The snitch was cleverly hidden in the crowd sitting among the cheerleaders, but it didn’t take long for Emerson seeker Ryan Barnada to sneak up behind her, grab the snitch, and end the game against University of Maryland 70-0. But this wasn’t just any Quidditch game: this was the World Cup.
Forty-six teams, 757 athletes, and more than 3,000 spectators attended the fourth annual Quidditch World Cup held in New York City in Dewitt Clinton Park on November 13. People came from across the country (and Canada) to play and cheer on their teams.
Emerson College Quidditch (ECQ) has attended three of the four World Cups. This year’s World Cup team consisted of 21 players, 5 snitches, and more than 25 supporting fans and alumni. Fans gathered not only on Emerson’s campus, but across the country and in The Netherlands at Kasteel Well to watch the live stream and cheer on ECQ through Twitter and Facebook.
ECQ began in April 2008 when 14 students thought it would be fun to have a Quidditch game as a residence hall floor event. After pitching the idea to the Athletics Department, ECQ became a recognized club sport. More than 200 members showed up at the first meeting. Since then, ECQ has grown to have five house teams, a World Cup team, and several creative/administrative departments run by an executive board. But more than that, ECQ has developed into its own little world and culture, and has truly become a team.
“Besides domination, this weekend was about being with my teammates, getting to know each other, playing our game, leaving our hearts out on the field, and being the best that we can be.”
ECQ began this year’s trip to the Cup by hopping in a van and two cars and spending the night at a player’s home 40 minutes away from the field. Dewitt Clinton Park had four fields set up, each with its own sets of hoops, balls, PA systems, and announcers and referees. The first day of the World Cup, each team played three games that later determined whether or not the team would move on to day two, in which the top 24 teams competed for the world championship.
The first day Emerson was 3–0 and was undefeated. The final game of the day was against Texas A&M. It was already dark as both teams got on the pitch underneath the field lights. After a back-and-forth and very physical game, Emerson prevailed 50–30.
Day two consisted of single elimination games. After making it to the top eight teams, ECQ received a bi and did not play the first rounds. After winning a second time against Texas A&M, ECQ went up against Tufts University. After a well-fought and well-played game, Tufts took the win and made it to the finals, ultimately leaving the tournament in second place against Middlebury.
Despite losing in the quarterfinals, the Emerson players said they were proud of how they came together as one, fought hard, and played well. Joanne Lam ’13, a first-year World Cup player, said, “Besides domination, this weekend was about being with my teammates, getting to know each other, playing our game, leaving our hearts out on the field, and being the best that we can be. I see ECQ growing drastically in the years to come. It’s going to be stronger and stronger as we gain more experience, new players, and more opportunities to play.”