General Forum, 2020/21 Season Updates, New Website, Director Roles

As we gear up towards slowly reopening the sport in the coming months, we want to call attention to a few updates taking place within QuidditchUK.

Everything listed below is pending on continuous recovery of COVID-19, and that return to play is both safe and viable for our clubs and members. We are constantly reviewing the situation both nationally and internationally, and reviewing official advice from Sport England and the UK Government. Essentially, the following dates/events are subject to change, and should we no longer believe the dates for tournaments are practical or safe, we will adjust and/or cancel accordingly.

Please note, all following announcements will be open for discussion at the upcoming General Forum this Monday 6th July. Please ensure your club representatives are able to attend, including any brand new clubs set to start next year. You can do so by emailing teams@quidditchuk.org.

Return to Play

QuidditchUK has decided to allow clubs and teams at all levels to resume training from August 1st 2020.

We anticipate the current pandemic will have eased out enough to begin slowly returning to regular training sessions for our clubs, with allowances and safeguards to minimise spreading of the virus.

Appropriate return to play guidelines for clubs and players will be provided closer to August.

EQT & EQC

Based on the current COVID timelines and uncertain state of universities in the early half of the new season, QuidditchUK is leaning towards the decision that EQT 2020/2021 will not take place, and EQC spots and their respective seedings will be given to the teams that qualified at EQT 2019/2020. A key reason for this is that university teams would be disproportionately disadvantaged by a tournament held in November or December, as some institutions have already declared they do not intend to hold in-person teaching for the autumn term.

Clubs who have qualified for EQC Division 1 & 2 will be contacted shortly by QuidditchUK to verify if they are still able and willing to compete in the 2021 iterations of EQC. We will make a final call following these conversations and after the upcoming General Forum.

Should teams and/or clubs pull out of either EQC division, we may introduce a small 1-Day opt-in tournament in early December for clubs to compete for the newly open spot(s).

The current rule on qualified players is yet unclear, we will be updating teams as soon as possible so clubs can make informed decisions about squad selection. With the amount of time passing since EQT 2019/2020, QuidditchUK will be pushing for relaxed rosters policies against European Qualification within QUK.

Community Consultation and University/Community Split

QuidditchUK underwent several stages of community consultation in designing the 2020/2021 season. These included:

  • General Forum on 23rd January
  • Community round-tables on 3rd and 10th March
  • Publicly released survey at the beginning of May, closed at the end of that same month. (219 respondents)

The proposals given here, including our commitment to a university/community split, were informed by the feedback received at every stage of this consultation. Some decisions, such as the size of regional tournaments, were carried through multiple stages of consultation to ensure that the final decision reflects the wishes of as many players as possible. Many thanks to all our players who committed their time and energy to guiding our decision-making.

A summary of the findings from these consultations can be found in the Annexe of this document. A brief explanation of how these informed our decision-making is given below. Please note that data from the General Forum and round-tables was gathered prior to the lockdown in response to the pandemic, and that this has prevented or postponed the implementation of some suggestions. The public minutes from these consultations can be found at quidditchuk.org/about

General Forum raised concerns about whether a divisional split would be more appropriate for teams to play those ranked at a similar competitive level. Two divisional fixtures have been introduced for community teams, but a mixed university-community divisional structure has considerable practical impediments which are discussed here. US Quidditch also advised that a university/community split provided specific opportunities which could not be accommodated with a divisional split. Concern was raised about how the status of individual players, such as postgraduate students, would be handled. This issue was also raised in discussion between QuidditchUK and US Quidditch. Some useful suggestions for managing this concern were raised at the round-tables, including geographical exemptions for players who cannot access a community team; a “student minimum” cap rather than a “community maximum”; and a phased approach over multiple seasons, rather than implementing strict distinctions immediately. Some teams, particularly those in Scotland and the Midlands, were concerned about a lack of variety in opponents incurred by smaller regions. This question was pursued in further consultations. Concern was expressed about the proposed fee structure. It was agreed that this would be revisited, and at this General Forum we are presenting a very different approach.

The round-tables followed up on General Forum by raising discussion about the appropriate size of regionals; opportunities for university and community teams to play each other; and interest among community teams in summer play. There was mixed feedback about appropriate regionals size, as smaller regionals are cheaper but mean that teams play a less diverse range of opponents. This was included in the survey to obtain further feedback. The response to interest in a summer season for community teams was initially to move community fixtures into late summer/early autumn, with a mid-season break until spring. However, this has not been possible to propose for the 2020/2021 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak preventing summer training. We will review this when the pandemic is no longer a complicating factor.

The community survey provided some clear-cut answers to some of the issues raised above. The balance between smaller, more affordable events and large, more competitively valuable events fell in favour of larger events: 59% of respondents indicated a preference for larger events. 63% of university respondents voted for larger regionals, compared to 53% of community respondents. This is reflected in our decision to provide larger regionals for university teams, and divisional fixtures for community teams. A larger (32-team) BQC received 106 votes, while a smaller (24-team) BQC received 110 votes. University players indicated greater interest in a larger (32-team) BQC. Due to the very close divide in player base opinion, the following factors were decisive in our delivery of a 24-team BQC:

  • It is cheaper both for QuidditchUK and for teams, in particular due to venue expense;
  • The reported number of teams for the upcoming season indicates that a 32-team BQC may mean we cannot run a full Development Cup, of which the importance is widely acknowledged by attendees;
  • A smaller BQC makes a greater number of people available to volunteer, either in tournament committee roles or as on-the-day volunteers, which raises the quality of the event for everyone.

This allows us to run two high-quality, cheaper tournaments, rather than investing more resources in running a larger, lower-quality tournament, accompanied by a very small Development Cup or none at all.

The original projected timeline for consultation included a document commentary, where a full draft of the season would be released for free comment. Due to diverted volunteer resourcing in adjustments prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, this has not been possible. However, we hope that the release of these documents, and the concomitant discussion at General Forum, will provide sufficient opportunity to give feedback on these proposals without a formal process.

2020/2021 Season Calendar

The Executive Team and Events/Gameplay department have agreed upon a final calendar of what the next QuidditchUK season will look like for 2020/2021.

Full 2020/2021 Season Calendar (PDF)

Community Club Season
University Club Season

As noted earlier, these dates are subject to change based on advice surrounding COVID-19, and are yet to be discussed with club leaders at the upcoming general forum.

Specific formats, including how seeding will be allocated, is under review by QuidditchUK. Clubs will be updated when final decisions have been reached and this calendar has been rolled out.

Fees

We have determined the new fees for the 2020/2021 Season
Importantly, we have also introduced two new membership fee tiers.

Trial Member, costing £15.00
Available for anyone brand new to quidditch.
Includes the cost of your QuidditchUK membership and the player fee for your first tournament that season.

Season Pass, costing £75.00
Available for any new or returning member to quidditch.Includes the cost of your QuidditchUK membership and all player fees for all tournaments attended that season.

New Website

We are also updating our website, creating a tool that will make quidditch easier to find for new people, and also streamline the membership/event registration process for both players and club leadership. We’re on track for an early August launch.

  • Postcode Finder
    • Will inform anyone of their nearest club or event in the UK based on an input postcode
  • Quote Builder
    • A system that will allow clubs to automatically generate quotations for tournaments and membership, specifically for clubs requiring funding from their student unions or sponsors.
  • Club Profile Pages
    • Full pages with contact details, club history, results, photos, and related news for each club.
  • Registration Fixes
    • Moving away from Google Forms entirely so we have a manageable system on the QUK side, that also gives instant access to club leadership who has registered for a team/tournament.
  • Easier access to grants, policies, minutes, programmes etc.

If you’re interested in assisting with development, please email technology@quidditchuk.org or media@quidditchuk.org

Part of this process is creating more informative pages that direct new players towards your clubs. A form was sent out to existing clubs on both email and social media in the last week. If your leadership has not yet filled it out then please do so as soon as possible. Likewise, if you did not receive it, please email teams@quidditchuk.org to request the form – particularly if you are a new club.

Seeking Volunteer Directors

Finally, we are still recruiting two new Executive Volunteers to join the QuidditchUK Executive Team: the Teams Director and Volunteers Director.
For anyone interested in learning more about these roles or where/if you can step in, you can get in touch with president@quidditchuk.org or vicepresident@quidditchuk.org.

Annexe

Table 1: Findings from General Forum

Area of interestKey findings and responses
Divisional split based on team ability, rather than a university/community split.This was found to be logistically unmanageable for both QuidditchUK and teams. A detailed explanation of this can be found here. This does not lay the groundwork for BUCS affiliation or other benefits which require a university-specific league.
Need for clear definitions about who is a university or community player, including accommodations for postgraduate students.This will be reviewed in future community consultation to ensure a functional system.
Regionals size.While smaller regionals can be cheaper to run and attend, there was concern about those in certain regions, particularly Scotland and the Midlands, playing the same opponents all the time. This required further review.
Concern about the affordability of the proposed fee structure.Fees to undergo considerable review.

Table 2: Findings from community round-tables

Area of interestKey findings and responses
Interest among university teams in having the opportunity to play community teams.Attendees suggested that this could be accommodated by club-run fixtures, of which the value was clearly felt.
Regionals size.While smaller regionals were acknowledged to be cheaper, university teams in particular emphasised they wanted to play a diverse range of teams. A smaller one-day regional fixture early in the season was proposed to accommodate new players, supplemented by larger regionals later in the season.
Community teams playing in a summer league.Highly preferred by community players.Could provide opportunities for community teams to provide additional support for universities in the autumn-winter off-season. Complications in terms of timeline, particularly new graduates not being rostered due to lack of time with the new team by the start of the season.
Expansion Cup (proposed as a “Division 2” of BQC, leaving Development Cup for new teams).Little interest in this proposal.
Community teams at Development Cup, which was proposed to be an event exclusively for university teams.This may accommodate the needs of lower-ranked community teams more effectively.This entails complications in terms of separating university and community leagues elsewhere in the season.For the 2020/2021 season, Development Cup will be mixed.
Gap in the season between regionals and fixtures in March. The proposed fixture gap for community teams was around six months.Little interest in playing during December – February due to weather conditions and university exams.This provides opportunity for club-run fixtures, of which the value was made clear by attendees.
Definition of teams.Concern that recent graduates would not be able to play for university teams, even where no other teams are available and where they can make significant contributions to the team.A popular suggestion was a “student minimum” cap, rather than a “graduate maximum”.A “geographical exemption” appeal for graduates living close to a university team, but far from any community team, was also popular.The cap should be phased in over a couple of seasons.

Table 3: Findings from community consultation survey

Please note that only areas directly relevant to this proposal are included. A full report of responses will be released separately.

Area of interestKey findings and responses
Aiming to deliver a 2020 BQC or launching the 2020/2021 season.Clear preference for launching the new season in favour of completing the 2019/2020 season.
Regionals size.Preference for larger regionals, particularly among university respondents.
Payment method.64% of respondents indicated that they preferred paying for QuidditchUK resources through their club.


Harry Smith Stepping Down As Teams Director

After twenty months of high energy volunteering for QuidditchUK, Teams Director Harry Smith has decided to step down from his position.

During his time in the role Harry has made significant steps in furthering the professionalism of quidditch as a sport. In particular, his work with Student Unions has helped universities understand how to support a quidditch team, thus enabling the growth of more university teams. Additionally, Harry has chaired numerous General Forums which have furthered community outreach and collaboration for QuidditchUK decision making, and his decision to split the forums into North and South has streamlined the discussion. All this whilst managing (until mid-2019) and playing for the highly successful London Quidditch Club for the past two seasons, with taking up arms as captaining their second team more recently.

In regards to his decision to step down, Harry has made the following statement:

“Firstly I’d like to say that the decision to step down has not been easy, however I’m very thankful to everyone at QuidditchUK for your fantastic work over the time I’ve been on the Executive Management Team. It’s been a truly wonderful experience working with such a brilliant bunch of people. Further I’d like to say thank you to the UK quidditch community as there are some really positive people out there helping to grow and develop the sport, and work with us to help facilitate that.

I wholeheartedly recommend volunteering for QuidditchUK if you have any interest at all, it’s not as daunting as it may initially seem and your decisions genuinely affect the way we experience this sport. Please don’t feel like you can’t help or that you don’t have enough experience as the team you work with is really supportive.”

We are so thankful, Harry, for all of your hardwork and dedicated contribution to the QuidditchUK family over the years, and wish you the best of luck with all future endeavors. Harry intends to step down only once a successor has been found in order to ease the transition process – if you would be interested in taking on this role, or volunteer elsewhere in QuidditchUK, do check out our Volunteers page!

Black Lives Matter

To remain silent is to be complicit, and we want to make our stance clear as a sport, as an organisation, and as a community that we are against the violence, racism, and systemic injustice that affect black people’s lives on a daily basis in the United States, here in the United Kingdom. and throughout the world.

Our leadership discussed how to respond and engage against the violence and police brutality happening to black people and their communities worldwide as they protest. We feel that a simple social media post or logo change would be little more than a hollow gesture, and potentially even distract from the importance of what is currently happening in the world right now.

QuidditchUK will be donating £250.00 to the Black Lives Matter movement, and matching a further £250.00 in donations made by the community.
We are also reviewing our practices and educating ourselves on how we can do better in our community.

Members of the Executive Team will also be donating their own money, and we encourage those wishing to contribute to do so via any of the links below.

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate

https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

If you’re unable to financially contribute directly, there are media projects out there such as the one linked below where 100% of the ad-revenue will go towards Black Lives Matter and their associated funds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM

Give nothing to racism.

Image courtesy of Black Lives Matter
https://blacklivesmatter.com/social-media-graphics/

Further Update To 2019/2020 BQC + EQC Arrangements Regarding COVID-19

In light of recent announcements from both the British Government and Quidditch Europe in the last 48 hours regarding COVID-19, QuidditchUK has several updates pertaining to the new season, the British Quidditch Cup, and the European Quidditch Cup.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

QuidditchUK maintains their stance that no quidditch should be taking place, despite the exercise relaxations announced by the government earlier this week.

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.

Stay home, travel only when essential, and wash your hands.

BRITISH QUIDDITCH CUP 2020

Unfortunately, with the proposed timelines from the British Government, QuidditchUK no longer views hosting the 2020 British Quidditch Cup as safe or viable for our members. This is for several reasons:

Firstly, our estimates had been for a late July BQC, which was based on projections which showed improvements to public health being made from late May. However, with current infection/casualty trends, and our government’s inability to provide clear and concise guidelines, this is clearly no longer the case. It is therefore unlikely that we will see drastic changes in time to host an event on the scale of BQC safely.

Secondly, at the time of writing this announcement, our most recent survey indicates that our members would strongly prefer a stronger start to the 2020/2021 season than a late summer BQC.

This also marks the end of the 2019/2020 season. QuidditchUK are still determining if we need to allocate a national champion in light of the current pandemic and will update accordingly.

EUROPEAN QUIDDITCH CUP

Quidditch Europe have made the decision to postpone both Division 1 and Division 2 of the European Quidditch Cup to 2021, effectively cancelling the 2020 iteration of the European championships.

As it stands, this is the information we know so far:

1. Division 2 of the European Quidditch Cup will be hosted in Brescia, Italy in 2021.

2. Quidditch Europe are voting whether or not to reopen the bidding for EQC Division 1, we will update as soon as we know more.

3. All NGBs will retain their seeding and spot allocation for the 2021 EQC Tournaments
• QuidditchUK will have 10 spots.
• 5 spots for Division 1
• 5 spots for Division 2

The recent release of this announcement means that QuidditchUK are still discussing whether to allow teams/clubs that qualified via the European Qualifier Tournament to carry that qualification to EQC 2021.

There are obviously many more working parts to the current situation for us to make an entirely informed decision, and we ask for patience while considerations are made. Teams worked hard to qualify for EQC 2020, but with the proposed changes of the season and Quidditch Europe permitting the re-opening of qualifications, moving forward it may make sense for teams to qualify again, if this is practical.

Internal discussions are being held, and we will seek consultation with club leadership before finalising any decision on EQC qualifications.

2020/2021 SEASON

We’re still gathering feedback and information from our community on the new season structure.

New Season Structure Survey

If you and your teammates have not yet filled this out, please take 5 minutes to complete. It’ll help us make a more informed decision and take the sport in the right direction.

It’s also likely that based on the feedback and insights we receive, QuidditchUK will host a General Forum with club leadership again to discuss the new season in light of COVID-19 timelines and the current state of clubs moving forward.

Thank you for understanding in light of the recent circumstances. We’re all sure that you can sympathise that none of this has been an easy decision for us, nor has it been for anyone else involved. As always, if anyone would like to reach out to us in relation to anything we haven’t addressed, or would like clarification on a particular point, please contact us for us to get back to you.

The New Secretary Is In! It’s Chloe Durkin!

Continuing QuidditchUK’s fantastic recruitment drive of the last few months: We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that Chloe Durkin has taken the role of Secretary to the President, succeeding Francesca Vigilante after retaining the role for nearly two years.

Chloe has been a proud member of QuidditchUK since the start of the 2017 season, when she started playing for Bangor Broken Broomsticks. From playing at Northern Cup to the British Quidditch Cup in her first season – the once Bangor fresher wouldn’t have imagined leading her team to glory, claiming third place at this years Development Cup just gone. It’s an understatement that Chloe has worked very hard to get to where she is now, especially in relation to her commitments to the Quidditch Premiere League over the last two seasons. In fact, Chloe is now broadening her horizons, looking for a new team to join as she graduates Bangor University this summer. Additionally, Chloe has been awarded with Full Colours as recognised by her commitment and outstanding effort to the sport from her university. 

With her dedication to the sport paid off, Chloe wanted to say a few words before she stepped into her new role:

“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of EMT and be part of decision making processes in the growth of the sport. Especially with the new structure that is being taken up in the 2020/21 season. I’m also glad to have the ability to bring ideas or suggestions to the table to make the sport more enjoyable for the community, especially in terms of listening to what the teams want and expanding opportunities for people to get involved outside of QUK tournaments!”

That’s the enthusiasm we like to see! Welcome to the team, Chloe. We know you’ll make a big difference and fit right into developing the sport across your time with us! From everyone at QuidditchUK, we wish you well with your new role!

Want to learn more about how you can make a difference? Check out our available volunteering vacancies across all our departments including Expansion, Events, Operations and more!

Tom Hutton joins the Executive Management Team as Operations Director

In recent weeks, QuidditchUK welcomed Tom Hutton to our ranks as the new Operations Director, succeeding Joshua Fogg in the role. We’re delighted to have Tom on-board as a long-term volunteer as part of the Executive Management Team, who also shares ownership of the organisation alongside our current President and Vice-President, Matt Bateman and Abby Whiteley.

A former Team GB lawn bowler, Tom – started his journey within the UK quidditch scene in 2014. He began playing for Leceister Thestrals where he went to University, eventually illuminating his desire to become a solicitor. After graduating from one of the oldest teams in the UK, Tom’s post-university appearances include Tornadoes Quidditch Club (currently on hiatus); Velociraptors Quidditch Club and the London Unspeakables, having completed a full season with each club so far. Joining the Unspeakables kicked off the 2019/20 season in the right direction, bringing some valuable rewards for the new director. Tom was part of the squad who claimed the gold medal and overall tournament win at Highlander VIII, as well as picking up a Southern Cup in 2019 and EQT 2020 silver medal. All in a season’s work! 

When asked his initial thoughts about joining QuidditchUK, Tom had this to say:

“I’m really excited to be able to build on the great work Josh has done over these last years, and I’m incredibly lucky to have a really strong team behind me. It’s a tough time to start in the midst of a global pandemic, but nevertheless I’m ready to muck in and help QUK move from strength to strength.”

We’re outstanded by how competitive this athlete has been over the last couple of seasons and are thrilled to have a great candidate for this senior level of QuidditchUK’s executive management. As Operations Director, Tom will be responsible for setting our department’s budgets; processing invoices for tournaments; sorting volunteer payments; and many more tasks as an organisation moving forward.

Welcome aboard, Tom! We wish you all the best of luck and hope that you enjoy your time with us to make next season our best season yet! (We’re sure that will be no challenge after this year’s events!)

Written by Samuel Instone
Edited by Kirsty Scheiby

Photo Credit:
Claire Purslow Quidditch Photography

Introducing the QuidditchUK Newsletter!

It’s definitely been a long time coming, but QuidditchUK are very happy to announce the release of our latest edition to our media releases – the QUK newsletter!

The idea of having a regular release of a newsletter has been jumping about for seasons, with no mention of actual execution. However, due to extreme circumstances in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve thought a newsletter released every fortnight would do everyone some good!

Without further-ado, please feel free to check out Issue 1 here! We’ve got updates on departments throughout the organisation, puzzles, games, general news and recommendations of projects created by our fantastic community coping through the isolation period!

If you personally would like to contribute something that you think we’re missing or would just generally like to help and volunteer with the creation of future issues: Please get in touch with our Vice President and head of this project – Abby Whiteley. (vicepresident@quidditchuk.org)

Check back with us in two weeks time for Issue 2 of our Newsletter, scheduled to be released on Friday 24th April!

Thank you to our contributors: Abby Whiteley, Lucy Nicholls, James Gratton, Em Stephens, Chloe Durkin and Samuel Instone for putting this all together!

(We’re hoping to designate a particular page/place for these to live, however they’ll be publicly accessible throughout our social media for the time being).

Development Cup review: OUQC take gold

The Radcliffe Chimeras, London Unbreakables and Bangor Broken Broomsticks secured berths at the British Quidditch Cup after medalling at Development Cup, held at Salford Sports Village on 7/8 March.

The Radcliffe Chimeras (Oxford Universities Quidditch Club) with the trophy

Oxford Universities Quidditch Club, captained by Vicky Morris, took home the gold after an unbroken winning streak across the weekend. In the final they faced the London Unbreakables, also an undefeated team in the group and bracket stages. Unbreakables, led by Peter Glenister, played a confident game and pulled 30 points ahead with snitch on pitch. David Banas caught a clean catch, which was disallowed due to illegal gender composition. OUQC took their opportunity to get back into the game, pulling back several goals before a catch from William Whitehouse secured their victory for a final scoreline of 130*-70. In an all-Wales derby, a well-drilled Bangor Broken Broomsticks defeated Swansea Scorpions in overtime to take bronze. Swansea’s Caroline Norrish clinched a catch from three goals behind to force overtime, and Chloe Durkin’s side pushed the advantage on quaffle to gain a bronze medal for the tournament.

Development Cup is a unique opportunity in the QuidditchUK calendar for teams to invest in their growth and gain access to tailored skills coaching. While QuidditchUK volunteer resources were redistributed shortly after the tournament to respond to the unusual national circumstances, meaning the media follow-up was delayed, we still wish to acknowledge the efforts of everyone who made this tournament happen and thank all the volunteers and teams for a fantastic event. If you want to relive it, you can watch the highlight reel here!

The final rankings and public results can be found here:

Many thanks to the tournament committee and all the non-playing volunteers who made Development Cup a huge success! Congratulations to OUQC, and we look forward to seeing everyone come together again when the season resumes.

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