The International Quidditch Association (IQA) World Cup
28 April 2014
Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) student, Alexander Enrico filed this report on the University of Sydney Team's recent performance at the 7th annual International Quidditch Association (IQA) World Cup:
The University of Sydney Quidditch team, or simply known as the Unspeakables, went out to the North Myrtle Beach Sporting Complex, in South Carolina, on the 5th - 6th of April 2014 to participate in the 7th annual International Quidditch Association (IQA) World Cup.
By participating in the contest, the Unspeakables were the first and only Australian team ever to participate in the tournament, after successfully qualifying through the Australian qualifier in 2013.
Allocated in the same pool with McGill University, Silicon Valley Skrewts, Minnesota Quidditch and Rensselaer Polytechnic Insititute (RPI) Remembralls, the Unspeakables had to play 4 pool matches on day 1.
The first pool match against one of the pool’s favourites, McGill University, which also marked the Unspeakables first ever quidditch match on North American soil and against North American opposition, ended in a defeat.
The match ended with the score of 30* - 150, with the Unspeakables earning the 30 points through a snitch catch by seeker Liam O'Callaghan.
In the second match against RPI Remembralls, the game was much closer. However, the Unspeakables have to submit to a defeat after the snitch catch by the Remembralls' seeker, which put the tie to an end at 20 - 70*.
After the first two results of the day, team captain Luke Derrick gathered the team together for some motivation, and to ensure that the players were in the right frame of mind going into the remaining two pool matches.
The talks may have proven to be useful as the Unspeakables went out against Minnesota Quidditch with a much more inspired display, although still falling to a defeat with the score of 50* - 90.
This match however had left the Unspeakables in a good state of mind as the team felt they had put up a good fight, proving that they still had some fight left in them after the first two matches.
In the last pool game against one of the tournament's best team, The Silicon Valley Skrewts, the Unspeakables went down with the score of 30 - 150*.
In the wrap up for the first day of the tournament, team captain Luke Derrick commented on the team's performance on the day, "Overall I'm very proud of what we have done here. Defeat is painful but there are so many learning points to take from all of our game today."
"We first noticed that the style of play in North America is very different from Australia. It's much more physical and there's so much more contact in the game. But we tried to adapt to it and I am very happy we put up a good fight and that the team did not give up," he continued.
The hard work the team had put in the first day, however, did not go unrewarded, as the team was presented a couple of surprises during the closing ceremony of the tournament.
After showing excellence in their display of the spirits of the game, the IQA awarded the Unspeakables the "Xander Manshel Award", an annual award given to the team who displayed the upmost level of sportsmanship, as popularly voted by the tournament's participants.
The IQA also awarded the Unspeakables for being the "Furthest Travelled Team" in the tournament.
The Unspeakables proudly brought home the trophy to Sydney, as the tournament ended on a high note for the entire team.
The Unspeakables are Luke Derrick, Cameron Caccamo, Isabella Moore, Cameron Brown, Belinda Toohey, Alexander Enrico, Natalie Astalosh, Kathryn Cooper, Paul Harrison, Liam O’Callaghan, Robert Wells, Alina Pahor, Patrick Ward, and Alyssa Halbe.
The University of Sydney Quidditch Society was established only in 2012, with the Unspeakables making their competitive debut in November of the same year.
The Oceanian championship and World Cup qualifiers, also known as the QUAFL Cup, are held annually in November.
(*) denotes a snitch catch, which worth 30 points in a quidditch game.