The IQA has selected twenty teams from across the U.S. for the World Cup Division 2 competition. The lineup is already setting the quidditch community abuzz with what will surely be an exciting series of clashes, some between lesser-known teams. Like Division 2, the pool selection will be announced this Saturday, March 23, in a livestream available on the IQA website at 3:30 EST.
A full list of Division 2 teams can be found below.
Photo by Michael E. Mason
Five of the nineteen chosen teams hail from the Northeast region: No. 56 CAMPS (Bridgewater, MA), No. 58 Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY), No. 68 Green Mountain College (Poultney, VT), No. 92 Syracuse Quidditch (Syracuse, NY), and No. 85 New York Badassilisks (New York, NY). This marks the third World Cup appearance for the Badassilisks, but it is the first in which they will not be a hometown team. At World Cup V, they played in Division 2, where they went 4-0 in pool play before falling to eventual champions, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN). Syracuse also played in Division 2 at World Cup V, and they too had a solid run before being eliminated by Green Mountain College in the quarterfinals.
No. 112 Toledo Firebolts (Toledo, OH) and No. 81 Miami University of Ohio Lionhawks (Oxford, OH) will represent the Midwest region in the Division 2 games this year. The Firebolts have made a large impact not only in their own region, but also in the quidditch community as a whole because they became the first team to partner with a local television station to broadcast games. The Buckeye College Sports Network (BCSN) aired matches of the Firebolts against No. 22 Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH) and covered part of their Glass City Classic tournament. This is the team's first World Cup appearance, as it is also their initial season. The Lionhawks, on the other hand, are quidditch veterans, as the team was founded in 2009. They recently placed second at the Rocky Top Rumble tournament. Overall, they went 5-1 with their only loss coming in the finals against No. 54 Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL).
No. 28 Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI) was initially announced as a Division 2 competitor, but will now be competing in Division I. This will be the team's first World Cup appearance, having only started in Fall 2011.
No. 79 Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA) will be the sole Division 2 delegate from the Western region. One of the newer teams in the region, Stanford has continually played against some of the best teams in their region over the past few months, including No. 3 University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA), No 18. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA), No. 33 University of California Berkeley (Berkeley, CA), and the No 12. Silicon Valley Skrewts (Mountain View, CA). It will be their first World Cup appearance.
No. 93 Loyola University (New Orleans, LA), No. 82 Rice University Quidditch League (Houston, TX), and No. 70 Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX) create the triple threat coming from the Southwest region in Division 2. Rice University hosted the first Bottom of the Bracket tournament at the end of January, where SHSU won first place. SHSU first had to defeat fellow Division 2 competitors Loyola University before facing Roadrunners Quidditch (San Antonio,TX) in the final match. SHSU recently competed at the Second Annual Mardi Gras Cup hosted by Louisiana State University (New Orleans, LA). While the team did not place, they faced off against some of the top teams in the country including No. 2 University of Texas Austin (Austin, TX). This past weekend, Loyola placed second at the March Madness tournament hosted by the University of Southern Alabama (Mobile, Alabama).
The Southern region holds a whopping nine Division 2 spots for World Cup VI. Attendees include: No. 133 Belmont Bruins On Brooms ?(Nashville, TN), No. 114 Brevard Titans (Titusville, FL), No. 127 College of Charleston Quidditch (Charleston, SC)?, No. 117 Florida Atlantic University Owls (Boca Raton, FL), No. 61 Ringling College (Sarasota, FL), No. 161 University of South Alabama? (Mobile, AL), No. 104 University of Central Florida ?(Orlando, FL), University of South Carolina? (Columbia, SC), and No. 152 Winthrop Quidditch (Rock Hill, SC).
Many will have their eyes on Ringling College after their surprising defeat at the Southern Regionals. Ringling, one of the oldest teams in the league, was thought to have a guaranteed spot because they have competed at the World Cup numerous times before.
“After the disappointment of missing our shot at Regionals less than a week before, it was incredibly exciting to find out we had made it,” Dan Miller, captain of and chaser for Ringling, said. ”We weren't at full strength in Augusta, so our whole team is eager to prove what we can really do when we're all together. Aside from that, we always come out to tournaments to meet good people and enjoy ourselves on and off the field, but nobody comes all this way and doesn't want to win."
College of Charleston also received a Division 2 spot after a frustrating time at regionals. Sarah Goad, a beater for Charleston, said the team is excited to still get the chance to compete at the World Cup.
“Going to the World Cup means a lot of things for a lot of us,” Goad said. “For our freshman players, I think attending the Cup will be a great cap to a whirlwind first year. It will be encouragement to stick around and watch the development of the sport, see what quidditch evolves into... For senior players like our captain, Keegan, one of our seekers, Josh, and myself, it will probably be bittersweet. It's going to be the final opportunity to play at a highly competitive level with the team we have spent so much time growing with. Realistically, this could be our last chance to attend a World Cup; we are grateful that we have been given this opportunity.”
Charleston has played at the World Cup for the past two years. The team placed twelfth in 2010, and at World Cup V they fell to No. 5 Boston University (Boston, MA) in bracket play. Goad said the team looks forward to playing against Ringling, describing them as “a phenomenal team, with well-trained players who understand the game and each other.”
Ringling's Miller also said that his team was looking forward to playing against Charleston, as well as SHSU, Loyola, and UCF.
“You can't underestimate any teams in D2,” Miller said. “With the qualification system being what it is, a great team could have an off weekend and fail to qualify, so teams could look completely different come April 13. If we want to have success in Kissimmee, we'll have to be on our toes every single game.”
The full list of Division 2 teams is as follows:
Belmont University Brevard Community College CAMPS College of Charleston Florida Atlantic University Green Mountain College Loyola University New Orleans Miami of Ohio New York Badassilisks Rice University Ringling College of Art and Design Sam Houston State University Stanford University Stony Brook University Syracuse University University of Central Florida University of South Alabama University of South Carolina University of Toledo Winthrop University
Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly states that Syracuse was eliminated by Purdue last year.