Return to Play Guidelines for COVID-19

USQ has created return to play guidelines for COVID-19. The guidelines are requirements that apply to all of quidditch, in any state that a player, coach, staff, or volunteer resides or participates in.

USQ’s risk management team includes members of the medical community, and are vital in deciding quidditch’s current guidelines and restrictions. The members include:

  • Demetrius Collins, PT, DPT, LAT, ScD: Certified Athletic Trainer & Physical Therapist
  • Rebecca Martin, MPH: Masters in Public Health
  • Som Singh: MD Candidate
  • Shawn Zink, MSS, ATC: Certified Athletic Trainer

The full return to play guidelines can be downloaded here

Return to Play Stages

Teams may move through stages independently based on their own state’s COVID-19 case numbers. There are basic requirements and multiple baselines that must be met as a team goes through the seven stages. 

USQ staff have determined that official and sanctioned events will not take place in the 2020-21 season. 

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 8pm ET, USQ hosted a Q&A session on the new return to play guidelines. The program is available on USQ’s YouTube channel. A transcript is available here.


  • All USQ teams are required to abide by their league's return to play guidelines.
  • Any USQ team holding practices or games at a given stage must submit the checklist form. This step only needs to be undertaken once. 
  • All USQ teams must report positive cases within 7 days of a positive test result. 

MLQ and USQ Guidelines

For those participating in Major League Quidditch this summer, MLQ team and players are required to follow MLQ return to play guidelines, which are available here. With USQ’s summer updates, our guidelines differ more than that did earlier. However, we are still collaborating extensively with MLQ on return to play. Please note that players participating in MLQ activities within MLQ’s return to play guidelines will not be considered in violation of USQ’s policies, and vice versa. 


The charts below are in the full return to play guidelines, and may be downloaded as a PDF here.

Players and teams must follow USQ’s return to play guidelines in their entirety, even if they are located in a state that is relaxing safety requirements. This includes wearing a mask if required. Likewise, if a team is participating in USQ’s vaccination waiver program and the state/local area has public health guidelines that are stricter, then those take precedence. These guidelines are intended to be for anyone wishing to play quidditch in the United States, and we encourage everyone to follow them.

Baseline Conditions

To move up into stage 1 and higher, a team must meet the baseline conditions. These are based on the state a team is located in, and if applicable, the state a team is traveling to. Teams can also apply for a vaccine waiver to enter stage 3 and progress into stage 4.
If your team cannot meet the baseline conditions, they must wait a week before attempting to move up a stage again. 

Details of Each Stage



If a player on a USQ team contracts COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who tested positive, the team must inform their respective league within 7 days of the positive test result. This applies to teams having any kind of in-person events, even if it is just small indoor meetings with 10 people or less.

Besides team contact information, no other personal information is collected when reporting a positive case. League staff will then guide the team through the quarantine and isolation process detailed below, making sure that all participants in team activities who might have been exposed are informed of the situation and taking the necessary precautions.

If a player on a USQ team is exposed to someone who may have COVID-19, they must inform their team leadership immediately. The team leadership must then determine if any other players on the team may have been exposed through the original player. If there has been potential team transmission, then team leadership must report this to USQ, and everyone must follow the quarantine and isolation procedures detailed in the Return to Play Guidelines. 

USQ teams must use this form to report positive cases or possible exposure. 

Filming Sessions for MLQ Tryout Requirements

Players are permitted to attend in-person, cross-state filming sessions this spring to meet MLQ tryout requirements. These filming sessions are being conducted in a safe manner, taking place under stage 1 of the USQ return to play guidelines in regards to occupancy limits, mask requirements, social distancing, and other safety requirements. For questions about MLQ tryouts and the COVID safety standards, please contact

Team Vaccination Status

If at least 70% of an entire team or practice group is fully vaccinated, then they may apply for a waiver to go to stage 3, even if their state doesn't meet the other baseline conditions. Teams can then progress into stages 4-7.

As of June 29, 2021, the threshold to qualify for the program has changed. Instead of needing 100% of a team to be fully vaccinated, teams need to have at least 70% of their players be fully vaccinated. At events with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated, unvaccinated people would still have to wear masks and follow social distancing rules. The 70% figure was calculated by examining literature and comments from public health authorities, including John Hopkins University and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Additionally, those approved for a waiver may have indoor events in a standard facility, with the same attendee and contact limits as an enhanced facility in stages 3 and 4. The return to play guidelines PDF has more information on an enhanced vs standard indoor facility.

To apply for the waiver, a coach or manager must submit this form to USQ confirming that they have verified the vaccination status of everyone in that team or practice group. The form must be submitted at least 3 business days before the team’s in-person activity under stage 3. USQ’s member services department will review the form and email the team back stating if they have been approved or not for the vaccine waiver. 

A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been at least 2 weeks from the last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or at least 2 weeks from the first dose of a single dose vaccine like Johnson & Johnson.


USQ’s fair play policy has been amended to incorporate flouting public safety and return to play guidelines.

Intentionally flouting public safety and return to play guidelines: A person or team who is found to have played in a game, practice, or event when unsafe to due so in regards to school, local, state, or USQ/MLQ guidelines will be ineligible to compete at the next US Quidditch Cup. These consequences will be applied if a player or team practices outside of the stage that their state/province qualifies for.

To report a violation of the return to play guidelines, please fill out this form. Following receipt of the report, USQ’s gameplay team, in conjunction with the risk management team, will do a full investigation and make a determination on disciplinary action.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers general guidelines and recommendations for the public on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. They currently include:

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and exercise equipment including balls. 
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth in public settings. 
  • Stay at least 6-feet away from non-household members. 
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. 
    • Throw out the tissue and wash your hands afterward. Alternatively, you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve. 
  • Stay at home if you are sick.