Today, US Quidditch announced that the 2017-2018 season would consist of a divisional college and community team split at USQ regional championships and US Quidditch Cup. This landmark and controversial announcement has been in the works since 2015 and has finally come to fruition today. The reasoning behind the split was due to cries from college teams that had to play experienced community teams, most of which had members who have been playing the sport for numerous years. Additional factors include insurance worries from colleges and branding/promotional reasons.
What does this mean?
Currently, the college/community split is only active at USQ regional championships and US Quidditch Cup. This means that Cal Quidditch can play local community teams such as the Dobbies, Skrewts, and Vipers throughout the season. However, at USQ Western Regional Championship, Cal will likely play a combination of Stanford, SJSU, Arizona State, University of Arizona, UCLA, Northern Arizona, Utah State, and Anteater Quidditch.
What does this mean for Cal Quidditch?
The split’s effect is not clear on a team such as Cal Quidditch. On one hand, Cal will now compete against less competition at Regionals and Nationals – with the bidding process still to be determined for Nationals bids. This split should provide Cal Quidditch with easier publicity in terms of playing well-known universities such as the University of Virginia instead of playing the BosNYan Bearsharks.
At Western Regional Championships, held in Dublin, CA in March 2018 – Cal Quidditch looks poised to make a deep run, competing against the likes of a depleted Arizona State or UCLA squad that lost numerous players to graduation while Cal only lost former captain, Jake Stanton. Cal should be in the running for a Western Collegiate championship, with more information about qualifying and bids being released in August, 2017.
This potentially gives Cal Quidditch the chance to go farther at US Quidditch Cup 11 than ever before. With a college only team tournament, it levels the playing field for Cal and gives them a better chance of making a deep bracket run. At US Quidditch Cup 9, Cal was outed in the play-in round by New York all-star community team, the Warriors. At US Quidditch Cup 10, a similar story unfolded with Cal falling in the Round of 32 against Quidditch Club Boston, the reigning national champions and community powerhouse team. Without these obstacles in the way, Cal should find itself in an ideal position to make some noise come April in Round Rock.