Friday, November 16, 2012

David Gutierrez: Collegiate Cup and NCBA

For the 100th post ever here on Death Eater Plot, I interviewed David Gutierrez, a founder and president of the NCBA on the eve of the first Collegiate Cup. My original interview with David on the founding of the NCBA brought over 500 viewers to my site and was the largest ammount of traffic I've ever had on this blog. I asked David about a variety of subjects including the future of the NCBA and Collegiate Cup predictions. Enjoy!

How has your vision for the NCBA changed since its founding in the Spring?

I can’t say too much at this time, but I can tell you our views have drastically changed in regards to our business stance and the overall direction we want to take with quidditch. I think our prerogatives have shifted from focusing on expanding organized conference competitions to something…greater. Keep an eye and ear out the next few weeks, you’ll hopefully see what I am talking about (if you don’t its likely because Thanksgiving and Christmas have slowed our productivity down a bit :D) . The things we want to do in the coming year can largely be considered ambitious and will benefit the quidditch realm in North America as a whole should teams be able to keep up financially and politically with what we bring to the table. However this will have to be a Board decision so there will be some politics to come into play before anything is for sure. 

The majority of NCBA teams are in the Southwest or Midwest. Has the NCBA looked into expanding into different regions of the country? If so, where and what teams are targets?

This is something I can at least say I’ve been keen on keeping in mind throughout this year (and thank you to the eighthman website for making this so much easier!). It is definitely true that our membership largely exists in the Midwest and Southwest. However, both regions still have room to grow in. We’re open to expanding into other territories but we typically only expand when we can set up a Conference of at least four active and reliable members. If we cannot find at least four active members, the conference would not be able to have a basic conference tournament or lengthy quidditch season that would be exciting or diverse enough for the schools involved.

If we had the arbitrary choice however, I would pick the Atlantic and Western Regions.

I think the Atlantic schools are quickly becoming the United States’ underdogs.  They’re competitive growth has been remarkable over the past few years and the sheer number of participants at this year’s Regional shows they have grown both in quantity and quality. I think Maryland and Villanova are out for blood this year in hopes of representing their region in this year’s World Cup among at least the Elite 8.

After traveling to the Western Cup, I really wish I could see the California schools (and of course my old pals in the Crimson Fliers) compete more. Also, the schools involved in the region would make any collegiate sports fan peek with interest. UCLA and USC have come to develop top notch programsRecently UCLA traded wins with the University of Texas which is no small feat and USC brought down the Florida Quidditch giant Miami University earlier in the Fall. These events have shown that the Western teams will be not be lagging behind in the competitiveness of the rest of the IQA regions in this year’s World Cup.

What are some of the successes the NCBA has experienced during its first season?

We had a few goals that we successfully met. For our membership we had the goal of having two conferences totaling 16 teams. We ended up with three conferences at a total of about 22 teams.

We are also hosting our first tournament: The Collegiate Cup. This was our original idea of a national tournament to bring together the regions of our domain in one competition. All three Conferences are represented at this year’s Collegiate Cup so our goal has largely been met.

What can be improved upon?

One thing was a personal mistake of mine: I put too much faith in teams’ ability to travel and ability to make commitments. I was too lenient with fee deadlines and giving teams too much time to make a commitment to the Collegiate Cup. One definite improvement is we will have to be stricter with tournament deadlines and show much less leeway for teams struggling to financially and politically come together. 

Will the NCBA follow the IQA's Rulebook Six and/or enact additional rule changes at the Collegiate Cup?

The rules will be the same as IQA Six. Our members would like their matches to count towards World Cup so we nixed the idea of using our rules alterations.

How will the Collegiate Cup be different from the IQA World Cup or an IQA Regional?

It will be smaller in scale than the World Cup in all senses. We set a maximum goal of hosting 24 teams knowing full well we would end up with much less than that this year. Our finances are also put into athletic needs for tournaments such as lining fields, water, referees, and tournament rewards. We avoid the entertainment expenses and expenses that are more geared towards spectators.

The tournament is aimed to be different from IQA regionals by targeting teams from multiple regions and not featuring only competitors from one region.

Why was Kansas City chosen as the host of the Collegiate Cup?

It was reasonably central to all three of our conferences and the City of Olathe had expressed interest in hosting the tournament. They played a huge role in gathering together the resources in order for this tournament to take place. We are in gratitude to the Conventions Bureau of Olathe for all the hard work they’ve put in that is giving us such a solid start to our first year of operation. 

What are your predictions for the Collegiate Cup?

Always a great question haha. It is likely going to be Texas A&M University, Marquette University, Louisiana State University, and Baylor University in the Final 4. As for who will be in the final and come away with the first annual Collegiate Cup rings…LSU vs A&M in the final with A&M coming away with it by a snitch catch.  The match up of A&M vs LSU is always inevitable it seems when these two teams compete in the same tournament and the games between these two teams are never decided until the snitch is caught. 

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