Running on brooms

Queen’s prepares to host national Quidditch championship

Queen’s Quidditch Club held try-outs over three days last week for its competitive team.
Queen’s Quidditch Club held try-outs over three days last week for its competitive team.
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Thanks to the sport of quidditch, the Queen’s-Hogwarts comparison will reach an all-time high this November.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, Queen’s will host the second annual Canadian Quidditch Cup, where teams from across Canada will take part in the sport’s official national championship.

The club executives are working to attract journalist Rick Mercer to cover the event.

“We’ve had a ton of interest this year, and the club’s only two years old,” said Queen’s Quidditch Club president, Kirpa Badwal.

The sport invented in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series involved players literally flying on broomsticks.

The revised version has similar rules, minus the magic, and players run around with broom-sticks between their legs.

It’s co-ed, and full-contact.

Badwal described the competitive version as somewhere between dodgeball and rugby.

This year’s sign-up list to join the Queen’s Quidditch Club had over 700 people express interest, with student interest sky-rocketing since the club’s inception last year.

This year, the club hosted three full days of try-outs for the competitive team.

“A lot of people are scared of trying out for the competitive team, and just want to play recreational, which is fine,” Badwal said. “We’ve had broken ankles and concussions, so it gets pretty intense.”

While student interest is snowballing, the club has yet to receive any funding from the University, Badwal said.

“The city of Kingston has actually been more helpful so far.” The club held try-outs on the patch of grass just east of Kingston Hall. For competitive club practices 1-2 times a week, the club will be out at West Campus.

The club executives are looking to book Nixon Field for the Canadian championship in November.

“We’re forced to play out on West Campus, but we’d like to host the tournament on main campus so that other schools get to see more than just West Campus,” Badwal said.

The club is fundraising regularly to cover practice costs and the approximate $5,000 pricetag on hosting the championships.

Badwal said the final list of participants is 200, up 150 from last year. All players chip in $10 off the start to help cover fees.

“Because we’re hosting this year, we’re applying to grants from all over the place,” she said, adding the International Quidditch Association (IQA) is donating $1,000 in support.

The IQA promotes and facilitates an annual World Cup, regional tournaments like the Canadian Quidditch Cup between university teams and global team rankings.

The Queen’s team is one of 14 official teams listed under the IQA, which is looking to improve upon its fifth-place finish at the tournament last year at Carleton.

Former cadet and current team captain Zoe Scantlebury made the Canadian national team next year and hopes to hold regular training sessions before November’s competition.

Scantlebury is the on-field leader, while the club executives work to grow and promote the club.

“We won’t be playing any games, but we’ll be practicing weekly,” Scantlebury said. “We’re always looking to improve.”

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