The USQ Gameplay Department normally conducts an extensive review of all league gameplay policies and programs from April to August each season. During the 2020-21 season, we reviewed policies while taking into account the suspended COVID season to better prepare for the 2021-22 season. This detailed review includes evaluating feedback received from members through surveys and meetings with regional coordinators and other team leadership. For the 2021-22 season, we have reviewed and made changes based on the challenges we expect teams to face due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full list of gameplay policies is visible here. Any questions about the structures, policies, or programs in this article can be directed to gameplay@usquidditch.org.

Article contents:


Club division structure

For the 2021-22 season, this division will be temporarily shifting back to requiring club teams to attend at least one regional championship in order to qualify for US Quidditch Cup. Due to the lack of confirmed club tournaments, we hope these events will continue to foster club competition. Teams may attend any regional championship for this requirement. Additional information below outlines the season structure and qualification process. 

For the 2021-22 season, club teams will be allowed to attend any regional championship they wish. Teams will not be required to play a minimum number of games before regionals. For regionals, the official USQ standings will be used to rank teams as needed. For all teams that have not yet played official games, they will be counted as unranked teams. 

SEASON PLAY REQUIREMENTS

In order to be eligible to qualify for USQ Cup (the national championship), club teams will need to fulfill season play requirements by March 6, 2022. The season play requirements mandate a minimum number of opponents played during the season, and a minimum number of games, and attending a USQ-hosted event.

Club teams will be required to:

  1. Play at least 5 USQ official games.
  2. Compete against at least 3 different official club teams.
  3. Attend a USQ hosted regional. 

QUALIFICATION FOR NATIONALS

At this time, USQ has not decided to cap the number of club teams allowed to compete at USQ Cup 15. If there is any change, an update will be posted no later than 1 week before the first regional championship, currently scheduled for October 23, 2021. If a cap is decided, more information will be released regarding the number of bids and at large bids. Due to this, the club competition structure for USQ Cup 2022 has not yet been finalized. Season play requirements will still need to be completed by March 6, 2022 for all club teams interested in attending.

ONGOING EVALUATION

USQ will be collecting feedback throughout the 2021-22 season to gauge how this temporary structure is working for club division teams. Feedback will be reviewed at the end of the season and the divisional structure for the 2022-23 season will be announced in June 2022. 

Your feedback is important to us so we can make adjustments where necessary, so please do not hesitate to reach out to USQ with comments, thoughts, or ideas at gameplay@usquidditch.org. This is your sport, and you always have the opportunity to positively impact the direction it grows.

Collegiate Division Structure

The overall collegiate season structure for the 2021-22 season will be similar to the 2019-20 season. Teams will compete in regular season matches as well as a regional championship, although teams are not required to attend their closest geographic championship. There will be opportunities for teams to qualify for the national championship at regional events as well as through an at large process. The format for the collegiate division at USQ Cup is being adjusted, as outlined below.

SEASON PLAY REQUIREMENTS

The season play requirements will be similar to the 2019-20 season, but condensed.

All official collegiate teams will be required to:

  1. Play at least 5 USQ official games
  2. Compete against 3 different collegiate teams.
  3.  Attend a USQ regional championship.

These requirements must be filled by March 6, 2022. Teams wishing to enter the competitive division at nationals must attend a regional. Teams interested in the open division must simply attend one event, but are invited to use regionals to count for this requirement. 

Games played at regionals will count toward season play requirements. 

Teams will not be required to play a minimum number of games before regionals. For regionals, the official USQ standings will be used to rank teams as needed. For all teams that have not yet played official games, they will be counted as unranked teams. 

Additional information on gameplay policies is available here

QUALIFICATION FOR NATIONALS

Collegiate teams can qualify for USQ Cup 2022 by earning bids through USQ Regional Championships or by earning at large bids. Teams will also need to complete their season play requirements by March 6, 2022.

Gameplay Changes for Club and Collegiate Divisions  

RANKINGS

There will not be a change to the rankings algorithm for the 2021-2022 season. While the algorithm will stay the same, only games played between teams of the same division will count toward the ranking algorithm. Games played between teams of different divisions (club vs collegiate) may be used for season play requirements, but will not count toward rankings. 

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

For the 2021-22 season, club and collegiate teams will be allowed to attend any regional championship they wish. Collegiate teams may attend any regional, even multiple regionals. College teams who have already qualified for USQ Cup 2022 may play a different schedule in the “second half” of the tournament from teams still attempting to qualify. Team registration for the regional championships will open later this year. 

USQ requires a minimum regional size for the collegiate division. In the 2021-22 season, the minimum will be four teams. If a regional championship does not have four college teams fully registered by 11:59pm ET 4 weeks before the event, there will be no regional for that division in that region. Teams in that region and division will be required to attend a separate regional instead.

Additional information about regional championship dates and locations can be found here.

USQ Cup 2022

At USQ Cup 2022, the collegiate division will be split into two separate divisions. The competitive division will be similar in structure to previous years, and the open division previously planned for USQ 13 will be coming back. Information about the format for each division will be available this fall. 48 collegiate teams will be able to compete at this event in the competitive division. The open division will have up to 16 collegiate teams.

The club division will remain uncapped at this time, and a gameplay structure will be created based on the number of teams that fulfill the requirements to attend.

COLLEGIATE COMPETITIVE DIVISION

The competitive division will include 48 teams. Teams will earn bids through the regional championships process, and remaining bids will be earned through the at large bid process. The collegiate competitive division will be a Swiss-style tournament. Additional details about the tournament structure and gameplay schedule will be released throughout this season.

The bids for a regional championship will be allocated based on the number of registered teams for a regional championship 1 week away from the event. A system of at large bids will determine the remaining spots. See below for additional information about at large bids. At large bids will be awarded directly to teams based on the USQ standings as of 11:59pm ET on Sunday, March 6, 2022. Teams must meet certain requirements, including expanded season play requirements. Additional information about the at large bid process is available here

Expanded season play guidelines for at large bids for both divisions will be:

  1. Play at least 7 USQ official games
  2. Compete against 4 different opponents*
    1. If club nationals becomes a capped event, at large bids may become necessary. If they do, club teams must compete against at least 2 unique club opponents to fulfill this requirement.
  3.  Attend 2 USQ official events (regionals counts toward this total).

OPEN DIVISION

USQ Cup 2022 will see the implementation of an open division within the collegiate division. Spaces will be available for up to 16 official teams to compete. 

The open division is designed to be an opportunity for additional teams to be able to compete against other teams from across the country. The format for the open division will be decided this fall after collecting feedback from potential attendees. It will be an opportunity for teams of all levels to be able to participate in the national championship and gain experience against opponents from different regions.

Additional details about the format of the open division as well as the registration process will be released in November 2021. 

Gameplay Policy Changes for 2021-22 Season

Policies not listed in this section do not have substantial changes from the 2019-20 season. The full list of gameplay policies is visible here

JOINT TEAM DEVELOPMENT POLICY

This joint team development program is intended to help new teams grow. This program has been expanded for the 2021-22 USQ season to assist returning teams in navigating their first post-COVID season. The plan has two main components: a foster program, whereby an established official college club may be permitted to have students from one single other college on its roster, and a joint team program, whereby up to three schools that currently don’t have official teams may compete together as one team. The joint team program has been expanded to allow schools with previously official teams to combine, provided they have evidenced need.

ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

All players on a collegiate team must attend the same school, unless they are participating in the joint team development program. Current graduate students will be permitted to play on their school’s collegiate team. Faculty, staff, and community members who are not enrolled in classes will not be permitted to play on a school’s collegiate team. A student from a college with an unofficial or club team may not compete with a college team from another school.

This season, USQ will be confirming enrollment status with an administrator from the school that supervises a team. Teams will be required to provide that contact info upon registration. When registering for individual USQ membership, players will be required to provide their student ID number. This will help school administrators identify and confirm that players are enrolled. If USQ staff is unable to reach an administrator for confirmation, players may be asked to submit proof of enrollment individually. 

Additional information about collegiate player eligibility requirements can be found on our membership team requirements page, here.

Existing Gameplay Policies

Please review the full Gameplay Policies and Forms website page for information about key policies that are not changing from the 2019-20 season. This includes the official game requirements, roster submission requirements, game appeal policy, forfeit procedure, fair play policy, tiebreaker policy, and equipment waiver form

Members are also expected to abide by the official member code of conduct and unlawful harassment policy.

Any attempt to subvert the 24 hour waiting period when taking Classmarker certification quizzes (including those for referees, coaches, snitch runners, and tournament directors) will result in a season-long suspension of that person’s coach, referee, and/or snitch membership, along with the revocation of all certifications for that season. The offender will also be suspended as a player for one game. Learn more about the certification cheating policy here.

The 2021-22 season will be played under USQ Rulebook 15, which will be released in July.

Timeline & Key Dates

The following are general deadlines for gameplay policies:

The following deadlines apply to an event with official games: 

  • 1 month before event: event sanctioning application due (if applicable)
  • 2 weeks before event: waiver application deadline for the dedicated TD requirement (if applicable)
  • 1 week before event: the game or tournament must be submitted to the USQ events calendar, and TD must be certified 
  • 1 week before before event: equipment waiver primary deadline, will be processed before event (if applicable)
  • 24 hours before event: equipment waiver final deadline, may not be processed before event (if applicable)
  • 24 hours before event: participating teams must submit their rosters
  • 24 hours before event: players on collegiate teams must submit proof of enrollment
  • 24 hours before event: participating teams must have a fully certified coach 
  • 24 hours before event: team referee and snitch runner requirements due (if not completed by the team’s initial deadline)
  • 2 days after event: scores submitted to USQ standings
  • 1 week after event: forfeits at tournament emailed to gameplay@usquidditch.org (if applicable)
  • 1 week after event: appeal form submitted (if applicable)
  • 1 week after event: disciplinary report form submitted (if applicable)
  • 1 week after event: event survey form submitted (optional, recommended for all attendees)

The deadlines for the team referee and snitch runner requirements vary, and are as follows:

  • If a team is competing at a USQ fall regional championship or fall circuit event, they must complete the team referee and snitch runner requirements by the season play deadline for that specific event.
  • If a team is competing at a USQ spring regional championship, a USQ spring circuit event, or not going to a regional championship or circuit event at all but still an official member team, they must complete the requirements by either the season play deadline for the final fall regional championship, or one month after their team registers for the season, whichever comes later.
  • If a team does not attend a regional championship, then their requirements are due one month after their team registers for the season.
  • Relevant Season Play Deadlines:
    • Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship: Sunday, October 10, 2021
    • Northeast Regional Championship: Sunday, October 17, 2021
    • Midwest Regional Championship: Sunday, October 17, 2021
    • Great Lakes Regional Championship: Sunday, October 24, 2021
    • Southwest Regional Championship: Sunday, February 6, 2022
    • West Regional Championship: Sunday, February 13, 2022

If a team does not complete these requirements by the deadline, it must complete them by 24 hours before its next scheduled official event.

The following are the date and locations for the 2021-22 season regional championships:

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship – Richmond, Virginia – Glover Park – October 23-24, 2021.
  • Northeast Regional Championship – Warwick, Rhode Island – Bend Street Field Complex – October 30-31, 2021. 
  • Midwest Regional Championship – Papillon, Nebraska – Papillion Landing – October 30-31, 2021
  • Great Lakes Regional Championship – West Chester, Ohio – Voice of America Athletic Complexe – November 6-7, 2021.
  • Southwest Regional Championship – Lubbock, Texas – Berl Huffman Athletic Complex – February 19-20, 2022.
  • West Regional Championship – Tucson, Arizona – Naranja Park (located in Oro Valley, AZ) – February 26-27, 2022.

USQ Cup 2022 will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Regional Athletic Complex April 23-24, 2022.

Questions?

Please email gameplay@usquidditch.org with any questions or comments about any of the information in this article. 

If you’re interested in joining the gameplay department and helping to guide the league’s gameplay structures and policies, please email us at volunteer@usquidditch.org