Saturday, October 10, 2015

'We Read It So You Don't Have To': IQA Congress Meeting Minutes 26/09/15

The IQA has released the minutes from its latest congress meeting, and they contain some important developments. Most prominent in the minutes was the congress’ adoption of USQ Rulebook 9. We read the minutes so you don’t have to; although, to be honest, we read them and so should you. They’re very good minutes.

The long awaited IQA Rulebook has not been adopted for the coming season, after QuidditchUK proposed a motion that USQ Rulebook 9 be internationally adopted for the 2015-16 season, including the 2016 World Cup. The motion allowed for the IQA Rules Committee to make modifications to some areas of it. These changes are:

1. No limit on the number of brooms, but substitutes are required to enter the pitch at the same place as the outgoing player is leaving.
2. Seekers will count in the gender rule. After the seeker floor ends, the four max rule becomes the five max rule.
3. Mouthguards are highly recommended, but not mandated.
4. Metal cleats or studs, or those with metal caps, will be permitted.

NGBs will not be mandated to follow the IQA modifications on these four points and may make tweaks based on their individual needs for this coming season.

In favour of this motion were the UK, the USA, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Mexico, leaving only Argentina voting against the motion. It is interesting to note that the USA backed the motion because many will ask whether USQ will adopt the changes made by the IQA Rules Committee for their flagship regional championships and USQ Quidditch Cup 9. It should also be noted that IQA Congress President Brian Gallaway reiterated the IQA’s commitment to producing a full international rulebook for next season.

Other encouraging news for the IQA is the adoption of the rapidly developing Deutscher Quidditchbund (DQB) of Germany and Associaci√≥ de Quidditch de Catalunya (AQC) of Catalonia as full member NGBs, with Brazil and Spain formally becoming developing member NGBs. Not only will this mean increased membership funds for the IQA, but it will also extend the IQA’s global authority and reinforces the organization’s remit for the sport in all regions.

This remit will be helped by the newly adopted IQA Constitution. The document can be found here, and supporters of the IQA will be pleased to see the organisation moving forward with confidence in this area. Though it is still short of enough candidates to create a full Board of Directors, the renewed sense of purpose the IQA is demonstrating will certainly help attract potential board members.

The IQA has demonstrated a commitment to appointing solid members of the community - Ashley Cooper as Secretary, making an impressive debut with some very thorough minutes, is one such individual, whilst the selection of Melanie Piper as chair of the European Committee will hopefully further steer European NGBs in an increasingly stable direction. Hannah Monty has the diplomatic experience and foresight necessary to chair the QDI Committee, the group tasked with providing an index that most accurately represents regions in the IQA. Hers will be an increasingly difficult job as new and varied regions join the IQA.

An extensive series of departmental reports, all largely positive, was given at the meeting. Although incorporation is slowed down by the lack of candidates for the Board, though looks set to be in the UK, judging by these minutes, a bank account has been set up for the IQA. While currently held privately by Executive Director Harrison Homel and Financial Director Rachael Glynn, the apologetic phrasing of the minutes on this point and the past opposition from NGBs to a privately held account means this may change soon. The website is now available in five different languages, with a sixth (German) soon to come, an impressive feat for the organisation. An appeal has been made for a Marketing Manager, the main gap in the leadership of the IQA at the moment. Policies for development grants are in place and will be released when membership dues have been collected from NGBs. The news about IRDP merging with the IQA has already been released publicly, but Homel here notes another benefit - leagues will have to pay significantly less for their services. The official IQA summary of European Games was that it was a great success and that it will provide an excellent springboard for the 2016 World Cup.

Perhaps some of the most exciting news in this latest IQA release is a summary of quidditch spreading to new regions. Korea, Guatemala, India, Sri Lanka, Peru, and Slovakia are all mentioned, and whilst it is understandably slow work to build the sport in these areas, it is a wonderful thing to see the IQA taking such a proactive step in making contact with interested parties across the globe. If future minutes are filled with such updates and as encouraging and ambitious decisions as the others reported, then confidence in the IQA as an organisation can only grow.

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