US Quidditch is embarking on a 10-month process to research the current state of quidditch tackling and physical contact, and explore opportunities for improving safety, efficiency, form, and training processes.
The process will be spearheaded by an outside consultant, Augustin Brajeux, a USA Rugby certified coach, Play Rugby instructor, and veteran Parisian rugby player.
The project will be funded with a generous gift from the Karpoff family, the league’s largest family donor. In honor of their gift, US Quidditch will be naming its tackle style at the end of the project after Sgt. James C. Clark, grandfather of Dawn Karpoff. Clark was an innovative, creative, loving family-man, and a decorated World War II veteran. Improving safety in a sport through research is something that Clark would have strongly supported. He struggled with a severe head injury as a young child, and he would have been quite fond of quidditch as he worked for a time with a broom manufacturer as a young man. He had a knack for tinkering and improving concepts - after the war he used an early computer to revolutionize workflow in the steel mill where he was a foreman. We are honored to have such an accomplished and appropriate namesake for the project and we are immensely grateful to the Karpoff family for their support. Without their help, this research would not be possible. You can learn more about Clark and his amazing life story here. To learn more about how to make a tax-deductible donation to US Quidditch to support the league and sport, please visit the USQ donations page.
The tackle project will be carried out in four phases: Researching, Testing, Consulting, and Implementation.
As part of the Research Phase, Brajeux will attend tournaments and practices in the Los Angeles area to film games and try out different tackle techniques with players (he has already attended the LA Open and is currently attending team practices). Additionally, he will watch quidditch footage from past tournaments while closely studying the rules. At the end of this phase, Brajeux will suggest any modifications to the current tackle style to be tested.
The Testing Phase will involve sending Brajeux to unofficial tournaments or matches across the United States in the spring and summer, where he will train participants in the tested techniques, which they will be allowed to try out in games. These games will be filmed for reference and comparison and participants will be surveyed to get feedback.
Before putting forward a final recommendation, Brajeux will be reaching out to contacts in the professional and amateur rugby world for feedback on the proposal; this is the Consulting Phase. At the end of the testing phase, and following the consulting phase, Brajeux will put together a semi-final recommendation.
Finally, after the recommendation for the tackle technique—along with any necessary rules adjustments—are submitted to USQ for consideration, and approved or modified, Brajeux will work with USQ in the Implementation Phase to develop training and instructional videos for players, coaches, and captains, and processes for running in-person clinics. Videos will include detailed analysis of proper tackling form and advice, and processes will include training drills to educate players in good and safe tackle form, as well as drills to learn how to be tackled and go to the ground safely.
US Quidditch estimates that this project will be finished by Nov. 2015. In early 2016 the rules team will work to add the language to the rules, and adjustments to the new tackle style will be rolled out officially in the 2016-17 season.
For questions or suggestions about the project, please email email@example.com.