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

Events bid farewell to Genevieve Tyrrell

It is with a heavy heart to announce that Genevieve Tyrrell will be stepping down from her role as QuidditchUK’s Events Director this season.

Genevieve started out getting involved in Quidditch when she joined the Liverpuddly Cannons briefly but has since stepped back into a non-playing volunteer role. She is most known for overseeing all QUK tournaments of the 2018-19 season alongside being skilled at her rapid turnarounds of tight deadlines, which admittedly someone had to get done somehow. With Genevieve being the perfect candidate for the role, this was of course a piece of cake.

After managing and delivering an exceptional set of tournaments over the past season and a half, Genevieve has respectively decided to call it quits during her 18 month tenure. In her role, she has continued to push for a higher quality level of event including regional and national tournaments and has been an advocate for open communication between departments, setting a high precedent for QuidditchUK organisation. Last season, Genevieve went on a reconnaissance mission to Division 1 of the European Quidditch Cup in Harelbeke, Belgium to make note of how Quidditch Europe run their events in comparison to UK Quidditch. Scouting out the weekend brought her necessary information to take back home, showing how far she’s prepared to go to make our sport so much better.

Genevieve had this to say about her departure from QuidditchUK:

“From changing deadline times and making templates to improve committee experience, to reviewing how we go about our work, to making Ops an institution at all QuidditchUK events, so much has been done for tournaments in general. None of that could have been done without my fellow volunteers. None of us paid, all of us having to learn on the job how to do what was needed, but all of us passionate and willing to make QUK the best we know how.

Leaving QuidditchUK is not something I do lightly, its a decision made for many reasons, many of them personal, but no matter what I know my time in QUK has changed and developed me. I am proud of my impact on it, and it’s impact on me. I also could not be prouder of the personal development of members of the events department, seeing you all flourish has been one of the best parts of the job. Thank you for letting me witness that.

Thank you so much to all my friends throughout the organisation for the love and support, I could never have done all I did without you all. I will miss you all.

From everyone at QuidditchUK, we would like to thank Genevieve tenfold for all of her hard work, tireless effort and leadership across the board. As well as our praise, we would like to wish her all the best on her next adventure. On behalf of the general community: Thank you, Genevieve.

We are now advertising for the role of Events 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!

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.

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.

Operations Director Joshua Fogg Steps Down

We are deeply saddened to reveal that Joshua Fogg is stepping down from their role as Operations Director in November after regionals take place this season.

Picking up the role last November from their previous position as ‘Acting Operations Director’, Josh has enjoyed their year on the Executive Management Team. Whilst having previous experience managing QuidditchUK’s financial, legal and of course logistical needs, Josh worked incredibly hard over the last year to ensure that QuidditchUK’s budget(s) were kept in check. Additionally, our events were number crunched by the Operations expert, making them more affordable to the wider player base.

Since the ex-Manchester Beater joined QuidditchUK, it would be barbaric not to mention that the organisation’s financial transparency with our reports were increased drastically between the EMT and the UK’s community. Josh’s end goal was to ensure that this was paramount to complete to move onto better long term planning for the future of QuidditchUK.

We will now be looking for a replacement Operations Director to fill Josh’s already massive shoes in our organisation. The soon to be former executive director wanted to encourage those who were interested in volunteering for QuidditchUK especially in operations/finance and/or in general.

“The Operations Director role is a great way to be involved with QUK and shape the direction we take over the coming years. That said, if you believe that’s too big a role there’s a lot of other valued positions within the department that are available”.

We would like to wish Josh all the best of luck within their future as they are currently studying for a PHD qualification. QuidditchUK, without a doubt, would like to praise Josh immensely for all their hard work they’ve put into growing the UK’s NGB to where it stands today.

We hope that you too can thank Josh personally for an unmatched effort. Thank you, Josh!

(Photo Credit: Claire Purslow Quidditch Photography)

Bex Lowe Announced as Team UK’s New Manager

We are so pleased to reveal that Bex Lowe will be taking over as the new Manager for Team UK, a position that was previously held by the wonderful Jemma Thripp.

Bex has been one of the national squad’s core players, competing in every international tournament since her debut in 2016. In her time playing for Team UK, Bex has collected a wide range of bronze medals from 2016’s World Cup & 2019’s European Games.

Bex’s quidditch career began by playing for Durham in 2014. Since then she has also played for Southampton, and now for the current BQC Champions, London Quidditch Club.

When asked about her aims as manager, Bex had this to say:

I’m looking forward to take on the role of TUK Manager in the run up to Richmond 2020. I’ve been [a] part of many different iterations of TUK, both as a player and as part of the management team, and I’ve seen how good management can make or break a team. 

My aim as Manager is to get TUK to Richmond in the best possible position to claim a medal. The standard of quidditch has improved so much in the last couple of years, making Richmond 2020 the biggest challenge TUK will face. 

Our route to success will need to build on not only the dedication of the players, but also the support of the community. So thanks for all that has been provided so far and thanks in advance for the coming year!

We’re excited to see Bex’s impact on the team, and wish all of them the best of luck moving forward towards Richmond 2020!

Jay Holmes Steps In As Team UK’s Head Coach

It is with great pleasure to finally announce that our very own Jay Holmes has taken over the role of Head Coach for Team UK from his predecessor, James ‘JT’ Thanangadan.

Jay has been an irreplaceable part of Team UK since his coaching debut for the national team in 2017, during the European Games in Oslo bringing the gold home. Previously to this, Jay had assisted in the creation of the previously named ‘Development Squad’ (now called: Expansion Squad) at the beginning of the 2016 season, continuing to develop Team UK’s future talent.

The new head coach is no stranger to winning throughout the regular season, as part of Velociraptors Quidditch Club. Over the last two seasons under Jay captaining the team, the Raptors have achieved a podium finish in every major tournament within the UK.

Ahead of this announcement, Jay had this to say in regards to the future of Team UK:

“It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to be appointed as the Team UK Head Coach, getting to this position has been my goal in quidditch for the past four years and to finally accomplish this goals feels amazing. Having worked my way from the bottom rung of the ladder with coaching to now be at the apex feels incredible and I am humbled by the continued faith and belief from the community and those involved in the Team UK set up. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along this journey so far.

I am looking forward to continuing the great work we have been doing in Team UK and building on our past successes and making improvements where we need them. The team has eyes on the gold medal when we travel for Richmond for the Quidditch World Cup and I will put all my efforts into making this possible.

I am hoping to make Team UK more accessible for our community and have a wide range of plans to ensure that we are all involved in the success of our nation.

Thank you all so much for your continued support and I can’t wait to see the brilliant results Team UK can create.”

Congratulations to you, Jay. We also extend our congratulations to the current athletes at Team UK for banking a fantastically proactive Head Coach for the future. We’ll be behind you every step of the way in Team UK’s journey to the World Cup in Richmond, Virginia (USA) next summer.

Launching the 2020 Vision

QuidditchUK are pleased to announce a brand new way of marketing our beloved sport to the volunteers of future events. Introducing the 2020 Vision, a system which gives our volunteers the spotlight to show how much amazing work that they do for us, giving us an opportunity to thank them and giving you the opportunity to become one of them!

2020 Vision logo used for all future media related to the project. Created by Samuel Instone

Abby Whiteley, the 2020 Vision’s curator, wanted to make her intentions crystal clear with this project:

“2020 Vision is about raising the profile of volunteering, getting positive information out there about what is happening behind the scenes, and engaging more with the community so we know how we can work together to make quidditch fantastic for everyone.”

Some of our aims that WE hope to achieve with 2020 Vision are listed here:

● To fill all tournament committee positions in 2019/20;
● To have at least 70% of clubs represented in QuidditchUK volunteering;
● To improve what we can offer to QuidditchUK volunteers.

What QuidditchUK will deliver:

● FREE travel and accommodation for non-playing volunteers at events;
● FREE food at tournaments for all volunteers;

● Continuous professional development for all volunteers and references for future employers as an incorporated company;
● Retrospective Volunteer Awards for the 2018-19 season (to be released shortly!);
● A comprehensive report on volunteering in QuidditchUK (November 2019);
● Chances to participate in QuidditchUK round tables about how we can improve volunteering (spring 2020);
● Volunteer Awards to celebrate publicly the people and teams which contribute the most (May 2020).


What YOU can offer:
Volunteer!

Over the next couple of months, QuidditchUK will run a series of volunteer posts, highlighting specific individuals’ occupations within QuidditchUK and a few Q&A’s with their opinions and passions for various topics.

If you would like to be featured within this project to expose how much of a great job QuidditchUK can do with a strong set of volunteers, then simply, apply to volunteer!

QuidditchUK 2019/2020 Memberships Now Available

Club, Team, and Individual Memberships are now available for purchase on the QuidditchUK Shop

A full breakdown of the fee prices and tiers of membership was announced earlier this month.

Given the proximity of regionals it’s important that clubs and members purchase their membership as soon as possible. All clubs, teams, and individuals who wish to compete at Southern Cup must be registered by Monday 28th October at 9:00pm.

All clubs, teams, and individuals who wish to compete at Northern Cup must be registered by Monday 11th November at 9:00pm.

Clubs, Teams, and Individuals who are not registered by this deadline will not be eligible to compete at either Northern or Southern Cup this season.