Believe it or not, it’s already June. Most of us have probably already started internships or summer jobs and will spend our free time lazing around in the sun, re-reading “The Hunger Games,” catching up on episodes of Modern Family and anxiously counting down the days until the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Before the games officially begin, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) will be hosting the first Olympic Expo Games in Oxford during the city’s torch lighting ceremony. According to the IQA website, the location was “intentionally [set] outside of London to avoid the complexities and security concerns in the city, and organized before the Olympics begin to make it more viable for press to come and cover the event.”
Team USA’s jerseys for the 2012 Expo Games.
Team USA was selected by IQA Regional Directors, IQA founder Alex Benepe ’09 and team coordinator Luke Zak of the University of Minnesota, selected for his “experience and organizational skills in the sport.” Twenty-one first string players were selected, in addition to one snitch and one referee. In advance of the selection process, the IQA stipulated that Team USA would be made up of at least one player from six regions with a 5:2 gender ratio, or female players comprising 15% of the team.
A minimum of 11 players were selected based on their athletic abilities and experience with Quidditch. The remaining players were chosen due to their “fundraising, organizational, leadership and networking experience,” as well as their skill and experience with Quidditch. A second string team of understudies or “standby fliers” was selected based on the same qualifications in the event that a first string player becomes injured or is unable to attend the Expo.
The IQA received over 150 nominations for the Olympic Expo US team and in the end, not a single Middlebury Quidditch player was selected to represent the United States in Oxford.
On Sunday, 20 Quidditch teams from 13 schools across North America gathered on Battell Beach for the first annual Middlebury Quidditch Classic.
Organized by tri-chairs Andy Hyatt ’12, Phil Palmer ’12 and Marianne Guarnieri ’14, the Classic began with pool play and was supposed to transition to bracket play mid-day, but due to a bit of confusion and admitted disorganization, the bracket was ixnayed, pool play continued throughout the day and no Middlebury Classic champion was crowned.
In spite of the unforeseen bracket problems, the Middlebury Classic was a great success. Among the spectators were people from the town of Middlebury, College students and parents of both students and Quidditch players, alike. Noonie’s Deli and American Flatbread were in attendance, selling freshly-made sandwiches and pizza. Middlebury’s own improv groups, Otter Nonsense and Middlebrow, provided witty commentary on the games and atmosphere.
The primary motivation behind the inception of the Middlebury Classic was to make up for the fact that the World Cup grew to be too large for Middlebury’s campus and was relocated to New York City last year. The tri-commissioners, in tandem with International Quidditch Association (IQA) CEO and President Alex Benepe ’09, saw the Classic as a means of bringing the sport back to its roots and giving back to the local community.
Here are a few photos from today’s intercollegiate Quidditch tournament, the Middlebury Classic. The countdown to the International Quidditch World Cup begins…it’s only one month away!
Proving that our dominance extends beyond our small Vermont campus, Middlebury Quidditch captured their fourth World Cup title last night in New York City by defeating Tufts, 100-50. The match was a close one at first, with the Tufts Tufflepuffs playing a hard, and violent game. Middlebury soon pulled ahead however, and came out on top at the end, even with the Tufts seeker catching the snitch.
Photo courtesy Metromix New York
The numerous Middlebury fans stormed the field and went into a rousing rendition of “There’s Only One Middlebury” before being awarded the prestigious, if not flimsy gold World Cup trophy. The team and its fans celebrated their victory in true Midd Kidd fashion: a playing of the Midd Kid Rap, complete with the Quidditch verse being sung by player Phil Gordon.
The final match marked one of many for Middlebury and the other 45 teams competing in the 2010 IQA World Cup IV this Saturday and Sunday in DeWitt Clinton Park in Manhattan. Earlier in the fall, many Middlebury students expressed concern at the fact that the World Cup was moving from Middlebury to the Big Apple. However, the move seems to have been a success for the IQA, gaining a multitude of press coverage for the event. With a total 757 players competing, the IQA has set themselves up for another great year of publicity. This year’s World Cup featured high school teams as well as graduate schools.
Middlebury was still very well represented at the Cup though, with many students taking advantage of the fan bus from Middlebury to NYC. Three Middlebury groups also took part in the festivities, with Otter Nonsense and Middlebrow providing commentary to the matches and the Mountain Ayres performing their Quidditch repertoire.
Overall the event was one of pride and excitement, resulting in a great weekend for not only Middlebury College but for the sport of Quidditch as well.
Check out the IQA’s newest Quidditch promo video and get excited for the Quidditch World Cup, November 13th and 14th in New York City!
After last weekend’s Middlebury Cup, the team ‘Constant Vigilence’ will be representing Middlebury in New York. Good luck!