USQ announces eligibility requirements for college and community teams in the 2016-17 season, along with other policy updates that affect the creation of the two new separate divisions.
Last July, USQ released our strategic plan. One of the year one outcomes was to “develop a plan to create separate college and community competitive divisions.” This outcome was a result of feedback we received during the strategic plan process in the 2014-15 season. Focus groups and feedback surveys collected information from the player community about the future structure of the league. Last month, USQ released an initial outline of the college/community split, and members were invited to give feedback. We took that feedback and incorporated it into the plan below.
Over 600 members responded to the survey. The majority of members gave scores of 3 to 5 (neutral to strongly agree) for all questions, with the exception of those pertaining to a split within the year, or in creating additional competitive divisions within the next three years. However, the majority of members gave scores of 3 to 5 for the question pertaining to a split within the next three years.
Outside of the survey, we also heard from many members who were concerned that there was no clear definition for what makes a college team and what makes a community team. The plan below addresses that.
As a result of the member feedback, USQ is moving forward with the beginning stages of the college/community split, starting with new eligibility requirements for college and community teams. Teams will be split into separate college and community divisions in either the 2017-18 or 2018-19 season. As previously stated, the timeline is based on several factors, including the quantity, density, and development of community teams.
Please note that the word college and collegiate applies to all colleges and universities.
A college team is comprised of a group of students from a single school. A college team does not need to have a formal affiliation with their school to be registered as a college team. However, those teams with recognition from a school must compete in the college division and register as a college team in the 2016-17 season. Forms of recognition may include:
Teams with the school name incorporated into their team name
Recognized student organizations
Grant or funding recipients
Recipients of discounted practice or event space
The goal of this definition is to ensure that teams who are representing a school are competing in the college division.
A school may have more than one official college team, provided they meet the requirements above. However, there will be no special exceptions to the player transfer policy made for schools in this situation.
A community team may not have any affiliation with a college and may not use the name of a school as part of their team name. They may not receive any monetary or in-kind support from any school, including but not limited to free or discounted practice or event space. However, discounted practice or event space shall not be considered in-kind support if a community resident, unaffiliated with the school, could have obtained the space at the same cost.
College and community adult players must be 18 or older. Those who are 17 may compete after they submit a signed parental consent form.
All players on a collegiate team must attend the same school. Current graduate students will be permitted to play on their school’s collegiate team. Faculty, staff, and non-students will not be permitted to play on a school’s collegiate team. A student from a college with an unofficial or community team may not compete with a college team from another school.
To prevent non-students from playing on collegiate teams, members of collegiate teams must provide USQ with proof of enrollment in their institution. Players may submit either an official proof of enrollment from their school’s registrar or an official class schedule for the 2016-17 season showing the player’s full name. Additional forms of proof of enrollment may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
If a player graduates their school mid-year, they will not be permitted to play on that collegiate team after their enrollment at that school ends. Affected players may choose to apply to transfer to a community team.
Players must submit proof of enrollment before participating in an official game. Players and teams are subject to penalties for roster violations. Additional information on specific penalties will be released later this summer.
A player on a collegiate team will be permitted to coach a community team as a non-player, and vice-versa. Coaches for a college team do not need to be current students, nor do affiliated referees. However any member who is a playing coach or playing referee must submit proof of current enrollment.
To help new teams develop and to accommodate teams who may be currently comprised of students from multiple schools, USQ is starting a new joint team development program. Information about this program will be available later this month. College teams that are accepted into the program will be permitted to have students from more than one university. If your team is currently comprised of students from more than one school, we recommend that you wait to register until program details are released.
In the 2016-17 season, collegiate teams will be permitted to play against community teams. If collegiate teams and community teams play against one another, those games will count towards each team’s season play requirements (to attend regional and national championships). If collegiate teams and community teams play against one another, those games will count towards each team’s standings, which will affect seeding for regional and national championships.
US Quidditch Cup 10 will see 60 college and community teams competing in one division for the title of national champion.
USQ is working on adding proof of enrollment to the adult player registration form. In the meantime, all adult players who are competing on a college team must submit proof of enrollment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Team categories have been simplified to only include high school, youth community, college, and adult community.
USQ is working on a proposal for when the separate divisions are implemented. It includes information on how USQ events will change with the separate divisions, the timeline, and cross division play policies. We are already working with staff to get feedback and will continue to do so during the 2016-17 season.
The staff and member survey released in May is helping to shape the proposal, as several questions addressed how USQ should run our events and how cross-divisions play should affect gameplay requirements and standings. In spring 2017, USQ will release a survey to members to get additional feedback. Like the one we released in May, it will contain an initial outline of what USQ is planning.
For questions about the college/community split, please contact Membership Director Eric Schnier at email@example.com.