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Potential Gameplay Changes for 2023-24

By USQ Gameplay Team, 08/07/23, 8:00AM PDT


Changes under consideration for the upcoming season

Photo Credit: TCP Photography


The USQ Gameplay Team has been working hard this summer to improve the sport. We have reviewed a number of policies as they relate to the competitive environment and health of the sport.

With the success of last season’s gameplay policies, national qualifier formats, and US Quadball Cup 2023, there are still a few areas where we are seeking further improvement. Below you will find different topics and themes gameplay has discussed so far. Please review below and provide feedback by filling out this form by August 20.

National Qualifiers

When reviewing regional tournaments’ distribution of bids to US Quadball Cup 2023 in the collegiate divisions, the gameplay team judged that a few national qualifiers gave out a disproportionate number of bids. To address this, we are considering the following change:

If a college team that has already received a bid to US Quadball Cup 2024 is attending another national qualifier in order for that national qualifier to meet the minimum number of teams requirement to happen, and that team places high enough to earn a bid, the additional bid they would have earned becomes an at-large bid. It does not go to the next highest placing team at that event.

Please find last year’s national qualifier policies here.

Roster/Gender Rule

There are a number of changes to the roster under consideration, including how to field a legal set of players under the gender rule.

First, to further promote gender diversity within the sport, we are looking to adjust the gender rule to 3 max when the flag runner is not on the pitch. For the 2023-24 season, this would apply to club teams only, with plans to implement into the collegiate division during the 2024-25 season.

Second, to promote and support smaller club teams, we are considering reducing the roster limit from 21 players to 18 players for club teams only. Our hope is that this will promote the creation of new club teams, increase parity in competition, and encourage club teams to attend competitions even when fewer players are available.

Third, we are considering adding a 3 person injury reserve for USQ National Qualifiers and US Quadball Cup, either for club teams only or for all teams. This could work in conjunction with the roster size reduction, but help at major tournaments to ensure teams remove injured players from the roster while letting the team continue to play.

Photo Credit: Kim Cheng

Other Rules Changes

There are a number of changes to the rules under consideration. We highlighted changes that we wish to gain feedback on, so this is not a comprehensive list of all changes for this coming season.

First, to make the sport more exciting and competitive, we are considering allowing seekers to swat dodgeballs.

Second, to increase referee consistency, we are looking to adjust the rule on moving after stoppages. We are considering changing the penalty from intentionally moving during a stoppage to repeated or substantial movement resulting in a blue card. 

Third, we plan to institute an adjustment to dodgeball inbounding. During stoppages of play, if a dodgeball is out of bounds, the nearest eligible beater will be moved out of bounds to the inbounding point before the restart play procedure occurs. If there is no eligible beater, the dodgeball will be moved inbounds and become a playable ball upon the restart of the game.

Fourth, we plan to remove restrictions on multiple kicks. Players will no longer be penalized for kicking a ball twice.

Fifth, we plan to institute a concession rule. After the 20-minute stoppage, a team can concede the game, causing their opponents' new score to match the set score and automatically conclude the match.

Sixth, we are considering allowing teams to substitute any players during timeouts, provided players return to brooms of the same position.

Photo Credit: Greg Brown

Standings Algorithm

The gameplay team is considering several modifications to the USQ standings algorithm. All modifications under consideration were tested and monitored during the 2022-23 USQ season for competitive balance, predictive value, and overall reasonableness when compared to public expectation. The potential modifications are as follows:

  • (collegiate only) The inclusion of a “Qualifier Strength Modifier”, which would adjust the Strength of Schedule parameter of the algorithm based on the relative performance at US Quadball Cup 2023 of the teams attending each National Qualifier. Additional weight may be given to Division 1 and/or bracket games. 

  • Changing the “Opponent’s Opponents’ Winning Percentage” parameter to a “Strength of Victory” parameter, in order to place greater emphasis on wins against strong opponents.

  • Modify the calculation of “Adjusted P” (a way of diminishing the returns of teams running up the score). The modification would seek to better reflect the dynamics of set score, as well as allow for greater spread at the upper and lower ends of the standings.

  • Adjusting the FWIM (“Flag When It Matters”) calculation in the case where the winning team catches the flag, such that the winning team gets credit for points up to the set score, but no further. This is to reduce the outsized benefit of catching the flag when only 10 points away from the set score.

Send Us Feedback

Please take time out to provide feedback on the suggested changes. We would like to hear from both the collegiate and club division, as well as volunteers, officials, and other non playing stakeholders. For emphasis, we are considering these changes, but we have not finalized decisions on these topics or implemented them yet. Gameplay policies, including those related to the topics discussed in this article, will aim to be released around August 31. 

This article is intended to create discussion and get a better sense of community sentiment. The best way to share your thoughts about any of the above topics with us is by filling out this form by August 20th.

Feedback Form: https://forms.gle/TSZDPzsdXQoK4ezj9