Saturday, February 14, 2015

Canada Western Regional Recap

By Chris Radojewski

On Feb. 1, 2015, Quidditch Canada held its first Western Regional Championship. Despite the fast-growing number of teams in Canada’s Western Region, it is still a fairly new region for the sport. Wide prairie driving, including a large mountain range known as the Rockies, presents some large challenges to teams that are still building. Nonetheless, the Alberta Clippers and the Winnipeg Whomping Willows met in the town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to battle it out in three games.

The Alberta Clippers is a team made up of three smaller clubs—the University of Calgary Mudbloods, the Central Alberta Centaurs, and the Edmonton Aurors—that alone could not quite field a full competitive roster. In the interest of building skills and gaining experience, the goal of the club is to include as many different Albertans as possible to gain experience in the sport. Having played three games against Simon Fraser University, the Clippers headed into the Western Regional undefeated.

The Winnipeg Whomping Willows is likewise a fairly new club located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, looking to build the sport in Canada’s Keystone province. Limited by geography, it is not an easy place to get to or to foster the sport. However the Willows have overcome awesome odds to bring the sport to Manitoba. Both teams also have registered members from Saskatchewan (that province in between Alberta and Manitoba). These two competitive teams are really leading the charge in developing quidditch in what is known as Canada’s breadbasket.

The Clippers had the advantage over the Willows because they had a full roster going into the tournament. With three games to play, it was going to be very hard for the Willows to keep up the stamina against a team who could constantly provide fresh legs. In game one, the Clippers came out hard putting up multiple quaffle points and had a strong beater game to support them. However in the end the Willows made the snitch grab, finalizing the score at 210-30* for the Clippers.

In the second game, the Willows finally shook off their rust to up their defensive game against the Clippers. Both the Willows’ chasers and beaters challenged the Clippers, shutting down the high scoring opportunities they had in the first game. While the Clippers were still victorious in the end, the second game reflected the Willows’ improved performance. The final score turned out to be 150-30*.

The third game was a more competitive and entertaining game. Both teams, who rarely get to play, had finally hit their stride. However, the Clippers really put together solid passing and positioning, which allowed for lots of scoring opportunities. For a team that is unable to practice (note that the author has a bias) this team really does well once it comes together to find its cohesiveness. It was also clear that as Winnipeg got more playing time, its skills came together. While the final game ended in favour of the Clippers 260*-20, it’s clear that this region has a bright future as it continues to grow.

Of final note was the large crowd that came to watch. It was an indoor tournament, but it was impressive how many came out to watch on this frigid day. The weather was so cold that the temperature, if given, would be alienating for American readers; suffice it to say, the water was well past frozen. Quidditch Canada has done a great job supporting the blossoming teams in the Western region, and the success of the regional tournament reaffirmed its commitment. The future is bright, and with lots of flat fields, there is plenty of space to play and grow quidditch.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to also give a personal shout-out to the improvement of the beaters (a quick rules refresher between game 1 and 2 with Andrea Hill and myself helped bring their game up). They caught on quick and have demonstrated that they can learn and follow direction well.

    I also have a shout-out to their crazy fast, super-sneaky seeker. Their seeker streaked out of nowhere for two of the catches and was the reason everyone put their beaters on the snitch in the third game. That's some power!