Start a team: Community
Look around you. Would wherever you are be better with a quidditch team? If the answer is yes (and we know it is), it might be time to start thinking about starting a community team. Community teams can be anything you want them to be: a recreational league for adults, a new home after graduating from your college team, or a way to evade reluctant school administrations. Community teams have myriad benefits, as well as some major challenges. Recruitment is the first on both of those lists.
Though you don’t have the convenience of a campus full of like-minded individuals to recruit from, anyone and everyone is in your community teams’ recruitment pool. Use this to your advantage. First, become an expert. Know the rules, and work on an elevator pitch for each variety of skeptic you’ll encounter. Be able to sell it to the nerdier types who love Harry Potter, the athletes looking for something new, and those with a generally open mind. Begin, of course, with your friends and theirs; this is where you’ll find a core group that will put up with your obsession and the team’s ups and downs better than anyone else. Create a facebook page that you’ll be able to refer new recruits to.
Then, start talking up your team everywhere. Think about your workplace, parties you attend, the local Starbucks where you’ve befriended a barista, and everywhere else. You’re about to become ‘the quidditch guy/girl.’ Embrace it. Be a ceaseless and ardent advocate for your team and your sport. Make fliers and post them everywhere you can think of. Create business cards for a more professional look. Contact other local rec leagues to cross-promote, and reach out to the quidditch teams in your area to recruit from and learn from.
Meanwhile, begin looking for a location for your scrimmages. A public park with enough space for a pitch and ample pedestrian traffic is the goal. Centrality, ample parking, and proximity to public transit are other important factors. Ensure that it won’t be occupied during your target dates, and that it doesn’t already host other sports on the weekend which will choke out your chance at field space going forward. If you can, pick a space and a day of the week that doesn’t have to change. Predictability is an asset.
Luckily, you don’t have to do all this alone. Reach out to your State Representative or 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 packages cover 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.