The IQA will transition to US Quidditch, and facilitate the creation of a new, truly international and representative IQA this summer.
Since the incorporation of the International Quidditch Association in 2010 as a United States-based nonprofit, the IQA has intended to foster the growth of quidditch in the US and abroad with equal vigor, but fulfilling that mandate has always been a challenge. After months of discussion between the IQA management team, international director Karen Kumaki, and the leadership of quidditch around the world, the IQA is excited to announce that as of July 1, 2014, the current nonprofit organization will transition to a US-focused body called US Quidditch, and US Quidditch will work with its international counterparts to create a new, fully representative International Quidditch Association.
At the heart of this decision is the desire to serve both international players and US players as fully as possible. The majority of the IQA’s current infrastructure and staff is too US-centric to successfully oversee the growth and development of quidditch around the world, and attempts over the past few years to govern quidditch in other countries in a hands-on way has placed undue restraints on non-US leaders and governing bodies, hindering the development of the sport and expansion of leagues in both the US and abroad.
This move, which will shift the governing structure of quidditch to mirror that of other sports, has the support of quidditch leaders around the world.
“We here in Belgium are excited about this news,” said Dávid Danos, of the Belgium Muggle Quidditch league. “This, we feel, is a long time coming from discussions and dialogue we have had within and outside Europe in regard to the IQA, and we believe this is the right step forward, really allowing for healthy growth for the future!”
The current IQA Board of Directors, employees, management team, and most staff will continue to fill these roles for US Quidditch. The new IQA will be made up of a representative Congress with delegates from each country where quidditch has a presence, as well as a smaller standing staff. “Not only does this mean we will have a full international body,” said Ben Morton, chairman of Quidditch UK. “It also further demonstrates the inclusivity of quidditch - where even the smallest voices are still heard.”
The new IQA’s primary functions will be to facilitate overseas collaboration and information-sharing, to ensure an international standard of rules, and to select the location of international competitions, including the World Cup. The IQA’s job will not be to directly oversee quidditch in each nation, but rather to assist developing nations in building a strong local organization through the combined expertise of the Congress and IQA staff.
“As long as this project is run properly and all participating nations are open-minded and committed, there is nothing stopping this move becoming the current IQA’s greatest move so far,” said Morton. “From what I have seen from the people involved, the project is already on the right tracks.”
For the next several months, current IQA staff and international leaders will work closely together to map out the specific demarcation of duties and hold the first congressional election. Chief among everyone’s priorities will be ensuring that inter-league play is not unduly penalized, since many European countries in addition to Canada and the United States play each other frequently.
“From talking to IQA staff in Canada, we’re very excited about the proposal,” said Tegan Bridge, IQA Canadian Regional Director. “It’s going to be a challenge to split the IQA from the new USQ, but I’m very optimistic. I’m particularly looking forward to getting more Canadians involved in a new Canadian league and to working closely with the new USQ. This is a big step forward for quidditch in Canada, the States, and around the world.”
This move will also benefit US players. As a young company still working on growing its capacity, the next several years are crucial to the sport’s development in the United States, and to date the IQA has not been able to devote the time and attention needed to serve US players as successfully as is necessary to ensure the longevity of the sport and the league.
The IQA thanks everyone who has volunteered their time to grow and develop this sport, especially IQA volunteers who have worked in an international capacity or on international teams. They truly laid the groundwork to make this nascent IQA a possibility.
“We are sure that this change will help us catch up even faster,” said Michele Clabassi, from Italia Quidditch and the IQA referee development team. “Also, we are pretty sure you won’t complain if you end up playing at a World Cup over here. Pizza is on us!”
We welcome your feedback and questions during this important transition. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit questions or feedback. The IQA will publish updates on this process every two weeks leading up to July 1. Additionally, the IQA will host another edition of office hours on Thursday, March 20 from 8:30-10:30pm EDT. Join IQA leaders on Google Hangout and get your questions about USQ/IQA, World Cup, or anything else answered by staff.