USQ Staff Blog

USQ Staff Blog

News, updates, and musings from USQ staff members.

Grab your Team USA jersey this week before they’re gone! 
The United States national team recently took home the gold against six other nations in the 2014 Quidditch Global Games. Show your support for the team by purchasing your very own team jersey.
One hundred percent of the profits go toward reimbursing the athletes for the travel and equipment costs incurred on the voyage to and from competition at Global Games in Burnaby. 
You can even direct the funds straight to the player of your choice by purchasing a team roster jersey.
PHOTO BY KEAN GOH

Grab your Team USA jersey this week before they’re gone! 

The United States national team recently took home the gold against six other nations in the 2014 Quidditch Global Games. Show your support for the team by purchasing your very own team jersey.

One hundred percent of the profits go toward reimbursing the athletes for the travel and equipment costs incurred on the voyage to and from competition at Global Games in Burnaby. 

You can even direct the funds straight to the player of your choice by purchasing a team roster jersey.

wizengamotofvcu:

Join Quidditch at VCU! Quidditch is a co-ed, fast paced, full contact sport that is great for all skill levels! This year, Quidditch at VCU will offer 2 teams, a competitive team (Wizengamot) and a developmental team (Commonwealth Quidditch.) For more info, like us on Facebook at Wizengamot Quidditch of VCU!

wizengamotofvcu:

Join Quidditch at VCU! Quidditch is a co-ed, fast paced, full contact sport that is great for all skill levels! This year, Quidditch at VCU will offer 2 teams, a competitive team (Wizengamot) and a developmental team (Commonwealth Quidditch.) For more info, like us on Facebook at Wizengamot Quidditch of VCU!

Brandon Kreines’ First Impressions

(Photo by KS Goh)

Our new Officials Manager Brandon Kreines is fairly new to the sport of quidditch, despite having over 10 years of experience reffing for other sports and managing employees in various businesses. He documented his first tournament experience at the 2014 Global Games in Burnaby, Canada:

I’m standing on a field on a Saturday morning at a time that is too early to be described as decent for a weekend. It’s cold and raining, I’m in Canada, and I am inexplicably wearing shorts. And yet there is nowhere I’d rather be at that moment, because there are seven teams arrayed in front of me from three different continents, who have traveled thousands of miles to play some quidditch.

The morning has already been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve met dozens of people that had hitherto only been electronic entities conversing with me over Skype or email, and plenty of folks who had been complete strangers. I’m here to mingle, but what do I say to people who have made this sport their passion for the last three years? Nice jersey? I’m braced to answer tough questions or talk about my plans to improve reffing quality, but instead, everyone is straight-up friendly, and they seem eager to see what my first impressions will be.

And with the first “Brooms Up!”, I get it. I had watched World Cup games on Youtube; I had viewed multiple quidditch documentaries; I’ve been heavily immersed in the rule book; I even observed the budding Seattle club team practices. I thought I knew what to expect from my first quidditch tournament experience. Wrong.

Competitive tournament quidditch is a thing of beauty. It’s much faster in person than on video, and it’s not news to the serious enthusiasts reading this, but the players are Athletes (with a capital A!). Somehow though, despite the speed, it’s less chaotic in person too. As I keep watching these games, I can see the strategy involved in each play. Chasers aren’t just barreling down the field hoping to juke someone and dunk the quaffle through a hoop, they have to wait for their beaters to give them some bludger cover, and dodge tackles and use the quaffle as a shield. When you see it in person, it just makes sense.

After a few rounds of observing I’m ready to get on the field and participate as a goal ref. “Just stand back there and raise your hands if it’s a goal” Chris Beesley tells me. Despite all my years of reffing other sports, I’m a little nervous, but I can see a ball go through a hoop as well as anyone. I confidently raise my arms for the first goal, and the second, but then on the third my head ref jogs over to me “Was the chaser beat before he scored?” I had to admit, I wasn’t sure.

And therein lies the rub. I’ve heard plenty of complaints about the quality of our referees, but have you ever tried it yourself? It’s an incredibly difficult job! In most sports you only have to watch one ball to see where the action is and determine whether fouls are occurring, but quidditch has four of them (and that’s not even including the snitch).

By late in the afternoon, I’m basically a quidditch expert. “Let’s talk quidditch strategy. It seems to me that bludger control is pretty important,” I confidently reveal to Dan Hanson. “Yea. Bludger control is so critical and obvious that it’s not even really strategy,” says Dan, shattering my ego in between bites of a sandwich. Despite spending a lot of time working on the rules test with other referees, I still have a lot to learn about the strategy.

Overall it was a fantastic experience. The energy and enthusiasm level of players, volunteers, and staff were unparalleled by anything else I’ve witnessed. Sure there’s some rivalries here and there, but underlying everything is a real sense of comradery. And it’s infectious. Whether it’s the entire crowd cheering on Mexico, or the cheers erupting from the sideline whenever someone makes a great tackle, or the silent anticipation that rolls in like a fog when the refs confer over a snitch catch, there’s just something undeniable about this sport that is more complex, more strategic, and just straight up more fun than the majority of its non-broom-wielding competitors.

At 8:00 AM on Saturday morning I was merely invested; by 8:00 PM I was hooked. And it wasn’t just the players. I thought that all the refs at Global Games did a fantastic job in controlling the pitch, making the right calls, and keeping the flow of the game moving. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with other referees and building off that success.