Sunday, November 27, 2011

National Teams a cool possibility at World Cup 6

There have been several important events that have shaped Quidditch involving international teams. When McGill first participated in the Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup, the IQAs leaders, now having an international team, and a good one, decided to change the name to International Quidditch Associataion. Excitement sparked in the Quidditch World when Vaasa came for the first trans-Atlantic Matchups last spring. Several top notch teams played the Finns and the Finns had such a good time that they joined us again this fall for QWC5. Yesterday, the QUAFL Cup was held in Australia. 5 teams that are members of the AQA battled it out with great creativity, competition, and community. Although, the AQA is separate from the IQA. This shows how the sport and it's ideas are being spread across the globe without the IQA.
So it would be fantastic if next year, the World Cup could feature a World Championship.(this could be added in the finals which did not sell out this year)

United States of America (this team could be american all stars or American Quidditch alumni)
United Quidditch Nations Against Those Damn Americans Who Mock Us (how else can you put Australia, Finland, and Canad in a category? Nations with fantastic Health Care? This is a fitting title because the announcers always see the international teams as easy targets and I could definitely see Finland getting angry one time at QWC5)

Maybe one day, we will have that historic rematch between Ireland and Bulgaria.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Australian Quidditch Cup (QUAFL Cup)

Now we will go on an adventure from Randall's Island (the Northern Hemisphere Championship) all the way down to the Outback. The QUAFL Cup, the Southern Hemisphere's Championship, took place Saturday evening. (wait, I am writing this Saturday morning!) Hosts University of New South Wales best Western Sydney in the final.
Group play was fun but also rough as normal.
1. New South Wales 3-1
2. Western Sydney 3-1
3. Australian Nat'l 2-2
4. Newcastle 2-2
5. Wollongong 0-4
ANU was listed ahead of Newcastle because of point differential, but in the World Cup Mewcastle would have been #3 because they beat ANU 110 to 90.
So, in the semifinal ANU played Western Sydney. Western Sydney's defense, which had only allowed 40 points per game since the opening game (which they lost to UNWS 110-80*) stopped ANU's high powered offense which had averaged 112.5 points a game. Western Sydney won 70*-30 proving once again that a great defense beats a great offense.
In the "Wooden Spoon Playoff" (Australian for "no one cares") Newcastle crushed Wollongong 100*-0 raising arguments about whether Newcastle should have replaced ANU in the championship semifinal.

In the "Grand Final" (Australian for "people care") New South Wales came out victorious beating Western Sydney by a score of 90-60. There was very good snitchery and Western Sydney eventually had to commit a suicide snatch. Then all the teams pulled out the Fusters (Australian for Beer) and Congratulated UNSW's Snapes on a Plane for winning the first ever QUAFL Cup. Hopefully next year the World Cup can be joined by these talented kangaroos (American for Australians).

Sorry to any Australians reading this. Since it is Quidditch I have to add some humor in the article and I didn't fly 10,000 miles from Philadelphia to Sydney and experience any of the funny events with snitches or anything else. Also like Canadians, Aussies are an easy target, mate.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Quidditch Rankings

I have managed to get World Cup adjusted rankings done! My six categories that I based this on were Placing in World Cup 5, Winning Percentage in Fall 2011, Points For (with a seeker floor), Points Against (with a seeker floor), Placing in other tournaments including World Cup 4, and All Time Winning Percentage. As you might be able to see, the rankings have some flaws. Texas A&M is ranked below Texas even though the Aggies beat the Longhorns. I am hoping to try and add a human survey poll to eliminate these problems. Perhaps a coaches poll, like the college basketball and college football ones, would be good.

1. Middlebury College 98

2. Lousiana State University 94

3. Boston University 90

4. Pittsburgh QC 88

5. Emerson College 86

6. University of Texas-Austin 85

7. McGill University 78

7. Miami University 78

9. University of Florida 77

10. Texas A&M 75

11. Kansas University 70

11. University of South Florida 70

11. Michigan State University 70

14. Villanova University 64

15. University of California Berkeley 55

15. University of Michigan 55

17. University of Southern California 48

18. Penn State University 45

19. Marquette University 41

20. Arizona State University 38

21. University of Minnesota 35

22. Ives Pond QC 31

23. University of Maryland 29

24. Vassar College 27

24. Carleton University 27

Monday, November 14, 2011

Florida Quidditch

Over the past two weeks I have grown to known people involved in the FQC. I have been especially close with Events Director and University of Florida Beater Hannah Pohlmann. So, after meeting them in person and watching their games, I was very pleased that Florida had made it all the way to the finals. Here is the 2011 Quidditch World Cup Runner Up story.
Florida flew into New York late Friday night hoping that the World Cup would be a successful one for themselves and the other FQC teams. (Miami, South Florida, and Ringling) Florida's first job was to be cheerleaders. They watched a dirty USF vs. McGill game, rooting for their common opponents, USF. USF won the game in OT. After a false snitch snatch by USF, angry about the call, the USF seeker charged the snitch like a bull and snatched the win.
With renewed confidence Florida took the pitch against Ottawa. Cheers of "Canada" and "U.S.A." reverberated around the stands before the game. From "Brooms Up!" there was competitive Bludger play, with Beaters wrestling on the ground for the Bludgers. Even though the game started evenly, the Florida offense found it's groove behind speedy chaser Dre Clements. The game's snitch had come prepared with a large, pink, blanket. The snitch would wave it in the air like a matador, then wrap the charging seekers up like mummies. The game went on forever until the Florida seeker finally snatched.
Florida gained more confidence seeing USF and Miami's blowout of America's Finest and Ithaca, respectively. When the referee signaled for "Brooms Down. Eyes Closed" in Florida's second game against Geneseo, one of the announcers hoped out of his booth, onto a segway, and onto the field. He took the quaffle and snailed down the field to the Florida hoops, where he scored a goal. Florida would go on to win the game. The Gators' biggest test of Saturday was playing Arizona State. Still, Florida triumphed over ASU, showing that they can compete with the big boys.
On Sunday, UF played a rather "interesting" game against Delaware Valley Dragons who were already eliminated. Since they had no chance to make it to the next round, according to what a Florida player overheard, they were going to see if they could get a red card. Well, they did. At one point, a smaller woman from Del Val jumped on top of a Florida player, bringing him to the ground. When asked if she would do it again she replied, "Yes, and with greater force". Before that, Florida keeper Crews had raced off on several breakaways and dunked it into the hoop. At one point, he faked to throw it directly at the Del Val keepers face, and then slammed it home. The announcers called him "The Bernie Madoff of Quidditch" At the end of the dirty game, Florida's talent showed in the "a lot to a little" score.
Florida headed into single elimination as the #2 seed. They beat Ohio State in round 1, while USF moved on too, but Miami lost in a heartbreaker to Minnesota. (Ringling didn't make it)In round 2. Florida played McGill in front of a gorgeous sunset and a lot of Canadians. ("O, Canada" was sung before the game)In this game, Florida worked hard to preserve a 30 point lead in case the snitch was snatched by McGill. But, Florida got the snatch and advanced by a score of 90-30.
Florida then knocked off highly ranked Pittsburgh , who had some very big players including a keeper that was at least 6' 10", by a score of 80-60. (1st come from behind snatch)Sadly, shortly after their win, Florida found that they were the only FQC team left. USF had lost to Texas A&M 90-30.
Under the lights in Icahn stadium, Florida defeated Minnesota by a score of 70-50 (2nd come from behind snatch)
In the final, which I heard was very rough, (a red card, a yellow card and an injured Middlebury player), Middlebury jumped out to a 30-0 only to eventually be overtaken 80-70 by the Gators. In a turn of events, Middlebury came from behind to win the fifth quidditch world cup on a snatch. 100-80
The Gators should be extremely proud of themselves for surprising the quidditch world, coming out of nowhere and giving Middlebury a run for their money.
Thank you to the 2nd best team in quidditch for letting me be a part of their historic run to the finals.


Middlebury beat Florida 100-80 late Sunday night at Icahn Stadium.
Here is a quick summary of the game.
Middlebury jumps out to a 30-0 lead.
UF scores, Middlebury scores, and UF scores again to pull within 20. 40-20
The snitch is sighted.
While the seekers pursue the snitch, the score is run up 70-60
Florida scores 2 quick goals to take the lead. 80-70
Middlebury catches the snitch to win World Cup V 100-80
Congratulations to the Five time Champs and Florida, who was previously ranked 29 by the IQA.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Middlebury came from behind to beat Texas A&M 80-70. They scored a "long shot" to allow the Middlebury seeker to go for the snitch making the score 50-70. Approximately two minutes later, the snitch was snatched and the finals match was set.

Like last year's David vs. Goliath matchup of Tufts and Middlebury this is another david vs. Goliath. Last year however, Middlebury seemed untouchable, going undefeated. This year they have been lucky with snatches and they lost to Michigan in pool play.
Expect a fantastic final.


Breaking News: Florida advances to the final crusing past Ohio State, McGill, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota in the semifinal. In all games, florida's seeker has been fantastic, catching the snitch in crucial moments. It appears Florida is this years Tufts.

Middlebury and Texas A&M are playing now in the other semifinal u der the lights in Icahn Stadium.
More from Sunday will be posted by the end of the week. Stay tuned for finals updates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 1: Quidditch World Cup

Sadly, I am not a whole organization (like the IQA), but I can still bring scores and news from all the games that I attended.
Randalls Island Pros: It is gorgeous and there is enough space for all the snitches and spectators. Icahn Stadium is world class. It is amazing to see what the future of quidditch might look like while you sit in this stadium. Cons: It is windier and therefore colder. Last year, the WC had the feel that it was in the heart of NY. You could walk to many food places and the park was surrounded by skyscrapers. Also, there were only two food vendors on Saturday that had lines that backed up ~2 hours.

The opening cermonies were fantastic! Alex Benepe told a story in which some jerks made fun of him for playing quidditch. The moral of the story was basically that quidditch is awesome and dont let anybody harass you about it.

Middlebury looked shaky against Yale, they were only leading by 20 points when they caught the snitch. Clearly, this is NOT the same Middlebury as we are used to seeing.
USF110 McGill 90. The Canadians were not playing Mr. Nice Guy in this game. Several USF players were hurt in regulation, which ended after a USF snatch that sent the game into OT (70-70) In OT, it appeared that USF had caught the snitch, but that was disallowed. Seconds after play resumed, the angry USF seeker charged the snitch like a bull and legally caught the snitch. The other USF players along with many other FQC players and directors stormed the field happily.
Texas A&M 140 Ithaca 0 Showing off their talent and lack of mercy, A&M destroyed Ithaca.
PennState 90 OhioState 40 When the snitch entered the field between these football rivals, the score was low. By the time the snitch had been caught (by PennState), the score had been run up. The announcers commonly reminded the audience to watch out for ghosts that were preventing the Seekers from playing well.
Tufts 30 Silicon Valley 50 After Tufts scored a fantastic goal to go ahead 30-20, the Silicon Valley Seeker sprinted onto the field with the snitchsock in hand. The stunned Tufflepuffs sulked away, worrying about whether there is any chance they will be able to match their 2nd place finish last year.
Florida 160 Ottawa 30 The game was much closer than the score indicated. Competitive Bludger play featured many wars between beaters over the dodgeballs. The highlight of the game was the snitch, who was almost "unsnatchable" He carried a large pink blanket and he used it like a matador. Attracting the seekers and then wrapping them like mummies, the game went on until the referee (who was heavily critisized by audience members) told the Snitch to get rid of the blanket. Florida got the snitch to finally end the game. Dre Clements, a Florida chaser shined with his speed and offensive ability.
BostonUniversity110 ChestnutHill 0 CHC seemed completely un-organized and rarely advanced the ball past midfield. This was very suprising; CHC is one of the oldest quidditch teams. Chestnut Hill would try to make long passes to a chaser behind the goal, but the Boston goalkeeper would leap into the air, block the ball, and lead a fast break up the field. BU added the Snitch snatch to shutout my 10th ranked team, Chestnut Hill.
Pittsburgh 80 BowlingGreen 30 Pitt dominates but BG gets the snitch
ArizonaState 120 Geneseo 70 Beccause of their locations and climates, ASU was dubbed the "lizards" and Geneseo the "ice bears" About halfway through the match, a mysterious man asked the audience "Have you seen the Snitch?" Seconds later, he tore off his black coat and pants reveiling a golden snitch. The snitch waited at the field for minutes, successfully starting the wave while he waited for the seekers to show up. After a long time with no successful snatch, Geneseo finally gave up and snuck up from behind for the snatch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

World Cup Predictions, Pool Play

Since I am a lazy American, I have decided not to continue my pool by pool evaluations. So, I will wrap up the entire first day (and a little bit of Sunday) right now.
Teams that will shine
USF: They will beat 8 ranked McGill because of their physicality unknown to Canadians (except for on the hockey rink)
Middlebury: You might say, "well duuuhh" but many experts believe that Moddlebury will not win this year because of their lack of experienced players. In an easy pool, MiddQuid will be blowing out everybody
Vaasa: despite being in Middlebury's pool, the quidditchers from Finland will beat mediocre, but higher ranked teams like Yale and Michigan.
Pittsburgh and Tufts: Everyone will be watching these two supreme teams battle it out und the lights at 8 on Saturday. This is the best pool play game and a rematch of last year's semifinal.
Miami: Another FQC team that is coming off a 5-0 week in Florida Quidditch Conference play will have a ton of confidence. Look for them to possibly knock off Texas A&M
Marquette: A brand new team that, after the Midwest Cup in October, is the highest scoring team in Quidditch. They will obliterate 3 Arizona State, who is #3, but has been blown out twice by Northern Arizona University.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Florida Quidditch Conference Week 4

In the final FQC week of play, the four teams were joined by Rollins College and Lakeland Quidditch Club. FQC officials invited these teams in hope that they will join the FQC next year. Miami dominated game play though, going 5-0 for the day. USF went 3-1, Florida 2-3, and Ringling 1-2.
This brings the final 2011 FQC Standings (not counting games against Rollins or Lakeland in the last week) to this:
USF 8-1
Miami 8-2
Florida 3-6
Ringling 0-9

Highlights during the day included a dip into the water for Snitch Jacob Miller (Ringling). Rollins' and Lakeland's Seekers were in hot pursuit as they jumped into the warm Florida water too.
Otherwise, USFs dominance was challenged and they were almost unthroned by Miami.

Congratulations to all the people who made the FQC possible and I look forward to watching you next weekend.

Title Change

I decided "IQA Blog" was too boring so I changed the name to 'A Death Eater Plot Against Baseball". It's a little lengthy, but I thought it was funny and it connected to Brooms Up (the movie)

I will be posting game scores hourly at the World Cup, so if you want me to report on your teams games or other teams in your pool's games, I would be happy to. Please just comment below, asking which teams you want me to report on.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BCS Quidditch Rankings (that's right!)

Although I hate the BCS (college footballs ranking system), I thought it would be interesting to apply it's formula to Quidditch. As you might know, the final ranking is comprised of the Coaches Poll, the Harris Poll and various computer rankings. I can't survey all the coaches of all the Quidditch teams (Coaches Poll), or get a "panel of 120 people with great knowledge of the game" (Harris Poll), but I do have a computer!

The College football computer rankings are composed of 6 other polls that focus on statistics like Strength of Schedule, Opponents Strength of Schedule, etc.
For Quidditch the computer rankings were based on five categories: Winning Percentage, Performance in Tournaments other than the World Cup, Placing in the 2010 World Cup, Average Points per Game, and Average Opponents Points per Game.
The teams were then ranked in these five categories, the #1 team in each category receiving 25 points, #2 receiving 24, and so on.
Each team then had five numbers. I dropped the lowest number to prevent really good teams from being penalized. (for example, a team that didn't have enough money to travel to the World Cup last year or a team that is a great defensive team, but doesn't score many points)
Last, I added the four remaining numbers left, and divided the sum by 100.

Kansas is a good example. They had a 24 in Points For and Tournies, a 23 in Win%, an 8 in Points Allowed, and a 0 in World Cup 2010 (this score was dropped). (24+24+23+8)/100=.790

Here are the first ever BCS Quidditch Rankings.
1. Middlebury .970
2. Emerson .880
3. Pittsburgh QC .790
4. Kansas .780
5. Louisiana State .780
6. McGill .760
7. Boston .730
8. Rochester .730
9. Texas A&M .730
10. Chestnut Hill .670
11. Ives Pond QC .660
12. Michigan State .580
13. Villanova .510
14. UCLA .480
15. Miami .440
16. Tufts .390
17. Arizona State .380
18. Ball State .370
19. Marquette .350
20. South Florida .310
21. Penn State .280
22. Illinois State .280
23. Florida .280
24. Toms River Hydras .240
25. Vassar .230

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pool 3

Here is Pool 3,
8 McGill
20 South Florida
34 St Lawrence
50 Americas Finest
69 The Silver Phoenixes

McGill will face much tougher competition in this group that in the Canadian Cup, butI do expect them to move on.
South Florida is coming off a great season in the FQC and I believe they will beat McGill and take first place in the group because of their experience with physical teams in Miami and Florida.
St Lawrence is overrated and as the poster of the pools commented on his own story, "Poor St Lawrence"
Americas Finest is extremely physical and will be mad after being made fun of in Brooms Up! (the world cup 2010 documentary) In the movie they were teased for being "super tough" and then losing by a ton to the "nerds" from Tufts. They will be looking for revenge and I think, despite their lack of games in the last year, they will move on. (hopefully only to be whooped by the "nerds" from Middlebury.)
The Silver Phoenixes are essentially Texas A&Ms B team. That means they are probably pretty good. I expect them to beat a few of these teams , but not advance to the next round.

Pool 2

In my opinion, pool 2 is the easiest. Here are the teams.
7 Rochester
25 Toms River Hydras
38 Southern California
52 Virginia Commonwealth
89 Sam Houston State

Rochester has dominated 4 games against upstate New York teams, but they may find some trouble playing more physical teams from around the United States. However, they will move on, maybe losing once.
Toms River Hydras and Southern Cal will move on to the second round. Southern Cal finished third in the Western Cup and Toms River will look to avenge their Northeast Regional quarterfinal loss to Rochester.

VCU and Sam Houston State are long shots to overthrow the top three, not because the top three is fantastic but because VCU did not do well at the Turtle Cup and SHSU has only played 1 game which they lost).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quidditch World Cup Pools #1

On late Halloween night, the World Cup Pools were released. In the first part of this 12 part series, I will examine every Division One Pool.

4 Emerson
22 Richmond
29 Penn State
45 Ohio State
113 Victoria

I expect Emerson, Penn State, and Ohio State to advance to single elimination from this pool. Emerson is a team with tons of experience looking to have a great world cup after a disappointing quarterfinal loss to Tufts last year. They will cruise through a relatively easy pool.
Richmond is a team with lots of experience but that experience doesn't translate into wins. Despite being the highest ranked team at the Turtle Cup, they did not make it to the finals.
Penn State is flying high off a 2nd place finish at the Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup and they will carry that momentum into the QWC.
Ohio State when 3-1 at the Midwest Cup, losing only to Illinois State, but blowing out Missouri, Miami Ohio, and Purdue. They are a high scoring team that will overwhelm Richmond and take their spot in single elimination.
Victoria, a college in Canada does not know what they are getting themselves into. They have never played a game and will have to play Emerson and two very physical teams in Penn and Ohio State.