QA Today

Internal Leagues Resume: USQL and USCQL

Australia fields two internal club leagues – the University of Sunshine Coast Quidditch League (USCQL) which has been running for many years now, and the University of Sydney Quidditch League (USQL), which has been running since last year.

Both enter 2018 significantly changed, and have started off their respective seasons with one round a piece. We recap below:

The USC Quidditch League

After running for almost five years without changing teams, USC finally saw fit to change things up, reshuffling their four teams – Phoenix, Nargles, Thestrals, and Death Eaters, for the first time since the league’s inception. This was broadly seen as a good change, as it’s allowed the league to re-balance teams, stop some teams becoming over dominant, and make the whole competition more fun and a better learning experience for everyone, which is typically the main aim of such development focused internal leagues. read more

Illawarra Unregistered Animagi – An Introductory Interview

In this interview, we talk to Kelsey Collins and Huw Tomlinson, two founders of the Illawarra region based Unregistered Animagi, a new team that is taking this year to start growing, before entering the competitive scene in 2020. They mostly answer questions together.

What are your roles in the club?

President – Huw Tomlinson
Manager – Kelsey Collins
Equipment/Social Media – Paige Collins

How did the idea for the team come about?

Huw – I’ve been playing for the Wollongong Warriors for 6 years and decided I wanted to expand quidditch in the Wollongong/Illawarra region. I met the Collins sisters during their brief time with the Warriors and they helped turn an idea into a reality. read more

Valkyries Quidditch Club – An Introductory Interview

In this interview, we talk to Phil Vankerkoerle and Amber Williams, two veterans of the sport from UNSW and Macquarie respectively, who have recently embarked on the great challenge of starting and leading a new team – the Inner Western Sydney based Valkyries Quidditch Club. They discuss the club’s origin story, their aspirations for the year, and the story behind #broccolis.

What is your role with the team?

Amber – I am co-captain, along with with Kathryn

Phil – I am one of the 3 coaches and treasurer for the club [the others being Raj Kapoor and Isobel “Obel” Rennie].
read more

North Sydney Nightmares – An Introductory Interview

In this interview, we talk to Harry Jones, one of the founders of the newly formed North Sydney based Nightmares Quidditch Club, about how the team started, what the year holds in store for them, and who some of their brand new players are.

Beater Harry Jones (right), previously of USYD Unspeakables, now captain and president of the North Sydney Nightmares | Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

What is your role/relationship with the team?

I am the president, captain, and founder. The relationship is very parasitic. Please help.

How did the idea for the Nightmares come about?

Originally it was an idea meant for the 2018 season, involving a quite different group of players who were all close to ready for a new community team. Most players wanted another year with their original teams and so we decided to leave it a year. People dropped off and on the band wagon throughout 2018 and early 2019, and I realised that someone needed to commit to the idea or it wouldn’t happen. Then about 6 months too late I decided to do just that… read more

Interview with Courtney Buckley: Head of the Gender Engagement Committee

In this interview, we talk to Courtney Buckley, previously of USYD Unspeakables and now of Valkyries Quidditch Club, who was recently appointed head of Quidditch Australia’s new Gender Engagement and Initiatives Committee, as announced earlier last month. With many plans already in the works for 2019, we talk about what we can expect from the committee this year, and what she’s most excited for.

Courtney chasing for the NSW Blue Tongues at State Shield last year | Photo: Taylor Angelo Quidditch Shots

What made you want to take part in the Gender Engagement Committee?

I was keen to join the committee as it provided the opportunity to work with a group of passionate and intelligent people and the ability to pursue more projects for the community. read more

Canberra a Winning Bid for Quidditch World Cup 2020

Quidditch Australia is excited to announce Canberra as a 2020 Quidditch World Cup winning bid location!

NQL Preseason 2019 – The (One Arm) Wrap

The end of March brings the end of the Preseason tournaments for the 2019 NSW Quidditch League. It's been an exciting start to the year, with two new teams on the ladder, old teams on the rise, new rivalries emerging, and plenty of new talent. What will the rest of the year hold in store? Ajantha Abey recaps the past two tournaments.

Road to QUAFL: Queensland Champs USC Dementors

Photo Credit: Fee Howcroft/USC Quidditch League

QUAFL 2018 is taking place this weekend. Before 24 of Australia’s finest Quidditch teams converge on the Sunshine Coast for 2 days, let’s take a moment to get to know some of the best teams in each attending state. Today we talked to Annie Partick, President of the University of the Sunshine Coast Quidditch Club, about her team’s success this year and their goals for QUAFL.

 

How did it feel to win the Queensland League Grand Final?

Fantastic! We suffered our first grand final loss last year to the ACU Paladins (now the Brisbane City Bin Chickens), so we came into the competition eager to reclaim the trophy. We’re very proud to have come away as winners.

To what does your club owe its success?

We trained hard in the lead-up to each Matchday, with fitness trainings on top of our weekly club tournament games. I feel like we’ve spent a lot more time together outside of quidditch as well – we enjoy spending time with each other which means we gel better on pitch. We also had a sudden influx of fantastic female chasers last semester, which was a huge bonus to our lineup. Our squad this year is mostly female, and we’re not afraid to use them, which I think is a real advantage for our team.

What are you most looking forward to at QUAFL this year?

Versing teams we rarely get to play against is always beneficial and teaches us a lot, but I’m also excited to see interstate friends, including members from our club who’ve moved away to other teams. This will be our first year where we could play against ex-Dementors!

Who are some of your more understated stars that you want other teams to watch out for?

Simon Spann – you guys are going to love him. But really, Daisy McMillan, Marie Løvland, Kaysanne Hockey and Jessica Head are our new female chaser recruits and they’re all incredible. This will be their first time playing against interstate teams, and we’re really excited to show them off! They are so dedicated to the sport, and our club, and we think their names will become more familiar as they make their way onto the Thunderbird lineup next year.

Who is a team from your state that you want other teams to watch out for?

The Brisbane City Bin Chickens are the next on the ladder, and as always, they’re going to bring their A-game to QUAFL. We’ve had a lot of close games against them, so they’re definitely not to be underestimated! That being said, the competition was quite tight this year, and there are fantastic players on both QUT and UQ.

A number of your team members were in respective state teams this year. What do you think you’ve learnt from the competition this year?

It’s very sobering to go from being the best in the game in the Queensland league, to being pitted against the best in Australia. It’s very easy to get cocky or complacent when playing games that you know you can dominate, and it’s easy to stagnate in that environment. State Shield always shows us how much we are yet to learn. I think a lot of us came back with a new level of fearlessness, which we hope to take into QUAFL.

Other than the games and medals you’ve won, what’s your team’s biggest achievement? read more

Road to QUAFL: Victorian Champions Melbourne Manticores

Photo Credit: Melbourne Manticores Quidditch Club

QUAFL 2018 is taking place this weekend. Before 24 of Australia’s finest Quidditch teams converge on the Sunshine Coast for 2 days, let’s take a moment to get to know some of the best teams in each attending state. Today we talked to Jack Emerton of the oldest team in Victoria, about the Melbourne Manticore’s success this year and their goals for QUAFL

 

How did it feel to win the Vic Cup Grand Final?

Along with the joy and glory of winning it all, it also felt like a massive weight off our shoulders to be able to reverse the result of last years grand final in our favour, especially after all the hard work everyone put in

 

To what does your club owe its success?
Our team’s success is most in part due to how seriously we take Quidditch, even though we have a lot of fun playing, we all have that burning desire to win.

 

What are you most looking forward to at QUAFL this year?
I always look forward to playing against new teams each year, which is an opportunity to test against new competition and to make new friends.

 

Who are some of your more understated stars that you want other teams to watch out for?

The underrated star of the manticores would be Mary-Clare [Conheady-Barker], she may be small in stature but she’s tough enough to take on any challenge. Underestimate her at your own peril.

 

Who is a team from your state that you want other teams to watch out for?
The Melbourne Ravens are a new team that formed this year, bringing players from multiple teams together to form a new challenger. It’ll be interesting to watch them at QUAFL.

 

A number of your team members were in respective state teams this year. What do you think you’ve learnt from the competition this year?
I feel Victoria is home to some of the best Quidditch players in Australia, I feel very lucky to be teammates with some of those players. There’s so much to learn being around all these great players on both sides of the pitch. I’ve learned how far I’ve come as a player since I began and how much harder I need to work if I want to reach the levels of my teammates.

 

Other than the games and medals you’ve won, what’s your team’s biggest achievement? read more

Road to QUAFL: NSW Champions University of Sydney Unspeakables

Photo credit: Maddi Moulton Photography

QUAFL 2018 is taking place this weekend. Before 24 of Australia’s finest Quidditch teams converge on the Sunshine Coast for 2 days, let’s take a moment to get to know some of the best teams in each attending state. Today we talked to Ajantha Abey, President of the University of Sydney Quidditch Club – The Largest Quidditch Club In The Country – and Co-Captain of the USyd Unspeakables, about his team’s success this year and their goals for QUAFL.

 

How did it feel to win the NQL Grand Final?

Pretty great. Pretty relieving frankly, especially after so many near misses on the way there, between things like losing our Blue Tongues [NSW State Team A] keeper Max Brenner to a wrist injury, and Gary Hague catching for overtime [in an earlier game between the Unspeakables and the Sydney City Serpents]. I was honestly fully prepared to lose finals, and focus on QUAFL, but once again, the team showed me up and played some of the best quidditch I’ve ever seen. That’s probably not what felt best about the game – not just the fact that we won, but that everything we’d been training to do over the past year came together with a series of perfectly executed plays, and the synergy the whole team had and the vibe we ran with the entire game made it incredibly fun.

 

To what does your club owe its success?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and at the end of the day, I think it comes down to everyone in the club being incredibly passionate and invested in quidditch, and the club itself being extremely good at engendering and inspiring this feeling in people. As a volunteer run sport, we rely on people using their own time to make quidditch happen – be that at the presidential level running the club, the coaches running trainings, the exec running events, and even just the players and members turning up and training and playing in the first place. On a cold, miserably, rainy Thursday afternoon, you’ll still find people running around Victoria Park on PVC pipes from 2-5pm, and it takes a certain level of dedication and a lot of hard work at all levels to make that happen. I think what Usyd Quidditch does best is showing people how awesome and fun quidditch is and helping them fall in love with it – and that’s where all of our success stems from. That’s certainly what happened to me anyway.

 

What are you most looking forward to at QUAFL this year?

Game One against the Monash Muggles is something I personally have been looking forward to for years. After missing the 72-minute epic 70-20 comeback victory for the Unspeakables at Mudbash 2016, the only other time in the past five years we’ve met was at Mudbash this year, where the score was within 10 points before snitch catch. With both Unspeakables and Muggles losing a lot of their older talent to graduate community teams at the end of 2016, but having a superb rebuilding season in 2017, the showdown between these two teams who in their own regions are proving that university teams are can still be just as competitive as their graduate counterparts is sure to be an incredibly fun and entertaining match – bolstered by the fact that both teams have relatively similar playing styles. Expect some epic beater battles, amazing passing plays, and some quality entertaining quidditch, from both sides.

 

Who are some of your more understated stars that you want other teams to watch out for?

Do I have to answer this question? I’d much rather they remain our secret weapon and have teams not watch out for them…

For real though, on a team of star state-level male beaters, Jv James Lim is often overlooked, and always to the opposition’s loss. Jv is one of the most calm and consistent players on the team, capable of adapting to any role and playstyle. His level-headed awareness and understanding of the game allows him to dismantle fast breaks faster than you can tear a perforated notepad page, and he is the worst nightmare of anyone trying to score on brooms up. Watch out for Jv’s adorable bludger boops with beater partner Alex Cunningham – those two do things with bludgers that the greatest minds of humankind are yet to understand.

 

Who is a team from your state that you want other teams to watch out for?

The Sydney City Serpents stand out as an obvious answer here – they’ve been one of our main rivals over the course of the season and the back and forth wins and loses we’ve had with them have pushed us both to up our games more and more over the year. They’re a force to be reckoned with, great fun to play against, and will be gunning for that gold just as hard as we are.

I also couldn’t answer this question without mentioning our own Unforgivables and Unbreakables. For C and B teams respectively, both punch well above their weight, and even after losing players to promotions, they’re both teams to look out for – especially as much of the Unbreakables talent will likely end up playing in red next year!

 

A number of your team members were in respective state teams this year. What do you think you’ve learnt from the competition this year? read more

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