USQ Update

MembershipUSQ Update

Strategic Plan Update: Feedback Period Open for College/Community Split

All USQ members are invited to give their feedback on the college/community split proposal by filling out a survey. The survey is open until Sunday, June 5 at 11:59pm EST.

The college/community split survey is open now to all USQ members. It closes Sunday, June 5 at 11:59pm EST. Please note that responses are not anonymous. Names are required to ensure members do not fill out the survey twice. Answers to demographic questions will be used to help interpret the results of the survey. Individual survey results will kept confidential.

Background

Last July, USQ released our strategic plan. One of the year one outcomes was to “develop a plan to create separate college and community competitive divisions.” This outcome was a result of feedback we received during the strategic plan process in the 2014-15 season. Focus groups and feedback surveys collected information from the player community about the future structure of the league.

The Process

As part of the strategic plan implementation process, USQ staff has been working since last summer to develop develop parameters that must be met in order for the league to be split into two divisions. We held meetings across all USQ departments. These meetings were very broad, asking questions about a potential timeline, eligibility requirements, how an additional competitive event might fit into the split, and more.

When he was hired in January, Membership Director Eric Schnier started working with staff in their normal team meetings as well as working with volunteers directly to build the framework for separate divisions within the league. USQ volunteers have already completed a survey similar in format to this one. Their input helped to shape the proposal below, which has been incorporated into the college/community split survey.

The Proposal

Please note that this is an initial outline of what the college/community split could look like. It is deliberately limited in detail and scope in order to provide a broad outline of context for the feedback survey.

In the 2016-17 season, college teams must be entirely composed of current undergraduate or graduate students from the same college in order to compete in the college division. All players competing on a college team must provide current proof of enrollment from their school. College and community teams will compete in the same division.

In the 2017-18 or 2018-19 season, teams will separate into college and community divisions. The timeline is based on several factors, including the quantity, density, and development of community teams. We are also looking at specifics on how USQ events will change with the separate divisions.

Why create separate college and community competitive divisions?

We want to create an environment where teams are on a more level playing field. Many community teams are made up of alumni from college teams. As quidditch is not as common as other sports in the high school level, college freshman playing on a college team who haven’t ever played the sport before are facing veteran players who have been playing the sport for four, five, six, or more years. This disparity in skill, age, and experience puts many college teams at a disadvantage.

More and more quidditch teams at universities and colleges around the country are rising in status, becoming student organizations or club sports. With these developments may also come additional school policies that they must adhere to. For example, a common policy for many college club sports teams or other university student groups is that they are not permitted to play non-collegiate teams.

Creating separate college and community divisions also encourages growth in community teams. Other amateur sports leagues, like USA Ultimate, have found great success in developing programs for those out of college. Encouraging growth in post-college areas is in line with our vision statement: “we envision a future where every person in the United States is aware of quidditch as a sport and has opportunities to play and engage at all levels.”

Why not division 1 and division 2 first?

After getting feedback from focus groups and the survey last summer, it is clear that separating into college and community divisions is the best move for our organization at this time. Division 1 and division 2 does not address the talent disparity between new collegiate quidditch players and veteran community players, nor does it make it easier on college teams who face restrictions on who they are allowed to compete against. Both models for the split would encourage new team growth. However, the college/community model is a more efficient solution to our most pressing needs.

Next Steps

The college/community split survey is open to members until Sunday June 5 at 11:59pm EST. Following the open feedback period, USQ staff will analyze the survey results and determine what in the proposal needs to be changed. Final information that affects eligibility next season will be released in mid to late June.

If you have questions about the survey, please contact Eric Schnier at membership@usquidditch.org. We encourage all members to participate in the feedback process!

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