IQA Rulebook 2016

The International Quidditch Association’s Rules Committee has released the latest set of rule changes for the upcoming 2016-2018 season based on USQ Rulebook 9. While the rules are to be implemented for the next two years, changes can be made if major issues arise during this time.

Changes are focused on clearing up ambiguities, improving player safety, and simplifying concepts behind the rules. The rules updated are in regards to snitch play, physical contact, and legal equipment.

The new rules are set to bring greater clarity to seeker/snitch contact and standardize the snitch handicaps. This will allow for greater consistency between national, continental, and world tournaments. The standardized snitch handicaps are as followed:

  • After 23 minutes the snitch runner is only permitted to remain within 1.5 yards (about 1.5 meters) away from the midline.
  • After 28 minutes the snitch runner is only permitted to use one arm.
  • After 33 minutes the snitch runner is only permitted to remain within 1.5 yards (about 1.5 meters) away from the intersection between the midline of the pitch and the far sideline.

Several changes have been made to the contact aspect of the sport to make it safer for participants. The new rules state that only a player in possession of the ball may charge another player. Arm yanking has also been added to the list of illegal physical contact, defined as applying sharp and sudden force to an opponent’s arm.

Contact from behind has been further clarified. If a player leads with the back then contact can be initiated from behind, including if the player turns or spins just prior to contact. If the referee determines there was enough time for the attacking player to adjust, then the contact from behind rule will still apply. Slides and dives are given greater legitimacy under the rule changes with the condition that the dive or slide is not reckless, dangerous, or otherwise illegal.

A new timeout rule is included in the changes. Each team will be able to call a single one minute timeout per game. This timeout must be called during the first 17 minutes of the game and can be requested by the keeper, captain, or coach.

Additional changes have been made to the gender rules. Teams will be allowed a maximum of 14 players on the roster who identify as the same gender. The aim is to reduce this to a maximum of 12 for 2017-2018, pending review throughout the upcoming year. The goal of these changes is to further encourage gender equality in the sport.

The IQA Rules Committee reviewed and adjusted new rules based on changes proposed by the IQA staff, IQA Board and the National Governing Bodies. The new rules are set for immediate implementation.

The official rulebook with the added changes will be released on September 12, 2016.