Tuesday, September 29, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Belgian Quidditch Federation Announce Major Season Overhaul

The Belgian Quidditch Federation (BQF) announced today a series of major changes for the coming season that it hopes will make quidditch in Belgium more competitive and widespread than ever before. Releasing the news exclusively through the Quidditch Post, the BQF revealed plans for three new fixtures of the Belgian quidditch calendar: a Belgian Quidditch League, the Belgian Cup, and the Belgian Super Cup.

BQF President Laurens Grinwis Plaat Stultjes was delighted with his organization’s work leading up to these announcements. “I’m very pleased to announce all this news,” Grinwis Plaat Stultjes said. “We’ve been working hard on all this for over two months, and it’s great to finally be able to share it with the community we serve. These are exciting times for Belgian quidditch, and these announcements will not only heighten the experience of the sport for our members, but also prepare Belgium for better-developed quidditch in the long-term future.”

The logo of the Belgian Quidditch Federation (BQF) | Logo courtesy of BQF

The Belgian Quidditch League is the first league structure to be instituted by an NGB on the European continent and represents an ambitious step for the BQF. This will be a seasonal league where teams compete over the course of a year to be crowned the champion. Each fixture will be made up of sets, and each set consists of a match between the two teams. The fixtures will be “best-of-three” sets. The fixtures will be held every month, with two-month long breaks over December/January and June/July. Although the BQF will dictate which teams are playing each other in which month, it is up to the participating teams to decide on an exact location, date, and time for the fixture. A full explanation of the structure of the leagueincluding ranking system and suspension policiescan be found here.

Alongside the new league, BQF is pleased to announce the Belgian Cup, a knockout-style national tournament that will be held in Mons, Belgium on 8 November, 2015. This tournament will not only showcase the drama and quality of Belgian quidditch over one prestigious tournament, but will also act as the BQF’s qualifiers for the 2016 European Quidditch Cup (EQC). The fact that neither the location of EQC 2016 nor the amount of bids that the BQF will receive for the tournament have not been revealed will only serve to add fuel to what will be an extremely competitive event. The Belgian Quidditch League standings will act as the seeding mechanism for the following year’s Belgian Cup, adding increased relevance to the Belgian Quidditch League alongside this event.

Teams that sign up for the level of BQFLeague Membership will be automatically entered into both these events as well as the Benelux Cup for the wider region. Teams that sign up for the lower level of BQF Developing Membership are only enrolled in the Belgian Cup and cannot participate in the Belgian Quidditch League.

BQF President Laurens Grinwis Plaat Stultjes said the announcements mark "exciting times for Belgian quidditch" | Photo credit: Jessica Adrian

Players will be registered with a primary BQF team and will have the option to play with any other team as a secondary. Whilst the Belgian Cup will be held with Strict Roster Restriction, meaning players can only play with their primary teams, the Belgian Quidditch League will be held with Regular Roster Restriction, which allows players to play for their secondary team if their primary team is not present at the event. The Belgian Quidditch League will count as one event, but the more relaxed roster restriction will allow players to participate in the Belgian Quidditch League with a secondary team whilst still lending their talents to bolster Developing Teams as primary players. The BQF’s full policies on Roster Restriction can be found here.

For every Belgian Quidditch League fixture, IRDP-certified Head Referees will receive a payment of €25 whilst IRDP-certified Assistant Referees and Snitch Referees will earn €5. Snitch Runners (certified by BQF) will receive €4 per set (€8 to €12 per full fixture).

Complementing these two announcements, and bringing them together, is the Belgian Super Cup. This will be a best-of-five series of matches that will see the champions of the 2015 Belgian Quidditch League take on the champions of the 2015 Belgian Cup at the beginning of the 2016 season. Two of the sets will take place on each team's home turf, with the fifth, if needed, being played at a location selected at random by the BQF to decide the winner. If the winner of the Belgian Quidditch League and the Belgian Cup are the same, the 2nd placed two in the Belgian Quidditch League will take part in the Belgian Super Cup. The Belgian Super Cup will act as a prestigious and exciting season opener in future years and will ensure that each year begins with the eyes of the world on the best quidditch Belgium has to offer.

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