Starting with the 2017-18 season, US Quidditch will implement a split of college and community teams at USQ regional championships and US Quidditch Cup.
The current US Quidditch strategic plan (available for download here), released before the 2015-16 season, includes the goal of creating separate college and community competitive divisions. Following the release of the strategic plan, we solicited additional feedback about the college/community split from members. This additional information led to an announcement in July 2016 that outlined the process for determining the next steps in the college/community split. In May 2017 we solicited additional feedback from our membership, as announced here.
Starting with the 2017-18 season, US Quidditch will implement a divisional split of college and community teams at USQ regional championships and US Quidditch Cup. At these events, collegiate teams will compete only against other collegiate teams, and community teams will compete only against other community teams.
During the regular season, there will be no limit on interdivisional play. Collegiate teams may compete against community teams and vice versa, if the teams choose to do so. USQ will never require a team to play a team in the other division. There will continue to be one official league standings, and all teams will be listed in the rankings system regardless of their division.
As in the 2016-17 season, collegiate teams must be comprised solely of current students at one institution. A single school may have more than one official collegiate team provided that all teams at that institution follow all guidelines for official teams. Teams are not required to have official recognition from their school in order to register with USQ as a collegiate team, as long as all rules for collegiate teams are followed. All currently enrolled students, including graduate students, may play for a collegiate team as long as they provide valid proof of enrollment. There is no minimum credit hour requirement for a player on a collegiate team. A non-playing certified coach does not need to be a student at that institution. Playing certified coaches must follow the same enrollment eligibility requirements as other players.
In order to facilitate growth at smaller institutions, US Quidditch will continue to offer a Joint Team Development Program, which allows teams from multiple institutions to band together under one name, where all players are currently enrolled students at the approved institutions. Applicants for the program are given a year-by-year exception to the single-institution policy, with set expectations for projected team growth in order to continue as a joint team.
Community teams may not receive support from a college or university. Community teams may not use a school name or mascot in their team name or other branding. This includes direct financial support or benefits available only to students, such as discounted use of field space or other support. Community teams may choose to hold joint practices with collegiate teams. However the majority of a community team’s practices must be held independently in accordance with these restrictions.
All teams, regardless of division, will continue to be required to have a certified coach. USQ will continue to allow for two types of coaches: a non-playing coach or a playing coach. Coaches may only coach one team per season.
Non-playing coaches may coach a team in either division, but are still only permitted to coach one team per season.
Playing coaches may either play on the same team they coach, or may play on a team other than the team they coach as long as it is in a different division than the team they coach. A player may not serve as the coach for a different team within the same division. If a playing coach is playing on a collegiate team, they are still subject to the eligibility requirements for collegiate players. For example, a coach for a college team can play on the collegiate team they coach, or may play on a community team, but they cannot play for a different collegiate team than the one they coach for.
The annual membership prices for teams, players, coaches, and officials will remain the same in the 2017-18 season as in the 2016-17 season. Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable, and will expire on June 30. For additional information, benefits, and restrictions on each membership type, please visit the website pages linked below:
Team membership: $150
Coach membership: $50
Coach upgrade: $25
Referee Membership: $50
Referee upgrade: $25
The specific qualification system for US Quidditch Cup will be determined by the USQ Gameplay Team, in partnership with other staff. This will include finalizing the number of teams to compete in each division at events. The gameplay structure for each USQ-hosted event is created specifically for that event, and is tailored to the unique needs of that event. The details on the event structure and qualification process will be announced by the end of August 2017.
An article will be posted next week with additional details with adjustments to USQ gameplay and event policies that will be in effect beginning in the 2017-18 season.
Questions or feedback can be directed to Eric Schnier, USQ Membership Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.