by Michael Brown
ROSEVILLE, CA – This past weekend, seventeen teams met in Roseville, California to vie for the Quidditch Western Cup and the title of Western Regional Champion. UCLA, the 5th ranked team and the favorite to win, easily shut out their PAC 10 conference rivals USC in the final match with a score of 130-60. With the win, the UCLA Wizards will join 6 other teams advancing to the Quidditch World Cup which will be held this April 12-13 in Kissimmee, Florida.
“We just played USC a few weeks ago in a mini-series here at UCLA and we put together a strategy based on what we have seen of them at the Quidditch World Cup,” said third year Design/Media Arts student Tom Marks, “and we basically managed to counter their strategy.”
While USC adopted an aggressive playing style known as “tanking”, in which a very physical player drives the Quaffle down the field to the hoops, UCLA prefers speed to strength.
“One of the reasons why UCLA has such a strong team is because our Beaters are just unbelievably good,” Marks said. “They all have great accuracy and due to that they can really feel out the field very well.”
While not using flying brooms, “Muggle” or “Ground” Quidditch is played with a broom between the players’ legs at all times and sticks closely to the rules outlined in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. “It’s really competitive and it’s not a sissy sport,” said UCLA freshman and Beater Sarah Coleman. “It is full contact with no pads, and it’s more intense than rugby.”
As the Western Region champs, UCLA will be joined at the World Cup by USC (#20), Silicone Valley Skrewts (#8), Lost Boys (#42), Northern Arizona University (#41) and Arizona State University.
About the Western Cup
This year marks the fourth annual Western Cup. The tournament began as a one-day, five team team-sponsored event in Moorpark, California, in 2010. Since then, it has nearly doubled its team and spectator attendance each year, become the International Quidditch Association’s official regional event for the Western Region (consisting of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii and British Columbia and Alberta), and grown into a sprawling two day festival of sport and magic.
This year’s event is defined by a number of firsts. The IQA is proud to have partnered with Placer Valley Tourism, a new development this year, to bring the event to Northern California with greater support and community involvement than ever before. The tournament is also, for the first time, a qualifier for the World Cup, set to take place in Florida this April.
In addition to two full days and three pitches of extremely high level play as teams from around the West competed for one of only six berths at the World Cup, attendees enjoyed live entertainment, delicious food, and ongoing events for children (including multiple chances to try out the sport themselves).
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The Teams This Year
- Silicon Valley Skrewts
- USC Quidditch
- Arizona State Sun Devils
- NAU Narwhals
- Remus’ Riverside Runners
- Santa Barbara Blacktips
- UC Berkeley
- Golden Snitches
- Utah Crimson Fliers
- Moscow Manticores
- The Lost Boys
- Oxy Doxies
- UCLA Quidditch
- UBC Quidditch
- Hollywood Harpies
- University of Arizona
- The Quidditch World Cup
- Travel Bookings for Quidditch World Cup IV
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!