QuidditchUK 19/20 Season & COVID-19 Updates

Despite a lot of uncertainty floating about with the recent updates to COVID-19 within the United Kingdom and the international community, it has been incredibly heart-warming to see the wider community being so supportive over the last week.

Firstly, from the Executive Management Team, we would like to say thank you to all club and team leadership for taking the instruction to postpone training and competition, and further limit risk of the virus spreading.

Cancelling or postponing events is never an easy decision to make, and is not one we made lightly, and we’re thankful for the community to have responded so well both publicly and privately towards our volunteers. It hasn’t been an easy week for any of us, and it likely won’t get easier soon, but having this wonderful community to fall back on is what makes this sport so special. So thank you, and keep looking out for each other.

We encourage members and clubs to keep reaching out to each other, the inter-community support is only going to get more important over the coming weeks and months, and we know that a lot of that is achieved through shared content and experience.

Online virtual socials both within and outside of your clubs, fitness challenges, discussions, footage and gameplay reviews, totally-official-online-basketball-competitions for the British Quidditch Cup. And memes.

All of these are vital, and we implore you to keep it up.

With official measures now rolled out by the UK Government and firmer decisions being made by both Quidditch Europe and The International Association across the coming weeks, QuidditchUK are slowly positioning themselves into what comes next.

We’re not yet in a position to determine when the British Quidditch Cup will take place, or if it is still a certainty for this year, however we’re educating ourselves on what may be practical in the coming months.

We have just reached out to clubs with a range of dates to indicate if/when a summer BQC could feasibly happen. We are aware that summer competitions will make things complicated for our university membership to compete, but we’re determined to find a solution that will benefit the majority of members should BQC still go ahead this year.

A lot of this still swings on the state of COVID-19 as well as other quidditch events, namely the World Cup, but as many of those international decisions are being decided by mid-April, we are at this stage aiming to determine BQC 2020 by mid-May.

We’ll be updating you as and when we can, but in the meantime stay safe, stay connected, stay isolated whenever possible, and stay in touch.

If you need to reach out to QuidditchUK for any reason, please get in touch with us and we’ll help however we can.

the QuidditchUK Executive Management Team

QuidditchUK Policies surrounding COVID-19

After discussions with experts and partners within Sport England, and our medical contacts, QuidditchUK have made the following decisions with regards to our tournaments, clubs, and all UK quidditch activities for the foreseeable future.

First and foremost, the 2020 British Quidditch Cup has been postponed until further notice.

In the early stages of the outbreak, QuidditchUK maintained the possibility that the worst of the epidemic would have passed by mid-late April, at which point hosting a national tournament would still be a realistic aim. However, with recent trends, newly released information, and a growing concern of safety and welfare for our members, we are postponing the British Quidditch Cup.

We still intend to host BQC this year, but given the rapid escalation of the COVID-19 situation in the United Kingdom and Europe, we are currently reluctant to propose an alternative date as we cannot predict when the pandemic will have passed. This decision will also need to consider the exam timetables of our student member base and international quidditch fixtures over the coming months.

A full cancellation of BQC for the 2019-2020 season is still a possibility, depending on how the situation progresses. Should this become our only option, we will inform the community as soon as possible.

Effective immediately, QuidditchUK are strongly discouraging any and all quidditch activity. Member clubs and teams should avoid training together until further notice, and any planned tournaments or events should be postponed or cancelled.

This advice extends to all QuidditchUK clubs, QuidditchUK national teams, Quidditch Premier League teams, and any Youth Quidditch programmes planned or scheduled in the coming months.

If you believe you have come into contact with a person who may be infected with COVID-19 at a quidditch event or team training, you must contact your club leadership and/or QuidditchUK as soon as possible so appropriate action can be taken.

Regarding EQC, QuidditchUK will also be recommending and voting for the postponement of the Division 1 European Quidditch Cup this coming Wednesday (18th April) at a Quidditch Europe consultation.

Quidditch Australia has created the following guidelines for clubs and individuals competing or training. QuidditchUK maintains that clubs should not be engaging in quidditch activities until further notice, but these measures should be practised until the situation is less severe. Further advice will be released when clubs should return to training and fixtures.

We anticipate this to be late May to early June, but do not have a firm date or time as of yet.

  1. Recommendations for Clubs & Individuals
    1. With regards to attendance, individuals should: 
      1. Not attend events/training if they have contracted COVID-19
      2. Not attend events/training if they have come into contact with someone confirmed to have contracted COVID-19
    2. With regards to personal hygiene, individuals should: 
      1. Wash hands before and after
        1. Playing games
        2. Touching equipment like mouthguards 
      2. Ideally use hand sanitiser before and after taking to the pitch
      3. Avoid touching their face
      4. Avoid sneezing or coughing into hands, clothing, or elbow-pit 
        1. Note: arms and elbows may regularly come into contact to other people through tackles, ball handling, or using ‘elbow-bumps’ as an alternative to handshakes after a game. We recommend sneezing or coughing into a tissue, handkerchief, personal towel, etc, that may be thrown out or cleaned.  
    3. With regards to equipment, individuals should 
      1. Minimise sharing of equipment such as 
        1. Jerseys 
        2. Gloves
        3. Brooms
        4. Headbands
      2. Entirely avoid sharing equipment such as 
        1. Whistles 
        2. Water bottles
        3. Mouth guards
    4. Individuals should also 
      1. Avoid hugs, handshakes, high fives, or similar contact after a game
      2. Avoid the practice of removing a mouthguard during a game
      3. Avoid spitting on gloves to clean them or make them more sticky 

Line notes and next steps

  • British Quidditch Cup is suspended until further notice.
  • The QuidditchUK Executive Management Team are discussing all options with venues and partners and will have a more concrete timeline in the next 1-2 weeks.
  • There are no plans to cancel BQC as of yet, but it is still a possibility and will be communicated in due course when the COVID-19 situation is more developed.
  • QuidditchUK will be recommending and voting for the suspension of the Division 1 European Quidditch Cup.
  • QuidditchUK strongly recommends the suspension of any and all quidditch activities in the United Kingdom until further notice.
  • Team UK, Team Scotland, Team Wales are to cease all training until further notice.

For any further information or queries please get in touch via quidditchuk.org/contact

Molly Maurice-Smith Looks For Successor In Human Resources

It is with great dismay to officially announce that Molly Maurice-Smith, one of the longest running members of QuidditchUK’s current Executive Management Team has stepped down. Molly relinquishes her role as Human Resources Director, who manages all volunteers, playing or non-playing, within the sport. Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to maintain well run tournaments as well as keep afloat many different departments of our national governing body.

Molly has had a great run in her two and a half years of being a senior volunteer for us. The memory of her still being part of Reading Rocs (a now retired team) only felt like yesterday! Within her time directing volunteers, she’s saw out the re-branded Reading Knights last season, ending in 2018 and took a casual hiatus whilst playing Bristol Bears before the beginning of 2019. Now, her recent transfer to London Unspeakables in conjunction to her most recent move across the country for work has finally accelerated her quidditch career. Molly was part of the squad who claimed second place at the European Qualifier Tournament and will hopefully be going to Belgium in May to play on the international stage she’s always dreamt of.

Molly had this to say before she retired from her duties:

“I have to thank QuidditchUK, and the volunteers who have given it life and growth, for offering me the opportunity to build my skillset and allowing me to enjoy being a part of this incredible community.”

We’d like to extend our gratitude towards Molly for all her hard work and service to the sport and the community. There’s no question about her being an absolutely influential part in the development of volunteers throughout Media, Operations, Events, Gameplay and all other conglomerate sectors which would not make up QuidditchUK as it’s run today and will be run for the betterment of the future.

As well as our praise, we would like to wish her all the best on her next adventure. On behalf of us and the general community: Thank you, Molly!

We are now advertising for the role of Volunteers Director. This role will be open through our website. Just drop us a cover letter and a CV explaining why you would be suitable for the role!

We’re looking for a successor that will continue the good work that Molly has done countless times from interviews to reviews and advertising job roles on our website. If this seems like something you can get on board with, please don’t fret to apply! If you have any questions about the role or volunteering in general, feel free to contacthumanresources@quidditchuk.org or reach the team through our Contact Us form.

QuidditchUK launches next phase of community consultation for 2020/21 season

As QuidditchUK research the best options for the 2020/21 season and beyond, we are continuing our community consultation to help us design a successful season structure. The timeline of these consultations is below, and we hope everyone finds something they can engage with! Each stage of consultation will be launched after there has been sufficient time for the previous stage to be evaluated, and for amendments to be made reflecting the insights from previous consultations.

  • First round-table: Tuesday 3rd March
  • Second round-table (if demand suffices): To be consulted with attendees
  • Survey release: 22nd March
  • Public review of round-table comments: 23rd March
  • Survey close: 29th March
  • Document commentary release: Early April
  • Survey results release: Mid-late April
  • Decision for 2020/21 announced: May

We are currently looking for participants in the round-table; information about this is provided here and you can sign up through this form!

The minutes from General Forum, the first phase of consultation, can be found here. The document commentary will be a more developed proposal, released with a form allowing all members to send in their comments.

Please note that at every stage of the consultation, the proposed changes are non-binding. We are keen to avoid adjustments which would seriously harm or inconvenience teams of any kind, and all proposals are attempting to balance many competing priorities. These consultations are an opportunity to help to build a functional season structure together, benefitting teams across the country and giving everyone better opportunities for competition.

If, after consultation and review, we find that the current (2019/20) structure is the most appropriate to support the growth and quality of quidditch in the UK, we will strive to deliver a successful 2020/21 season within this format. We welcome your comments, ideas and queries throughout this process, and we are looking forward to working with community members to ensure a successful 2019/20 and 2020/21 season.

QuidditchUK welcomes Fran Morris as new Events Director

QuidditchUK is delighted to formally announce Fran Morris as the new Events Director. In this role, Fran will be taking the helm of QuidditchUK’s flagship events, supporting our Events Officers and tournament committees to deliver regional and national tournaments to a high standard.

Fran brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this role, and has repeatedly proven her ability to deliver excellent events. She led the tournament committee of Northern Cup 2019 as tournament director, and has also held senior roles in delivering BQC, Christmas Cup, and multiple iterations of Valentines Cup. Fran’s experience as a player is also extensive, from a strong first season in 2015-16 with the Radcliffe Chimeras, to leading the Oxford Quidlings as captain, before joining her current team the Oxford Mammoths.

Fran looks on

Upon joining QuidditchUK, Fran said:

I cannot wait to join QuidditchUK on a permanent basis as Events Director, especially as the upcoming year is looking to be an exciting time in terms of events, with some big changes coming to our season structure. My main focus will be on overseeing these changes and ensuring a smooth transition into a new system which gives teams and players more opportunities to compete. I’m looking forward to building on the excellent foundations laid by Gen in this role previously, and working with the incredible Events department, to continue to deliver great tournaments and fixtures in future!

As Events Director, Fran will be a member of the QuidditchUK Executive Management Team, and will help to steer the sport through 2020 and beyond. She has already been involved in the delivery of the European Qualifying Tournament 2020, and we are excited to see Fran apply her experience and formidable work ethic to upcoming events.

Best of luck in your new role, Fran!

Victory At Last! LQC A Claims Gold At EQT 2020

Our 2nd edition of the European Qualifier Tournament, a fairly new mainstream tournament hosted by QuidditchUK, unravelled last weekend at the Salford Sports Village during the 1st and 2nd of February.

London Quidditch Club A faced their Clapham Common neighbours London Unspeakables, yet again for the 3rd time this season within the grand final of the event. Since they encountered the Unspeakables twice this season, once during the Southern Cup 2019 semi-final and the other during the ‘final’ play-in game last weekend at one side of the bracket. We can imagine LQCA were a bit frustrated with playing the same team they previously lost to a third time round. Luckily for them, they did not honour the Unspeakables a winning three-peat. In a final which anyone could tell LQC were hungry for the win, the tables had turned with the score set at 40-10 before snitch on pitch, Unspeakables still within overtime range to create even more upsets. During their previous game against LQCA, Unspeakables caught from 20 points down to win their game, entering the final. LQCA had to take a slight diversion, facing the Megalodons in an intense game with VQC’s second team cold-caught the snitch from 60 points down (90-30), ending the game at 90-60*.

During the final, Chema Hidalgo Lopez caught from behind snitch, Steve Busson to finish the game off at a cool 70*-10 to London Quidditch Club A. Thus securing their first tournament overall victory this season. A massive congratulations to the newest community club from London, who are now well into their second season since their genesis.

Image may contain: 14 people, people standing and outdoor
Our European Qualifier Tournament 2020 winners: London Quidditch Club A!
Photo by Simon Blackshaw (The Dislodged Hoop)
Image may contain: 20 people, outdoor
The London Unspeakables: Runners up at EQT 2020
Photo by Simon Blackshaw (The Dislodged Hoop)
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The Megalodons: Bronze Medalists
Photo by Simon Blackshaw (The Dislodged Hoop)

Yes, and that’s about it! But for those who thought EQT was as wrapped up as that, guess again. (See a list of full rankings at the end of this article)

To kick off the new decade, #EQT2020 facilitated twelve of the best teams from across the country based off the rankings that stand from the Northern and Southern events that took place in November 2019. Both winners of each respected regional tournament, the Velociraptors and the Werewolves of London Firsts, automatically qualified for EQC Division 1 as well as landing a ‘first seed’ within their eventual groups for the international tournament. EQT’s purpose was to house these twelve teams to compete to gain not only qualification for Division 1 (Ghent, Belgium) and Division 2 (Brescia, Italy) of the European Quidditch Cup with three spots available for the former and a generous five up for grabs for the latter. But also to calculate which teams had the best seeding within the upcoming tournaments based in Europe.

The European Qualifier’s policy stayed true to the Northern and Southern rankings, with selected the best six teams from each region. Leceister Thestrals ranked 5th at Northern Cup 2019, securing a spot at EQT 2020 and were originally attending their first European Qualifier Tournament. Leicester decided to withdraw from the event due to financial difficulties, following a vote ordered by the club’s committee. A new team was able to take Leicester’s spot, and QuidditchUK offered the position to Sheffield, who later declined the opportunity. It was then offered to Warwick Quidditch Club, who solidified as the 12th and final team competing at the tournament in Salford, Manchester.

To recap, London Quidditch Club A (1st) will be going to EQC D1 with a 2nd Seed place within the eventual groups, whereas second-time silver medallists, London Unspeakables (2nd) as well as bronze medallists, the Megalodons (3rd) will be running into EQC D1 as a 3rd seeded team. Olympians Quidditch Club (4th) and Oxford Mammoths (5th) have been granted as EQC D2’s 1st Seeded teams in Italy, taking place in March of this year. Finally, London Quidditch Club’s second team, LQCB (6th) joins the former teams in Italy as the only 2nd Seeded team to come out of the tournament, leaving Southampton Quidditch Club (7th) and Edinburgh Holyrood Hippogriffs (8th) as unseeded teams respectively.

Congratulations to each and everyone of the teams that came and competed in Manchester, whether you qualified for a European Quidditch Cup division or didn’t, QuidditchUK would like to extend our praise to you for how well teams performed on the weekend. On the contrary, from a volunteering and resourcefulness perspective, absolutely everyone lent their assistance to make this EQT the best one yet and we couldn’t have done it without your continuous support! Thank you!

You can find the full rankings for the weekend here.

Please help us in making EQT 2021 even better than this event by leaving your honest feedback using our handy feedback form.

Photo Credit: Simon Blackshaw (The Dislodged Hoop)

QuidditchUK 19/20 Transfer Window Open

The transfer window for the 2019/2020 season is now open and will close 11:59pm Friday 17th January

Those wishing to transfer must email appeals@quidditchuk.org with the following information.

  • Their current club to transfer from
  • Their intended club to transfer into
  • Their reason for transferring

Members may transfer for any reason, however QuidditchUK requires reasoning for data processing related purposes, and to identify any obscure trends or reasons for moving between clubs.

Per our Club Transfer Policy, both club captains/managers must acknowledge the transfer in writing to QuidditchUK. This acknowledgement does not have to happen before the 17th January deadline, but it must happen before the Member Player’s first tournament.

Please speak to both club captains directly about your intended transfer BEFORE contacting QuidditchUK.

If you have any questions please contact us via the QuidditchUK Contact Form.

European Qualifying Tournament Positions Now Live

With 2019 drawing to a close in a matter of weeks, QuidditchUK are requesting the community to apply for tournament official roles as part of the European Qualifying Tournament held at Salford Sports Village in Manchester on February 1st – 2nd 2020.

Manchester will play host to the top 12 teams from the nation, with teams ranked 2nd through to 7th from Northern and Southern facing off and deciding who will represent the United Kingdom at both European Quidditch Cup Divisions later in 2020. As you may remember, Werewolves of London and Velociraptors Quidditch Club reclaimed their respect title of regional champions this season and have automatically been awarded a 1st seeded spot in Division 1 in Ghent, Belgium. Therefore, 3 spots are up for grabs for going to Division 1 in (2nd/3rd) May, where the 5 remaining are allocated to Division 2 held in Brescia, Italy in (28th/29th) March.

You can find opportunities for Tournament Directors, and Assistant Tournament Directors. As well as roles for Media/Operations/Gameplay Officers. Travel and Accommodation costs are reimbursed in full for Committee Volunteers within the United Kingdom. If you want to get involved, please apply or get in touch with events@quidditchuk.org

We cannot stress enough in how much of an important requirement tournament volunteers are to run our events. To avoid a repeat of last season’s limited number of applications, we had a mandatory requirement for all roles to be filled by the specific deadline for Northern/Southern. Failure to fill in the quota potentially resulted in the cancellation of the tournament(s). Thankfully, the community pulled through and QuidditchUK would like to reiterate our gratitude to everyone who met our request so that we could deliver the best events (that were practically) possible. The same regulation applies to EQT, for more information on that post, please read here:

Positions for Tournament Committee Members are live now, will be open until January 2nd – Reminders will be placed on social media and sent to clubs in the lead up. Let’s keep up the fantastic streak of readiness to devote time/commitment to this sport and make this an EQT to remember.

Development Cup & British Quidditch Cup volunteer roles will be announced in mid-late January 2020.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. As a reminder, positions for EQT as well as our other departments can be found on the Volunteers Page

Francesca Vigilante Retires From Secretary Role

Francesca Vigilante, the current Secretary to the President, will be stepping down from the core role that she’s held since mid-2018. This is of course very sad news to us all here at QuidditchUK.

Fran played for the York Horntails during their explosive comeback into UK Quidditch in the 2015/16 season. Since then, Fran graduated from the University of York last year and transferred over to the Megalodons community team as part of Velociraptors Quidditch Club. The fact that Fran doesn’t manage a specific sector in QuidditchUK is irrelevant, as she has been an invaluable part of the Executive Management Team with her dedication to the role. Her presence has played a big part in driving the whole team forward over this past season.

As always, we want to praise Fran for the amount of work she’s put into making QuidditchUK tick, whether that be writing minutes down for our EMT meetings, forwarding emails or just being the voice of reason in the room (or in this case, the Google Hangouts chatroom). On behalf of QuidditchUK and the rest of the community, we wish you all the best with what’s coming next! Thank you, Fran!

We are now advertising for the role of Secretary. This role will be open through our website: Just drop us a cover letter and a CV explaining why you would be suitable for the role!

If you have any questions about the role or volunteering in general, feel free to contact humanresources@quidditchuk.org or reach the team through our Contact Us form.

Velociraptors QC Retain Title as Northern Cup Champions

QuidditchUK’s official 5th edition of the Northern Cup was held at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park on the 23rd & 24th November.

With taking place only two weeks after Southern’s London team ‘domination’, the Northern regional event included 20 teams to the party in 5 groups of 4 teams each. Groups A-E featured a mixed range of abilities across the plethora, with no notable ‘Group of Death’.

Natural weather conditions caused despair for the event, which was already on the ropes before the weekend had even begun with flooding in Sheffield during the weeks leading up to the tournament. Unfortunately, all grass pitches were deemed unsafe and were out of action all weekend. Thankfully, everyone who had marvelled at the idea of playing on 3G pitches had their prayers answered as they became the only space that fell under correct health and safety regulations by approval of the Tournament Committee, who did a fantastic job managing the event and keeping it afloat all weekend.

After a rough start, Northern 2019 managed to deliver an exciting regional event with intense matches all round. The final game of the weekend included freshers to UK Quidditch, the core Manchester community team, Olympians Quidditch Club. The Olympians played against hat-trick gold medal winners, Velociraptors Quidditch Club as they claimed victory over their second team, the Megalodons in the Semi-Finals. After a good crack at the BQC 2019 bronze medalists, the Olympians were nine goals down from the Raptor’s ferocious lead by 120 total points, before catching the snitch to end the game at 120° – 60*. Afterwards, the dinosaurs of the north obtained their fourth consecutive win since the club’s genesis in 2016, which is a feat no other team has ever been able to crack in any regional or national tournament in the United Kingdom.

Velociraptors lifting the trophy. Photography by Kurt Fairhurst

Congratulations to the Velociraptors for ultimately winning the tournament as all their players played valiantly all weekend. A well deserved effort goes to our finalists, the Olympians, who took home a cool silver for their first official QUK tournament. Joining them on the podium was Edinburgh’s Holyrood Hippogriffs Firsts who reclaimed the Northern bronze medal two years in a row. Congratulations to both clubs for their successes at the weekend.

For winning Northern Cup this year, the Velociraptors 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 VQC’s second team, Megalodons (4th); Leceister Thestrals (5th); Liverpuddly Cannons (6th) and the Chester Centurions (7th).

QuidditchUK would like to ultimately thank its large influx of volunteers for this year’s Northern Cup, from non-qualified tournament roles alike to tournament committee posts running gameplay, media, event and management duties. Special thanks go to Fran Morris, the Tournament Director, who ran a smooth running tournament despite all the odds against them. Fran and their team’s success gave our athletes more games for their money despite poor weather conditions throughout the weekend.

Congratulations go to the Velociraptors for retaining their title of Northern champions for four seasons in a row. We’d like to extend our praise to all our players and teams who competed this year making this Northern Cup one to remember (hopefully not for the weather!). 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 Northern Cup 2019 so that we can make next year’s even better!

Photo Credit – Kurt Fairhurst