USQ Update

MembershipUSQ Update

Summer updates on return to play

Going into the summer, USQ’s risk management team has made further updates to the return to play guidelines and released additional injury prevention resources. The article also includes recommendations for informal events like fantasy tournaments and pickup games.

As teams move into the summer, USQ’s risk management team has made further updates to the return to play guideline and released additional injury prevention resources. There are also recommendations for informal events like fantasy tournaments and pickup games.

Injury Prevention Resources

As players prepare to go back to the pitch after over a year off from quidditch, it is important to focus on flexibility, strength, and fitness to avoid injuries. Muscles can weaken surprisingly fast without continued activity. Athletes are prone to injury after taking time off - whether due to recovery from previous injuries or pandemics - if they push themselves too hard. Therefore, slowly getting back into an exercise routine is essential to prevent injury. 

The USQ Risk Management Team has introduced the new ‘Ask An Athletic Trainer’ series, which will provide exercises that focus on body areas most impacted by gameplay. The goal of this series is to help USQ players become flexible, strong, and fit post-COVID and beyond. 

Return to Play Guidelines

The full return to play guidelines have been updated with the information below. The changes below have been informed by recent CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. 

Removal of Mask Requirement for Stages 1 and 2

For stages 1 and 2, masks are no longer required. In these stages, only non-contact activity is permitted. Social distancing requirements and other safety restrictions are still in place. Check the full guidelines linked above for more information.

Expansion of Vaccination Waiver Program

The vaccination waiver program is expanding from just stages 3 and 4 to stages 3-7.

Additionally, the threshold to qualify for the program is changing. Instead of needing 100% of a team to be fully vaccinated, teams need to have at least 70% of their players be fully vaccinated. At events with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated, unvaccinated people would still have to wear masks and follow social distancing rules. The 70% figure was calculated by examining literature and comments from public health authorities, including John Hopkins University and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Informal Summer Events

We recommend that those hosting informal events this summer like pickup games and fantasy tournaments follow these return to play guidelines. Additionally, we have the following recommendations:

  • Masks and mouthguards: we recommend that tournament directors either require masks or mouthguards, but not both. If masks are required, then you should not have to wear a mouthguard. In any other situation, mouthguards should be required. This is a safety precaution to limit the spread of COVID and other germs that may arise when a player adjusts their mouthguard or mask.
  • If you would like to obtain a vaccine waiver for your summer event, fill out the form here, and staff will assist you in the approval process. In the team name section, provide a description of who is attending and, if relevant, list the USQ team names. 

Start of Official and Sanctioned Events

Our goal is to resume official and sanctioned events and allow all types of play with little or no safety restrictions by September 1. We will be looking at a variety of data points in determining what can take place beginning September 1, including case rates, hospitalizations, vaccination rates and vaccine availability, and literature on the risk of COVID-19 transmission in full-contact sports. We will provide an update later in the summer with more information on the timeline for the relaunching of official and sanctioned events. 

In the meantime, if you are planning on hosting an official or sanctioned event next season and haven’t been contacted by USQ already in regards to the event’s status and tentative date, please fill out this form so that we can notify you when more information is available on the status of official return to play and other important updates.  

MLQ and USQ Guidelines

As mentioned in our last update in May, for those participating in Major League Quidditch this summer, MLQ team and players are required to follow MLQ return to play guidelines, which are available here. With USQ’s summer updates, our guidelines differ more than that did earlier. However, we are still collaborating extensively with MLQ on return to play. Please note that players participating in MLQ activities within MLQ’s return to play guidelines will not be considered in violation of USQ’s policies, and vice versa. 

SUMMARY OF STAGES

The charts below are in the full return to play guidelines, and may be downloaded as a PDF here.

Baseline Conditions

To move up into stage 1 and higher, a team must meet the baseline conditions, or be approved for the vaccination waiver program. Baseline conditions are based on the state a team is located in, and if applicable, the state a team is traveling to. 

Summer_RTP_-_baseline_conditions

Details of Each Stage

Summer_RTP_-_stages

Questions

For questions, email membership@usquidditch.org.