COVID-19

This is the landing page for all updates from US Quidditch Cup regarding the ongoing COVID-19 disease situation. Here, you can find information, news, and resources, on USQ policies, activities, and updates on upcoming events.

COVID-19 Return to Play GUIDELINES

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.

The full return to play guidelines can be downloaded here. They can also be viewed on our website here.

Impact of covid-19 on 2020-21 season

The health and safety of everyone in our community is of the utmost importance for USQ right now. All of the changes we’re making this season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are based on recommendations from different federal and state public health agencies, as well as other sports organizations and national governing bodies who have already begun to resume in-person activities. Having clear guidelines in place to reduce outbreaks is crucial to navigating the next phase of this pandemic, and they must be maintained through the new season.

  • USQ will host three regional championships/circuit events in the fall and three regional championships/circuit events in the spring, and they will be open to all teams in both the collegiate and club divisions. Attendance will be capped based on state and local guidelines for outdoor gatherings. More details are available here.
  • USQ-hosted events in the fall will not have spectators. More details are available here.
  • In December, USQ staff and regional coordinators will solicit feedback from teams on their ability to participate in the spring regional championships and the second half of the season. More details are available here.
  • All teams will be required to follow the return to play guidelines, developed in collaboration with MLQ. The return to play guidelines will be posted next week. More details are available here.
  • For regional championships and USQ-hosted circuit events, there is a five team minimum for the collegiate division, and a four team minimum for the club division. A USQ-hosted event may take place with teams from just one division. More details are available here.
  • Teams and tournament directors may not host official games or sanctioned events until a later date in the fall. The delay is to give the USQ rules team and the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee more time to complete the previously announced equity audit of Rulebook 14. It will also allow for more time for the USQ referee and snitch runner teams to update the written certification tests in light of any changes that come out of the audit. Once the rulebook and written certification tests are nearly finished, we will post on our website when official games and sanctioned events may begin. More details are available here.
  • The deadline to submit an event to the USQ calendar in the 2020-21 season is two weeks in advance of the event. When the event is submitted to the calendar, it must include evidence of state and local guidelines that prove large outdoor gatherings of that size are permitted at the facility where the event is taking place. More details are available here.
  • There will be no tier demotion for head referees corresponding to the end of the 2019-20 season. If a head referee has passed a field test in either the 2019-20 or 2020-21 season and head-reffed at least one other game in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 season, they will not be subject to the usual mandatory tier demotion in May 2021. More details are available here.

Full information on our plans for the 20-21 season can be found here.

Eligibility of Graduating College Seniors

In the 2020-21 season, eligibility rules for collegiate teams will remain the same. All players competing on a college team must submit valid proof of enrollment. This means that if a player graduates and is no longer enrolled then they will not be eligible to compete with their college team anymore. This decision was based on several factors, including the importance of gameplay integrity.

A significant reason we cannot make an exception to our eligibility policy is that many universities only allow their teams to compete against other teams that are only made up of college students. It’s also common for universities to restrict participation in recognized student organizations or sport clubs to just currently enrolled students. The split between college and club teams was designed to meet those standards. In doing so, we’ve made it easier for college teams to gain school recognition. We’ve also secured a more level playing field in the college division, by having everyone operate under the same rules. Now that the split is in effect, we think it’s important to uphold that value from season to season.

Going back on that policy, even for just a season, would significantly upend college programs required by their school to only compete against other enrolled college students. Those affected wouldn’t be able to assume that all games against college teams would be under rosters of only enrolled college students. Teams would have to schedule their season around opponents who were playing with only enrolled college players. That would be administratively challenging to manage as enrollment information is currently considered confidential to USQ staff, and only available to tournament directors through event rosters for official events. Also, some teams who can only have enrolled students on their roster wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this new opportunity, creating further gameplay inequities.

USQ’s eligibility policy does not set a cap on how many years players can compete for a college team; the only requirement is that a player be enrolled at that school. Moreover, while we strongly encourage college players to compete with a college team, we do not require it, and college players may choose to compete with a college or club team. Our policy is more lenient than those of many national governing bodies. We are aware that the NCAA has extended eligibility for certain college players who did not get to finish out their final season with their school. Even in that case, the NCAA is still requiring that players be enrolled at a school.

We recognize that this decision is not ideal for all players. It is the best option as we try to maintain gameplay integrity and fairness as we work through the effects of COVID-19. Any questions regarding eligibility can be sent to membership@usquidditch.org.

Bids to US Quidditch Cup

Bids earned to USQ Cup 13 in the 2019-20 season will not carry over to USQ Cup 14 in the 2020-21 season. This includes all bids from regional championships, the at large process, open division registration, and the club division auto-bid process.

Membership Registration Policies

In previous seasons, teams had to pay the team registration fee and register at least 7 players by September 30 in order to count for bid allocation. For the 2020-21 season, in order to be eligible for nationals, teams need to be registered by February 19, 2021. 

Membership Refund Policies

We are adjusting our refund policy for memberships. If a team registers for next season and then is unable to play due to COVID-19, then their team and player fees will be available as a credit for future seasons. This credit policy will also be extended to player memberships as well. If a player does not participate in a single official game next season, they may request that their membership be applied to the following season. 

Partial refunds may be available on a case by case basis and the amount will depend on what USQ activities the team/member has participated in. 

INITIAL COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN

  1. The 2019-20 season is now over. This means US Quidditch Cup and all other offiical play is cancelled for the rest of the season. 
    1. All ticket sales and registration fees for the original April date for US Quidditch Cup 13 are refundable.
  2. We encourage players to refrain from unofficial competition and to only host and/or participate in practices in accordance with the mandates issued by their given local and/or state government and remind everyone to be safe if attending any public gatherings.
  3. There is now a landing page on the USQ website (https://www.usquidditch.org/covid-19) where any and all updates regarding the ongoing situation pertaining to the disease and its effect on quidditch in the US will be compiled, as well as recommendations, resources, and more.

We join Quiddich Canada and Quiddich Australia in reiterating that quidditch is a sport for everyone. We remind all members not to make judgments about an individual’s health based on assumptions about their ethnicity, travel history, or cultural background. USQ is committed to inclusivity and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind.

INITIAL Statement

From April 3, 2020

Since our original announcement on March 13, we have continued to have discussions with the board of directors, staff, and our partners in Charleston, including the Shawnee Sports Complex and Kanawha County Commission, about the viability of reopening the season and having USQ Cup 13 at a later date. On March 29, USQ held another board meeting to discuss the situation at length with executive director Mary Kimball. Following that discussion, the board and staff ultimately decided to make the temporary season suspension permanent and refrain from hosting a national championship this season.

“Nationals means a lot to our community, and I’m heartbroken that USQ is not able to host it this season,” said Kimball. “From a public health perspective, it’s looking more and more likely that large gatherings will still be either banned or at least strongly discouraged in May and June. Given the nature of our sport and the current state of things, there’s no safe way for us to have this event. Moreover, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now as to when the coronavirus outbreak might get better in the US (and also the rest of the world). That’s leading to a lot of stress and changes in all of our lives. We don’t want our members to feel burdened by the possibility of this event maybe happening, maybe not, and as an organization, we felt like it’s best if we make the decision now.”

“To get through the next several months, we need the support of our community more than ever,” said Hank Dugie, board chair. “Ending the season has put the league in a difficult financial situation. USQ Cup brings in most of our revenue this time of year. The board and staff have been working on a plan to address the revenue shortfall, but we can’t make it happen without your help.”

HOW TO SUPPORT USQ

All funds raised over the coming weeks will be used to continue services for members and the broader quidditch community in the US as we work to prepare for next season and provide support through this challenging time. 

Donate

If you are in a position to make a donation, please go here to donate online to USQ. If your workplace uses Benevity (a donations and volunteer match portal for corporations), you can also donate through there. 

Pre-Pay for 20-21 Season Memberships

We are opening registration for the 20-21 season now. Here are the prices.

  • Team membership: $250
    • The team registration fee is being increased to accomodate for the decrease in coach and referee membership costs. 
    • Registration for regional championships is also still included in team memberships. There are no additional membership fees for those events. 
  • Youth team membership: $0
  • Adult player membership: $70
    • Through June 30, individual player memberships can be purchased at this season’s price of $60 per person. 
  • Trial player membership: $10
    • Next season, trial memberships can be prorated into the cost of an adult player membership. Players who have purchased a trial can upgrade to full membership for $60.
  • Youth player membership: $0
  • Coach membership: $0
  • Non-playing team staff: $0
  • Playing referee membership: $0
  • Non-player referee membership: $20
  • Snitch runner membership: $0
  • Fan membership: $50
    • Includes two weekend passes to USQ Cup and a monthly email newsletter  with exclusive updates on USQ events, teams, and ways to get involved
  • USQ Cup 14 team registration fee: $450
How to Register

To register for next season, fill out this form with what you would like to purchase and staff will follow up with you directly with an invoice to either pay online or with a check. Registration will be available directly through the website later this month.

Volunteer

You can also sign up to be a USQ volunteer. There are two ways to get involved - you can join as an on call project volunteer or as a year round staff volunteer. More information is on the volunteer page of our website. Volunteer commitments typically start at 2-3 hours a week. 

Virtual Programs

Lastly, we remain committed to you, and are planning some virtual programs to keep everyone engaged. We hope that through these programs we will be able to learn, share, and grow as a community, and emerge from these uncertain times stronger than ever. If you have suggestions for those, please fill out this form.

REFUNDS OF TEAM REGISTRATION FEES AND TICKETS

As previously mentioned last month, all team registration fees and tickets for the original April date for USQ Cup 13 are refundable. 

Teams who have already paid the registration fee have two options. They can either request a refund or apply the registration fee to membership or event registration costs in the 2020-21 season. Teams should fill out this form stating their preference. If your team has already requested a refund via the form, it will be processed over the next few weeks. 

Ticket holders can either request a refund, convert their ticket into a donation to USQ, or get a credit/gift card for future USQ events. Information about all those options will be emailed directly to ticket holders. 

From Friday, March 13, 2020

After consulting with the Board of Directors and year-round staff, US Quidditch has decided to temporarily suspend the 2019-20 season. This includes postponing US Quidditch Cup 13 (which was originally scheduled for April 18-19), and all other official play. 

We encourage players to refrain from unofficial competition and to only host and/or participate in practices in accordance with the mandates issued by their given local and/or state government and remind everyone to be safe if attending any public gatherings. We recommend following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines here, and the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 guidelines here

As we continue our evaluation process, we are looking at alternative dates for USQ Cup 13, evaluating weekends in late May and June. We recognize that changing plans is a complicated undertaking, and that there may not be another date that works for all teams. Feedback will be gathered from players, officials, volunteers, and spectators to identify what other dates would be best, and we will update our website with more information about that process over the coming days. 

All ticket sales and registration fees for the original April date are refundable. Information on ticket refunds will be available next week. 

We will reevaluate the temporary suspension of official non-USQ hosted events the week of March 30 and more information will be shared at that time on our website and emailed out to members, fans, and others on our email list

“This was a difficult decision to make. Safety is our number one priority and it’s our responsibility as a national governing body to take proactive measures to ensure our programs and events don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Please know that quidditch is not going away; we’re just taking a pause,” said Mary Kimball, USQ’s executive director.

Background

Throughout the week, USQ staff have met with representatives from the Shawnee Sports Complex and vendors in Charleston, West Virginia to begin the process of identifying alternative dates for USQ Cup 13. We have been monitoring recommendations from public health agencies, including the CDC and the WHO. Staff have also been monitoring containment measures being taken by universities, government agencies, sports leagues, and other event producers.

On March 12, staff requested an emergency board meeting to discuss the escalating situation. The meeting was held that night. Staff recommended that USQ temporarily suspend the season, and the board supported their decision. USQ’s Board of Directors regularly meets once a month. March’s meeting was already scheduled for March 14. This meeting will still be held and the board will continue to discuss the situation. 

The decision to temporarily suspend the season was made in response to a number of factors, including growing concerns over public safety, the increased number of public gathering and event restrictions being set by local and state governments, and the number of collegiate teams at universities that have prohibited travel and/or moved to online-only courses

We would like to thank our partners in Charleston for their support, especially the Shawnee Sports Complex and Kanawha County Commission. They have been working tirelessly behind the scenes all week to facilitate communication between USQ and other key stakeholders. They have also been incredibly gracious and supportive during our decision-making process. 

Resources