McGill wins Canadian Regional

McGill University earned another championship titl...
McGill University earned another championship title at the 2012 IQA Canadian Regional Championship Tournament this past weekend, November 11th, in Kingston, Ontario. McGill faced the University of Ottawa in the final match, having beaten Carleton University to proceed to the championship round. Carleton University ended up clinching the third place spot by beating host Queen's University in a consolation game, thus securing themselves a place at World Cup VI in Kissimmee, Florida. While McGill beat Ottawa with a snitch catch and a final score of 90 to 10, the match was intense and felt much closer than the final score reflected. Both of the teams entered the final match with an undefeated tournament record and fought hard for their first and second place spots. “Both teams were very sportsmanlike and played a good, clean game. They should both be incredibly proud,” Tegan Bridge, the IQA's new Canadian Regional Director, said. The semifinal matches were no less intense. Carleton faced McGill, which was, notably, the matchup at the finals of last year's Canadian Cup. Carleton's shooting was somewhat lacking at first and the team lost bludger control at key moments, but managed to develop a rhythm as the game progressed. They tied the match with a well-timed snitch grab before losing to the reigning champions in overtime.

Queen's University, the fourth place finisher and tournament host, is a new team in the IQA and performed well above average given their experience. Their chasers were fast and dodged both tackles and incoming bludgers with ease, though their passing and ball handling showed the team's youth. The team finished its first tournament having proved that while young, it is a serious contender in the region.

Throughout the tournament, a high level of competition was seen from all 13 teams present. This number included teams from the University of Toronto Scarborough, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Algonquin College, Fleming College, McMaster University, and the University of Guelph. Two community teams, Canada's Finest and The Team That Must Not Be Named also participated in the tournament. All teams exhibited an impressive understanding of bludger control and beater strategy; Canada's defensive game is a force to be reckoned with. Teams were respectful and sportsmanlike, assisted in acting so by the tournament's IQA certified referees. Chris Beesley, the IQA head ref, personally oversaw the refereeing of the tournament and the training beforehand, and this dedication showed. The competition was not the only impressive part of the Canadian Regional Tournament. All of Queen's University played a role in welcoming the Canadian quidditch teams to their campus, including the Queen's Jugglers, the Queen's Players, and the university marching band. The band brought an impressive array of over 100 musicians and dancers, including bagpipers, who performed a tune from the Harry Potter movies and the school's war chant. The traditional war chant inspired all the spectators and local players to join in the song, wrapping their arms around each others' shoulders while kicking up their legs in dance.     “The event felt like a quidditch event is supposed to feel - the pomp and circumstance balanced intense and well-orchestrated gameplay perfectly,” Harrison Homel, recently hired Teams Director, said of the tournament. Part of this joyous atmosphere was provided by the teams and their many chants and painted faces, but the rest was charged by the spectators; the Queen's University Quidditch Team did an excellent job of promoting the event, and an oddly warm fall day further encouraged locals to attend. Everyone was invited into the Queen's University “tricolor” family for the day: spectators, players, and American IQA staff members. The “tricolor” is represented on the Queen's University flag and on all Queen's swag sporting the well-known red, yellow, and blue combination. The environment took a turn for the somber at 11am on Sunday morning with a ceremony and moment of silence for Canada's Remembrance Day, a federal holiday remembering those that died during World War I. A single trumpet saluted the fallen and many teams presented handmade wreaths to commemorate the event; coats everywhere sported the red poppy that signified the day's remembering. The successful day ended on a bright note, though, when Queen's alumna Lee D. Wetherall, MBA, presented the winning team, McGill University, with a $500 cash prize. McGill said it would use this funding to host a tournament of its own in the coming year. The weekend's event was a resounding success for teams and spectators alike. If this regional sets the tone, Eastern Canada's '12-'13 season is very much something to which fans can look forward. Check out the day's scores here!