USQ Update

USQ Update

USNT Update for the 2020-21 Season

The US National Team (USNT) shares updates regarding the upcoming season and the effects of COVID-19 on the program structure. Additionally, after reviewing the BIPOC community key takeaways, the USNT staff shares updates based on these takeaways.

The US National Team (USNT) shares updates regarding the upcoming season and the effects of COVID-19 on the program structure. Additionally, after reviewing the BIPOC community key takeaways, the USNT staff shares updates based on these takeaways.

USNT DIVERSITY

Increasing transparency as it relates to racial and gender diversity with the USNT is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goal of USQ moving forward. The USNT will now provide all training camp attendees, USNT applicants, and USNT appointees with the option to identify their race and gender upon registering. This will allow for a better understanding of the diversity of the applicant pool and the current team. The data collected will be shared in public updates and used for research and development purposes; however, unless an individual chooses to have their name expressly tied to a data point, we will not be publicly naming individuals that identify as a certain gender or race.

In the short term, all five current members of the USNT staff will be taking the following Harvard Implicit Association Tests: gender science, skin tone, and race. This ties into USQ’s larger goal of creating and sharing training opportunities focused on anti-racism and implicit bias. The tests from Harvard are meant to, "measure attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report" and to reveal "an implicit attitude of which the test taker may not be aware they exhibit." Following these tests, USNT staff members will have conversations with MLQ’s Lead DEI Strategist Christian Barnes--who is working with USQ on a number of DEI-related items via the MLQ and USQ partnership--to discuss the results and "how what we have power over might be affected."

In the long term, USNT will be adopting any additional training (anti-racism, anti-oppression, etc.) required by USQ per the DEI goals to incorporate additional training into the league for staff by December 2020.

Additionally, USNT staff is planning to create training materials throughout the fall to help athletes prepare for USNT. We recognize not all athletes receive the same training on their seasonal teams. We hope providing more guidance will further diversify our recruitment pool. These training materials will be posted on the USQ website by November 2020.

2020-21 TRYOUTS

The USNT coaching staff, led by USNT Head Coach Michael “Yada” Parada, aimed to hold the 2020 drop/add period following the 2020 MLQ Championship, given the cancellation of the US Quidditch Cup 13. However, the former was also cancelled due to COVID-19.

At this time, the USNT does not plan to host an add/drop period in the fall. Under the MLQ/USQ return to play guidelines, which will be released at the end of this week, it is unlikely that in-person group activities such as training camps will be permitted until at least early fall. In addition, USNT staff feels that the lack of play for the past five months and the lack of universal ability to play in the fall due to COVID-19 will not provide an accurate representation of the athlete pool. The USNT staff also does not want athletes to feel pressured to play in an environment they may not otherwise participate in. Any footage submitted of official fall 2020 matches will still be reviewed and taken into consideration by the USNT scouting team.

The application for consideration for the next round of USNT drop/adds, including the USNT Developmental Academy (USNTDA), will go live November 1. Openings for USNT staff roles, including a USNTDA manager, will go live this month. USNT staff is aware of the current lack of staff diversity and will target this issue during upcoming staff recruitment efforts. 

The USNT staff plans to begin holding training camps again in the spring, however, the dates of these camps will be dependent upon the ability to safely do so. If needed, the USNT will hold training camps exclusive to local athletes so as not to have parties from multiple states gathering in a single area. In that scenario, current standing team players, much like in the past, will be extended an open invitation to run the camps.

USNT has not received further updates from the IQA regarding the final date and location of the next IQA World Cup. 

USNT SCOUTS

As previously noted on the USNT webpage, since the appointment of Parada as head coach in 2017, the USNT has utilized the knowledge and input of anonymous scouts across regions in the selection of the team. 

The choice to keep scouts anonymous was a mutual decision between Parada and his 2018 group of scouts. Not publicizing these names allows for these individuals to do their job without the pressure of the community in which they are players, coaches, and volunteers. Additionally, past usage of publicly-appointed committees by USQ has led to parties attempting to influence the appointed individuals.

Scouts are selected by Parada. There is no limit on the number of scouts he appoints in a season but the aim is to have a diverse group of eight to 12 individuals. Some scouts do end up returning but new scouts are added each year. If a party is interested in becoming a scout, they can email nationalteam@usquidditch.org to inquire. 

Each region is represented, with the exception of the Northwest given the current size of the region. However, West scouts are selected that have knowledge of and do see Northwest players during the USQ season. Scouts hail from both college and club programs. Racial and gender diversity are accounted for. The 2018 IQA World Cup scouting team was 44 percent BIPOC and Parada will continue to ensure at least 33 percent of each scouting team is BIPOC. Scouts are asked to attend training camps if they are able but the majority of their assessments stem from tournament attendance and film review.

The individuals selected send Parada updates throughout the season using methods of their choosing--spreadsheets, statistics, writeups, etc. When it comes time to add and remove athletes from the USNT, Parada turns to his scouting reports and often consults with scouts--in addition to his assistant coaches--during the selection process.

QUESTIONS

For additional questions on the USNT program, please email USNT Coordinator Amanda Dallas at amanda.dallas@usquidditch.org. More info on the USNT and the current members and staff can be found here.