Start a team: College

Your college is an excellent place to start a new quidditch team. It is diverse, often replete with green space, and filled with optimistic young people looking to try something new. Your first step in starting a team is recruitment. Begin with your friends; this is where you’ll find a core group that will put up with your enthusiasm and the team’s ups and downs better than anyone else. Meanwhile, hone your elevator pitch and your understanding of the rules. You don't need to be an expert, but you need to be able to sell this to your peers or your administration. Be prepared to target your audience with talk of full contact sports, Harry Potter, or the incredible inclusive community you will create, depending on what is best for each situation.

While you’re pressuring your friends (hurray!), it’s time to begin investigating some sort of official status from your school. Quidditch teams generally receive one of two types of recognition: club status and club sport status. Club status will be easier to achieve; club sports status will often grant you the most resources. Solicit your school for advice on which to shoot for in your first season. While many teams do very well for themselves with no school support at all, everyone would agree that having an administration behind you will make life much easier. Don’t write off the possibility without exploring the option and talking with staff. Get in the habit of not taking no for an answer, and never assuming things are impossible. You are a quidditch captain now, and you will need every bit of entrepreneurship you can muster.

Next, tell everyone else. The folks on your floor, the strangers who sit next to you in lecture, even the cute boy/girl who swipes you into the dining hall is more than fair game. Create a Facebook group to refer them to as soon as possible. Make fliers and post them. Reach out to other clubs with related interests. Advertise in chalk on the ground. Make a player dress in yellow and run across campus. Do everything you can to get your message out.

Luckily, you don’t have to do all this alone. Reach out to your Regional Director for help. Your regional staff is great at this stuff, and they’re just waiting for you to contact them. Whether it’s know-how or access to the network of teams and events nearby, USQ has got your back. You can even begin thinking about official membership with the league, though we’ll be happy to help you find your feet either way. USQ’s membership program covers insurance for tournaments and allow your team to participate in official events and compete for grants. Different packages are available to meet your team’s needs. If your team does not have the capacity to join as an official team, you may pay a per-person registration fee to play as an unofficial team at IQA-sanctioned events.

Your first practice should be as soon as is humanly possible. Come with no expectations, except that you will do it again. Whether three people show up or one hundred, you need to be ready to go with the flow and build from there. Know the rules, have makeshift hoops, and call it BYOB (bring your own broom). Play first, explain later. Many people, whether they happen to be walking by or they got dragged to your practice, need to see it to believe it, and your scrimmage will be a much better salesman than you could ever dream of being. Pick a location with a lot of walking traffic nearby on a peak weekend time and you’ll be in excellent shape.

Soon enough, you’ll be running weekly practices with a group of your new best friends. Get excited.