This Saturday was an exciting one for me and my teammates. I woke up at 5h15 to leave for Ottawa from the McGill campus by 5h45. It was the day of the first-ever Canada Cup, and I was on the starting lineup for McGill’s quidditch team as a beater.
We did very well on Saturday. You can check out the stats for McGill’s showing at the Canada Cup, which are posted on the IQA website, but here’s the highlights:
- McGill won the Canada Cup
- McGill was undefeated at the Canada Cup
- McGill suffered no hospitalisations at the Canada Cup
- McGill even provided half the snitches for the Canada Cup
That last point is a matter of some importance, actually. I believe there were six snitches at the Canada Cup, and three of those were McGill students. Because there were so few snitches, this meant that (contrary to tradition) a snitch from McGill had to snitch a game in which McGill was playing. Fortunately (?) in both cases where that happened, McGill didn’t catch the snitch, but the game was a blow-out, in that McGill had an advantage of greater than 30 points (the value of a snitch-catch) by the time the snitch was caught. I say fortunately, because it means that there’s no way that there could be accusations of favouritism on the part of the snitch.
I was a snitch at the first Canada Cup
On Saturday, I realised a long-time dream of mine: I was the golden snitch for an actual competitive game between schools! I got to snitch two games, in fact. For the rest of the time I was busy beating for McGill. I had so much fun.
I did make a mistake in my first game, though: Minutes before the game, I asked someone where the nearest bathroom was (because I had to go to the bathroom). This was a mistake because I did so within earshot of the seeker.
Less than five minutes in, both seekers had me cornered in a bathroom, but fortunately they knocked me down when they forced the bathroom door open, and so I got a few seconds to run off. I lost them, hid, and came back to the field right on time.
The second game that I snitched went much better. I colluded with the snitch from the other game at the time, and we both got in the car that we drove up from Montréal that morning and locked the doors. We took the car right up beside the quidditch pitch, and I leaned out the window and waved while he honked the horn. We waited for a minute while one more snitch jumped into the back of the car, then drove off into the sunset with the seekers sadly running after us.
The crowd loved it.
Eventually, after we lost them, we drove around campus for 7–8 minutes and then came back to the same parking lot where we started and got out and ran back onto the field.
For this game, the seekers were little people! I felt bad for them whenever I would knock them down or steal their brooms or headbands.
At first, the seeker from Ryerson caught me. Ryerson was so happy—their team had never won a quidditch match before! Alas, the snitch-catch tied the game and it went into sudden-death overtime. That means that game time is extended until a second snitch-catch, and the snitch doesn’t leave the field. U of T caught me the second time around, and they won.
I’ve started noticing that I take on different personalities while playing quidditch, depending on what position I’m playing at the time. When I’m a snitch, I’m mischievous and playful. You can tell, because of the headband-with-wings that I wear.
On the other hand, when I’m beating, I am very aggressive. I yell a lot and I pretend to be very upset about everything.
“Get off your broom!”
That sort of thing. Also, when people break the rules, I yell at them too. That way, the other player has a harder time doing the “Oh I didn’t know I was hit!” thing.
Also, sometimes the other player is honestly ignorant of a rule—I screamed my head off at a player who tried to continue to play, having fallen off his broom. I also yelled at a guy who tackled me from the back.
Yelling is one of my favourite parts of quidditch. I love pretending to be really upset about stuff. I try to make it really over-the-top so people realise I’m not actually angry, but sometimes other players don’t get it. I made another beater really angry on Saturday. Oops!
I’m normally a pretty even-keeled person in the rest of my life. I guess quidditch is where I get all my aggression out. :P