International Weekend Wrap-Up – December 3-4 and 10-11

Contributions by Chula Bruggeling, Yeray Espinosa Cuevas, Christopher Dewing, Sean Fry, Can Kaytaz, Sudiksha Kumar, Carrie Soukup, and Katelyn Stubberfield

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 a while 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 have a special edition of IWWU, covering not one but two weekends worth of events. This special edition covers the Australian National Championship, updates on the national leagues in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey, and the US’s Threaux Me Something Mister Quidditch Expeaux, Lone Star Invitational, and Silicon Valley Showdown.

December 3-4

Germany – NRW-Liga (NRW League)

  1. Rheinos Bonn
  2. Ruhr Phoenix – Bochum
  3. Munster Marauders
  4. Bielefelder Basilisken

On Sunday, December 4, Bochum hosted the NRW-Liga (NRW League) finals, where Rheinos Bonn and Ruhr Phoenix would compete for the first league title. Despite the cold weather – the field was still noticeably frozen when games started – all attendants were determined to make it a great day.

With the NRW-Liga consisting of two top-level German teams and two relatively new teams, it had been rather clear from the start which teams were going to compete for the league title; Rheinos Bonn, Germany’s current national champion, and Ruhr Phoenix, with a national third place. In the end, after two very close matches, Rheinos Bonn remained victorious, defeating Ruhr Phoenix with scores of 70*-50 and 90*-60, and was crowned the first NRW champion.

Meanwhile Munster Marauders defeated Bielefelder Basilisken twice with scores of 90*-60 and 90*-80, earning them a third place finish.

The league’s second round will start in April, alongside regional leagues all over Germany.

Rheinos Bonn celebrating their overall NRW-Liga victory | Photo Credit: Chula Bruggeling

Turkey – Turkish Quidditch League and Mini-League
This was another action-packed weekend in the Turkish Quidditch League (TQL) with eight games played in two days. The first game of the weekend was played on December 3 between METU Unicorns and their B team METU Minicorns in a snow-covered ODTÜ Devrim Stadium. Unicorns won comfortably with a score 210*-60 but both teams were unable to put up a beautiful game due to the cold and snow.

The other METU team, ODTÜ Hippogriffs, was visiting İstanbul with their B team to play their away games at the İTÜ Stadium. Hippogriffs defeated the winless Uludağ Aragog’s 160-70* decisively. İTÜ Honeybees and BOUN Centaurs were eager to play the Hippogriffs after not facing them at Turkish Quidditch Cup (TQC) 2016, and they came very close to grabbing a win away from the league leaders. Honeybees managed to grab the snitch and reach overtime, but Hippogriffs were able to find a 10-point lead within the last five seconds of the game to bring the score to 120-110*, getting their second win of the day. Centaurs kept up with Hippogriffs on quaffle play but were not able to catch the snitch, which meant that ODTÜ Hippogriffs won 100*-70 and closed the day with three victories.  Hippogriffs might be happy with the end result, but they should be disappointed with how close the games were, as the championship might be decided on QPD. The results suggest that İstanbul teams are looking like they are closing the gap between them and Ankara teams, but they still have work to do.

Last game of the league was played on December 4 between METU Minicorns and Hacettepe Phoenix, in Hacettepe Stadium. The match was a real nail-biter as Phoenix went in and out of the snitch range throughout the game. The depleted Phoenix squad was unable to stand against the Minicorns, in the end losing 260*-180. Minicorns played a more disciplined game compared to their TQC performances and the freshers seem to be settling in the squad, whereas Phoenix showed a lot of potential and might be returning to their title-contender days in the 2017 season.

Mini-League
The mini-league fixtures of the weekend were ODTÜ Hippogriffs B’s away matches. On December 3, Hippogriffs B played İTÜ Bumblebees and İTÜ Zombees, defeating them 220*-60 and 280*-80 respectively. Unlike the newly-formed İTÜ teams, Hippogriffs B have some key experienced players and that really showed. The real surprise of the weekend was the Hippogriffs B vs. Bilgi Crows match. The newly-established Bilgi Crows played their second ever game and managed to stay within snitch range against Hippogriffs B, eventually losing 170*-120.

The mini-league looks chaotic as favourites Shades Quidditch decided to leave the league and wait until 2017, following BOUN Renegades, who also dropped off due to lack of players.

The excitement will continue next week in TQL as three teams of Unicorns Quidditch go to İstanbul to play their away games (10 matches in total) while Hacettepe Phoenix play Bilkent Foxes in Ankara.

US Southwest – Threaux Me Something Mister Quidditch Expeaux

  1. Los Angeles Gambits
  2. Texas State University – San Marcos

Threaux Me Something Mister Quidditch Expeaux was the first tournament hosted by Gulf Coast Gumbeaux. The tournament was held at La Salle Park in Metairie, Louisiana on December 3.

Though the weather for the day was gloomy and rainy, everyone was in high spirits with teams from all over the region coming in. The teams that participated were Gulf Coast Gumbeaux, Texas State University, Los Angeles Gambits, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, San Marcos Sharknados, University of Southern Mississippi, Houston Cosmos, and Lumberjack Quidditch.

The teams were grouped into three pools, with the Gambits, Texas State, and Gumbeaux grouped in the Power Pool and the other six teams divided into Pools A and B. Pool members had to play each other, and upon ranking in pool play had to play the other pools depending on their ranks. The Power Pool teams were given a bye to Bracket Play, and the fourth spot in Bracket Play was secured by the top team of the remaining six. Teams who did not make it into bracket play could challenge teams for a chance to play or a rematch.

The tournament was well organized and ran without a hitch despite the weather conditions and player injuries and forfeits. The players had a great time playing music and socializing. Victory was taken by the Los Angeles Gambits with Texas State coming in second.

US Southwest – Lone Star Invitational

  1. Texas Cavalry
  2. University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)
  3. Texas A&M Quidditch

Some of the Southwest’s best teams met in Austin, Texas on a cold and rainy day for the Lone Star Invitational, hosted by Texas Quidditch. Teams in attendance included Texas Cavalry, Lone Star Quidditch Club (LSQC), Texas Qudditch, Texas A&M, UTSA, Texas Tech Quidditch, and Austin Quidditch, with Cavalry coming out on top in the points system employed at the event. Teams were awarded three points for an out of snitch range win, two points for winning in range, and one point for losing in range.

Cavalry added Freddy Salinas to its already impressive roster, bolstering the team’s depth. Cavalry looked very strong all day, going undefeated, beating A&M, LSQC, Texas Quidditch, and Texas Tech. Cavalry’s game against Texas was an incredible matchup of two great teams, with an exceptional beater battle between Augie Monroe, Cole Travis, Hallie Pace, and Eddie Molina, going back and forth for what seemed like an eternity.

Tech and A&M both brought smaller rosters, with A&M missing most notably Harris Coleman, and Tech missing Stephan Vigil and Sean Townsend. Tech’s only victory on the day was against Austin Quidditch, but they were up on Texas when the snitch was pulled.

Texas A&M performed inconsistently throughout the day, playing close games with Cavalry and Lone Star, but dropping one to UTSA. A&M pulled out a victory against Texas as its last game of the day in a pretty low-scoring affair, as Texas had just come off a grueling game against Cavalry, and A&M was worn out due to the weather and small numbers.

UTSA looked impressive all day, only losing to Texas in a snitch-range game, while beating Texas A&M in overtime and Texas Tech out of range. Austin Villejo looked dominant as a scorer as we’ve come to expect from him.

LSQC continues to bring skeleton crews to tournaments, leading the community to question if the team will ever bring a full roster to a tournament. Despite this, LSQC’s core players remain very talented and performed very well for them all day. The team was up on A&M before it was taken into overtime, and was even with Texas and Cavalry before the snitch was pulled, showing the team can still compete with the best teams despite limited numbers.

The final standings were:

  1. Texas Cavalry – 12 pts (won on point differential tie breaker)
  2. UTSA – 12 pts
  3. Texas A&M – 9 pts (3rd via head to head tie-breaker)
  4. LSQC – 9 ps
  5. Texas Quidditch – 8 pts
  6. Texas Tech – 4 pts
  7. Austin Quidditch – 0 pts

US West – Silicon Valley Showdown
On Saturday, December 3, seven teams from both the west and northwest region participated in the Silicon Valley Showdown. The schedule, designed so that teams played games against teams they would not usually otherwise face, was a round-robin without a championship game due to time constraints. Triumphing with a record of 4-0, Cal Quidditch was the victor, but many games were marked by competitiveness and parity.

Cal built its victories with a high-pressing defense, good coordinated beater play, and equally good individual chaser play. Starting with an impressive victory over the Long Beach Funky Quaffles out of snitch range, Cal continued with snitch range victories over Rain City Raptors and the Silicon Valley Vipers, while winning out of range against Provo Quidditch. Cal remains a team a bit rough around the edges and susceptible to damaging penalties, but is undoubtedly a threat for a US Cup bid at the West Regional Championship in February.

Long Beach Funky Quaffles against Silicon Valley Vipers | Photo Credit: Elizabeth Barcelos Photography

Despite Cal’s strong run, perhaps the best performance of the day is that of the Funky Quaffles. In their initial loss to Cal, the Quaffles looked a bit disjointed and unfortunately lost key player Anthony Hawkins to injury. What followed was tenacious and coordinated play to win their three subsequent games. Fighting in tight matches against both the Vipers and the Silicon Valley Skrewts, they pulled the snitch in each game to claim victory. The Quaffles are yet an elite team, but pose a threat to any team in the West when bringing their best game.

Rain City Raptors, buoyed by equally strong quaffle play and seeking game, fought to a 2-2 record, losing the aforementioned snitch-range game to Cal and in overtime to the Vipers. However, their beater play continues to hold back the team from being able to take control of a game. The Silicon Valley Vipers, also 2-2, lost both their games by snitch catches and if chances had been taken, could have won both games or also lost to Rain City. Inconsistent quaffle play is holding back the Vipers much as beating holds back Rain City. The Skrewts, the final 2-2 team, were also perhaps unfortunate with both their loses by a snitch catch. They retain a strong chaser core with the team living through its beating.

The California Dobbys had a 1-3 record as they continue to train new players and coordinate as a team after key losses last year. However, their strong showings in certain points of all of their games certainly points to a more competitive future as more experience is gained. Provo Quidditch, while 0-4 also was competitive for the initial minutes of its games and started to drift out of range as the team tired due to a shorter bench and still developing talents. Nonetheless, Provo was positive and tenacious opponents throughout the day.

While it is still mid-season for teams on the West Coast, the tournament definitely helped define talent and skill gaps as teams start to turn their eyes towards respective regional championships at the end of February and early March. It was also a tournament that showed many of the best attributes of the quidditch community as some teams travelled far to make it, good humor and sportsmanship prevailed throughout the day, and camaraderie and support were exhibited for all players, volunteers, and staff.

December 10-11

Australia – Australian National Championship – QUAFL

  1. Wrackspurts Quidditch Club
  2. Western Sydney Quidditch Club (WSQC)
  3. Monash Muggles

This year saw the sixth iteration of the Australian championships, held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and featuring 23 teams from six states. The tournament is always exciting and surprising, and this year included five teams making their QUAFL debut, five teams from the original 2011 championship, and everyone else in between.

The Melbourne Manticores – previously defending champions – were overthrown for the first time since their 2014 victory, and thus a new era of Australian quidditch begins. After defeating the Manticores in a thrilling overtime semifinal (110*^-90), the Wrackspurts moved into the Grand Final to face WSQC, who had just defeated the Monash Muggles in a spectacular comeback from out-of-snitch range (110*-100).

The Grand Final saw the most evenly-matched QUAFL final since 2013, with the game remaining in snitch range until the final catch by Bodie Nash, resulting in a 120*-110 victory to the Wrackspurts.

Wrackspurts seeker Neil Kemister catching the snitch against Melbourne Manticores during the semifinals | Photo credit: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

The Netherlands – Dutch Quidditch League

  1. Dom Tower Dementors
  2. Wageningen Werewolves
  3. North Sea Nargles

On December 11, Wageningen played host to the second unofficial Dutch Quidditch League Gameday, closing the half-year league. Besides the original three teams – Dom Tower Dementors, North Sea Nargles, and Wageningen Werewolves – the Rotterdam Ravens were allowed to join in on this second gameday to help get them some more experience before the Dutch Quidditch Cup (DQC) in January.

The North Sea Nargles, on paper the biggest team in the Netherlands with more than 21 players, seem to have had bad luck this year so far and were not able to attend with more than nine players. As such, after a long and close game against the Wageningen Werewolves, which they eventually lost 120*-110, the team decided to forfeit their match against the more physical Dom Tower Dementors. In the end the Nargles ended the league in third place, with no games won.

Despite playing in their own city, the Wageningen Werewolves also did not manage to bring all of their players, though in the end they had a respectable 11 players. New chasers Merel Reiche and Emma Labohm showed they were not afraid to get in on the action, visibly improving over the course of the day; their respective backgrounds in basketball and judo no doubt gave them some useful experience. However, the team needs to work some more on their teamwork and communication if they want to come out on top at DQC next month. The Werewolves ended the league in second place, with two out of four games won.

Meanwhile, the Dom Tower Dementors have shown that although they might be the newest of the three teams, they should definitely not be underestimated. Through a combination of teamwork and physicality, the team managed to keep hold of their lead in the league, although it was probably closer than the team had hoped. The small roster from the Nargles led to them forfeiting their game against the Dementors, but the game against the Werewolves turned out to be a long one, drifting in and out of SWIM range. In the end, Finn den Boeft managed to catch the snitch for the Dementors, winning the game 100*-60. The Dementors ended the league in first place, with all four league games won.

The Rotterdam Ravens, while not a league team, were allowed to join the day to give them some more competitive experience as a team. Although part of the team was clearly new to the sport – resulting in some less-than-legal contact and a couple of cards – they were clearly determined to show their worth, and managed to play both of their games in SWIM range (the game against the Werewolves was cancelled due to time restraints). With a bit more experience under their belt, combined with a stronger grasp of the rules, it will be interesting to see how the Ravens will fare at next month’s DQC.

Dementor Finn den Boeft initiating contact with Werewolf Emma Labohm | Photo Credit: Bruggeling Quidditch Photography

Spain – Liga Nacional de Quidditch

Euskal Quidditch Liga
Saturday, December 10 saw the second round of the Euskal Quidditch Liga in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The Gipuzkoa Golden Dragons could not field a team and had to forfeit, giving the Gasteiz Gamusins a 150*-0 victory.

Current standing:

  1. Bizkaia Boggarts (2-0)
  2. Gasteiz Gamusins (1-1)
  3. Gipuzkoa Golden Dragons (0-2)

Liga Galega de Quidditch
For the second round of games, the Liga Galega de Quidditch met in Lugo, on Sunday, Dec. 11. Dinosaur’s Army (from Vigo) weren’t scheduled to play this round, while the Dementores made their debut in this season’s league this weekend. Lumos Compostela continued their dominance in Spanish quidditch and, after winning Spanish Cup a couple of weekends ago, won all their games in this weekend’s fixture. The Dementores are improving fast and defeated Pontevedra Q.C. (fourth in the Spanish Cup) 100*-80. Lumos Compostela (6-0) now has a three-game advantage over Pontevedra Q.C. (3-3).

Scores from this weekend:

Lumos Compostela 160-80* Lucus Centauri
Lumos Compostela 150*-60 Pontevedra Q.C.
Dementores 230*-80 Lucus Centauri
Lumos Compostela 130*-70 Dementores
Dementores 100*-80 Pontevedra Q.C.
Pontevedra Q.C. 200-130* Lucus Centauri

Current standings:

  1. Lumos Compostela (6-0)
  2. Pontevedra Q.C. (3-3)
  3. Dementores (2-1)
  4. Lucus Centauri (1-5)
  5. Dinosaur’s Army (0-3)

Turkey – Turkish Quidditch League and Mini-League
This was another week of heavy fixtures in the Turkish Quidditch League (TQL), with 11 games played overall. METU Unicorns, METU Minicorns, and METU Ponicorns travelled to İstanbul to play their away games. Eight of the matches were on Dec. 10 at İTÜ Stadium and the weekend started with Minicorns against Uludağ Aragog’s, where Minicorns easily defeated the Aragog’s who were missing their keeper Başar Karamuk, the top scorer of TQL. Minicorns failed to keep the run going as İTÜ Honeybees defeated them 180*-90. After losing the chance to get a European Quidditch Cup (EQC) 2017 spot, the Minicorns looked hopeless against BOUN Centaurs. After falling 100 points behind, the Minicorns found their second wind and managed to bring the game back into snitch range, but their comeback story was cut short as the Centaurs caught the snitch to end the game 160*-100.

METU Unicorns look out of sync this weekend as they were missing three players, but they still managed to beat their opponents decisively. The Unicorns were missing their best seekers against BOUN Centaurs, so the spectators got a taste of a trademark hour-long game that finally ended with a Unicorn victory with the score 320*-150. Aragog’s made a cold catch against Unicorns after a dull game, possibly because it was getting really cold, to end the game 210-120*. The Unicorns vs. Honeybees game had to be postponed as the pitch was closing.

The final TQL game of the weekend was played on Dec 11. in Bilkent Stadium between Bilkent Foxes and Hacettepe Phoenix. The tense match ended 190-150* in favour of the Foxes, but Phoenix refused to sign the scoresheet and formally objected the result. The game is under investigation for now.

Mini-League fixture was also busy this weekend. METU Ponicorns played İTÜ Bumblebees and İTÜ Zombees on Dec. 10 in İTÜ Stadium, winning the games 90*-80 and 120-60* respectively. The rest of the games were played on Dec. 11 in Bilgi University. This time Ponicorns lost both of their games, 110*-80 against Bilgi Crows and 160*-60 against Işık Death Eaters. The final game of the day was İTÜ Bumblebees against Işık Death Eaters, which ended 200-140* as the Death Eaters made a cold catch.

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.