Nationals Through The Ages: A Look Back in Time
by Yara Kodershah
Since its founding as a National Governing Body, Quidditch Canada has seen three different teams take to the podium at the end of each season. With the 2018 National Championship confirmed to be the largest scale quidditch event ever played in Canada, we are taking a look back at the National Championship events from years past to see how far quidditch in Canada has come.
On March 28, 2015 in Burnaby, B.C., seven teams met at Swangard Stadium to compete for the Quidditch Canada’s first national title. The tournament ended in a close double elimination final, pitting the long standing program of McGill Quidditch against the rag tag band of athletes that made up Quidditch Canada’s first and last mercenary team: the Avengers.
The Avengers were initially conceived as a Toronto based team, but when other teams from the Eastern Region were unable to make the trip to the west coast, players from other major quidditch hubs joined the ranks to make up a roster of 15 players from the Eastern Region. Winning the final match 40*-30 against McGill, the Avengers became Quidditch Canada’s first official National Champions.
While the 2015 National Championship would be the last time a mercenary team would take to the podium at a Quidditch Canada Major Event, the Avengers’ championship win demonstrated a persistent desire and commitment to the young sport of quidditch; Canadians were here and were willing to play, regardless of the name on the front of the jersey.
The 2015-16 season marked a season of growth for Canadian quidditch. It was the first year that Quidditch Canada adopted on-pitch seeking; just one year ago, early iterations of the game would have seekers chasing after snitches in an elaborate game of hide-and-seek, which, while whimsical, made the matches difficult to follow by players and spectators alike. It was also the first year featuring distinct teams from Calgary and Edmonton, who had previously all been lumped under the now disbanded Alberta Clippers.
So it was only fitting that when fifteen teams met at the 1000 Islands Sportsplex in Kingston, ON, a record was set for the most number of teams that had ever attended a Quidditch Canada Major Event. The champions – the UOttawa GeeGees – had a near-perfect season (22-1), and eventually took gold in a 110*-50 win against McGill Quidditch.
Quidditch Canada’s third National Championship would take teams back to the west coast. Hosted at the University of Victoria, eight teams would come together to eventually see Quidditch Canada’s first western champions. The Edmonton Aurors – who had first made their debut in the 2015-16 season – secured gold in a 90*-30 win over the Guelph Gryphons on April 2, 2017.
At the 2017 National Championship, eyes were already on the future of quidditch in Canada. The opening ceremonies featured the announcement of the Head Coach for the Standing National Team – former UOttawa GeeGees Coach Michael Howard. The implementation of team official requirements ensured that this National Championship would not need to not rely on officiating from USQ officials, making Quidditch Canada’s events more fully self reliant and sustainable. The 2016-17 season was also the first season to feature live streaming of major events; over 1000 viewers tuned in from 27 countries, making #QCNationals2017 the most widely watched event Quidditch Canada had ever held.
Featuring 17 teams from across Canada, taking place in the largest stadium quidditch has ever been played in, the 2018 National Championship has already done its part to mark a new chapter in Quidditch Canada’s history. Join us at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, ON on March 31-April 1, 2018 to see what other firsts the future will bring.