Return to Play Guidelines for COVID-19

USQ and Major League Quidditch (MLQ) are collaborating on 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

Effective Monday, October 5, 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. MLQ official events may begin at a later date in 2021. 

On Wednesday, October 7 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.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

  • All USQ and MLQ 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. 

SUMMARY OF STAGES

To move up into stage 1 and higher, a team must meet the baseline conditions. Teams can also apply for a vaccine waiver to enter stage 3 and progress into stage 4.

STAGE

SUMMARY

Stage 0 No in-person events or activities
Stage 1 Non-contact, exclusively outdoor practices with 10 people or less.

An indoor facility may be used with 10 people or less if it has high ceilings and significant air circulation from the outside.

  • Baseline conditions: no positive cases of COVID from players in the previous 14 days
Stage 2 Non-contact, exclusively outdoor practices with 25 people or less. An indoor facility may be used with 25 people or less if it has high ceilings and significant air circulation from the outside.

Indoor meetings with 10 or less vaccinated people allowed without safety restrictions; indoor meetings with 10 or more unvaccinated people, or in a mixed group of vaccinated and unvaccinated allowed with safety restrictions and abiding by restrictions on seating capacity imposed by the facility.

  • Baseline conditions: 14 days in Stage 1 with no positive cases from players
Baseline Conditions - Required to move up into and through stages 3-4
  • 50 in 100,000 positive cases over a 14 day period in the state/province where the team is located and where they are traveling to
  • 7 days with a less than a 50% increase in positive cases in the state/province where the team is located and where they are traveling to
  • 14 days in the previous stage with no positive cases from players
Stage 3 Full-contact, exclusively outdoor practices with 25 people or less. An indoor facility may be used with 25 people or less if it has high ceilings and significant air circulation from the outside.  

Indoor meetings with 10 or less vaccinated people allowed without safety restrictions; indoor meetings with 10 or more unvaccinated people, or in a mixed group of vaccinated and unvaccinated allowed with safety restrictions and abiding by restrictions on seating capacity imposed by the facility.
Stage 4 Full-contact, exclusively outdoor inter-state play with no more than 2 teams or 50 people; no spectators. An indoor facility may be used with 25 people or less if it has high ceilings and significant air circulation from the outside.

Indoor meetings with 10 or less vaccinated people allowed without safety restrictions; indoor meetings with 10 or more unvaccinated people, or in a mixed group of vaccinated and unvaccinated allowed with safety restrictions and abiding by restrictions on seating capacity imposed by the facility. 
Baseline Conditions - Required to move up into and through stages 5-7 
  • 20 in 100,000 positive cases over a 14 day period in the state/province where the team is located and where they are traveling to
  • 7 days with a less than a 50% increase in positive cases in the state/province where the team is located and where they are traveling to
  • 14 days in the previous stage with no positive cases from players and other attendees
Stage 5 Full-contact, outdoor inter-state play; non-contact, indoor practices with 10 people or less; and spectators allowed for outdoor activities only. An indoor facility may be used with 25 people or less for full-contact inter-state play if it has high ceilings and significant air circulation from the outside. 

Indoor meetings with 10 or less vaccinated people allowed without safety restrictions; indoor meetings with 10 or more unvaccinated people, or in a mixed group of vaccinated and unvaccinated allowed with safety restrictions and abiding by restrictions on seating capacity imposed by the facility.
Stage 6 Full-contact, outdoor inter-region play; full-contact, indoor practices with 25 people or less; and spectators allowed for outdoor activities only. 

Indoor meetings with 10 or less vaccinated people allowed without safety restrictions; indoor meetings with 10 or more unvaccinated people, or in a mixed group of vaccinated and unvaccinated allowed with safety restrictions and abiding by restrictions on seating capacity imposed by the facility.
Stage 7 Full contact, outdoor nationwide play; full-contact, indoor practices with 25 people or less; and spectators allowed for outdoor activities only.

Indoor meetings with 10 or less vaccinated people allowed without safety restrictions; indoor meetings with 10 or more unvaccinated people, or in a mixed group of vaccinated and unvaccinated allowed with safety restrictions and abiding by restrictions on seating capacity imposed by the facility.
 

If your team cannot meet the baseline conditions, they must wait a week before attempting to move up a stage again. 

As a reminder, these guidelines are requirements that apply to all of quidditch in any state that a player, coach, staff, or volunteer resides or participates in. If state, local, and/or university restrictions are more restrictive than our current stage and corresponding guidelines, the state, local, and university restrictions will take precedence. If a team is located in a state that is relaxing safety requirements, they must still follow these return to play guidelines in their entirety.

POSITIVE CASES OF COVID-19

If a player on a USQ or MLQ 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 or MLQ 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 covid19@mlquidditch.com.

Team Vaccination Status

If 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 stage 4, but no further than that yet with a vaccine waiver.

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.

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 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.

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:

  • 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.

QUESTIONS

USQ:

MLQ: