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Planning Out Your Season

Learn from teams around the country and the advice they have for planning your season for your team. We are also sharing the success metric results from this year's benchmark program survey.

Planning the season out in advance for your team is key to ensure you achieve all of your requirements and goals for the upcoming season. Knowing where to start, especially if you are new to planning out your season, can be challenging. Planning not only includes what tournaments you’ll be attending, but your travel, budget, and recruitment targets. USQ has gathered some advice below from teams around the country who share some of their secrets to success for planning out their team's season. If you are looking for further resources, we encourage you to check out USQ’s team resource page. If you would like even more advice, you are always welcome to email membership@usquidditch.org.  

In addition to advice from teams, we are also sharing some of the results from this year's benchmark program survey below. Nearly 100 number of teams filled it out. One goal of this survey was to identify success metrics for team operation. Giving teams an idea of the numbers they should be aiming for in various categories can provide a helpful starting point to a team’s season planning.

Be sure to check back in June for the next article in our series talking about how to plan for traveling with your team. If you would like to see your team featured in future advice articles, please fill out the form linked here. Multiple people from the same team are welcome to fill out the form! We thank the teams who have contributed and look forward to sharing more responses in this new series!  

 


Boom Train

“Be up front with your teammates and do your absolute best to establish the calendar for the season in ADVANCE of the season starting. Set your expectations at the get-go even if it is as vague as "We will be having two practices, one on Saturdays and one on Wednesdays at such and such location. Our plan is to travel once every other month for a tournament. The first few tournaments we plan to attend are these tournaments on these dates, and going forward we will let you know as much in advance as possible for the other tournaments for the year." That and stay on top of the TDs for the tournaments you plan on attending. If you have questions or concerns, contact them. If they don't get back to you, remind them. I'm not saying that TDs are not responsible (they are usually VERY responsible), but they are probably also busy and stuff gets buried sometimes. We're all human. A reminder doesn't hurt. Just don't be a jerk.”


Bowling Green State University

“Look at all tournaments you can go to. Weigh your options regarding what the weather will likely be like. Also make sure you have plenty of chances to meet season requirements in case a tournament gets cancelled. We had to drive ten hours to a tournament once to meet our requirements due to cancelled tournaments.”


Florida Gulf Coast Quidditch

Photo Credit: Michelle Juron

“Your team’s season needs to be something that is discussed with the whole team, not just the officers. Get goals, they don’t have to be big. A goal can be anywhere from winning at nationals to recruiting at least five people for the new season.”


Illinois State University Firebirds

“Think of your drivers. Some teams only have a few, and it can be tough on them and their vehicles if you plan multiple long-distance trips too close together.” 


Iowa Quidditch Club

“This is probably obvious, but we try to avoid doing two or three weekends of travel in a row. If there is an extra weekend between events, the team feels less like quidditch is controlling all of their free time.”


The Lost Boys Quidditch Club

Photo Credit: Shirley Lu

“If you want a tournament in your schedule, plan it yourself. Hosting Neverland Classic filled a gap for a big opening tournament in the West. It was a lot of work but absolutely worth it. Don't be afraid to travel if you can afford it. Don't overload your schedule, too much quidditch can push people away who are looking for less commitment.”


New York University Quidditch

“Though things are uncertain right now, definitely try and plan things out as if we're going back into a normal fall semester. People have been off for awhile so I'd encourage members to try and stay active during quarantine so there's a smoother transition. Make sure you've marked important dates right off the bat and have communication with your regional coordinator to find out if there are any potential dates for tournaments or events. Double check dates don't interfere with university breaks or important events!

If you have a fall regional, it's probably sooner than you think. Try and hold a returners practice (or tryout) right as people start returning to campus alongside recruitment. Recruitment is really important and the beginning of the fall semester is incredibly busy for new students but try and have as many opportunities for tryouts and practices as possible during September. Getting the season underway as soon as possible is important. We try and give at least two weeknight practice options a week, which helps a lot for individual development, if you can offer that it would be great to try and squeeze some in and let team members know of the dates ASAP.

Planning out early is great, but sometimes things happen the day before you need to adjust too, make sure you're keeping an eye on as many sources as possible and keeping up to date with USQ!”


Quidditch Club at Virginia Tech

“Focus very very hard on recruitment and retention for the first month, and then gradually become more competitive until you are at your max potential at regionals. Then make sure you do social events as well as keeping in shape over the off-season. Spring should start slow (because of the cold) but try your best to bounce back and push through. You should be back to how strong you were by the time March hits, giving you a month to get better and keep the ball rolling until nationals.”


Sam Houston State University Quidditch

“Don’t go in only trying to win, and give yourselves a break every once in a while.”


Texas Quidditch

“Solidify plans as soon as possible. Get a rough outline of what tournaments that you want to go to, even if you don’t have all of the information that you want on them yet. Plan to go to 5-7 tournaments a year to ensure that you’re getting proficient reps against teams.”


The Worcester Wargs

"Get everyone in on the conversation! Figure out people's work schedules. Reach out as much as possible, as early as possible, and stay on top of it by talking to organizers."


Benchmark Program Success Metrics

Metrics were determined using the average numbers and answers in each category from 97 teams that completed the 2019-20 season benchmark survey and that also expressed that they will be renewing membership for the 2020-21 season. We understand that scenarios will look different for each team, but we hope these numbers will spark some ideas as you look to plan your upcoming season.

How many people are currently on your team?

22

How many people this season are new recruits?

8

How many people this season are returning players?

14

How many people are certified referees?

6

How many people on your team have a leadership position?

5

How often do you practice?

Weekly

How many people consistently show up to practice?

13

How often during a season do you interact with the team that is closest to you (scrimmages, meet-ups, etc.)?

A few times randomly during the season

How many tournaments did your team attend during the 19-20 season?

6

What was the average number of players on your roster for tournaments last season?

17

Does your team start the season off with creating a budget?

Yes

How much money do you plan to raise during the 19-20 season? 

$1,500

Does your team have funds set aside that carries over into each season?

Yes

How many fundraisers do you typically host each season?

3

For questions about the benchmark survey program, email strategicplanning@usquidditch.org. The next edition of the benchmark survey program will take place during the 2020-21 season.