Monday, March 26, 2012

Interview with David Gutierrez, a founder of the ICBA

Why did you form the ICBA?

To keep it simple, a group of us that had been playing the sport for awhile wanted to take the sport into a different direction than it was currently going in. We felt like we could raise the standards and the general level of respect for the sport via different methods than the IQA. Our intent wasn't to compete with the IQA when we formed, it was mostly to supplement the IQA in areas we thought were lacking focus/attention.  

Does the ICBA accept any teams that want to join?
Mostly Yes. Membership is free and the only condition that teams have to meet is they have to submit two representatives to the ICBA Congress (one male and one female) who at minimum must vote and their team must do everything feasible to attend their Conference's "Conference Tournament". 

Where will the Collegiate Cup take place?
Right now, looking at our current membership the Cup will most likely take place anywhere between Dallas and St. Louis. College Station, Texas is a last resort for it.

Who is the president/ founding members of the ICBA?
 David Gutierrez, Kori Lopreore, Doug Whiston, Sarah Kneiling are the founders of the ICBA. The Board oversees what is currently an approximately 32 man Congress.

Will teams in the ICBA be prohibited from participating in the IQA World Cup?
No! We encourage teams to go to the World Cup and to pay IQA membership dues when it is feasible/appropriate for them to do so. The World Cup is a fantastic experience that we will not prohibit anyone from going to. The only reason why we have a membership is for seeding purposes for the Collegiate Cup and to easier organize conferences with. Our membership is by no means exclusive, it is not there to be competitive with the IQA.    

Will the ICBA games and tournaments count in the IQA standings?
They should. The game is still played the same way. There maybe different variations here and there but the games should still count. I'd like to cite the Western Cup where it was legal to follow through with tackles on spinning targets and for beaters to leave the boundaries of the field (which are different than standard IQA rules) but those games still counted. So there is no reason our games should not count as well unless there is a major change in the rules (like if the IQA goes with a 4:3 ratio change and we stay with the 5:2).   
Do you believe that Quidditch should be a spectator sport?
I believe Quidditch should be a spectator sport when the sport is perfected. I do not believe the time for quidditch to become a spectator sport is now. With a rulebook that changes annually, tournaments that are organized in random, teams financially falling off the map, and an overall lack of standard/consistent competition; quidditch is not ready to be a spectator sport.

Will the ICBA pay its workers?
Currently no. We are all volunteers passionate about the sport. If the organization becomes profitable in the years to come, and we can afford to pay salaries without raising costs on teams, then it would be something to talk about. Everyone that is on the Board of Directors and our other volunteers all have career goals and ways of making a living outside of the ICBA.

On another note: if we ever can afford to, we have definitely talked about paying licensed refs/snitches. However that is still something we are financially far away from and need to further discuss.  

Does the ICBA want to make money?
The ICBA wants to acquire donations and sponsorships to help better fund tournaments and support the sport in general. Since we don't pay salaries or anything, we don't want to make money for ourselves as individuals.

My ultimate goal for Quidditch is to have Quidditch on TV. Will the ICBA try and market Quidditch to media?
That is the dream! The sport still has a long way to go until we can get it there. It is currently being streamed all over the place on the internet and with the Pitch and Snitch Center things are looking like quidditch can head in the direction of being on television. Before the ICBA can take steps to accomplish that though, we have to perfect our product. We have to be able to host quality tournaments with good competition that will encourage people to be interested enough in quidditch to want to watch it. The Collegiate Cup will most likely be the aspect of the sport we try to market onto the media but for now it seems we are a couple of years away from that as well. Our only goal at the moment is to form an official quidditch season that starts and stops, starting with Conference tournaments and ending with the Collegiate Cup. As teams develop and the game becomes more competitive hopefully quidditch as a sport will become something appealing for the media to get invested in. 
Do you want to compete with the IQA?
No, not at all. We merely supplement it with an organized Fall season.

Will your rules be different than the IQA's?

Our rules will be different to some degree mainly because the rules are largely left up to the approval of our membership where as the rules in the IQA are left up to a smaller group of individuals. So if there is a rule passed that our membership does not agree with, then it will be different (this is similar to what was done at the Western Cup and what is done in the Florida Conference from what I understand). Our rules are largely the same as the IQA's. We will have a different rulebook to distribute to our members should it be needed but it will not necesarrily be a different set of rules. I think people have over hyped this and think we at the ICBA are playing an entirely different game and that is simply not true. Quidditch with the ICBA is barely different than quidditch elsewhere.  

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