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IQA Rulebook process update

May 27, 2022 | News

Starting with the rules that go into effect in the summer of 2022 (the process occurring in December 2021 through mid-year 2022), the IQA will be instituting a new rulebook process. This process has been designed to give NGBs more input, have greater transparency for the public, and to keep our rules more stable while simultaneously allowing the rules to be nimble enough to respond to new issues as they arise.

Rules Team and Rules Committee

As part of the new rule making process, a new body shall be formed within the IQA: The rules committee. This committee shall be made up of 3 parts, of which the rules team is one.

The committee shall be made up as follows:  

  • The ~8 members of the rules team
  • 8-12 “at large” members
  • NGB representatives (One from each participating NGB).

NGB representatives shall be appointed by their NGB’s in order to speak directly on behalf of their NGB.  All other members of the rules committee represent the quidditch community at large.

Participating NGBs

In order for an NGB to be eligible to participate and appoint a representative to the rules committee, they must meet the following standards.

  1. The NGB must be a member in good standing with the IQA.
  2. The NGB must be either a full member, or an associate, developing member.
  3. The NGB must commit to using the IQA rulebook as the rulebook for their primary league (there is a process to request approval for NGB specific amendments).

If an NGB meets these criteria, they shall be granted a seat on the committee.

New Rulebook Process

The ~8 member rules team will initially work largely as the rules team does now.  Reviewing and debating internal and external proposals for changes to the rules.

However, unlike previous years, that is just the beginning of the process.  Proposals approved by the rules team shall be shared not only with the full rules committee, but also the general public as well.

A few weeks after the proposals are released to the public, the full rules committee will start meeting to debate the proposals.  They may not only accept or reject the proposals, but may also request revisions to the proposals from the rules team (If the rules team does revise a proposal, it would then return to the committee for a second debate and final vote).

The results and totals for the votes of the full rules committee shall be made public shortly after the votes are finalized, though the public report will not include which way any one individual member voted.  This will occur prior to the rulebook being updated, therefore the public will know which proposals have been approved before the official release of the rulebook.

Major changes

Some changes are more impactful than others, and if we are to keep our rules stable, we should limit the number of major changes we make.  For this reason, major changes have different rules to be passed than regular or minor changes.

Proposals that meet any of the following criteria will be labeled “major changes.”

  1. The change significantly affects full team strategy throughout much of the game (rather than just one part of the game).
  2. The change fundamentally changes a significant aspect of the game (such as start, end, very common but important situations, etc).
    Note that fundamentally here is a higher standard than “significantly affects” (the wording for full game effects)
  3. The change significantly affects the values of the sport and/or IQA.
  4. The change would notably affect team composition.

One year in each cycle of IQA World Cups shall be labeled a “Major Change Year.”  (2022 will not be a major change year.)

In a “Major Change Year,” up to 3 major changes may pass with simple majorities on both the rules team and rules committee (in the event more than three are brought before the committee, the three with the best results in committee votes will be the three).  This does not mean that three major changes will be passed or even proposed in these years.

In a normal year, a major change will require a ⅔ vote of the rules team, and a ¾ vote of the rules committee in order to pass.

NGB Amendments

While participating NGB’s commit to using the IQA rulebook for their primary league, there is a method for participating NGBs to request permission to make amendments to the IQA rules for their NGB.

After the rules are completed, NGB’s may then submit requests for amendments to their rules.  The NGB may submit their request under one or more of the following 4 categories.

  1. The NGB wishes to test a rule for potential future IQA use.
  2. The NGB wishes to continue using a rule that they were testing under a previous category 1 request, that the IQA elected not to adopt, but which remains popular in that NGB, and does not fundamentally change a major aspect of the sport.
  3. The amendment is based on a legitimate regional or national difference, and the proposal is neither
  4. The amendment is so minor that it would be an almost unnoticeable difference to players and or spectators watching the game, and is not a safety concern.

Proposals solely submitted under category 1 may be blocked by a unanimous vote of the rules team.  Category 1 proposals that are not blocked, and all category 2-4 proposals will be approved or rejected by the full rules committee.  In the event of a tied vote, the amendment will be approved.

As with IQA rulebook change votes, the NGB specific amendment vote totals shall be public, but the votes of individual members will not be released.

Applying to the Rules Committee and Rules Team

The rules team has a limited number of open positions.  Additionally all at large rules committee positions are open.  

It is a common misconception that one needs to be a referee, or otherwise be an expert on the rules as they are in order to be a good candidate for the rules team.  However, that is not the case.  In fact it is best if the rules are created by a group with many different perspectives on the game, not just referees. So, you just need to know the game, not all the rules details.  If you have a year or two of quidditch under your belt, and you’ve been paying attention, then you likely have enough knowledge of the game to provide a good perspective.

The open positions have very different time commitments. The rules team has weekly 2 hour meetings throughout most of the months of December through May or June.  The rules committee is a lower time commitment, with likely only 3-5 meetings a year, likely to be concentrated between late March and May.

If you are interested in either position, please check out the full role descriptions on the Volunteer at IQA page and apply. You may apply for both positions simultaneously if you wish.

If you have any questions on the overall new rules process, please contact [email protected], or reach out directly to the IQA Rules Manager, Michael Clark-Polner.