By: NICK WORT
The IU South Bend Quidditch Club hosted its third annual memorial tournament on Saturday, Oct 12. This year’s tournament had 13 teams from various universities, including teams from IU Bloomington, Ball State and Marquette.
According to team member and treasurer Sarah Knowlton, this year’s tournament drew a much larger and more diverse crowd.
“We invited teams over the summer, we sent out this invitation thing that we had made and they responded to us,” Knowlton said. “They didn’t really respond until school started and then they just started pouring in, we had to actually turn some teams away because there wasn’t enough room.”
The tournament was set up in different pools, according to Knowlton. Originally, 15 teams were scheduled to play. The teams would be divided up into three different pools of five and each team would have to play every team in their pool. The winning six teams would then go on to a bracket type tournament, and teams seven and eight would play a consolation match.
Unfortunately, this didn’t go according to plan when two teams dropped out of the tournament.
“When one team dropped, we made do. And then when another team dropped, literally 10:30 p.m. the night before, we had to redo everything, every pool,” Knowlton said.
IUSB’s team made it to seventh place before losing to Marquette in the consolation round.
“We almost beat them, but we were tired – that was our seventh game of the day,” Knowlton said. “We had two or three people out for injuries, someone had to go to work—two people had to go to work, so we were down like five players. But we should have beat Marquette, which is a big accomplishment, because they were good last year, really good.”
The tournament seemed to be a success for the players as well.
“I’ve been playing for about two months, so this is my first time doing this, I’m a senior” said Chris Boylan, a player on the IUSB Quidditch team. “I think it’s really cool that the Quidditch team here is just a club, and yet were able to organize a tournament with this many people here compared to like – even some of the regular NAIA sanctioned sports don’t even get this big of a turn out usually.”
“This tournament’s really good, it’s really organized. They really did a great job,” said Thomas Salinas, a freshman player from Marquette University. “I’d put [Quidditch] up against any other sport. If you’re an athlete, you gotta play Quidditch, it’s been a great experience for me.”
Fans also seemed to have an overwhelmingly positive reaction to having a Quidditch tournament at IUSB.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s really cool that a game started from a book, you know what I mean? And now people that were passionate about it can get together” said Cassie Gaines, a fan in attendance. “And I know very little about [Quidditch], but it’s so exciting!”
Sirena Barrel is a former Quidditch player, but she still has a lot of appreciation for the game.
“Quidditch is really cool. Not many sports start from a book, and not many sports require you to ride around on a broom stick. So that it’s a lot of fun, watching people do that. I played for two years and actually helped start the team here,” she said.
“They’ve definitely grown their community too,” Barrel added. “I think they have a full set of 21 people playing and they still have more that attend practices. And, anyone can attend a practice just for funzies. It’s very seldom, I think, in sports where you go this hard at a team and then afterwards, off the field you’re just like, having a great time, exchanging contact information and staying friends. That’s a really cool dynamic.”
For more information about the IUSB Quidditch Club, visit http://www.facebook.com/iusbquidditch.