Three Red Deer Quidditch players from the Central Alberta Centaurs joined the Edmonton Aurors team to win the Quidditch Canada National Championship.
“We all travelled to nationals in Victoria. It was a pretty big event and it’s the first time any team in western Canada has won the national championship so it’s pretty exciting,” said Jillian Staniec, president of Central Alberta Quidditch, adding that it was a pretty good result out of their roster of 21.
Aiding the monumental win was local Red Deerian’s Quidditch players Ricky Boyce, Brian Gallaway and Kim Mickelson.
The Red Deer Quidditch group started in 2013 and although there’s no flying involved, a broom is kept between the athlete’s legs at all times while they run, jump, tackle and score.
The Red Deer Quidditch team mostly does the introductory level, but Staniec said they hope to have their own competitive program in the next few years out of Red Deer. One of the ways they do that, she added, is by supporting people through their practices to join the competitive travel teams.
“There are two of them in the province right now and we’d love to grow over the next few years and have our own competitive program out of Red Deer,” she said, adding they hope to have that in the next two or three years.
There are two levels of Quidditch in Canada. One is the development level, which is what the local development is; developing skills and learning the rules. There is also the competitive level, which involves travelling overseas and playing teams from across the country rather than just around the province.
The sport is a mixed gender team sport with seven players on each team. They then work together (the chasers and the keepers) to pass, shoot and score with the Quaffle (a ball).
“You get 10 points per goal.”
The beaters then work on offence and defence to clear lanes so that people can score or to take people out so they don’t score on you.
Staniec said there is also a seeker on each team that is released at 18 minutes and they try and catch the snitch for 30 points and end the game.
“And that’s how Edmonton won was on the snitch grab,” she said, adding that it was a pretty close game.
Meanwhile, Staniec said she encourages Red Deerians to give the sport a try.
“I think people should join because it is such a fun sport. It combines lots of elements of other sports but in a new way that’s challenging to everyone.”
She said it’s also a sport that’s never boring, as there are five balls on the field at any given time, so there’s always something happening.
“Whether you’ve got a strong sports background or you want to apply that to a new sport like this, or if you don’t have a strong sports background like I don’t, this could motivate you to get out, have some fun, meet some new people and develop some of that physical fitness that of course we all want these days,” she said with a laugh.
There are two options for those interested in joining in Red Deer.
One is the youth program in Red Deer and Lacombe, which will begin the first week of May. Registration is open now.
There is also an adult and older youth drop-in program in the first week of May, which people can just show up to in the field on either Tuesday or Thursday evening.
People can register through centralalbertaquidditch.com.
“It’s just a really great opportunity,” she said.
Local Quidditch players currently practice at 85 Boyce St. in Red Deer.