QuidditchUK 19/20 Season & COVID-19 Updates

Despite a lot of uncertainty floating about with the recent updates to COVID-19 within the United Kingdom and the international community, it has been incredibly heart-warming to see the wider community being so supportive over the last week.

Firstly, from the Executive Management Team, we would like to say thank you to all club and team leadership for taking the instruction to postpone training and competition, and further limit risk of the virus spreading.

Cancelling or postponing events is never an easy decision to make, and is not one we made lightly, and we’re thankful for the community to have responded so well both publicly and privately towards our volunteers. It hasn’t been an easy week for any of us, and it likely won’t get easier soon, but having this wonderful community to fall back on is what makes this sport so special. So thank you, and keep looking out for each other.

We encourage members and clubs to keep reaching out to each other, the inter-community support is only going to get more important over the coming weeks and months, and we know that a lot of that is achieved through shared content and experience.

Online virtual socials both within and outside of your clubs, fitness challenges, discussions, footage and gameplay reviews, totally-official-online-basketball-competitions for the British Quidditch Cup. And memes.

All of these are vital, and we implore you to keep it up.

With official measures now rolled out by the UK Government and firmer decisions being made by both Quidditch Europe and The International Association across the coming weeks, QuidditchUK are slowly positioning themselves into what comes next.

We’re not yet in a position to determine when the British Quidditch Cup will take place, or if it is still a certainty for this year, however we’re educating ourselves on what may be practical in the coming months.

We have just reached out to clubs with a range of dates to indicate if/when a summer BQC could feasibly happen. We are aware that summer competitions will make things complicated for our university membership to compete, but we’re determined to find a solution that will benefit the majority of members should BQC still go ahead this year.

A lot of this still swings on the state of COVID-19 as well as other quidditch events, namely the World Cup, but as many of those international decisions are being decided by mid-April, we are at this stage aiming to determine BQC 2020 by mid-May.

We’ll be updating you as and when we can, but in the meantime stay safe, stay connected, stay isolated whenever possible, and stay in touch.

If you need to reach out to QuidditchUK for any reason, please get in touch with us and we’ll help however we can.

Thanks
the QuidditchUK Executive Management Team

QuidditchUK Policies surrounding COVID-19

After discussions with experts and partners within Sport England, and our medical contacts, QuidditchUK have made the following decisions with regards to our tournaments, clubs, and all UK quidditch activities for the foreseeable future.

First and foremost, the 2020 British Quidditch Cup has been postponed until further notice.

In the early stages of the outbreak, QuidditchUK maintained the possibility that the worst of the epidemic would have passed by mid-late April, at which point hosting a national tournament would still be a realistic aim. However, with recent trends, newly released information, and a growing concern of safety and welfare for our members, we are postponing the British Quidditch Cup.

We still intend to host BQC this year, but given the rapid escalation of the COVID-19 situation in the United Kingdom and Europe, we are currently reluctant to propose an alternative date as we cannot predict when the pandemic will have passed. This decision will also need to consider the exam timetables of our student member base and international quidditch fixtures over the coming months.

A full cancellation of BQC for the 2019-2020 season is still a possibility, depending on how the situation progresses. Should this become our only option, we will inform the community as soon as possible.

Effective immediately, QuidditchUK are strongly discouraging any and all quidditch activity. Member clubs and teams should avoid training together until further notice, and any planned tournaments or events should be postponed or cancelled.

This advice extends to all QuidditchUK clubs, QuidditchUK national teams, Quidditch Premier League teams, and any Youth Quidditch programmes planned or scheduled in the coming months.

If you believe you have come into contact with a person who may be infected with COVID-19 at a quidditch event or team training, you must contact your club leadership and/or QuidditchUK as soon as possible so appropriate action can be taken.

Regarding EQC, QuidditchUK will also be recommending and voting for the postponement of the Division 1 European Quidditch Cup this coming Wednesday (18th April) at a Quidditch Europe consultation.

Quidditch Australia has created the following guidelines for clubs and individuals competing or training. QuidditchUK maintains that clubs should not be engaging in quidditch activities until further notice, but these measures should be practised until the situation is less severe. Further advice will be released when clubs should return to training and fixtures.

We anticipate this to be late May to early June, but do not have a firm date or time as of yet.

  1. Recommendations for Clubs & Individuals
    1. With regards to attendance, individuals should: 
      1. Not attend events/training if they have contracted COVID-19
      2. Not attend events/training if they have come into contact with someone confirmed to have contracted COVID-19
    2. With regards to personal hygiene, individuals should: 
      1. Wash hands before and after
        1. Playing games
        2. Touching equipment like mouthguards 
      2. Ideally use hand sanitiser before and after taking to the pitch
      3. Avoid touching their face
      4. Avoid sneezing or coughing into hands, clothing, or elbow-pit 
        1. Note: arms and elbows may regularly come into contact to other people through tackles, ball handling, or using ‘elbow-bumps’ as an alternative to handshakes after a game. We recommend sneezing or coughing into a tissue, handkerchief, personal towel, etc, that may be thrown out or cleaned.  
    3. With regards to equipment, individuals should 
      1. Minimise sharing of equipment such as 
        1. Jerseys 
        2. Gloves
        3. Brooms
        4. Headbands
      2. Entirely avoid sharing equipment such as 
        1. Whistles 
        2. Water bottles
        3. Mouth guards
    4. Individuals should also 
      1. Avoid hugs, handshakes, high fives, or similar contact after a game
      2. Avoid the practice of removing a mouthguard during a game
      3. Avoid spitting on gloves to clean them or make them more sticky 

Line notes and next steps

  • British Quidditch Cup is suspended until further notice.
  • The QuidditchUK Executive Management Team are discussing all options with venues and partners and will have a more concrete timeline in the next 1-2 weeks.
  • There are no plans to cancel BQC as of yet, but it is still a possibility and will be communicated in due course when the COVID-19 situation is more developed.
  • QuidditchUK will be recommending and voting for the suspension of the Division 1 European Quidditch Cup.
  • QuidditchUK strongly recommends the suspension of any and all quidditch activities in the United Kingdom until further notice.
  • Team UK, Team Scotland, Team Wales are to cease all training until further notice.

For any further information or queries please get in touch via quidditchuk.org/contact

Molly Maurice-Smith Looks For Successor In Human Resources

It is with great dismay to officially announce that Molly Maurice-Smith, one of the longest running members of QuidditchUK’s current Executive Management Team has stepped down. Molly relinquishes her role as Human Resources Director, who manages all volunteers, playing or non-playing, within the sport. Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to maintain well run tournaments as well as keep afloat many different departments of our national governing body.

Molly has had a great run in her two and a half years of being a senior volunteer for us. The memory of her still being part of Reading Rocs (a now retired team) only felt like yesterday! Within her time directing volunteers, she’s saw out the re-branded Reading Knights last season, ending in 2018 and took a casual hiatus whilst playing Bristol Bears before the beginning of 2019. Now, her recent transfer to London Unspeakables in conjunction to her most recent move across the country for work has finally accelerated her quidditch career. Molly was part of the squad who claimed second place at the European Qualifier Tournament and will hopefully be going to Belgium in May to play on the international stage she’s always dreamt of.

Molly had this to say before she retired from her duties:

“I have to thank QuidditchUK, and the volunteers who have given it life and growth, for offering me the opportunity to build my skillset and allowing me to enjoy being a part of this incredible community.”

We’d like to extend our gratitude towards Molly for all her hard work and service to the sport and the community. There’s no question about her being an absolutely influential part in the development of volunteers throughout Media, Operations, Events, Gameplay and all other conglomerate sectors which would not make up QuidditchUK as it’s run today and will be run for the betterment of the future.

As well as our praise, we would like to wish her all the best on her next adventure. On behalf of us and the general community: Thank you, Molly!

We are now advertising for the role of Volunteers Director. This role will be open through our website. Just drop us a cover letter and a CV explaining why you would be suitable for the role!

We’re looking for a successor that will continue the good work that Molly has done countless times from interviews to reviews and advertising job roles on our website. If this seems like something you can get on board with, please don’t fret to apply! If you have any questions about the role or volunteering in general, feel free to contacthumanresources@quidditchuk.org or reach the team through our Contact Us form.