Stay and Play
The USQ Stay and Play policy applies to all USQ run tournaments, including regional championships, circuit events, and US Quidditch Cup. For the 2020-21 season, the policy has been updated for regional championships and circuit events.
Regional Championships and Circuit Events
The policy for these specific events states that in order to participate in a particular event all teams are required to stay within the designated city or county. Teams are responsible for booking their own accommodations. USQ will provide a list of hotels and special USQ rates that teams are welcome to stay in, but are not required to. Links to these hotels’ reservation system will be provided here.
Each team attending a regional championship and circuit event will be required to report their accommodations to USQ prior to the event start date. Dates can be found on the USQ website here.
Teams can report their accommodations on the form here.
US Quidditch Cup 14
The policy states that in order to participate in US Quidditch Cup all teams are required to book hotel rooms in one of several tournament-approved hotels through US Quidditch’s booking process. Links to each hotel’s reservation system will be posted in January 2021 on the USQ Cup website. Hotel rooms will be available on a first come first served basis.
EXEMPTION FROM STAY AND PLAY
The only exception to this policy is for teams who are located within 100 miles driving distance of the tournament site address, using the shortest driving distance as reported by Google Maps. The goal of the exemption is to accommodate local teams who could safely drive home and spend the night at their place of residence before, during, and/or after a USQ run event.
Collegiate teams must use their school’s address as their location.
For club teams, they must demonstrate that a majority (half plus one, rounding down) of their roster (those who are registered adult players) lives within 100 miles driving distance of the tournament site address.
Apply for Stay and play exemption
Teams must fill out this form no later than 5 weeks before their regional championship, circuit events, or US Quidditch Cup to be considered for an exemption (4 weeks for the Northeast events). The specific deadlines are in the sidebar of this page. USQ events staff will then contact applicants via email and either issue an official approval, provisional approval (subject to the roster review detailed below), request more information, or deny the exemption application.
Collegiate teams will be asked to provide their school’s address, and a link to a page on the school’s website that verifies the address.
Club teams will be asked to provide a list of players who reside within 100 miles driving distance of the tournament site address. They do not need to provide players’ addresses. Trial members do not count, only fully registered adult players. Players should ensure that their current address is up to date in the website, as that is how USQ staff will be verifying information submitted by club teams. USQ will then review the club team’s entire roster (the full team roster, not just those on the event roster) as it stands 4 weeks before the regional championship, circuit event, or US Quidditch Cup to confirm that the majority (half plus one, rounding down) of the team’s players reside within 100 miles of the tournament.
If a team has their exemption revoked, they will be required to book approved hotel accommodations by the registration deadline in order to be eligible to compete in that tournament.
WHY IS USQ USING A STAY AND PLAY POLICY?
A Stay and Play policy is among the most effective tools we have to ensure overall event quality. One of the main reasons cities bid on sporting events like ours is because of the positive economic impact they have on their area. A big driver of economic impact is hotel nights. By having a Stay and Play policy, USQ is able to guarantee host cities that our events will have a tangible effect on local businesses within their service area. It encourages greater city support of our events in terms of both amenities and financial contribution. This commitment of room blocks also increases the number of potential hosts that are likely to submit bids. Lastly, a Stay to Play policy leads to lowers rates for teams on hotel packages.
For the continuation of our regional championship, circuit event, and US Quidditch Cup programs, it is crucial that we have a Stay and Play policy to continue to receive quality bids for these events.
HOW DOES STAY AND PLAY HELP MY TEAM?
Benefits for teams from implementing Stay and Play include:
LOW GROUP ROOM RATES
Stay and Play leverage allows us to negotiate collectively lower room rates for our blocks. Without Stay and Play, a considerable number of hotels in the best locations would be available only at higher rates. With a fixed commitment to purchasing room blocks, our hotel partners are able to offer rooms for lower rates than if we had to reserve rooms on a team by team basis. Moreover, we often get perks that typically come with higher rates on the hotel’s public website or other booking sites, such as the same rate no matter how many people are in the room, the ability to refund your reservation up to 24-48 hours before the check-in date, free breakfast, free wifi, etc.
MORE ROOMS CLOSER TO THE TOURNAMENT LOCATION
Hotels that are familiar with Stay and Play policies know that their block will fill up and are willing to work with USQ to allocate rooms. This, in turn, produces more rooms closer to the tournament location and more rooms at a wider variety of hotels and price points.
USQ will have staff available on-site throughout check-in and will be available via phone for the entire duration of the event. The involvement of USQ staff means that teams will have points of contact who can assist in resolving issues that may arise regarding transportation, check-in, or hotel service. USQ also has relationships with the area tourism bureaus as well as each individual hotel, which further enhances the customer service experience for teams and players.
STAY AND PLAY FAQ
- Who determines the rules for Stay and Play?
- USQ determines the guidelines and procedures for the Stay and Play policy and then implements the policy.
- What other organizations use Stay and Play?
- The concept of the Stay and Play policy is utilized by leagues across the athletic landscape, including USA Volleyball, USA Lacrosse, USA Field Hockey, and many other sports programs.
- What hotels will be available via Stay and Play?
- USQ and our city partners will consider all hotels willing to offer a contract for rooms at a set price. USQ evaluates multiple hotels near a tournament site for factors including cost, location, and amenities when determining which hotels we will contract with for a particular event.
- What rate can I expect from a Stay and Play hotel?
- Rates are normally between $75 and $125 a night, excluding tax.
- How many rooms does my team have to book?
- Your team must book enough rooms to accommodate every player on your tournament roster. Also, your team must book enough rooms to abide by the hotel's occupancy policies. This means a maximum of two people per bed per room (some packages may also include sleeper sofas or cots and will include an extra two people per room).
- How many nights does my team have to stay?
- Teams must also stay for a minimum of two nights for Regional Championships, circuit events, and US Quidditch Cup. Exceptions to the two night minimum will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and requests for an exception can be made via email to email@example.com. Exceptions will only be made in extreme or unusual situations, such as a mandatory activity from a team’s host school that prevents them from staying in a Stay and Play hotel Friday evening before a USQ event.
- Can I book more nights than just two?
- Yes! For regional championships, we might not always have extra nights available right off the bat, but the hotels are often able to accommodate a request for more nights at the same contracted rate. For national championships, at least a third of our hotel partners will automatically have extra nights available.
- Is my team allowed to stay at the house of a family member or friend that is near the tournament site?
- Yes, for 2020-21 Regional Championships and circuit events.
- For Us Quidditch Cup, in order to be effective in securing better bids for our events, we require that all teams that are based outside the 100-mile radius stay at approved hotels, not at houses of families or friends or rented locations. USQ will be checking that the number of rooms each team books is consistent with the number of players on that team’s tournament roster.
- I want to stay in a hotel room with my family - am I able to do this and still comply with Stay and Play rules?
- Yes. Stay and play does not mean you have to book a room with only members of your team. As long as you are booking your hotel stay at a Stay and Play approved hotel, you are welcome to book a room with whomever you would like, such as members of your family. Please just be sure to let USQ know in advance.
- What happens if my team doesn't want to stay in a tournament-approved hotel?
- Unless a team qualifies for an exemption, all members of a teams competing at USQ events must stay at tournament approved hotels. Teams who do not comply with this policy will not be permitted to compete in the event.
- Why isn't the hotel I want on the list of options?
- We consider proposals from any hotel that wants to host teams, and actively solicit hotels to negotiate rates. However, a hotel cannot be forced to offer a room block for an event; it is a business decision by the hotel. Sometimes hotels have previous engagements booked on the tournament dates and do not have rooms available to provide a block. Also, some hotels offer rooms at rates that are too high.
- Can I share rooms with another team?
- Provided that the team is also at a stay and play hotel, yes! Please inform USQ staff if you are sharing rooms. Include how many rooms you are sharing and how many people that covers.
- What kind of rooms does USQ block?
- The standard for team rooms are queen/queen or double/double rooms - that is, a room with 2 queen beds or 2 double beds. Rooms are always nonsmoking. We will occasionally block rooms with a single king bed and a sofa bed. Sometimes, suites are available.
- What if I see a cheaper rate available somewhere else?
- In general, if you find a cheaper rate available on the hotel website or on another booking site, we encourage you to let USQ staff know. However, you should take a look at the details of the room rate first. Is it for the same room type? How many rooms can you get at that rate? Is the rate the same if you have 2 people in the room vs 4? Is the room refundable or not? Often, the lowest rate listed on external booking sites is for a single room with 1 or 2 people and that rate is nonrefundable.
- Who should I contact if I have any issues during my hotel stay?
- Contact USQ staff immediately. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone numbers for USQ employees are also provided to teams and players via email (check the email signature to get the phone number) and through an event’s team orientation packet. We will work with the hotel and the host city to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
HOTEL BOOKING PROCESS FAQ
- How do I book?
- Teams are responsible for booking their own hotel rooms. If using one of the USQ special rate hotels, links to the hotel’s reservation system will be on the website here.
- Teams are responsible for paying for the cost of their rooms, including any incidentals. For the most part, there is no charge to make a reservation, though the policy may be different depending on the hotel and the payment method used (for example, sometimes with debit cards there is a hold placed on the card when you book).
- Can anyone on my team book the rooms?
- Yes. Teams can have players book rooms individually or set them up en masse. However, booking instructions will only be sent to the contact person on the hotel request form.
- What happens after I book the rooms?
- Your hotel will need to have a rooming list from your team. You will most likely send that to the hotel 1-2 weeks before the check-in date. The hotel needs to know the names of the people staying in each room. This will significantly speed up the check-in process.
- Should you need to change your reservation, please first speak with the hotel. Then, email USQ, letting us know what has changed, so our staff can update our records.
- What happens when I arrive?
- When you check in, you may be asked to put down a credit or debit card for incidentals, like room service. If you don’t have any of these expenses, you won’t be charged anything.
- Please note that occasionally some hotels have unusual check-in policies. For example, they may require that someone over the age of 25 be assigned to each room. These policies will be communicated to teams during the booking process.
- How does check out work?
- When you check-out, you will be presented with a bill that lists the total amount for your stay including incidentals and taxes. Sometimes this is put under your door the last morning. Sometimes it is emailed to you. Typically, you will be charged for the full amount of the reservation on the check-out date, though again billing varies by hotel.
For questions about the stay and play policy or how to book hotel rooms for USQ events, please contact email@example.com.