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Ohio Cup Quidditch Tournament interrupted by rain

Courtesy of OSU Quidditch

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The 2nd Annual Ohio Cup Quidditch Tournament was cut short Saturday due to rain, preventing a winner from being decided.

“All the players were soaked-to-the-bone wet, and we decided it would be in the best interest of everyone’s health to cancel,” said Luke Changet, captain of the Ohio State Quidditch team.

The tournament, which was scheduled to last from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Fred Beekman Park, officially ended at 1 p.m. when the team captains jointly decided the weather was starting to make the game dangerous, said Changet, a third-year in English pre-education.

“People without cleats were sliding everywhere,” said team member Michael Kline, a first-year in computer science and engineering. “People with cleats had to be careful of rolling their ankles. You really can’t play a fast-paced game in the rain.”

The Ohio Cup was free for students to attend, and it marked the second time that OSU hosted a tournament for Quidditch, a sport popularized by the “Harry Potter” book series. The game involves two teams attempting to score goals in hoops while running on broomsticks, and it continues until a yellow-suited runner known as the ‘snitch’ is caught by one of the game’s two ‘seekers’.

The tournament included 14 teams from colleges and qualified high schools throughout the Midwest. Each team was organized into one of three competition pools based on skill and previous experience in Quidditch, and the highest scoring teams from each pool were scheduled to compete against each other in a single-elimination round. When the event was finally canceled, only three of the preliminary games remained, Changet said.

“People were already leaving at that point because it had basically gone around that we were going to call the rest of the day,” Kline said.

The OSU team ended up winning all four games it played, and it was scheduled to advance to the final rounds when the tournament was canceled. Kline said though he felt that his team was at the top of its game, he and his teammates would have faced plenty of competition to win.

“Being on the OSU team, I’d like to say we would have won the tournament, but there were a lot of good teams out there today,” Kline said. “We probably would have placed really highly.”

A few players said despite their disappointment, they were ultimately glad the game was canceled.

“I think everybody was upset a little bit, and to have most of the day canceled because of weather is always a little disappointing,” Kline said, “but we mostly saw it coming. We had three games left to play just to finish the pools.”

Amy McCoy, a third-year in history, said the equipment became increasingly difficult to handle in the rain.

“It was really wet and cold and hard to get a hold of the broom,” McCoy said. “We made people use PVC pipe for brooms, making them difficult to handle.”

Though the game was called with the intention of preventing any major injuries, some players suffered minor to moderate injuries due to the slippery field and reduced visibility, Changet said.

“There were a few injuries, and one of our players got a concussion in our third game,” Changet said. “Some other teams did have minor injuries.”

In spite of the rain, a few players said they felt the tournament had its memorable moments. One of the more memorable aspects of the tournament, McCoy said, was how the snitch was treated.

“When we release the snitch, it can do whatever it wants,” McCoy said. “This time, we gave the snitch silly string, and let it spray the players who were chasing it.”

Changet, the organizer of the tournament, said he intends to make the Ohio Cup an annual event. He said his team’s plans for inclement weather, however, might not change due to the nature of Quidditch.

“It’s one of those things that are really tricky to plan for,” Changet said. “We have to play it outside because the snitch has to have enough room to run.”

Kline said even if it rains again, the Ohio Cup will remain as fun as ever.

“It is kind of cold playing in the rain,” Kline said, “but we are all out there playing a sport we love.”

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