Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Player Proposes Permanent Pitch

By Danielle Lehmann 

Your equipment is heavy and takes time to set up. Sometimes it’s even broken and difficult to play with. The worst, though, is when someone else is playing on the field that your team is normally on. These problems have irked a lot of players into thinking, “wow, I wish we had a permanent place to practice.” These wishes could actually be answered for quidditch teams in the Los Angeles area by fall of next year. 

AJ Rosa recently proposed the idea for a permanent quidditch pitch to his team, the Long Beach Funky Quaffles. He started a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $100,000 by Jan. 1, 2015. If the goal is reached, the money will go toward buying a piece of property, completing building permits, and building a field with permanent hoops, correct field dimensions, and, possibly, stands.

“At the moment, we plan on only constructing one field,” Rosa said. “But if funding permits, we would love to buy a bigger piece of land so multiple games can be played at one time.”

This Kickstarter is a great opportunity for teams and players, but Rosa identified some obstacles to the idea of a permanent pitch. The first is related to the goal posts. Most goal posts are movable for easy transportation, and there is less risk of injury if players run into them. However, this means the posts often fall down and break, interrupting the game. Permanent goal posts won’t have this issue, but the injury risk if a player runs into them could be greater. Rosa plans to use goal posts that are made of a tough rubber, which will be secured into the ground. Another possible goal post idea would be to purchase spring loaded posts that can correct themselves automatically. These would be more expensive, but if a team has sufficient funding, they could become a reality on the field.

Beyond having correct field measurements, Rosa realized that purchasing this property means there will be maintenance and taxes along with the mandatory permits needed to be cleared. Although Rosa has taken on the Kickstarter initiative by himself, he wants to eventually gather a passionate group of people to help maintain, finance, and organize the property through its development and after its completion.

Once the site is purchased and the field is built, teams can sign up to play at specific times. Since the land would be private property, this is a small technicality for legal and liability purposes. Even so, it’s a small task to complete when you think about what a team is gaining—a correctly dimensioned field, equipment that won’t blow over, and a time slot in which you know your team will be able to practice without interference.

Having a complete field with equipment will also impact the greater quidditch community in Los Angeles. Currently, most teams set up, play, and take down their equipment on empty fields. There is no quidditch message to the community after the players have left. The constant presence of quidditch goal posts will act as not only an intriguing landmark, but also as an opportunity for players of all ages to learn the game, sign up, and play with friends.

He knows that many teams want to have a field specifically for quidditch, but many don’t act to make the dream a reality. This may be because teams feel like their property locations are too limited or expensive, they don’t think they know enough about the process of buying and maintaining property, or maybe the need for a private pitch isn’t as strong yet. By making the first steps, Rosa is taking the leap toward success without focusing on failure. Rosa says he’s willing to donate his time to at least attempt the project. Even if he doesn’t end up raising the money they need, he’d rather try and fail than never try at all.

“I actually did it,” Rosa said, “because I figured if everyone was serious about their talks and as excited to create something like this as I am, then we would have no problem making it happen.”

Rosa also hopes that by taking the steps to develop the first permanent field in Los Angeles, he can create a space that is not just built by one person, but one that is created from many dreams working together to establish something permanent. The field, once correctly sized and built will be something the quidditch community can be proud of. In this way, Rosa’s focus is to not only make this opportunity a reality for his own team, but to also make it a reality for teams located in the surrounding community.

“I started on my own,” Rosa said, “but there have been so many people who have helped since, from reposting to donating one dollar. I can no longer say it is an individual effort. I just hope this dream becomes a reality.”

Rosa has many challenges ahead of him, but he is confident that he will be able to work through every obstacle and transfigure it into an opportunity if the Kickstarter goal is reached. Rosa has completed his research and is ready to act. Now, the goal is to spread the word and contribute to the growing success of the West Coast’s permanent quidditch pitch.

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