After months of planning and exploring various safety measures, US Quidditch has decided to cancel US Quidditch Cup 14, which was set to take place this upcoming April in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although some areas have been able to return to practice, the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have made hosting such a large scale national-level championship too unsafe for participants, volunteers, staff, and the host community.
When making the decision, USQ staff focused on two key questions: is it safe for us to have a national-level event this season, and if it is safe, what might team participation look like? Staff consulted with the risk management team, analyzed the current COVID-19 case numbers in Utah and around the country, and worked with regional coordinators to review feedback from teams.
The risk management team assessed a variety of safety factors, including the overall rise in cases nationally and in Utah, quarantine policies related to state-to-state travel, state outdoor sport restrictions, and limitations on the size of gatherings. The risk management team concluded that case numbers would need to go down dramatically across the country to meet our return to play guidelines. Per the return to play (RTP) guidelines a team going to an event out of state needs to meet the baseline requirements of both the state they are from and the state they are traveling to. The risk management team doesn’t think that case numbers in Utah or the majority of other states will be low enough by April for us to have a national level event.
Regional coordinators reached out to teams to gauge their interest and ability to attend USQ Cup if it were to take place in April. There was not strong support for nationals among the teams they connected with. Lack of full practice opportunities due to case numbers, travel restrictions in place by schools, and slow vaccine distribution rates were a few reasons voiced as concerns.
“After careful consideration of COVID-19 trends, new variants, and the speed of the vaccine roll-out we determined that it is not possible to safely host nationals this year. The health and safety of our community and beyond are our top priority,” said Risk Management Team Lead Rebecca Martin.
In-person official and sanctioned events will not be allowed for the remainder of this season. We will continue to require teams to follow our return to play guidelines should anyone wish to hold practices, scrimmages, or other in-person events. It is essential that teams and community members continue to follow public health guidelines, such as wearing masks and social distancing. The full return to play guidelines, stages, and baseline requirements can be downloaded here. They are also available on our website. Teams holding practices or games at a given stage must submit this checklist form to the member services department when they first begin holding in-person activities.
MEMBERSHIP, REGISTRATION, AND TICKET CREDITS
Those who purchased membership for the 20-21 season will have it automatically applied to the 21-22 season. This includes team memberships, player memberships (both adult and virtual), non-player referee memberships, and fan memberships. Refunds are available on a case by case basis. To request a refund, fill out this form by April 30.
Teams who elected to have their USQ Cup 13 team registration fee available as a credit for this season will have that credit available next season as well.
Ticket buyers from USQ Cup 13 who requested a credit for USQ Cup 14 tickets will have those credits applied to USQ Cup 15.
EVENTS IN THE 21-22 SEASON AND BEYOND
USQ looks forward to events returning for the 2021-22 season, but no official decisions have been made as to what the season will look like. The currently scheduled regional championships dates and locations can be found here. USQ will continue to prioritize the health, safety, and success of our athletes, teams, volunteers, and the community as a whole when making decisions about USQ events and return to play.
More information on the 2021-22 season structure will be released in April.
FUTURE US QUIDDITCH CUP LOCATIONS
Due to the cancellation of a much-anticipated west coast national championship, the decision was made to change the location of the 2022 USQ Cup. Previously awarded to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, USQ Cup 15 will now be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Valley Forge has been awarded USQ Cup 16 for 2023. Below are the new dates and locations.
US Quidditch Cup 15
Salt Lake City, Utah
April 23-24, 2022
US Quidditch Cup 16
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
For more information, see the full article here.