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
Under the new three stage system, teams will have the option of going independently through stages 1 and 2. Teams may skip stage 1 if they participate in the vaccine waiver program. However, teams may only be in stage 3, where official and sanctioned events are allowed, if they have met additional requirements.
- All USQ teams are required to abide by the return to play guidelines.
- Any USQ team holding practices or games at a given stage must first submit the checklist form. This step only needs to be undertaken once.
- To hold full-contact practices or scrimmages, a team must either meet baseline conditions in their state or participate in the vaccine waiver program, which requires that 70% of a team’s roster be fully vaccinated.
- Until October 22, 70% of a team's roster can be fully or partially vaccinated.
- All participants of official and sanctioned events must be fully vaccinated or approved for a medical or religious exemption. Those with an exemption must submit proof of a negative COVID PCR test to USQ before every event they attend.
- Until October 22, partially vaccinated people may take part in official and sanctioned events by applying for a temporary waiver.
- 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, MLQ team and players are required to follow MLQ return to play guidelines, which are available here. With USQ’s different updates, our guidelines differ more than that did previously. 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.
SUMMARY OF STAGES
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 can include wearing a mask, providing proof of vaccination status, etc. if required. Likewise, if a team is participating in USQ’s vaccine 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, even if your team is not affiliated with USQ.
Tournament directors may set additional safety guidelines but they may not be less strict than these return to play policies.
To move up into stage 2, a team must meet the baseline conditions or apply for a vaccine waiver. The baseline conditions are based on the state a team is located in, and if applicable, the state a team is traveling to. To move into stage 3, teams must comply with additional vaccination requirements.
Details of Each Stage
POSITIVE CASES OF COVID-19
If a player on a USQ team contracts COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who tested positive, the team must inform USQ 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.
Team Vaccination Status for Stage 2
If at least 70% of an entire team or practice group is fully or partially vaccinated, then they may apply for a waiver to go to stage 2, even if their state doesn't meet the other baseline conditions. Note that after October 22, the waiver program will go back to requiring 70% of a team being fully vaccinated.
Teams need to have at least 70% of their players be fully or partially 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. 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 2. 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. A person is considered partially vaccinated if it has been at least 2 weeks from the first dose of the Pfizer or Modern vaccine.
VACCINATION REQUIREMENT FOR STAGE 3
To participate in an official or sanctioned event, all participants must be fully vaccinated unless they have an approved exemption, in which case they have to show proof of a negative COVID PCR test taken no earlier than 72 hours in advance of the event. Exemptions will be allowed for medical or religious reasons. Until October 22, partially vaccinated individuals may get a waiver to participate in activites under stage 3 provided they also submit a negative COVID PCR test prior to the event (same timeline as those approved for an exemption).
These standards will apply to all official and sanctioned events (USQ hosted and non-USQ hosted) and to anyone involved in any capacity with executing them. This means that players, coaches, additional team staff, event volunteers, referees, snitches, medical staff, tournament directors, etc. must all be fully vaccinated (or partially vaccinated and approved for a temporary waiver). Note that spectators are not required to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID PCR test at this time, but will be required to wear masks.
CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES
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 face disciplinary sanctions.
Individuals found to be lying about their vaccination status or a COVID test result will be subject to a minimum suspension of 3 years.
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.
COVID-19 GENERAL GUIDELINES
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:
- Conduct routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and equipment.
- Further sanitization procedures, such as frequent hand washing, can be found here.
- Wear masks correctly and consistently when required
- Practice physical distancing when engaging in off-field activities.
- Cover coughs and sneezes and wash hands.
- Stay home if you are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, and to get tested for COVID-19.
- If you are not not fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.