US Quidditch Suspends 2019–20 Season Due to COVID-19

US Quidditch (USQ) has postponed its 2019–20 season, including US Quidditch Cup 13, which was due to take place on April 18 and 19.

All official play is temporarily suspended in response to the continued spreading of the COVID-19 coronavirus throughout the United States. Alternative dates are being looked at for US Quidditch Cup 13, which was due to take place in Charleston, West Virginia, in April. Tickets that have already been bought for this event are fully refundable, and further details about the refund process will be released next week.

 

 

In an official statement, the executive director of USQ, Mary Kimball, detailed the reasons behind the suspension and reassured players and fans that their favorite sport will be ready for them when it is appropriate to reinstate the season:

This was a difficult decision to make. Safety is our number one priority, and it’s our responsibility as a national governing body to take proactive measures to ensure our programs and events don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Please know that quidditch is not going away; we’re just taking a pause.

Suspension of official play has come as a result of concerns for public safety, as well as local and state government restrictions on events. USQ also encourages players and teams to not participate in any unofficial competitions and to only hold practices in accordance with guidance from local and state governments.

The suspension of the season will be reassessed at the end of March, and further information will then be made available on the USQ website.

Press Release

US QUIDDITCH TEMPORARILY SUSPENDING SEASON DUE TO COVID-19

Charleston, W.V. — After consulting with the Board of Directors and year-round staff, US Quidditch has decided to temporarily suspend the 2019-20 season. This includes postponing US Quidditch Cup 13 (which was originally scheduled for April 18-19), and all other official play.

We encourage players to refrain from unofficial competition and to only host and/or participate in practices in accordance with the mandates issued by their given local and/or state government and remind everyone to be safe if attending any public gatherings. We recommend following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines here, and the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 guidelines here.

As we continue our evaluation process, we are looking at alternative dates for USQ Cup 13, evaluating weekends in late May and June. We recognize that changing plans is a complicated undertaking and that there may not be another date that works for all teams. Feedback will be gathered from players, officials, volunteers, and spectators to identify what other dates would be best, and we will update our website with more information about that process over the coming days.

All ticket sales and registration fees for the original April date are refundable. Information on ticket refunds will be available next week.

We will reevaluate the temporary suspension of official non-USQ[-]hosted events the week of March 30, and more information will be shared at that time on our website and emailed out to members, fans, and others on our email list.

“This was a difficult decision to make. Safety is our number one priority, and it’s our responsibility as a national governing body to take proactive measures to ensure our programs and events don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Please know that quidditch is not going away; we’re just taking a pause,” said Mary Kimball, USQ’s executive director.

Background
Throughout the week, USQ staff have met with representatives from the Shawnee Sports Complex and vendors in Charleston, West Virginia, to begin the process of identifying alternative dates for USQ Cup 13. We have been monitoring recommendations from public health agencies, including the CDC and the WHO. Staff have also been monitoring containment measures being taken by universities, government agencies, sports leagues, and other event producers.

On March 12, staff requested an emergency board meeting to discuss the escalating situation. The meeting was held that night. Staff recommended that USQ temporarily suspend the season, and the board supported their decision. USQ’s Board of Directors regularly meets once a month. March’s meeting was already scheduled for March 14. This meeting will still be held, and the board will continue to discuss the situation.

The decision to temporarily suspend the season was made in response to a number of factors, including growing concerns over public safety, the increased number of public gathering and event restrictions being set by local and state governments, and the number of collegiate teams at universities that have prohibited travel and/or moved to online-only courses.

We would like to thank our partners in Charleston for their support, especially the Shawnee Sports Complex and Kanawha County Commission. They have been working tirelessly behind the scenes all week to facilitate communication between USQ and other key stakeholders. They have also been incredibly gracious and supportive during our decision-making process.

Questions

  • Members: membership@usquidditch.org
    • Members can also contact their regional coordinator
  • Fans and general public: info@usquidditch.org
  • Press inquiries: press@usquidditch.org

Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!