USQ Update

USQ UpdateQuidditch Cup

Tournament Policy Update

In light of player and spectator feedback from USQC10, USQ is announcing some event policy changes as part of our ongoing policy review.

As we announced in February, USQ has been conducting a review of our current policies and procedures, including our gameplay policies. This review is ongoing and further policy changes will be announced before the 2017-2018 season begins. However, in light of some more urgent player, volunteer, and spectator concerns expressed after US Quidditch Cup 10, USQ would like to announce the following updates to its tournament and gameplay policies.

This is not necessarily a complete list of changes that will come about as a result of player, volunteer, and spectator feedback -- to provide more feedback regarding USQC10, we encourage you to complete our event survey.

Player Suspensions and Gameplay Volunteer Integration

While USQ does not comment on individual player suspensions, we have heard player concerns that some of the on-site suspensions instituted at USQC10 were implemented in a manner that appeared rushed and/or arbitrary. USQ takes player suspensions very seriously, as we know that players invest a great deal of passion, time, and money into our sport and we want to respect that to the greatest possible extent. When the season ends, we will continue to review and revise all our policies, including our disciplinary policies, as necessary. Policy reviews are done in conjunction with our volunteer gameplay team as well as other USQ volunteers.

USQ plans to institute the following changes to our on-site suspension policies:

  1. USQ will revise our process to emphasize even more thoroughness, particularly over expediency. Currently, USQ policy requires that at regional and national championships, event staff reach a final decision regarding a player's suspension before the next game in which the player would participate, after staff is made aware of the relevant issue. When that game occurred soon after the initial incident, it often left event staff with less time than we would have liked to make an informed, appropriate decision. The change to this policy may entail that a player who commits a disciplinary violation may play in their subsequent game, before a suspension is levied for some number of following games. We recognize that this may risk adjudicating cases unevenly (e.g. if for two identical disciplinary incidents, one player is suspended right away and one player isn’t suspended until one game later because the information regarding the second event is not as readily available), and we will still endeavor to ensure that all possible suspensions are resolved quickly, while also being as fair as possible to the affected parties.

  2. In the interest of transparency, USQ will update our Member Code of Conduct with suspension ranges for violations of each part of the code, just as we already have available for gameplay violations.

  3. USQ will make a conscious, active effort to involve the gameplay volunteer team as fully as possible in on-site suspension decisions, just as the team is already involved in disciplinary decisions for non-USQ marquee (regular season) events. This past weekend, gameplay volunteers who were playing in the tournament were not involved in various disciplinary decisions due to concerns about conflicts of interest; suspension decisions were made collaboratively by the four USQ employees after gathering information from relevant parties. Relevant parties included those who had witnessed the incident being reported (which may have been officials, team leaders, players, tournament staff, spectators, etc), certified officials, team coaches, team captains, and impacted players (however, the players in question were not consistently consulted on-site at USQC10, which we will correct in the future). However, USQ has heard that players’ preference is to allow year-round gameplay volunteers to have more of a voice in the conversation to a reasonable extent, in order to make sure that a more full discussion can be had on the relevant issues. USQ event staff may be unable to consult with gameplay volunteers in every single instance, due to concerns about timeliness or extreme conflict of interest, but we will make a concerted effort to keep our knowledgeable, dedicated gameplay volunteers a part of disciplinary conversations.

Water Quality at Events

Multiple players have brought to our attention the concerns regarding water quality at USQC10. Player safety remains the number one priority for our league. The change in water quality near the end of the event was a result of a breakdown in communication between event staff and facility staff, and USQ will be implementing multiple policies in order to prevent this issue from reoccurring in the future.

The concrete change that will be most visible to players at events will be having water in reserve at each regional and national championship, so that in the event of a water shortage or a sudden decrease in water quality, bottled water can be made available to each player. USQ will have enough bottled water available as a backup on site to provide to the initial wave of players, and will maintain backup water as necessary until the quantity and quality of water is restored to acceptable levels.

We hope that these immediate changes, as well as additional changes to be announced later after further consultation with players, spectators, and volunteers, will reassure stakeholders of USQ’s commitment to quality and transparency. Should you have any concerns or comments about the policies announced so far, or should you like to suggest further changes, feel free to contact us at:

events@usquidditch.org (with questions or comments about this season’s event or gameplay policies)

membership@usquidditch.org (with questions or comments about this year’s membership policies)

sarah.woolsey@usquidditch.org (with questions or comments about next season’s policies, or general inquiries)

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