News, updates, and musings from IQA staff members.
News, updates, and musings from IQA staff members.
It is the middle of January and dreams of your team frolicking in the warmth at World Cup VII in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. dance in your head—the endless, sandy beaches; seeing your favorite players from other regions; and the intense competition you are going to face. The only problem is that WCVII is rapidly approaching and your practice field is currently blanketed with snow to your waist and coated so thick with ice that you are considering playing in skates. What do you do? Well, luckily for you, I am here with a few tips for the ice-bound teams to keep in tip-top shape for North Myrtle Beach.
First off, you need to prepare. You cannot just roll out of bed and head to practice.
Bring extra socks: Seriously. These will keep you warm during practice and after practice. Double up when you play and invest in a pair of cotton, knee-high soccer socks. Considering the hot pink ones? Go for it.
Layers on layers on layers: Do your research and you can find base layers cheap at an outdoor or sporting goods store. Think off-brand Under Armour. Also, think insulated underwear; you know your mom told you to invest in some and you told her she was crazy. Newsflash: she is not… at least in this regard.
Find a pair of proper gloves: Regular winter gloves are made for snowballs, not dodgeballs. Look for gloves that can keep you warm as well as maintain a good grip. Receiver gloves will do the job on the pitch, but make sure when you are on the bench that you find a way to keep warm.
Boots or cleats or runners?: That choice is up to you. Snow and ice create slippery conditions, so pick a shoe that will help you maintain your balance. Being extra fast in runners (trainers, to the Americans) is great, but what good is it spraining an ankle and taking yourself out for three weeks? That is no way to make the WCVII roster.
Equipment: PVC is great for hoops, but it becomes brittle in the cold and you could find your equipment snapping in half with the simplest form of contact. Bludgers tend to deflate dramatically in the cold, so bring a pump and some extra balls so you do not grow accustomed to flinging rubber pancakes at opponents.
Stay warm. It might sound simple, but it is the truth. Standing around when you are subbing will just tighten up your muscles in the cold weather. Light exercises can help keep you warm i.e.— jumping jacks, light jogs, etc. will keep you fresh to go in.
Play Smart. If the field is frozen over, or if it is -40* out, do not play as there are safer and better options. If your entire team has sprained ankles or frostbite, how useful will they be?
So now that you are prepared to play, you will soon learn that what excels on grass does not translate to snow as well as you thought.
In the snow, beaters have almost all the power. But, as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” If holding a rubber ball in freezing temperatures was not miserable enough to begin with, the cold affects rubber bludgers in a way that makes them ten times harder to grip regardless whether your hands are warm (not to mention that your skin is so cold that every beat will make you feel like you just became the victim of a slap bet). Also be aware that due to lack of mobility, face beats seem to become more common in the cold. Play it safe and keep your face guarded.
Average teams can become not-so-average when they are not as mobile. Passing and playing as a team becomes much more important, and both are made that much easier when teams are forced to slow their game. Playing hero ball becomes more difficult since the lack of mobility grants beaters more time to take aim, so keep your head up and eyes peeled for an open player. Before you know it, your passing will improve and in turn, the team’s overall skill set will too!
The snitch becomes more important. Slower players and easier beats often means lower scores and in turn grabs can easily turn the tides in a game.
Finally, it is very important to think about effective training strategies for snow quidditch. Playing in the snow is great and can build great endurance, but you really need to work hard to build your skills
Find an indoor tournament! Great examples are Cocoa Cup, Snow Cup, or the Beantown Brawl. Turf is the closest thing you will find to grass, so try to get some games in so you can play your best in April.
Cross-training is not just for the offseason. Everyone knows quidditch is a year round sport, but cross-training should be used whenever possible. Get involved in your school’s intramural leagues, or go to a local gym to play some pick-up. Keep your hand-eye coordination in check however you need to.
Hit the gym. If you cannot practice like normal you should at least be training extra hard. Check if your school has a free membership for students, and if not, look for cheap options nearby. Building some strong muscles during the winter will not only make you a better quidditch player, but you will have great abs to show off at North Myrtle Beach.
Winter is “snow” excuse to stop playing quidditch. In the months leading up to the World Cup, training will be extra important and despite the weather everyone should be preparing to show off what they have.
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Every weekend we will compile a list of the top quidditch-related news clips for your reading pleasure. If you know of any articles you’d like to see included, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 23, 2014
Three Ottawa, Ontario are bound for World Cup VII in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. MORE
February 24, 2014
The Texas Tech University quidditch team is growing. MORE
February 25, 2014
Grab your brooms! Quidditch Global Games are coming to Burnaby, British Columbia. MORE
February 26, 2014
Top-ranked Texas A&M quidditch team wins the Southwest Regional Championship. MORE
Students at Stephen F. Austin State University’s want to create an official quidditch club on campus and are going to hold a general interest meeting on March 20. MORE
Long Beach Funky Quaffles will be attending WCVII. MORE
Quidditch Global Games coming to Burnaby, British Columbia. MORE
February 28, 2014
While they might not be able to cast an “expelliarmus” spell to disarm their opponent, beginning next fall, University of North Carolina Quidditch is set to be named an official club sport. MORE
The University of Tennessee Quidditch team was filmed by their local NBC affiliate before their match with East Tennessee State University. MORE
March 1, 2014
The Oxford Chimeras were featured on BBC this week. MORE