The IQA (International Quidditch Association) just released Photographer Stephen Mease just released a video in anticipation of the Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup that is going to be held in New York City on Nov 13-14. Check it out:
The transition of the World Cup from Middlebury to New York City has not been without some controversy. Largely, the appeal made by Alex Benepe and the Middlebury Quidditch Club to take the sport’s growing popularity into consideration has quelled most of the discontent. Moving the World Cup to New York City is a good idea for at least three other reasons: 1) It allows Benepe’s non-profit organization, the International Quidditch Association, to gain publicity; 2) It is a closer venue for some teams to travel to than Vermont; and 3) It allows teams to compete on a neutral site, meaning that Middlebury no longer has the advantage of the home field.
I see a few interesting trends that followers of Quidditch might want to keep in mind. First, Quidditch is becoming increasingly institutionalized. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since Quidditch needs a central governing body to organize events and to keep the rules of the game consistent. But these institutional developments might lead some people to take Quidditch a bit too seriously. See, for example, this Op-Ed that argues that Quidditch ought to seek admission into the NCAA.
Along with this increased institutional organization, there are important questions about how decision-making power will be distributed between the IQA and its member schools. In the future, who will get to decide where the World Cup will be played? The IQA’s executive board? The IQA and delegates from Middlebury? The IQA and delegates from all of its member schools? Maybe the team that wins one year should host it the next? As the overall parity of the league increases, the answers to these questions will become more contested and less obvious.
That’s not to say that I would change any of Benepe’s decisions up to this point. The IQA is currently in very good hands. But it will be interesting to see what direction Quidditch takes in the post-Middlebury era (that is, once Middlebury finally gets eliminated in a World Cup), and who will get to chart that course.
Edit: This post previously asserted that the IQA made this video. In fact, the IQA did not produce or release it. Credit for the video should instead go to Quidditch fan and photographer Stephen Mease. [10/11, 2:45 PM] –RL