the season if chosen. Teams that have already received a sponsorship in a previous year will be ineligible to apply again. Application materials will be posted on June 1.
USQ is offering teams the opportunity to participate in a member rewards program. The USQ member rewards program incentivizes team and player participation in a variety of different projects, initiatives, and events. Various activities will earn a team points, which will be shown on a leaderboard on the website. These projects, initiatives, and events are divided into six categories in order to reflect the investment the IQA and its members have to upholding the IQA core values.
At the end of the member reward period on May 31, 2015, the team with the most number of points will win one free team membership (one team membership plus seven individual members). Teams in second through fourth place win one free team membership. All teams in fifth place or below will be entered into a lottery, where each point they have earned is one entry into the lottery. Three teams will be selected via the lottery for free QuidCon registration for one representative per team. Additional prizes may be given out throughout the year.
USQ is offering a kidditch team membership. Over the last few seasons, we’ve had a growing interest in youth quidditch from teachers and parents. These leaders want to utilize USQ resources and support in making community connections and growing a quidditch program in their area, yet their groups will not be competing at an elite, traveling tournament level. For this reason, we are offering a ‘kidditch’ team membership. For the cost of one team fee, a youth quidditch group will receive access to exclusive resources, a page on the USQ website, and one included coach membership.
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