International Weekend Wrap-Up – November 26-27

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Contributions by Chula Bruggeling, Can Kaytaz, Fraser Posford, and Stefan Scheurer

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 Ireland’s first game between Dublin and Belfast, Spain’s II Copa de España (Spanish Cup II), some Turkish Quidditch League games, and the UK’s Christmas Cup 3.

Ireland – Dublin vs. Belfast
This past Sunday, November 27, Dublin Draíochta Dragons Quidditch welcomed Queen’s University Belfast Quidditch Club in Dublin to play their first friendly game against each other. Both teams were founded just a few months ago after Team Ireland’s participation at the 2016 World Cup in Frankfurt caused Ireland’s dormant quidditch scene to wake up again. Belfast is a university team led by a player who collected previous experience in the sport in Manchester, whereas Dublin is an internationally-diverse community team that draws their know-how from recently-moved players from the UK, as well as the US, Italy, and Austria.

The first game saw some fierce drives by some of the new players of both teams that have a background in the island’s strong rugby scene. It was over quickly, though, after a fast snitch catch by the Dragons that ended the game 70*-50 for them. The second game saw Belfast’s smaller squad confronted with both a longer seeker game as well as Dublin adapting their tactics. Belfast decided to go for a cold catch and finished the day with their first snitch catch and their heads held high ending the game with 130-50* for Dublin again.

While both are currently the only active clubs on the Emerald Isle, there is some more quidditch activity in Limerick, Cork, and Galway as well, which might lead to some more clubs emerging by spring. Until then, Dublin and Belfast have decided to keep working together closely and shape the future of the sport on their island.

Dublin Draíochta Dragons Quidditch (in green) vs. Queen’s University Belfast Quidditch Club (in black) | Photo Credit: Ana Cañizares Bejarano

Spain – II Copa de España

  1. Lumos Compostela Quidditch Team
  2. Bizkaia Boggarts Quidditch Taldea
  3. Madrid Wolves QT

The second Copa de España was held in Ronda, Andalucia. Twelve teams from across the country fought hard all weekend long, despite the miserably wet and muddy conditions with the national trophy and two European Quidditch Cup (EQC) qualifying spots at stake.

Lumos Compostela Quidditch Team were crowned the new Spanish champions, beating Bizkaia Boggarts Quidditch Taldea 160*-70 in the final, yet another Cinderella sporting story for 2016, Lumos Compostela having finished in last place at the previous Copa de España. The two finalists will represent Spain at this season’s EQC in Mechelen, Belgium next March.

Reigning champions Madrid Wolves QT completed the podium, narrowly losing 50*-40 to the Bizkaia Boggarts in the semifinals, with Pontevedra Quidditch Club (who also lost a snitch range game, 110*-70 to Lumos Compostela in the semifinals) forfeiting to take fourth place. Almería Basilisks, Dinosaur’s Army Quidditch Team, Hipogrifos Murcia, Sevilla Warriors, and Thestrals Granada QT were the five teams who made their national tournament debuts as the Copa de España expanded from eight to 12 teams, showing positive signs of growth for the Asociación Quidditch España.

Turkey – Turkish Quidditch League and Mini-League
The second half of Turkish Quidditch League (TQL) began last week as METU Unicorns played Bilkent Foxes on Nov. 20 in Bilkent Stadium, where Turkish Quidditch Cup (TQC) 2016 took place. Unicorns won 210-120* comfortably out of snitch range.

On November 26, winless Uludağ Aragog’s played the İstanbul teams BOUN Centaurs and İTÜ Honeybees at the İTÜ Stadium. They surprisingly outclassed the Turkish Quidditch Cup bronze medalists İTÜ Honeybees but could not grab their first win as the Honeybees caught the snitch while 20 points behind to win the game 180*-170. After an intense game, Aragog’s failed to keep up with BOUN Centaurs and lost 150-120* in a game that happened entirely out of snitch range.

The race for a top-three finish is really heating up in the TQL, as the third and final EQC spot of Turkey will be given according to the TQL standings.

Also on November 27, the first game of the “Mini-League” was played in Işık University, the venue of TQC 2 in October of last year. Mini-League is an organisation for the eight newly-formed teams, letting them play competitive games until the regular season of TQL is over in January. On their debut match, Bilgi Crows lost 150*-50 to Işık Death Eaters who seem to be out of hibernation after not playing an official game for over a year.

UK – Christmas Cup 3

  1. The Qrinches (dark green)
  2. Blizzard Wizards (orange)

On November 26 and 27, Oxford saw its third iteration of Oxford University Quidditch Club’s (OUQC) Christmas Cup, a tournament specifically organised to help freshers integrate into the quidditch community and gain experience while playing with more experienced players. Signups are done in two groups, one for experienced players, and one for new players. Teams are then made by combining people from both groups.

During a characteristically cold weekend, twelve teams faced each other for the chance to call themselves the Christmas Cup champions. The Qrinches (dark green) only narrowly defeated Merry Minotaurs (light blue) in the semifinals, while the Blizzard Wizards (orange) managed to defeat Ho Ho Hodors (white) in a similarly close SWIM range game.

The finals continued this trend, with a snitch catch by Blizzard Wizzards’ captain Lucy Quidditch taking the game to overtime, where the Qrinches eventually managed to win the game by outrunning the clock, ending the game with 100-60* (OT).

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.