By Quidditch Post Staff
This morning, USQ announced it has reached an agreement with Quidditch Canada and Asociación Mexicana de Quidditch by which USQ member teams could play two international friendlies and have those matches count towards US Quidditch Cup 9 attendance requirements.
To qualify as an international friendly, a game must meet a number of requirements:
- The event or tournament must be listed on the USQ events calendar
- The games must abide by the following USQ policies:
- It must be played under USQ Rulebook 9
- A non-playing certified EMT or athletic trainer must be on site at all times
- A certified head referee (subject to the host NGB’s requirements) must adjudicate the game
- A certified tournament director (subject to the host NGB’s requirements) must be present
- The game must be against an official team registered with the other NGB
- The game must be submitted through a form on the USQ website within seven days of its occurrence
While official international teams remain ineligible for US Quidditch Cup, teams on either side of the border may still register as USQ teams and attend the tournament. Last year, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and British Columbia Quidditch Club (BCQC) both registered with USQ rather than Quidditch Canada; UBC attended USQ World Cup 8. In addition, this may make it more feasible for other Canadian teams, such as McGill University or Simon Fraser University, to join USQ.
The policy appears to serve all three organizations in different ways. USQ will no doubt please many of its members who have been clamoring for the opportunity to play Canadian teams, and this could benefit teams in the Northwest Region who are in close proximity to Canadian squads. For Canada, the policy will make it easier for its teams to play against US foes since those games can now be counted as official. In past seasons, it was not uncommon for many of Eastern Canada’s top teams to travel to the Northeast to test themselves against some of the United States’s best. While those games were not encouraged due to a lack of incentive for US teams to participate, this year may renew some old-time rivalries. For UBC in particular, it allows them the chance to grow quidditch in its region by playing more often against local teams. For Mexican teams, this gives an increased opportunity to face US competition, which should help the sport grow in the country.
Games between the three leagues will not impact USQ standings; however, the three organizations have collectively stated they hope to convince the IQA to adopt an international standings page. A potential downside is now a USQ team only needs to play six games that will count towards standings, reducing the accuracy of a team’s place in the standings and its strength of schedule. However, the team most likely to be affected--UBC--played more games than the minimum last year.
Since all international friendlies must be played under USQ Rulebook 9 by a certified USQ referee, international teams playing under an IQA or local rulebook will be disadvantaged.
This provides an impetus for international referees to become USQ certified, but that may prove difficult due to geographical constraints and the cost of referee membership.
The Quidditch Post has requested comment on this announcement from NGB leadership.