Recap

Mid-Season Recap 2019: Membership

USQ reviews the first half of the season and shares important reminders related to the programs in the membership department.

As announced in the first Mid-Season Recap article on Monday, we will be posting a series of articles this week to serve as an encompassing mid-season directory to existing projects and announcements, in addition to important reminders for the remainder of the season. Today’s article focuses on the membership department. It is organized in the following sections: general updates, team and member relations, youth development, and officials.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The USQ organizational chart provides an overview of the five different departments in USQ, as well as the different staff positions involved in each department.

The membership department–managed by Membership Director Eric Schnier and Membership Expansion Manager Megan Anderson–is responsible for not only assisting member teams in understanding and complying with USQ requirements, but is also dedicated to making sure each team is getting the most out of their membership. The membership staff maintain the membership database, respond to current and potential member inquiries, manage benefits for member teams, oversee the coach certification process, and handle team grant and sponsorship opportunities. The membership department also houses the officials team, which works to certify and develop high-quality referees and snitches for our league. Volunteer roles involved in this department include regional coordinators, general membership coordinator, member relations coordinator, national team coordinator, national team head coach, referee coordinator, rules coordinator, snitch coordinator, and youth member coordinator.

RULEBOOK 12

US Quidditch was proud to announce the 12th edition of the rulebook in July of 2018. The free online PDF of Rulebook 12 can be accessed here, and the print edition of the rulebook can also be ordered through the DFTBA store here. The rules page of the website includes other helpful resources, including the pitch lining diagram and youth rulebooks.

The USQ rules team worked year-round to develop these changes. The updates and clarifications play an important part in making the game safer, improving the flow, and in making sure that the rulebook is consistent with the way the sport is evolving. Some of the most notable differences from the previous year are centered around the re-imagination of the quidditch pitch, in which we see the removal of the starting line and the shape of the pitch moving from a pillbox to a rectangle. Other changes include the addition of timeouts to regulation play, clarification on bludger immunity circumstances, and a general update of the language and tone used throughout the rulebook. To see the full changelog please refer to Appendix E in the rulebook.

For questions about rules, please email Membership Director Eric Schnier at membership@usquidditch.org.

VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT

The Membership Department is always looking for more volunteers to help out both year-round and on-site at events. Year-round positions are available on the Referee Team, Snitch Team, and Rules Team. If you’re interested in learning more, please email membership@usquidditch.org.

If you’re interested in being involved with USQ but cannot commit to a year-round position, consider spending some time volunteering at US Quidditch Cup. As the biggest event of the year, there is always a need for volunteers to help the event run smoothly. You can learn more and sign up to volunteer here.

Join Our Team Directory!

US Quidditch is working towards having all member & non-member high school, youth, community, and collegiate teams join our team directory. Having teams listed here will help increase visibility and awareness of teams, encourage interaction with nearby teams, and keep everyone informed on important news and updates. To sign your team up for this free resource, please follow the steps below:

  1. Create an account using this link.

  2. Once an account is created, click on 'My Team'

  3. Choose 'Register A Free Team'

    1. You then can sign up your team for the directory!

COLLEGIATE ENROLLMENT POLICY UPDATE

As announced at the conclusion of last season, the collegiate enrollment policy has been updated to require enrollment verification twice annually. USQ previously only required collegiate players to submit enrollment once per season, with the caveat that coaches are not permitted to roster players whose enrollment status changes from enrolled to not enrolled during the course of the season. Unfortunately, due to multiple instances of teams attempting to circumvent this honor policy, all collegiate players are now required to submit their original enrollment in the fall, in addition to submitting a second verification of enrollment after January 1, 2019. Both verifications must be sent prior to their first official game–even if their previous verification shows year-long enrollment. Players can send an email with their full name, their school, and a copy of their proof of enrollment for the spring semester in the form of a verification document obtained through their school’s registrar, or a class schedule to enrollment@usquidditch.org.

TEAM SPONSORSHIP GRANTS

Following the renewal of the program, US Quidditch was pleased to award the Team Sponsorship Grant to Southern Illinois University and the Western Washington Wyverns. Each team was awarded 14 individual player memberships with a value of $840 each in order to aid in recruitment and member registration. Grant applications were due in late September, and the grants were awarded to team contacts prior to the bid allocation deadline, allowing both teams to count for their respective regions. Each season, Team Sponsorship applications are evaluated on not only a team’s need for financial support but also on a team’s competitive goals for the upcoming season and their dedication to serving their local communities off the pitch. USQ was proud to award grants to these two outstanding teams in order to help offset their costs for the upcoming season of competitive play.

Information about 2019-20 membership grants will be available by July 1, 2019.

YOUTH QUIDDITCH RULEBOOKS

US Quidditch announced the completion of the youth, middle school, and high school rulebooks earlier today. As expressed in our strategic plan, a major goal for USQ is to develop the foundation for a structured high school league in the United States. The completion of these rulebooks is a major step in that direction. The condensed versions of these new rulebooks–as well as the changelogs detailing how these differ from the adult rulebook–can be found on the rules page of the USQ website. Links to the full rulebooks can be found below:

Elementary/Middle School Rulebook

High School Rulebook

A huge thank you to Michael Clark-Polner and Jeremy Schleicher for their countless hours of help and enthusiasm to help make this project happen. For questions about youth rulebooks and programs, email youth@usquidditch.org.

HIGH SCHOOL WORKSHOP

US Quidditch is proud to announce a high school quidditch workshop at US Quidditch Cup 12. The goal of this workshop is to provide a high-caliber level of quidditch to high school students. Activities over the weekend will include:

  • Athletic education

  • Leadership workshop

  • Mentorship opportunities

  • Invitational matches against other High School teams

If you are interested in volunteering to help facilitate this workshop series or are interested in participating, please email youth@usquidditch.org or fill out the form here. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 25, 2019. The workshop will occur as planned if there is sufficient interest from high school teams or players.

REFEREES OF THE MONTH

Now in its fifth year, the Referee of the Month program runs throughout the season, selecting six referees who demonstrate a strong commitment to high quality officiating. Winners are selected from the pool of USQ-certified head referees according to various data points reviewed by the USQ Referee Team. The recipients of this award are also eligible for the Referee of the Year award, chosen in March. Three recipients of the award for the 2018-19 season have been selected and announced so far, including the October award and the two November winners (selected in order to account for the general low number of games played league-wide in December).

October Referee of the Month: Matt Melton

November Referees of the Month: Zachary Armantrading & Chris LeCompte

For questions about the Referee of the Month program, please email membership@usquidditch.org.

REFEREE EVALUATIONS

After every official tournament, team leadership on file for the 2018-29 season are automatically sent emails from USQ with a built-in link to give feedback about their head referees for each scheduled game. Taking a few minutes to complete these evaluations gives teams and players the opportunity to provide valuable feedback for referees and USQ staff, and the information we collect helps to serve our Referee of the Month program, in addition to determining referee tiers. If you have not already filled out your evaluations, or are expecting to compete in an official tournament soon, we urge you to submit this form in order to help our referees improve.

OFFICIATING OPPORTUNITIES AT SPRING EVENTS

Information regarding officiating and volunteering at upcoming regional championships can be found here. Information regarding the officials payment procedure can be found here. Referees may be contacted for events with greater need of officials. Please take a look at your calendars to see if it is even possible to attend any of these events.

During bracket play at USQC12, certified head referees are eligible to earn $20 per game as a head referee, $10 per game as a lead assistant referee, or $5 as an assistant or snitch referee.

INTERNATIONAL REFEREE PROGRAM

In October, we were excited to announce a new opportunity for certified referees outside of the United States by establishing an international referee program for US Quidditch Cup 12. Under this program, certified head referees from other countries will be eligible to officiate at US Quidditch Cup as lead assistant referees, with the ability to work as head referees should they pass a field test in the U.S. prior to the event. Just like USQ certified head and lead assistant referees, these international certified head referees are eligible to earn $10 per game as lead assistant referees, or $5 as assistant or snitch referees during bracket play.

The deadline to apply for this program is 11:59 pm ET (GMT -04), on Sunday, March 17, 2019. Please click here to apply!

SNITCH CERTIFICATION

Have you been considering getting more involved in the yellow brigade? As we all know, each match requires a highly skilled snitch runner and a diligent and focused snitch referee. The job of the snitch runner is to keep the snitch tail safe from the grasp of each team’s seeker while also maintaining a humorous and fun atmosphere. Although every game requires a snitch runner, not all official games require a certified snitch runner. So why go through the certification process, you ask? The answer is simple: being a certified snitch runner means not only do you get paid for your efforts, but it also puts you higher up on the prioritization list for USQ events.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can take the following steps:

  • Register for a free snitch membership by going to Membership on the Dashboard of your USQ account.

  • Pass the written Snitch Runner Certification test

  • Complete field test certification - this field test can be accomplished in one of two ways: emailing video footage of yourself snitching in-game to membership@usquidditch.org, or signing up to be observed by a member of the Snitch Development Team/Snitch Field Test Proctor. During field testing, the proctor is paid a certified snitch's rate of $8/game.

The job of the snitch referee, however, is different. Certified snitch referees have assistant referee certification, in addition to passing the written snitch referee test. Although certified snitch referees aren’t required for official matches–with the exception of regional championships and the US Quidditch Cup–they make an invaluable addition to any referee crew.

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions or comments about any of the updates in this recap article, they can be sent to membership@usquidditch.org.