Due to the poor air quality in NSW in the past several weeks, Quidditch Australia has assembled a policy in the case of poor air quality in the case of QUAFL 2019 – the National Championships, currently set to be held in Kayess Park, Minto.
Continuing our preview of the 2019 Australian Championship Pools, guest analyst Stephen Butler examines pool B, containing the University of Sydney Unspeakables, University of Sunshine Coast Dementors, Macarthur Weasleys, Monash Mudbloods, and Wollongong Warriors.
The Victorian Honeyeaters enter State Shield this year as a brand new team! Founded as a B Team for Victoria, matching the Bluebottles for NSW, this will be their first foray onto the state field, and they are the second home team in this year’s tournament.
Quidditch Australia welcomes all delegates to attend the 2019 Annual General Meeting! The AGM is an excellent opportunity to be involved in the future planning of the association, hear annual reports and provide feedback to the board on the past year and for the year to come.
New South Wales has always had one of the largest player bases in the country, right from the inception of quidditch in Australia back in 2011. After the first two rounds of the three 2016 State Of Origin series between NSW and Victoria, the final round was set to be held in Sydney featuring the debut appearance of the Queensland Thunderbirds and NSW fielded a second team affectionately termed the B-Tongues. They would play against Queensland as a roughly equal match, while the NSW A team faced off against Victoria. Thus, the NSW B Team was formed. With the depth of players in NSW at the time, they were victorious against the Thunderbirds in their debut showing, though not nearly at the level of the two A teams. Absent from the 2017 State Shield held in Brisbane, the B-Tongues or “B-est” team returned in 2018, faltering at first against a much improved Queensland during pool play. They came back strong in the finals series to win 2-0, proving an adaptability and level of skill that showed them to be a solid team in their own right. Now officially known as the NSW Bluebottles, they enter the 2019 competition looking to continue their streak against an ever stronger Queensland side, face a new rival in the debuting Victorian Honeyeaters B side, and see how much they’ve narrowed the gap between themselves and the top teams.
What Is State Shield?
Quidditch, beginning in Australia in 2011, grew rapidly in NSW and Victoria, with most teams in the country starting up in Melbourne and Sydney, with only a few up north in Queensland and out west in Western Australia. As quidditch became more and more competitive and rivalries developed between Victorian and NSW teams, there were calls for a new level of competition, something that would allow a further level of top tier quidditch in Australia, facilitate competitive training for Australia’s best athletes heading into World Cups, and answer once and for all which was the dominant state in quidditch.
The Queensland Thunderbirds joined the state competition in the third round of the 2016 edition of the title, when NSW Blue Tongues and Victorian Leabeaters were playing their finals series and the relatively new Thunderbirds faced off against the NSW B team. Coming away from their first experience of state competition winless but rapidly improving across the series against NSW B to play the last game in range, the Thunderbirds came into their home State Shield in Brisbane 2017 fighting hard and extracted a narrow win against Victoria. This demonstrated that they had done much to close the gap between them and the more developed states but still had a way to go. Going into 2018, the Thunderbirds were now much more experienced and had their first win against the NSW B squad, however the Victorians and NSW Blue Tongues were careful not to underestimate the growing Queensland force. The NSW Bluebottles were also able to adapt and eventually win the finals series against Queensland 2-0. As a younger state in the development of quidditch in Australia, Queensland have always struggled to match the NSW and Victorian A teams, with less experienced players and less players on the National “Dropbears” Team. However, with the rapid expansion and development of Queensland quidditch in the last two years and the steady improvement of the Thunderbirds, the writing is on the wall for times to change.
The NSW Blue Tongues is the other team who have been taking part in Quidditch Australia’s state level competition since its inception at the start of 2016. Competing against the Victorian state team in this original State Of Origin series of three sets of three games, the Blue Tongues won the second series 2-1 but overall came a narrow second, winning four games to Victoria’s five. When the state competition evolved into the single State Shield event in 2017, the Blue Tongues went winless across three games against the Victorians. They were able to come back last year with five straight wins against the Victorian Leadbeaters to finally claim the title for NSW. As the other long-established quidditch state in Australia and with a rapidly growing playerbase, NSW remains Victoria’s greatest competition and rival in the competition They present a strong team of state and Dropbear veterans supplemented by promoted players from the state’s B team, who will be looking to level the overall State Shield score to 2-2 against the Victorians.
The endangered Leadbeater’s Possum is Victoria’s faunal emblem. The species is found only in Victoria and lives primarily in the ash forests and subalpine woodlands of Victoria’s central highlands, with a small lowland population to the east of Melbourne.
Day 2 of State Shield (Sunday 6th October) will feature a Kidditch session!
Kidditch, or Youth Quidditch, is our friendly non-contact version of the sport for kids and new players that is easy for anyone to have a go at!