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USQ UpdateQuidditch Cup

US Quidditch Temporarily Suspending Season Due to COVID-19

USQ is temporarily suspending the season in response to COVID-19. US Quidditch Cup 13 is postponed and may be rescheduled to later in the spring or summer

After consulting with the Board of Directors and year-round staff, US Quidditch has decided to temporarily suspend the 2019-20 season. This includes postponing US Quidditch Cup 13 (which was originally scheduled for April 18-19), and all other official play. 

We encourage players to refrain from unofficial competition and to only host and/or participate in practices in accordance with the mandates issued by their given local and/or state government and remind everyone to be safe if attending any public gatherings. We recommend following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines here, and the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 guidelines here

Should anyone choose to host quidditch activities, we also recommend these additional precautions:

  • Limit contact with other individuals ie. no high-fives/hugs after games
  • Establish a sanitization crew that sanitizes balls, brooms, hoops, score tables, etc.
  • Create sanitizer stations at fields
  • Minimize sharing of equipment
  • Discourage sharing of whistles, water bottles, or mouth guards 
  • Discourage players from spitting on their gloves or hands to make them sticky. Use water instead
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at the end of every practice and game, and after coughing or sneezing
  • Refrain from touching your face, nose, and mouth

As we continue our evaluation process, we are looking at alternative dates for USQ Cup 13, evaluating weekends in late May and June. We recognize that changing plans is a complicated undertaking, and that there may not be another date that works for all teams. Feedback will be gathered from players, officials, volunteers, and spectators to identify what other dates would be best. We will update this article with more information about that process over the coming days, as well as send out information via email. 

For official events that are currently on the USQ calendar, we will be directly contacting tournament directors. 

We will reevaluate the temporary suspension of official non-USQ hosted events the week of March 30 and more information will be shared at that time on our website and emailed out to members, fans, and others on our email list

Travel and Refunds

All ticket sales and registration fees for the original April date are refundable. Information on ticket refunds will be emailed to ticket buyers next week. 

For team registration fees, those who have already paid can request a refund by filling out this form. Teams do not have to make a decision now on if they want a refund. We will set a deadline to request a refund later in the spring. For teams who haven’t paid but have been invoiced, those invoices will be voided over the next few days. In the event that USQ Cup 13 is rescheduled, teams can use their original registration fee to cover the fee for the rescheduled date. Teams also have the option of using their original registration fee payment to cover fees for the 2020-21 season, and do not need to complete the form if they wish to do this.

Hotel reservations for the original April date should be directly cancelled through the hotel by teams and spectators. Per USQ’s agreement with each partner hotel, stays booked through our blocks are fully refundable up to 24-72 hours before the first check-in date.

For those who have made airline reservations, here is more information on how you can go about cancelling or changing your flights. We recommend that attendees carefully read over the policy with their relevant airline to determine when to request a change to already purchased itineraries. Most airlines are only allowing a change once, but others are offering vouchers that can be used for future travel. 

Update to Gameplay Policies

Should USQ Cup 13 happen at a later date, USQ will make an exception to the league’s enrollment policy for students who graduate during the spring semester, allowing them to continue to compete with their collegiate team during the rescheduled event. Qualified teams who are unable to attend the new dates will not be penalized in any way. Players who wish to transfer between teams prior to a rescheduled date for the event will be permitted to do so if they meet the normal criteria for a player transfer. 

Teams who have already deferred their bid to USQ 13 due to COVID-19 will be invited to attend the rescheduled event. Additionally, any team who previously had to defer their bid prior to March 4 will be added back onto the waitlist. These teams may receive a bid offer in the event a previously confirmed team cannot make the rescheduled tournament. Bids will be offered to teams who previously had to defer before being offered to teams who have not yet received an offer.

Additionally, all remaining season play requirements will be waived in order to compete at USQ Cup 13 in the event that a rescheduled date is determined. 

Background

Throughout the week, USQ staff have met with representatives from the Shawnee Sports Complex and vendors in Charleston, West Virginia to begin the process of identifying alternative dates for USQ Cup 13. We have been monitoring recommendations from public health agencies, including the CDC and the WHO. Staff have also been monitoring containment measures being taken by universities, government agencies, sports leagues, and other event producers.

On March 12, staff requested an emergency board meeting to discuss the escalating situation. The meeting was held that night. Staff recommended that USQ temporarily suspend the season, and the board supported their decision. USQ’s Board of Directors regularly meets once a month. March’s meeting was already scheduled for March 14. This meeting will still be held and the board will continue to discuss the situation. 

The decision to temporarily suspend the season was made in response to a number of factors, including growing concerns over public safety, the increased number of public gathering and event restrictions being set by local and state governments, and the number of collegiate teams at universities that have prohibited travel and/or moved to online-only courses.

We would like to thank our partners in Charleston for their support, especially the Shawnee Sports Complex and Kanawha County Commission. They have been working tirelessly behind the scenes all week to facilitate communication between USQ and other key stakeholders. They have also been incredibly gracious and supportive during our decision-making process. 

Questions

Letter from the ED

Hi Everyone,

As you can imagine, this was a difficult decision to make. I know how much the sport and US Quidditch Cup means to the community. Safety is USQ’s number one priority and we have a responsibility as your national governing body to take proactive measures to ensure that quidditch programs and events in the U.S. don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19. 

I want to take a moment to thank all USQ employees, volunteers, and board members for their hard work over the past couple of weeks. So many people have contributed to our emergency response and preparedness plans. I also want to thank our partners at Major League Quidditch and the International Quidditch Association, who have also provided support and guidance. Everyone’s efforts further demonstrate to me how strong and caring this community is. We all have a hand to play in the success of the sport and the league. 

If your team still chooses to get together over the coming weeks, I strongly recommend you read up on current CDC and WHO guidelines, which we linked above. We want you as players to be taking care of your health because you’re the future of the sport. Quidditch is not going away; we’re just taking a pause. 

Warmly,
Mary Kimball