by Lisa Tietze
On the weekend of April 22-23, the Norwegian Championship took place in Haraløkka kunstgressbane, Oslo, where the European Games (EG) will also be held this summer. In a nine-team tournament, NTNUI Rumpeldunk took home their second national title, defeating perennial rivals OSI Quidditch in the finals 180*-40. The tournament used one of the fields that will also be used during EG. The field is perfect for spectating, holding two pitches and being lowered for a better viewing angle.
Since nine teams attended, the tournament used a special format with pools of three teams in two different set-ups. In the first set-up, pre-seeded and unseeded teams played in a round robin format to determine first, second, and third place within their pool. Afterward, the top team in each pool, the three second-placed teams, and the three third-placed teams each played each other in a second round robin.
As expected, the three experienced teams – OSI Quidditch, the university team in Oslo; Katta Rampeldank, from a high school that teaches quidditch in their sport lessons (Oslo katedralskole); and NTNUI Rumpeldunk, the university in Trondheim – topped their respective groups. In the first-place round robin, NTNUI topped the group with two SWIM catches by Jørgen Stenløkk, while OSI played Katta comfortably out of SWIM range with a final score of 120-70*, earning NTNUI and OSI the top two seeds, while Katta took the third seed.
The teams in the second-place group featured the GS Grizzlies, an established community team (Galvortskolen, Oslo), a new high school team from Persbråten VGS (Eagles), and St. Olav VGS, another high school team attending the Norwegian Championship for the third time and only brought male players (tournament officials allowed them to compete with just four players on the pitch at all times). St. Olav VGS, despite having no standing team and playing the whole tournament with two non-beaters, managed to top the group of second-placed teams with the other two teams cold catching, taking the fourth seed. GS Grizzlies managed a comfortable win over the Eagles, winning 130*-30. The third-placed teams were BSI Badumtsssilisiks, the university team from Bergen in their first season; Rising Stars United, a merc team consisting mostly of spare players from OSI and NTNUI; and a second team from Persbråten VGS (Tigers). BSI topped this group with comfortable wins over Rising Stars United and the Tigers.
Due to the drop out of two teams (the Persbråten VGS teams), bracket play commenced with just seven teams. The games started with OSI winning comfortably over seventh-seeded BSI. Fifth-seeded St. Olav faced GS Grizzlies in a rematch in each team’s first bracket game. As on Day One, the final score (190*-80 for St. Olav) does not reflect how close the game was until the snitch came on pitch. GS Grizzlies were leading when they put their beaters on the snitch to prevent St. Olav from catching, putting a hole in their quaffle defence. St. Olav’s physically superior high-school chasers (who now were alone with two beaters and a seeker on pitch) had no beaters to stop them, so St. Olav went from 20 points behind to leading by 50 in a short amount of time. After leading out of SWIM range, St. Olav played without a seeker to increase their lead even more with one additional chaser on pitch. When their lead was high enough, they swapped back to a lineup consisting of one keeper, two beaters, and one seeker and eventually caught the snitch. Afterwards, the Grizzlies took an unfortunate SWIM-loss against Rising Stars United. Rising Stars United truly made their name come true and managed to go from an eighth-place ranking on Day One to fifth place on Day Two, showing an impressive increase in team chemistry over the course of the tournament. In their final ranking game for fifth place, they won in a close match going into overtime against BSI with a final score of 130°*-70*°.
In the first semifinal, NTNUI beat St. Olav SGV again, but St. Olav managed to score more goals than they did on Day One (210*-50 compared to a score 220*-20 on the previous day). Afterwards, St. Olav played Katta Rampeldank in the third place play-off, who beforehand had lost again to OSI in an out-of-range semifinal match. Katta comfortably won against St. Olav and managed to take home third place.
The final saw long-time rivals OSI Quidditch and NTNUI Rumpeldunk facing each other again for the title. The expectation of an exciting close match was soon lowered when NTNUI went into a quick out-of-SWIM lead. While OSI set up a slow-paced game, potentially due to NTNUI’s tight hoops defence and bludger control, NTNUI used every chance to run quick counters and scored often. A time-out by OSI brought more energy and pace into their game, which eventually led to four more goals by the time the snitch was caught, but the margin was a rout for NTNUI and another Norwegian title for the Trondheim squad, winning 180*-40.