Tournament Director Certification
USQ is excited to open signups for its Tournament Director Certification Program. In accordance with the official game requirements, all official games must be organized by a USQ-certified tournament director.
Tournament Director Policies
For tournaments with four or fewer teams, the certified tournament director who is organizing the event may also have another role at the event (e.g. player, referee, coach, etc.). For tournaments with five or more teams, there must be at least one certified TD who serves exclusively in that role (as a dedicated TD) for the entire duration of the event. For tournaments using three or more pitches, there must be an additional certified TD involved with the planning of the event.
Tournaments may apply for a waiver if they wish to utilize non-dedicated TDs. The waiver application is available here. The application is due 2 weeks before the tournament date, but later applications will be accepted on a case by case basis. Waivers are not granted automatically and will only be granted in certain circumstances, such as with:
- A shortage of referees in the region where the event is being held and the TD would need to serve as a head referee for at least one game
- A new team that does not have non-playing staff who could fill the role of a dedicated TD
The goal of the waiver program is to offer additional support and flexibility to tournaments who do not have the capacity or resources for a dedicated TD. Those who are approved for a waiver will need to have a pre-event meeting with a USQ staffer at least one week prior to the tournament date.
If approved, an event with five or more teams will be permitted to use TDs who have another role during the event. However, a non-playing TD must still be available at all times.
Additional certified TDs are still encouraged to assist with planning and running the tournament on-site. In the event of an on-site emergency that would require the dedicated TD to leave the tournament, that individual may be replaced by another certified TD who would then take over the role of dedicated TD.
TO SIGN UP FOR THE 2019-20 TD CERTIFICATION PROGRAM, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
The training booklet for the 2019-20 season is available here. Please note that all new TDs are strongly encouraged to read the booklet in full before attempting the assessment. Those who were certified in the previous season were sent an email on August 8 with instructions on how to recertify.
Why is tournament director certification required?
In order to ensure that all official events meet USQ requirements for safety and gameplay, that tournament directors are aware of the resources available to them, and that event quality across the league continues to improve, every official event this season must be organized by someone who has received USQ tournament director certification.
What is the TD certification process?
The TD certification process consists of three steps.
- All candidates wishing to attempt TD certification must sign up for the TD Certification Program.
- After signing up for TD Certification, candidates must read the TD Certification training manual in its entirety.
- After reading the booklet, candidates will take the TD Certification Assessment. Candidates may take the assessment at any time, but it must be completed before your event begins and requires a score of 80% to pass. If a candidate does not pass the assessment, they must wait a full 24 hours before reattempting the exam.
- TDs who were certified in the 2018-19 season may take the recertification assessment. The recertification assessment link was emailed out to TDs from the 2018-19 season on July 26, 2019 and the assessment requires a perfect score of 100% to pass. If a TD does not pass the recertification assessment, they must take the full quiz and follow the same guidelines above.
Please note that USQ's cheating policy applies to the TD Certification Assessment.
How far in advance of an official match or tournament must a candidate for tournament director be certified?
TDs must be certified before submitting their official event to the USQ calendar. The event submission deadline is one week before the event. This means that TDs must have completed TD Certification at the absolute latest one week before their event, but since TDs must get 80% on the on the full certification assessment (100% on the recertification assessment) and they must wait a full 24 hours before attempts, we very strongly suggest that you complete certification well before this deadline. Events with more than one certified TD, including those using three or more quidditch pitches, only need to have one of the TDs fully certified prior to calendar submission. All TDs involved with planning and running a USQ official and/or sanctioned event must be certified at least one week before their tournament. Exceptions to this policy may be made in the case of an emergency.
Are experienced tournament directors required to receive USQ certification?
Yes, anyone who wishes to host any number of official games this season must receive USQ TD certification. While USQ understands that there are numerous members of the community with reputations for organizing outstanding events, the certification process is designed to accommodate candidates of all levels of experience.
What information is covered during TD certification?
Information covered in the training booklet includes: USQ policy requirements, setting overall event goals, working with outside groups, staffing and volunteers, budgeting, logistics, gameplay, safety, hospitality, marketing, crisis management, and post-event follow up.
Audio materials will also be available later this summer. The full training booklet will be available via audio. We will also have separate audio materials that will include interviews with experienced TDs, case studies of events with unique challenges, and a more in-depth look into the tournament planning process.
In addition, USQ events department staff will be available to answer any questions or to offer additional training as requested by individual candidates. More information on that support is available below.
Is a certified TD required for a single official match between two teams?
Yes. Even though a single match is not technically a “tournament,” the USQ-certified TDs will be trained in gameplay policies, rules, and safety requirements that are important for all official matches, so every official match, regardless of context, must have a certified TD present.
What are the expectations of certified TDs?
Certified TDs will be required to know official USQ gameplay policies, and to ensure that their events abide by these policies, including safety regulations. The TD training booklet also covers best practices in the areas of gameplay, logistics and facilities management, hospitality, marketing, volunteer management. This certification is not intended to be USQ’s endorsement of every aspect of a tournament run by a certified TD; rather, the certification process is intended to make sure that game organizers understand USQ policies, and to establish a network of resources and information-sharing to increase the quality of events in the league.
To learn more about the powers and responsibilities of certified Tournament Directors, please click here.
Is there any additional cost to become a certified TD?
The TD certification process is free. If a candidate fails the certification test, there is no fee to retake the test; candidates will just need to wait a full 24 hours before retaking the assessment.
Can I become a certified TD if I am only planning events with unofficial games?
Yes! We encourage all those running quidditch events in the U.S. to participate in our certification program.
What support will I receive from USQ?
Brand new TDs will be eligible to join a mentorship program under the direction of the TD Support Coordinators and the newly created TD Support Committee. More experienced TDs will also have access to guidance and advice from the TD Support Committee.
All TDs are invited to have pre-event interviews with TD Support Coordinators (more information is below). During the interview, TDs will be asked a variety of questions about their tournament and they will have the opportunity to discuss current and potential challenges. All TDs involved with a tournament are invited to attend the pre-event interview. The TD Support Coordinator will be available throughout the event planning process for further support.
When an event is approved on the USQ calendar, a USQ employee will reach out to confirm basic details and go over what USQ policies competing teams need to be aware of. The week before an event, a USQ employee will email TDs a list of what requirements teams need to finish in order to be eligible to compete. The pre-event email will also contain a phone tree, with the names and phone numbers of USQ employees and volunteers that TDs can contact in case of a problem or emergency.
Audio materials and webinars will be available throughout the season. Additional resources are available on this page.
Lastly, TDs will be invited to join a special Slack channel where they will be able to talk to other TDs and those on USQ staff. This Slack channel will replace the Facebook group that operated in previous seasons.
How can I join the TD Support Committee?
Information on how to apply is available here. Applications are accepted throughout the season but those interested are encouraged to apply by September 1. The TD Support Committee meets every other week from September-March for one hour to discuss upcoming events, the TD certification program, and challenges TDs are facing. The committee is comprised mostly of USQ employees and year round volunteers, but there are a few open spaces available for experienced TDs who are not on USQ staff.
How do I set up a pre-event interview?
Email the TD Support Coordinators. If your event is in the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, or Northeast regions, email Amanda Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your event is in the Northwest, South, Southwest, or West regions, email Carrie Soukup at email@example.com.
Questions about the certification program can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.