Gameplay Policies and Forms

The following is a list of the gameplay department's official policies and procedures. If you have any questions about a policy listed on this page, please contact Gameplay Director Will Hack at

Rulebook FAQ
Regional Transfer Policy
Player Transfer Policy
Player Disciplinary Policy
Game Appeal Policy
Fair Play Policy
Equipment Rules
Tiebreaker Policy
Forfeit Procedure
Player Number Policy
Snitch Tail Regulation


A series of clarifications regarding our rulebook can be found on our Rulebook FAQ page. Please note that these interpretations have the same force of rules in the rulebook.

Regional Transfer Policy

If a team cannot attend its designated regional championship, it may submit a waiver to attend a different regional championship. These waivers are only accepted in extreme circumstances, such as:

  • Assigned regional is much farther away than alternative regional
  • Financially infeasible to attend assigned regional
  • Affiliated institution is holding a required activity during the regional (e.g. finals)
  • Team's country does not have its own regional

Player Transfer Policy

If a player wishes to transfer between official teams during the season, that player may submit a to transfer. In general, a player may only transfer teams once per season, maximum. These waivers are only accepted in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Moving
  • Transferring Schools
  • Personal reasons such as discrimination or a harmful environment for the player within their previous team
  • A nearby (previously unofficial) team becoming official
  • Transfer between related “A” and “B” teams, once per season

Player Disciplinary Policy

The disciplinary procedure exists to disincentivize poor behavior among quidditch players. Any incidents during official games must be reported with within six (6) days. Disciplinary procedure is only for egregious breach of conduct, and we discourage teams and officials from submitting disciplinary forms without due cause. Submissions which do not qualify under the grounds for suspension will automatically be dismissed. Here are the grounds for suspension:

  1. Inciting a brawl results in an automatic suspension of at least two (2) official games. Offenders may be subject to suspension from IQA events.
  2. Involvement in a brawl results in an automatic suspension of at least one (1) official game, but anyone attempting merely to protect others or stop the fight shall not be disciplined. Offenders may be subject to suspension from IQA events.
  3. Serious foul play results in an automatic suspension of at least one (1) official game. Offenders may be subject to suspension from IQA events.
  4. Violent language or discriminatory remarks towards a person such as those concerning their race, color, language, religion, gender, gender identity, orientation, or origin results in an automatic suspension of at least one (1) official game. Offenders may be subject to suspension from IQA events.

For particularly egregious offenses, players may be suspended indefinitely, including from World Cup and Regional Championships.

Any of the above offenses directed towards a referee results in at least an additional one (1) game suspension.


  1. At the game, no action needs to be made by a reporting party, but that person should attempt to record and remember the pertinent details of the incident. This includes what game the incident occurred in as well as the names of any involved parties.


  1. Within six (6) days after the event occurs, the reporting party must fill out a disciplinary conduct review form. If the form is not filled out in time, the conduct cannot be reviewed. That form is also available online.


  1. The gameplay department makes an initial determination whether the situation described in the form is eligible for suspension. If it is not, the case is immediately dismissed.
  2. If the case goes forward, a gameplay coordinator will gather information on the situation from the head referee. The gameplay department may also seek information from assistant referees, team captains, and anyone else who has further information on the appealed game.
  3. Before any decision is made, the gameplay department will contact the captain of the player being reviewed in order to gain that player’s own response to the situation.
  4. After the gameplay department feels it has enough information to make a determination, it will decide whether to suspend the player, for how long and whether any part of the suspension may be appealed, based on the suspension guidelines specified above.


  1. The gameplay department reports its decision to the IQA management for approval. Any suspensions are reported to the affected teams and IQA officials.


  1. If the suspension includes a portion which may be appealed, the suspended player may submit a suspension appeal form within seven (7) days of the suspension being handed down. The gameplay department will set up an online meeting with the player, and determine whether to adjust the player’s suspension within a week after the meeting takes place. A player is still suspended for the duration of any appeal, unless the suspension is complete prior to the end of the appeal process.
  2. If a player is suspended, that player may not play in any of their team’s games until the suspension is complete. Once the player has sat out the number of required games, that player will be allowed to rejoin the team for any later games or tournaments. A suspended player may rejoin a team mid-tournament, if the team chooses to use up a roster spot for that player through the entire tournament, including the games in which the player may not participate.

Game Appeal Policy

The appeal process exists in order to fix correctable mistakes when the result of a game was impacted. Prior to the Friday after the game occurred, the appealing team must fill out the . Appeals are for unusual and extreme cases, and we encourage teams not to submit them unless there are clear grounds for appeal. The only practical effect an appeal can have is the removal of an official game from the IQA rankings. Appeals which do not qualify under the grounds for appeal will automatically be dismissed. Here are the grounds for an appeal: “A clearly incorrect implementation of the rules that played a direct role in determining the outcome of the game. Judgement calls and missed calls do not apply.”


  1. When a call that can be appealed occurs, the captain and/or coach must make the appeal immediately.
  2. After the game, the head referee must note that an appeal occurred, and the grounds for that appeal as explained by the appealing team.


  1. Prior to the Friday after the game occurs, the appealing team must fill out the appeal form. If the form is not filled out in time, the appeal cannot be considered.


  1. The gameplay department makes an initial determination whether the situation described by a team is eligible for appeal. If it is not, the appeal is immediately dismissed.
  2. If the appeal goes forward, a gameplay coordinator will gather information on the situation from the head referee. The Gameplay department may also seek information from assistant referees, team captains, and anyone else who has further information on the appealed game.
  3. Once the gameplay department makes a final decision, the involved teams will receive an e-mail with that decision as well as the reason behind the decision. If an appeal succeeds, the appealed game is struck from the record and excluded from the rankings.

Fair Play Policy

One of the three pillars of the IQA is competition. As such, it is essential that the IQA sponsors official competitions that are fun, fair, and competitive. The Fair Play policy has been put in place to ensure the authenticity of IQA contests.

In the case of a breach of the Fair Play policy, the gameplay department may choose to invalidate any games involved in the breach. Anyone intentionally breaching the Fair Play policy will also be subject to the IQA Player Disciplinary policy.

  1. Match-fixing: It is against IQA rules to intentionally fix the outcome of any game, including intentionally throwing a game.
  2. Betting: It is against IQA rules to bet money on any game or tournament you are participating in as player, coach, or referee.
  3. Bribery: It is against IQA rules to accept any money, good, or service in exchange for altering the outcome of a game or intentionally injuring any person.
  4. Eligibility: It is against IQA rules to field a player in an official game who is not on a team’s roster.
  5. Extreme and intentional cheating: A person or team may be disciplined after the fact for any instance of serious intentional cheating in an official IQA match.
  6. Observed illegal drug use: A player observed to have used an illegal drug immediately prior to a game may not be allowed to participate.

Equipment Rules

Consistent enforcement of equipment policies will help in three ways. First, it will help ensure that referees do not accidentally allow equipment that may be dangerous. Second, a consistent policy will ensure that gameplay is standardized for everyone, no matter their referees or location. Third, having consistent rules with help with the expectations of players: when you show up to a tournament, you will have a better idea whether or not a particular piece of equipment will be allowed.

Note that any equipment that a player brings into a game may be destroyed due to the physical nature of the game. The IQA is not liable for any broken equipment, so exercise caution and good judgment before you bring a valuable item into a game.

Here are the specific provisions:

1. Padding - Padding can be used to protect an injury from further harm, but we do not want players using excessive padding in an attempt to alter the game (imagine a player wearing pillows). Thus, all padding must meet the following standards:
A. It must be one inch or less in thickness.
B. When a referee raps on it with a knuckle, it should not make a knocking sound.
C. It must bend easily when a minimal amount of force is applied to it.

Notes for referees

  • You need not perform all of these tests for all players. If you have prior knowledge of the equipment to be used, you may allow/disallow it as appropriate.
  • In a tournament, you may talk to the tournament director (TD) about having a singular equipment check at the beginning of the tournament. Then, during the ground rules for each game, tell the captains that any equipment they are found to be wearing that they did not put through the equipment check and that violates the equipment rules, results in an immediate red card.

2. Braces - Athletic braces are allowed but must generally meet the standards of padding above. A brace may include a hard element; however, any hard plastic or metal in a brace must be covered at all times during a game. If any hard plastic or metal becomes exposed, the player must leave play and fix the problem per the defective equipment rules. Referees reserve the right to refuse any brace that they believe presents a danger to players.
3. Athletic supporters - Athletic supporters, or cups (used to protect the groin), are allowed in spite of the above padding rule.
4. Glasses and eyewear - Glasses are not generally dangerous, but the potential for broken glass in a game is worrisome. Thus, players are allowed to wear glasses or other eyewear, but no eyewear actually made of glass will be allowed, unless it is worn underneath goggles so that glass is not exposed.
5. Lacrosse goggles - Lacrosse "cage" goggles will not be allowed.
6. "Scrum helmets" - Rugby "scrum helmets" are considered padding, and thus must pass the padding tests if they are to be worn.
7. Other equipment - Any equipment other than clothing that is not mentioned here or in the rulebook will not be allowed. The head referee may only make very minor exceptions to this rule, such as for athletic tape or a small towel used to wipe off one’s hands (not to be used in play).
8. Disabilities - The IQA is creating a waiver policy for individuals with disabilities who may require other specific equipment. Such equipment will be approved if it does not present a danger to anyone or a competitive advantage.

Tiebreaker Policy

The following uniform tiebreakers will be used at regional championships and the World Cup:

1.     Head-to-head
2.     Point differential per game (with a max value of +/- 120 points for each individual game).
3.     Snitch snatch percentage
4.     Coin flip/random selection

Tiebreaker Explanations

Head-to-head: This statistic compares teams based on games that they’ve played against each other. Here are the specifics on how this statistic will work:

  • If two teams are tied and one has defeated the other, that team wins the tiebreaker.
  • If three teams are tied and one team has defeated the other two, that team is ranked above the other two. In this situation, the lower two teams then begin again in the tiebreaker procedure.
  • If three teams are tied and one team has lost to the other two, that team is ranked below the other two. In this situation, the two higher teams then begin again in the tiebreaker procedure.

In any other situation where teams are tied, skip this tiebreaker and proceed to the Point Differential Per Game tiebreaker.

Point Differential Per Game is a simple point differential with a "hard cap" of 120 points. A hard cap means that if a team wins by more than 120 points, no matter how much they win by, the statistic will have a value of exactly 120 points. This way, not only is the effect of blowouts mitigated, but also teams are not encouraged to run up the score.

Forfeit Procedure

A team which does not appear at the time and location of a game it is scheduled to play shall receive a forfeit. For the purpose of any tournament, a forfeit is counted as a 150*-0 loss for the forfeiting team. If both teams forfeit, both teams shall receive a 150*-0 loss. Forfeits do not count for the purpose of the official IQA rankings.

A team receives a forfeit for any of the following reasons:
1. Failing to appear at the scheduled start time and location of a game.
2. Not being prepared to start a game within five minutes after the scheduled start time.
3. Refusing to play or continue play when instructed by the head referee, including walking out during a match.

A team will never receive a forfeit for a game that it never agreed to attend, was not informed it was scheduled to attend or had the date and time changed without agreement from both teams. However, in spite of that, a team must complete any game it has started playing or it will receive a forfeit.

A team that maliciously or repeatedly forfeits games will be subject to various penalties by the IQA, including suspension. In extreme or unusual circumstances, the IQA may choose to include a forfeited game in the official rankings for either or both of the teams.

Player Number Policy for 2014–2015

The IQA Gameplay Department has decided to restrict what official numbers players may wear starting in the 2014-2015 season. This is to ensure that referees can recognize a player’s number and communicate it easily to other referees and players during games.

Acceptable numbers (beginning in 2014-2015 season)

  • Integers 0-999
  • Pi (the symbol) 
  • Infinity (the symbol)
  • Pound (#)
  • The following single capital letters: A G H J K M N P R T W X Y

If you choose to use one of the above symbols (non-integers) as your number, you may use only a single symbol. Symbols may not be mixed with other symbols or numbers. Thus the following examples are NOT allowed: 2A, GG, #9, NAP and so on.

In terms of other guidelines, players may lead their number with any number of zeros. So a player could be:


However, teams may not have repeated instances of the same number on the same team using this scheme. A team that has a number 7 could not also have a number 07 or a number 007. As another example, a team that has a number 000 could not also have a number 00 or a number 0.

Snitch Tail Regulation

The standard currently in the rulebook reads, “The snitch is a tennis ball held inside of a sock 12–16" in length tucked in the back of a snitch runner’s shorts or fastened to them by velcro.” However, this rule does not mention how much of that sock must actually be exposed, so some snitches have had most or all of that length tucked into the back of the shorts.

The rule did not intend for this to be the case, and standardization is important, so the IQA Rules Team has clarified the requirement. For this season’s games, the snitch sock must have at least 10” of exposed length. That is, measured from the base of the shorts where the sock is tucked in (or attached by Velcro), the length must be at least 10” and no more than 16”.

Note that the sock may be tied in a knot or knots, but not to the point that the exposed length is less than 10”.