Werewolves of London Firsts Win Southern Cup 2019

Last weekend saw the sixth edition of the Southern Cup, hosted at Brookes Sport in Harcourt Hill, Oxford Brookes University between the 9th and 10th of November.

16 teams competed at this year’s Southern regional tournament, with nearly half of those teams being made up of London community teams (7/16 to be precise). Group A-D featured at least one London team (Group C featuring three!) so it’s not surprising when we saw an all London podium at the end of Sunday’s games.

In an intense final, the Werewolves of London Firsts reclaimed their gold medals kicking off the season in style against the London Unspeakables which ended in overtime, compiling a final score of 160°-120*. The match between London’s oldest club and EQC 2019’s bronze medalists was regarded as “one of the most exciting finals in UK Quidditch in years”. Some even comparing it to the likes of the BQC 2015 final in Nottingham against Southampton Quidditch Club and the Radcliffe Chimeras which ended in overtime as well.

The Unspeakables had beaten previous national champions London Quidditch Club A in a tight semi-final beforehand, who then progressed to the third-place playoff, facing the Oxford Mammoths to eventually claim a 3rd place finish for LQCA.

For winning Southern this year, the Werewolves have been given a pass in competing at the European Qualifier Tournament as regional winners are awarded a top seed spot at Division 1 of the European Quidditch Cup hosted in Belgium in May 2020. Other teams to qualify for EQT aside from the podium finishers include Oxford Mammoths (4th), Southampton Quidditch Club (5th), Southsea Quidditch (6th) and London Quidditch Club B (7th).

QuidditchUK would like to ultimately thank its large influx of volunteers for this year’s Southern Cup, from non-qualified tournament roles alike to tournament committee posts running gameplay, media, event and management duties. Special thanks go to Alex Greenhalgh, the Tournament Director, who ran a smooth and exciting tournament that gave our athletes more games for their money despite poor weather conditions on Day 1.

Congratulations go to the Werewolves of London Firsts for retaining their title of southern champions for two seasons in a row. We’d like to extend our praise to all our players and teams who competed this year making this Southern Cup one to remember. More importantly, a massive consideration goes out to all volunteers who ran a fantastic tournament giving their time, resources and talent across the event.

You can find the full final rankings for the weekend here

Please leave feedback for Southern Cup 2019 so that we can make next year’s even better!

Photo Credit – Paul Watts

Updates on Tournament Eligibility Policies

QuidditchUK have updated our policies in regards to Development Cup eligibility, EQT eligibility, and Club Mergers. You can now read about these policies on the full list of policies here.

We recognise that, since announcing our changes to the policy for EQT and EQC eligibility, many of you have voiced concerns about the reasoning behind this. QuidditchUK would like to publish the following statement in response to your queries:

After some questions were raised by members of the community, we wanted to take the opportunity to explain in a bit more detail the reasons behind the decisions we’ve made around this season’s EQT.

Starting off simple, the split for EQT spots being even between the regions (i.e. 6 North and 6 South) was announced at the QUK AGM shortly before the start of the season and we didn’t have any teams contact us with any concerns.

Secondly, QUK were not given any advance information on either the number of EQC spots we would receive or the algorithm that would be used to calculate them so we had no way of knowing ahead of Quidditch Europe’s announcement that we would be receiving as many spots as we did. With relative inactivity on Quidditch Europe’s leadership we had been under the impression we would be losing spots, with further allocation being given to emerging areas under Division 2.

This meant that when we were scouting/booking venues for tournaments this season, we had to assume the number of spots would be approximately the same. Accordingly, we booked a two pitch venue and planned for a 12 team tournament.

When it was announced that QUK had been awarded 10 spots across the two divisions, the gameplay department considered the options available to us. There was no possibility of adding an extra pitch at the venue and a 16 team tournament that determined the necessary placings was deemed to be infeasible. A suggestion from a member of the community, whereby the winners of each regional tournament would get a bye until later rounds of EQT, was also found to be infeasible due to the number of games necessary to get to that stage (and that the regional winners would likely only get 2 games each).

QuidditchUK wants to provide and prioritise better gameplay opportunities for all teams in the country, but also believe that more opportunities need to be given to middle tier teams to compete for, which EQT provides. By removing regional champions, it creates more space for teams to compete for european spots. While we recognise that removing regional champions does deny two of our strongest teams competitive gameplay on official grounds, we had to make this compromise given the circumstances. We would like to remind teams that they have the option of organising competitions outside of the regular QUK calendar to increase the number of competitive matches they play.

On another note, this season is likely to change drastically for 2020/2021, and this adjustment to the EQT format will be a stop gap while we look into a divisional system moving forward.