Friday, June 12, 2015

A Beginner's Guide to MLQ

By Andy Marmer and Danielle Lehmann This weekend officially starts the inaugural season of Major League Quidditch (MLQ). The Detroit Innovators and the Indianapolis Intensity will compete in Culver, Indiana for the first game of the season. Major League Quidditch will function differently from other summer tournaments with exclusive, highly competitive teams as well as live and pre-recorded games for the quidditch community to enjoy and learn from.

Why is this season considered “major league”?

MLQ will feature set, weekly games that will be recorded by the home team and posted online to watch. MLQ has a statistics department that will review game footage and compile statistical datasomething that has not yet been achieved at this scale for the sport of quidditch. Along with the fixed schedule and filming, the teams feature some of the greatest quidditch talent in the United States. Additionally, uniforms were designed for each team, giving a more official feel to games. How many teams are involved in MLQ?
There are eight total teams, separated evenly into two divisions. The East Division featuring teams from Canada, the Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic Regions has the Boston Night Riders, the New York Titans, the Ottawa Black Bears, and the Washington Admirals. The North Division concentrated in the Great Lakes Region with one Northeast Region team has the Cleveland Riff, the Indianapolis Intensity, the Detroit Innovators, and the Rochester Whiteout.   Why are all the teams based in the northeastern United States?
For the inaugural season of MLQ, the teams are located in a concentrated area. MLQ’s leadership recognized it was creating a unique league and chose to focus on an area it knew it could administer well. MLQ also chose areas close to one another and would house a number of quidditch players over the summer, ensuring the teams would be viable. Next summer, however, MLQ hopes to expand the number of teams and regions represented by having teams across the United States participate. Who is running MLQ?
MLQ Commission Co-Chairs Left: Amanda Dallas, Photo Credit: Jessica Jiamin Lang Photography; Right: Ethan Sturm, Photo Credit: Isabella Gong Photography MLQ has attracted a number of individuals with lengthy quidditch resumes that should inspire confidence in the league’s ability to succeed. The league is led by MLQ Commission co-chairs Amanda Dallas and Ethan Sturm. Dallas, who also manages the New York Titans, has experience as the editor-in-chief of the Eighth Man, and as founder and co-captain of the Warriors and NYDC Capitalists. Sturm is a former USQ Gameplay Team member and the current managing editor of the Eighth Man, in addition to a lengthy refereeing and playing career.
From Left: Alex Scheer, Mollie Lensing Photos Credit: Isabella Gong Photography Beyond Dallas and Sturm, USQ Great Lakes Coordinator Alex Scheer is serving as events director; Mollie Lensing, a veteran player with six World Cups under her belt, is the gameplay director; Andrew Canto, a board member for IRDP and former USQ Referee Development Team manager, is the referee coordinator; and Martin Pyne, founder of, is head of the statistics department. MLQ has a number of other experienced individuals working with them as well. Is MLQ affiliated with USQ?
No; MLQ is its own organization, but it will use a rulebook published by USQ USQ Rulebook 8. MLQ focuses on choosing the best captains and players for teams, so MLQ will not be following one of the important mission statements for USQ, which is to include everyone in the sport. Teams participating in MLQ, however, will not be practicing or playing during the regular USQ fall to spring season. Instead, MLQ will be played during the summer months in order to not compete with the regular season. Has MLQ made any changes to the rulebook?
Yes; MLQ will be testing a few rule changes during its summer season. Each team will be given one timeout to use in the first 17 minutes of the match. Teams can only call timeouts when they have possession in the keeper zone with immunity and only the keeper, coach, or captain may call a timeout. MLQ also eliminated the snitch from overtime, instead having a five-minute overtime with only quaffle and bludger play. Are the games only scheduled in the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic Regions?
Yes; there are one or two games scheduled almost every Saturday during the season. The scheduled games start this weekend and end the first weekend in August. Each team will play three games against the other three teams in its division. The game schedule is below with the date of each game, the location, and the teams playing. June 13: Culver, Indiana Indianapolis Intensity vs. Detroit Innovators
June 20:  Indianapolis Indianapolis Intensity vs. Cleveland Riff
June 20:  Washington DC Washington Admirals vs. New York Titans
June 27:  Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa Black Bears vs. Boston Night Riders
June 27:  Rochester, New York Rochester Whiteout vs. Indianapolis Intensity
July 11:  Washington DC Washington Admirals vs. Boston Night Riders
July 11:  Rochester, New York Rochester Whiteout vs. Detroit Innovators
July 18:  Cleveland Cleveland Riff vs. Rochester Whiteout
July 25:  Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa Black Bears vs. Washington Admirals
Aug. 1:  New York City New York Titans vs. Ottawa Black Bears
Aug. 8:  Detroit Detroit Innovators vs. Cleveland Riff
Aug. 8:  Boston Boston Night Riders vs. New York Titans Is there a championship tournament for MLQ?
Yes; the MLQ Championship is taking place Aug. 22-23 in Toledo, Ohio. Although the scheduled games officially end the first weekend of August, the championship is at the end of August, which allows for teams to have more practices before both divisions come together to compete in a single-elimination bracket for the title of champion. How many players are participating in MLQ?
Each team is allowed 30 players on its roster and can have 21 participate in each match. Due to the nature of conflicts over the summer, MLQ acknowledged the reality that not every player will be able to attend every match. Some teams, particularly in the more densely populated East Division, took full advantage of the 30 allotted spots, while others still have some vacancies. Were teams limited in picking players only from their city or region?
Yes; each team was given a geographic territory from which it could draw its roster to ensure teams would not compete amongst themselves for players. So which team should I root for?
Well, that’s really up to you. Each team has a number of features that set it apart, be it the leadership, colors, uniform, or logo. Find one you like and stick with that team.

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