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The US Quadball Gameplay Department conducts an extensive review of all league gameplay policies and programs from April to August each season. The team has evaluated the gender rule, season structure for USQ-run events, adjustments to the standings algorithm, and other gameplay policy changes.
The complete list of gameplay policies is available here. Any questions about the structures, policies, or programs in this article can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a thorough investigation, the Gameplay Team is ready to release rollout plans for USQ’s changes to the Gender Maximum Rule. Henceforth, three max (or 3 max) refers to change to the Gender Maximum Rule where a maximum of three players of a single gender are allowed on pitch during the seeker floor, and a maximum of four players of a single gender are allowed on pitch while the flag runner is on the field. USQ plans to roll out the move to 3 max as follows:
As part of this change and to allow for the necessary flexibility, the gender maximum rule will now be a gameplay policy instead of a rule in the rulebook. USQ will provide for a waiver process when appropriate to ensure this does not negatively impact the growth of the sport or stunt new team development. For the upcoming season, the waiver will be a part of the registration process for US Quadball Cup 2024.
While the transition to 3 max will not begin until USQ Cup this season, all teams are strongly encouraged to start playing with this rule earlier in the season.
USQ Gameplay Team will continue to evaluate this policy, how it affects the sport and the community, and its impact and alignment with USQ’s organizational goals of inclusivity and diversity.
Women/Gender Non-Conforming Individuals Player Grant
With the launch of the new 3 max policy, USQ is launching a new player membership grant opportunity for women and gender non-conforming individuals to apply for this season. You can learn more about this grant and apply here.
USQ will not cap the number of teams allowed to compete at US Quadball Cup 2024 (USQ Cup), but instead will divide the tournament into the following divisions, each with its own caps:
*These divisions will have their own schedule and will only be capped if absolutely necessary.
USQ Cup bids by division will be given out as follows:
Again this season, USQ will use the Huntington-Hill method of apportionment in determining collegiate bid allocation. Of the 32 collegiate competitive division bids, 26 will be awarded at national qualifiers. These 26 bids will be distributed to the regions using the Huntington-Hill method. The remaining bids will be distributed at large.
In order to allocate each division’s bids to D1 and D2, each region’s quota will be multiplied by 0.46 and 0.54, respectively, to generate the divisional quota for D1 and D2. If the divisional quotas do not add up to the total number of bids in each division, a modified multiplier is used in place of the standard multiplier so that the modified divisional quotas sum correctly, and those modified divisional quotas are then used.
More details on the Huntington-Hill method can be found on the USQ Gameplay Policies & Forms page, in the 2023-24 Season Gameplay Requirements tab.
At least 1 bid to the club competitive division will be awarded at each national qualifier with 4 or more attending teams. Any qualifier with 8 or more teams will receive 2 bids.
New This Year: Teams that receive a bid to nationals at a qualifier will also be given seeding priority at USQ Cup when drawing pots.
If a club team that has already received a bid to US Quadball Cup 2024 is attending another national qualifier, 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. If a club qualifier does not have the minimum number of teams to compete, USQ will discuss competitive opportunities with local teams in the area.
In the spring, at-large bids will be awarded based on season rankings until a 20-team competitive division is reached. If the number of teams with seeding priority does not divide evenly into pots, the highest-ranked at-large team(s) will fill the remaining spots in the highest available pot. Note that teams in the club competitive division for USQ Cup 2024 will be competing with the 3 max policy in place.
For the 2023-24 season, all teams must attend at least one national qualifier to qualify for US Quadball Cup 2024. Teams will be assigned to a national qualifier by USQ. To facilitate this process and ensure bids are distributed fairly, college teams will rank their top 3 choices upon team registration. College teams will only be assigned to one national qualifier*. Club teams will rank up their top 3 choices upon team registration. Club teams can also note if they have interest in attending more than one qualifier when registering - with USQ confirming this prior to finalizing national qualifier attendance.
Qualifier bids will be calculated and publicly announced on September 28, along with the list of teams attending each national qualifier. National qualifiers will be allocated bids based on the number of registrants by 11:59 pm PST on September 27. The remaining at-large bids will be awarded in March.
For qualifiers, the official USQ standings will be used to seed teams as needed. All teams that have not yet played sufficient official games will be counted as unseeded (see Season Play Requirements).
USQ requires a minimum qualifier size for the collegiate division. In the 2023-24 season, the minimum will be five teams. If a national qualifier does not have five college teams able to attend by the September 27 deadline, or if the number of collegiate teams drops below five after that point, USQ Gameplay and Events Departments will determine whether a qualifier for that collegiate division will happen. If the college division at a qualifier cannot occur, dedicated at-large bids will be established based on the number of teams registered for that qualifier that indicated an interest in that event by the September 27 deadline.
You can find additional information about national qualifier dates and locations here and at the end of this article.
*In cases where a national qualifier does not have enough collegiate teams, a team may be allowed to attend that national qualifier in addition to their assigned qualifier. 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.
To qualify for USQ Cup bids, teams must fulfill season play requirements by March 17, 2024. The season play requirements mandate a minimum number of opponents played during the season, a minimum number of games, and competing at a national qualifier.
All teams will be required to:
Teams that do not earn bids for USQ Cup at a national qualifier must complete expanded season play requirements to earn at-large bids. At-large bid requirements for all teams are listed below, and must be complete by March 3, 2024.
Teams going for at-large bids will be required to:
Alternatively, teams going for at-large bids can do the following if they compete against at least one opponent who attended a different national qualifier:
NEW THIS YEAR! For the 2023-24 season, all games played at national qualifiers will count towards season play requirements for all teams.
*Club teams will only be able to fulfill this requirement by competing against other club teams. College teams may use games against club teams to count for these requirements. Cross-division games (college vs. club) will not count for standings.
Open Division at USQ Cup
Teams interested in the open division will not have season play requirements, but are encouraged to attend official events before USQ Cup. Unofficial teams that wish to compete in the open division can contact email@example.com.
All teams must play a minimum number of official games before their national qualifier, as indicated below, in order to be seeded. For national qualifiers, the official USQ standings will be used to seed teams as needed. All teams that have not yet played the required number of official games will be counted as unseeded.
2 weeks before attending a fall national qualifier, official teams wishing to be seeded at that qualifier will be required to:
2 weeks before attending a spring national qualifier, official teams wishing to be seeded at that qualifier will be required to:
Additional information on gameplay policies is available here.
Consistent with last season, only games played between teams of the same division will count toward the standings algorithm. Games played between teams of different divisions (club vs. collegiate) may be used for season play requirements for college teams only, but will not count toward standings for any team.
Based on community feedback and internal discussion, the following standings changes will be implemented for both divisions:
The complete standings algorithm for the 2023-24 season is available here. The gameplay team will continue to test other potential future updates, such as a Qualifier Strength Modifier, during the season.
Policies not listed in this section do not have substantial changes from the 2023-24 season. The complete list of gameplay policies can be found here.
Due to strong community support, the concession policy will be implemented for this season. After the 20-minute stoppage, a team can concede the game, causing their opponents' new score to match the set score plus 5 and automatically conclude the match. Note that this is not the same as a forfeit and policies relating to forfeits do not apply to teams that concede.
The gameplay team will be monitoring rollout and usage of this policy and its impact on the sport.
Effective this season, a new transfer policy will replace the current system of transfer windows. All players are allowed one transfer between teams that may be requested at any time. Players may apply for additional transfers based on the same criteria used for out-of-window transfers in prior seasons.
The college Varsity/JV team transfer policy enacted last season remains unchanged for this season.
For all transfers, players must fill out the Player Transfer Form.
The following uniform tiebreakers will be used at USQ-hosted events:
In any other situation where teams are tied, skip this tiebreaker and proceed to the Score Differential Tiebreaker.
Average Score Differential In Games Between Tied Teams: The average of the difference between the team's total points scored and the opposing teams’ points for only the games contested by the tied teams.
Average Score Differential In All Games: The average of the difference between the team's total points scored and the opposing teams’ points for all games.
Flag Catch Percentage: The team’s total flag catches divided by its flag catch opportunities (total number of times the flag was on the field). If a team has caught 5 flags in 8 games, its total flag catch percentage would be 5/8 = 0.625 or 62.5%. No rounding is needed, direct comparison of the fractions will suffice to determine if one team has an advantage in snitch catch percentage.
Total Quadball Point Differential: The team's total points scored minus the team's total points allowed.
Coin Flip/Random Selection: If all tiebreakers have failed to distinguish one team’s record from another, one team will randomly be selected by coin flip virtually on a live call attended by a representative of each team. Whichever team’s ranking was lower entering the event, or whichever team won a game (between the tied teams) most recently will have the ability to call heads or tails. Coin flips should be recorded and a record should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please review the full Gameplay Policies and Forms website page for information about key policies that are not changing from the 2022-23 season. This website includes the official game requirements, roster submission requirements, game appeal policy, forfeit procedure, fair play policy, tiebreaker policy, and equipment waiver form.
Members must also abide by the official member code of conduct and unlawful harassment policy.
The 2023-24 season will be played under USQ Rulebook 2023, which will be released the week of September 11. Certification for officials and tournament directors will also be released the week of September 11.
The following are general deadlines for season play requirements:
The following deadlines apply to an event with official games. All forms referenced live on the Gameplay Policies and Forms page:
The deadlines for the team referee and flag runner requirements vary and are as follows:
If a team does not complete these requirements by the deadline, it must complete them by 24 hours before its next scheduled official event and risk losing their ability to attend the event. In cases of potential disqualification, USQ will set a timeline on a case by case basis and communicate to affected teams.
Information on all upcoming USQ National Qualifiers dates is available here. This includes detailed additional deadlines for teams to be aware of (including hotel/stay & play, tournament registration, etc).
USQ Cup 2024 will take place at Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Round Rock, Texas on April 13-14, 2024. The event is hosted in partnership with Round Rock Sports Management & Tourism Department. Information on deadlines for teams to be aware will be made available here.
USQ will continue to collect feedback on the structure of club and collegiate division teams. Feedback is always reviewed at the end of the season. Your feedback is important to us so we can make adjustments where necessary. Please do not hesitate to contact USQ with comments, thoughts, or ideas at email@example.com . Quadball is your sport, and you always have the opportunity to positively impact the direction it grows.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments about this article’s information. Questions and comments about TD Certification or hosting an event can be emailed to email@example.com.
If you’re interested in joining the gameplay department and helping to guide the league’s gameplay structures and policies, or have interest in helping USQ in another department, you can learn more about opportunities available here.
Photo Credit: Duran Allison