Saturday, April 2, 2011

Quidditch Western Cup Regionals - Day 1

I had the honor of attending the International Quidditch Association Western Cup Regionals today. This is a two day event and I plan to attend both days. I knew that there were folks out there playing Quidditch but hadn't heard about the IQA organization until late last year when I heard about the Quidditch World Cup in New York. It was too late to make plans to attend so when I heard they were doing smaller cups through out the country and that one was going to be in Los Angeles this weekend I had to attend.

If you know me at all you know I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan and to have an opportunity to watch an actual Quidditch game being played live was extremely special to me.

So I got to the park at 10:08am, figuring that I missed some of the opening ceremony as it was suppose to began at 10am. Well when I got there they were behind and the actually opening ceremonies didn't start until around 11:15am. So I got to watch the various teams practice and warm up.

For those who are unfamiliar with Quidditch, it's the fictional game played in the Harry Potter world. But this is Muggle Quidditch of course. There are seven people on a team. 3 Catchers who take the Quaffel (largest ball) and throw it through hoops on either side of the field. There are 2 Beaters who throw dodge balls at the opposing team, knocking them out and making them have to run back to their goal post and touch it before they can get back in the game. 1 Keeper, they are the ones that guard the three hoops and 1 Seeker, there job is to catch the snitch and once the snitch is caught the game ends. Now the snitch is a small gold ball in the books and movies but in Muggle Quidditch it's actually a person who runs all over the place with a tennis ball hanging from their backside. Oh and though in the books and movies they do all this while flying on brooms, with Muggle Quidditch it's done on the ground but they still carry the brooms between their legs. 

They had two "pitches" set up, one right next to the other and had seats on both sides, so in theory you could watch both games at the same time. I had watched various videos of Quidditch on YouTube but that doesn't prepare you for the physical aspect of the game.  These men and woman have no pads and run with brooms between their legs. They tackle, grab and jump all over each other and the throw dodge balls at each other. Luckily other then scraps, bruises and sprains there were only two major incidents where members of the same team collided head first and one of them cracked his head open and was taken to the hospital for stitches.

The first two games I watched was just crazy. There was so much going on it was just chaos but once I figured out that you really should only watch the game right in front of you then it got better. They had four games before lunch, during lunch I went to the booths to check out what merchandise they had. I purchased two IQA shirts, one with the IQA logo and one for the event I was watching Western Cup. I also made a donation/raffle for the Harry Potter Alliance.

After lunch I sat on the opposite side of the field, watched four more games before they took a break and had Kid Quidditch and all they kids attending got to play a game of Quidditch. That was alot of fun and these little kids had one of the closest scoring games of the night. As they set up for the final game I went over to the booths again and purchased a homemade brownie and some licorice wands.

Watched four more games and then the Harry Potter Alliance had their raffle and I won, could have gotten an Elder Wand but I was third to win and the first winner picked the wand but I did get a really cool Harry Potter T-shirt.

After that there were two more games and as the sun set day one was over.

I LOVED every minute it. The person who was suppose to join me couldn't make it so I was there by myself but I still didn't damper my excitement for the day. I debated on leaving half way through because I do have a lot of things to do at home but I asked myself, how often do I get to attend Quidditch matches.. so I stayed the entire time 10am to 7pm. The crowds were light in the morning (mostly family members or collage students), but as the day went on the crowds got bigger and then again started to thin out as the day ended.

The collages participating in this even were Arizona State University, Emerson Collage, Moorpark Collage, Occidental College, San Jose State Collage, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC and Utah's Rocky Mountain Ridgebacks. And there was one team that wasn't from a collage Silicon Valley Skrewts. And about mid day through the event a team from San Diego showed up but I couldn't tell if they were from San Diego State or San Diego community collage.

You can check out all my picture (130) HERE on  on my Facebook page (you don't have to have facebook to view) and I took about four hours of video and will edited it up a bit and post it here on my blog in the coming days.

1 comment:

  1. How cool that you won the raffle! Those are pretty nice too.

    Isn't it wild that has are making this a reality? First Wizard Wrock, then the Harry Potter Alliance and now this. It's a testament to how passionate the fan base is. Astounding!