USQ is planning to make significant shifts in our branding, programs, and services. We are also implementing a new structure to create new opportunities for volunteers to hold leadership positions and have more responsibilities.
This fall, USQ has been facilitating conversations between the board of directors, employees, and volunteers on the challenges facing teams in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and how that relates to the current programs and services that USQ offers. It’s clear that many teams are struggling due to the lack of opportunities to play and the general stress our country is experiencing. Some of the trends we’ve noticed were a problem before the pandemic, and have only been made worse in recent months. To adapt to these challenges and better serve members, USQ is pushing forth a few major initiatives over the next several months that will refocus our programs and services. We are also creating more volunteer opportunities with leadership responsibilities.
For the past several months, a coalition of staff from the communications department as well as the member services department have been working on a project around USQ’s branding. That includes the logo, typography, colors, and now, the name of the sport.
Over the last 3 to 4 years, there have been discussions at all levels of quidditch about potentially changing the name of the sport. Executive Director Mary Kimball sought board support in December to facilitate a comprehensive rebranding initiative, with the goal of getting feedback from a variety of stakeholders on if USQ should change the name of the sport (and all the other Harry Potter related names we use) to something else. This initiative will make it possible for more people in the quidditch community to participate in the discussion, especially taking in the perspective of players.
In the first half of 2021, we will be seeking feedback from a variety of stakeholders on the topic. There will be a survey, as well as focus groups and other discussion opportunities facilitated by USQ staff. More information will be available in the new year.
The addition of more volunteer roles with leadership responsibility presents an opportunity for USQ to reevaluate the current team structure within staff, both in terms of what teams are needed as well as what they should be prioritizing. We are specifically focusing on services for members: for teams, players, leaders, referees, snitches, and fans. All USQ volunteers have been invited to review a proposal from Strategic Planning Manager Megan Anderson that details suggested changes to what teams we currently have, what teams we may add and/or shift, and what projects each team focuses on. We will be announcing these changes in the new year.
On Sunday, December 13, the board of directors approved an adjusted mission statement for USQ. It is detailed below, with the changes noted highlighted in italics.
Approved Draft: US Quidditch is the national governing body for the sport of quidditch. USQ advances the sport by organizing events and programs that build community and empower adult and youth athletes of all identities, including all races and genders, to compete together.
The changes the board approved reflect a couple of points of feedback that were brought up in recent staff focus groups as well as the BIPOC town halls from earlier this summer:
This past summer, USQ did an organizational restructuring at the volunteer level. The biggest change was the addition of team leaders, a volunteer role between employees and coordinators that handles project management and delegation for a USQ staff team. We also launched recruitment for more volunteers, which resulted in 40 more people joining league staff.
This project was divided into three phases. Phase 1 took place in July and August. Phase 2 took place from September through December. Phase 3 will be from January until June. At the end of July, the employees and the volunteer engagement committee made an implementation plan for phase 1 of the project, and began talking about action items for phase 2. Employees and the volunteer engagement committee continued to meet monthly to discuss current projects. In December, five focus groups with volunteers on staff were also held, led by Volunteer Engagement Committee Members Katrina Bynum, Jeremy Schleicher, and Annabel Russel. Overall, over 30 volunteers on staff participated in the feedback process.
Our goals in evaluating phases 1 and 2 were to:
Here is a summary of the changes being implemented this winter:
USQ’s organizational chart has been updated to reflect the structural changes being made.
We have begun recruiting for more volunteer roles, including team leaders and department managers. For team leaders, we will continue the selection model the gameplay department teams have been using, where members of the team select who will be their leader. More information is available on the volunteer page of our website.
For questions about these changes or about how to get involved with USQ, email firstname.lastname@example.org.