International Weekend Wrap-Up – November 11-13

Contributions by Chula Bruggeling, Kyle Carey, Serena Cheong, Rebekah Page, Arjun Patel, Ashara Peiris, Carrie Soukup, Cameron VomBaur, and Austin Wallace

There is a lot going on in the world of quidditch on any particular weekend, and most of us only see the stories immediately relevant to our regions. However, it can be very interesting to look outside of our own bubble every once in awhile and take a look at the rest of the global community. To that end, each week the Quidditch Post collects information about tournaments and events that happened during the weekend around the world.

This week we are covering the Eastern and Western Canada Regional Championships, Coupe de France, the UK’s Northern Cup, the US’s Midwest Regional Championship, Next Best West, Hub City Cup, and Officially BAQC At It.

Canada – Eastern Canada Regional Championship

  1. University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (uOttawa)
  2. University of Guelph Gryphons
  3. McGill University Quidditch
  4. Université de Montréal (UdeM) Quidditch
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    UOttawa Gee-Gees with their gold medals | Photo Credit: Darshan Panesar

For the third time in a row, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees have added yet another feather to their cap, beating the challengers, University of Guelph Gryphons by a large margin for a final score of 210*-80, at the 2016 Eastern Regional Championship in Mississauga, Ontario. This is the third time UOttawa has won a major Canadian tournament, winning the Eastern Regional Championship and 2016 National Championship last season. Despite suffering losses on their first day against Valhalla, (UOttawa vs. Valhalla 60-240*), and Guelph, (UOttawa vs. Guelph 50-80*), UOttawa managed to snatch the victory. Guelph was seeded at the eighth position going into Day Two, the lowest possible ranking for a team seeded in the top pool, but managed to climb the ladder during the bracket play.

Guelph put up an equally good, if not better, defense in the finals; unfortunately, UOttawa managed to pull ahead of Guelph before the seeker floor thanks to its better beater lines that managed to create gaps in Guelph’s defense, as well as its chasers taking advantage of fast breaks after rebounds and turnovers. During the post-seeker floor game, UOttawa ended up pulling quite far ahead of Guelph by making use of a couple of successful turnovers in a row and exploiting the weakened Guelph defense thanks to its preoccupied beaters, finishing with a successful snitch catch.

The bronze medal game was between UdeM and McGill Quidditch, who won to come in third place at the tournament, repeating the outcome of the game it had on the first day. Interestingly, despite speculations that UdeM may not perform as admirably as last year thanks to inconsistent performance last month, the team, who was in the finals last year, managed to land fourth place in the tournament.

Valhalla Quidditch, one of the pre-tournament favourites thanks to a veteran roster made up of many Team Canada players and zero rookies, was unable to make it to the semifinals. Valhalla won against both Guelph and UOttawa on the first day for the final scores of 160*-90 and 240*-60 respectively. The latter was a rematch game which surprised many, thanks to the shockingly large score differential. Despite the wins on the first day, Valhalla was knocked out of bracket play by Guelph in quarterfinals, failing to live up to the pre-tournament hype.

Keep an eye out for more in-depth coverage of Canada’s Eastern Regional Championship by the Quidditch Post in the near future.

Canada – Western Canada Regional Championship

  1. University of British Columbia Quidditch (UBC)
  2. Edmonton Aurors
  3. Simon Fraser University Quidditch (SFU)
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    From left to right: Edmonton, UBC, and SFU with their respective medals | Photo Credit: JYK Photography

Western Canada crowned its new champion in UBC, in its first season as a Quidditch Canada team (the team played its past two seasons in USQ), usurping two-time champions Edmonton Aurors (known as the Alberta Clippers prior to this season). On Day One, UBC lost its first ever game against a Quidditch Canada team with an overtime loss to Edmonton in pool play. Their rematch in the final was within range the entire game, with the Aurors generally holding a small lead leading up to the snitch catch by UBC to end the game 90*-80. Edmonton will look forward to the National Championship (April 1 and 2 in Victoria, British Columbia) to improve on its 1-3 record against UBC.

Meanwhile, the third place game was another tightly contested match between SFU and the University of British Columbia Quidditch Club (UBCQC). As with the final matchup, SFU had lost to UBCQC on Day One by a score of 120*-40. UBCQC was down 90-60 in quaffle points before Gillian Savage caught the snitch for UBCQC to send the game into overtime, where SFU scored twice and ended the game with an overtime snitch catch from rookie seeker Ethan D’souza. Of note: both Savage (at 5’5”) and D’souza (of similar stature) proved that smaller seekers could still be useful in the modern era. Unlike Edmonton, UBCQC will not have to wait long for its rematch against SFU, as the teams will play each other on December 3 in the next set of QCON games.

The other notable result was UVic Valkyries beating the Calgary Mavericks in pool play (though Calgary would come back with a dominating 100*-10 win, with UVic missing Captain and Coach Misha Whittingham in the consolation fifth/sixth place game on Day Two). While Calgary was missing many of its top players, UVic’s two wins are now double its win total of the previous two seasons. The team has improved tremendously from a very unpracticed team without strategic depth to a team that has obviously been spurred on by being the hosts of the 2016 National Championship.

Keep an eye out for more in-depth coverage of Canada’s Western Regional Championship by the Quidditch Post in the near future.

France – Coupe de France de quidditch

  1. Titans Paris
  2. Paris Frog
  3. Crookshanks Lyon
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Titans Paris Quidditch celebrating victory | Photo Credit: Amélie Beltzer

Making good use of a national holiday on Friday, Coupe de France was played on November 11-13. The tournament in Nantes saw 14 teams attend (up from nine teams last season), with both the national championship title and three European Quidditch Cup (EQC) spots on the line.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Titans Paris managed to hold on to their French championship title, after a 200*-100 win against local rivals Paris Frog, and are now setting their sights on a third consecutive EQC title. The third place, and last French EQC spot, went to Crookshanks Lyon, who defeated Lille Black Snitches with a score of 140*-30.

Those who have been keeping an eye on French quidditch for a while now might have already noticed it: the top four teams are the exact same as last season, in the exact same order, and all three Coupe de France finals so far have been between the two Parisian teams as well. There was one noticeable difference this year though: the final between Titans Paris and Paris Frog had a lot fewer stoppages and a lot fewer cards than it did last time, something that was clearly appreciated by both the referee team and spectators, and made for a very enjoyable game to watch.

The Quidditch Post is working together with local players to bring you some thoughts from Coupe de France in the coming weeks.

UK – Northern Cup

  1. Velociraptors Quidditch Club
  2. Durhamstrang
  3. Tornadoes Quidditch Club

The UK’s second set of regional championships were held in Durham. With the largest ever set of regionals the UK has ever had – 20 teams competed – this was always going to be an interesting weekend. Going in, Velociraptors QC, the UK’s newest community team were expected to comfortably win, and they did not disappoint. Eventually defeating host team Durhamstrang 160*-30 in the final, they were not particularly challenged over the weekend, comfortably winning every game far out of range, including their games in the supposed “group of death.”

Tornadoes QC defeated Loughborough Longshots in overtime to take home the bronze medal and the final EQC spot. Northern was also important as British Quidditch Cup qualifiers with Preston Poltergeists, Liverpuddly Cannons, St Andrews Snidgets, and Holyrood Hippogriffs Seconds failing to qualify for the national tournament.

Other teams that impressed over the weekend include Holyrood Hippogriffs Firsts, who fought their way out of the group of death before going out into the quarterfinals with fourth-place finishers Loughborough, relative newcomers Manchester Manticores, and new team Sheffield Squids. All of these teams thoroughly impressed and will be ones to look out for over the year.

USQ Midwest – Midwest Regional Championship

  1. Mizzou Quidditch
  2. Kansas Quidditch

Fresh off its win at Cowboy Cup VI last weekend, Mizzou Quidditch again took the top spot on Saturday, November 12 in Nevada, Iowa guaranteeing its passage to US Quidditch Cup 10. The team was undefeated on the first day and was the second seed going into playoffs. The final match saw it defeat Kansas Quidditch 190*-110 after passing Minnesota in the semifinals 210*-110.

The entire weekend kicked off with the Illinois State University Firebirds team helping with some kidditch. The team helped lead drills as well as some scrimmages for the youth players – and potential future Midwest Regional Stars!

Kansas Quidditch, the eventual No. 2 seed, went undefeated the first day as well, garnering its No. 1 seed for the second day. Kansas’ final record was an impressive 6-1. The team also recorded its 150th win during the tournament against Illinois State.

The other three teams securing their place in Florida for the National Championship are Illinois State Firebirds, Marquette University Quidditch, and Minnesota Quidditch.

USQ West – Next Best West: The End of an Era

  1. Long Beach Funky Quaffles
  2. Los Angeles Gambits

The final installment of Next Best West was held in Santa Barbara, California on November 12, with 10 teams in attendance. Each team played four scheduled games, with time running out before a proposed “final” between the two teams with the best records could be played. Most teams were from Southern California, with one guest each from Northern California, Utah, and (technically) Arizona. Los Angeles was the last major American quidditch hub to lack substantial official gameplay, and Next Best West seemed to leave us with as many questions as answers.

The Lost Boys went 4-0 without historical program stars Alex Browne and Missy Sponagle. While these are major losses, snitch-range games against Utah State Quidditch Club (110*-60) and the Fighting Farmers of Arizona (70*-50) surely came as a surprise. The Fighting Farmers came into the tournament with a host of new players, primarily former Santa Barbara Blacktips Ben Harding, Tommy Brown, and Joren Adams, and finished 2-2. The Farmers’ lack of a definitive starting seeker; however, led to losses in their only two snitch-range games against Utah State (90*-60) and the Lost Boys.

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Lost Boys keeper Michael Mohlman looking to score against Fighting Farmers defense. | Photo Credit: Sofia de la Vega Photography

The tournament’s biggest story, and the result that will be talked about for the rest of the season, is the Long Beach Funky Quaffles’ de facto first-place finish, 110*-80 over the Gambits in the tournament’s final game. Powerful driving from Anthony Hawkins, sure-handed goals from Jessica Ward, and a fearsome double-male beater set typically headed by Andrew Burger led to a 4-0 finish for Long Beach, who only finished trailing in quaffle points against Utah State (100*-80). While the Quaffles certainly deserve credit for a very impressive performance, many in the community will instead be wondering what happened to the Gambits. Overwhelmingly the favorites to win the West and compete for the national title, a couple of injuries and familiarity bred with Long Beach don’t seem to fully explain their only loss of the day. The Gambits will have a chance to redeem themselves at the Threaux Me Something Mister Quidditch Expeaux against top-notch South and Southwest teams on December 3.

USQ South – Hub City Cup III

  1. Gulf Coast Gumbeaux
  2. Tulane University

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) held its third annual Hub City Cup in Hattiesburg, Mississippi this past Saturday, November 12. The weather was beautiful the entire day as five teams battled to win the Cup: USM, Louisiana State University (LSU), Tulane University, Gulf Coast Gumbeaux, and inTENNsity. Unfortunately, the tournament ran into an issue that almost cancelled the whole thing: Gumbeaux’s Joshua Mansfield was the only certified head referee attending. For the sake of the tournament, Mansfield decided to forgo playing entirely, and instead became the head referee for the entire tournament.

For bracket play, the teams were ranked from one to five and played as 4 vs. 5 (A1), 2 vs. 3 (B1), 1 vs. WA1 (A2) and WA2 vs. B1 (final). The teams were ranked in order after round robin as follows: Gumbeaux, Tulane, LSU, inTENNsity, USM.

A1: inTENNsity vs. USM: 190*-30
B1: Tulane vs. LSU: 100*-40
A2: Gumbeaux vs. inTENNsity: 150*-0 (forfeited by inTENNsity due to travelling home)
Final: Gumbeaux vs. Tulane: 130*-20

Overall, besides some slight setbacks, the tournament turned out very well. All games were recorded and official – thanks in large part to Mansfield – and the teams are leaving with a tournament under their belt that will help with qualifications for the regional championship.

USQ Northeast – Officially BAQC At It
Officially BAQC At It failed to live up to its name as the New York conference, the Big Apple Quidditch Conference, hosted a series of unofficial games at Stony Brook University on Long Island. Four colleges brought rosters to compete: Stony Brook University, New York Quidditch Club (NYQC), Hofstra University, and Macaulay Honors College. Stony Brook’s roster was the most similar to the team it had at the regional championship. The other teams brought several new players, with little experience in competitive matches. The New York Quidditch Club combined with its developmental team the Pigeons and a handful of Macaulay players to form the Birds of War.

The Birds of War went winless against Stony Brook and Hofstra. Though they did often seem disjointed, especially in their beating game, the Birds of War were able to put together some well-worked passing goals.

Macaulay’s day went similarly to the Birds of War. Lacking its veteran players, the Macaulay effort on the field often left something to be desired. However, for a team of mostly new players, the team laid out a number of impressive hits and created a lot of opportunities for itself.

The Hofstra Flying Dutchmen came with an excess of 21 people. Despite their numbers, a lot of different chaser sets got playing time for the Dutchman. Beater Andrew Ko forced no bludger situations frequently, leading to goals from multiple different Hofstra players.

Stony Brook was anchored defensively by the beating of Ryan Sebade. He often played in a deep, two-male beater set which forced teams to find scoring options off the pass rather than the drive. Keeper Max Curran led the offensive with his characteristically sharp shooting. When he couldn’t get the shot off, he often found Suzanne Kostrewski near the hoops for goals.

Stony Brook and Hofstra both ended the day with two wins each, with Hofstra coming out of the scrimmages looking like the most put together team. Even though the Flying Dutchmen may not have qualified for US Quidditch Cup 10, they certainly are a team to look at in the future.

International Weekend Wrap-Up is a roundup of quidditch tournaments our correspondents attended last weekend. Were you at a tournament and want to make sure it gets featured in International Weekend Wrap-Up? You can send in your short submissions to quidditchpost@gmail.com until Tuesday.