Needless to say, communities play an incredibly large part of our lives. Quite often, we tend to latch on to people that do or like the same things as us. It’s almost simple human science at this point. And while it’s relieving to know that you’re not the only one currently drooling over Felicia Day on any given afternoon; communities can not only direct those to common interests, but, instead, bring them together in a supernova-type explosion that is hotter than the sun.
And thus: Quidditch.
Back when we saw teams wearing capes at every match (circa 2009, before my time), Quidditch was a much simpler game. A new, hybrid sport that borrowed from almost every other major activity in an attempt to blend it all together in a fun, laidback sort of way. Since then, it’s obviously safe to say that the sport has evolved in ways that I’m sure the originators never saw coming. Teams started growing, big universities more suited for winning Rose Bowls and NCAA Championships joined up and as the sport started expanding westerly and southerly, that’s when everything changed.
Gone, for the most part, are the teams who do not know how to tackle an opposing player. We’ve had fights, red cards and more than the acceptable amount of ambulances carting our loving family members from the pitch. Our game took JK’s version and almost literally started adapting closer to the version in our beloved books. Except this time, there was no Pomfrey to heal three story falls at the flick of a wrist. Just real casts and broken bones that took real effort and time to heal.
Yet, the love never once halted. The love never went away. The love in Quidditch is exponentially infinite and it is one of the features of our sport I am most proud about. For as many rough, painful tackles I’ve seen, just as many players have apologized or lent a hand to help a fallen opponent up. For every time someone yells at a ref (I’ve been on both sides, and believe me, we’re trying our best), there are just as many perfect, heartwarming hugs and high fives post-game.
It really is incredible, to be honest. Quidditch is a game that grows and grows every year while getting bigger, scarier and intense. Yet, through all of that, we’ve yet to see the spirit and enthusiasm that built the game decrease at all. At WC4, a Tufts’ player accidently sent one of our girls to the hospital. Today, we play Tufts more than any other team. Although we’ve never actually played LSU in an official match before, I was a part of a conversation with their team members that lead to an everlasting bond of friendship over the word y’all.
Recently, there has been a dramatic influx of these “Fantasy Quidditch Tournaments.” Check Facebook. They’re literally popping up everywhere, it seems. In fact, if you’re a Quidditch player, I’d bet that you’ve already been invited. And if you haven’t, you’ve most likely seen the masses vomit over excitement about these matches.
The basic idea is this: General Managers select a team to compete at a tournament. For some, this is a brilliant chance to exhibit their competitive and strategic side while crafting an plausible juggernaut; but for most, it’s about getting a new family of friends.
As I addressed in my last post, Quidditch is all about families. You’ll remember the laughter and smiles long after you’ll recall a tournament win. So when the Quidditch community was given the chance to craft a new team from scratch, they jumped all over it. Ever wanted to create a super team with players from Villanova, Texas, LSU, Hofstra, OSU, NYU, Emerson, BU and A&M? Well, now it’s possible.
Spreading the love and passion that we all share with each other has never been easier. Now, these tournaments will foster friendships between teams that were previously unheard of. Theoretically, we could see some incredible Quidditch full of combinations that we could only blog about before. However, we’ll see players from every corner of this great Quidditch nation link hands, form bonds and head into battle together. This could, quite possibly, change Quidditch forever.
Luckily, I will (hopefully) be captaining a team in August with Villanova’s (and Team USA’s) Zach D’Amico at the Northeast tournament. While Zach and I have become close friends since the Champions Series, it would never have been possible if we didn’t mutually reach out to each other in order to quell some bad blood that had been brewing. Last month, Zach drove to Portland to hang out with me. Next month, we’ll captain a team together. We’ll build a team together.
I really do hate the word Quove but there’s no denying that our crazy, loving, obsessive community is full of it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.