by Alex Benepe | January 19th, 2012
On Saturday, January 21st, 2012, a ten-team intercollegiate Quidditch tournament will take place in Buffalo, NY at historic Delaware Park. This tournament, the Ives Pond Invitational, takes place in conjunction with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s annual FLURRIOUS! Festival, a celebration of the winter season in a city known for its winter weather.
Images and text provided by Ives Pond Quidditch Club.
Ives Pond Quidditch Club, the most successful Quidditch team in the Greater Buffalo area, is hosting the festival and looks to defend its title from last year. The team began in 2008 about six miles north of Delaware Park at Ives Pond Park with a congregation of high school graduates and has been a World Cup participant for the past four years. The team’s best finish was at Quidditch World Cup IV in New York City, reaching the quarterfinals in a field of 46 teams. Today, the team is of University at Buffalo students, and players from most Buffalo-area colleges and universities. Ives Pond QC plays regularly throughout the year at Ives Pond and UB’s North Campus.
The tournament has multiplied this year, with 10 teams coming to Buffalo for the event. One of the most successful teams in the International Quidditch Association, QC Pittsburgh, is the tournament favorite. Founded by Western New York native and former Ives Pond player John Battaglia, Pitt finished third at Quidditch World Cup IV and is consistently ranked as one of the top ten teams in the IQA.
The Syracuse University team was also founded by Western New York natives and former Ives Pond players. Drew Shields and Peter Zona created the team their freshman year at SU, and the team has been a staple of the Syracuse campus and the IQA since.
RIT is one of the two teams returning from last year’s Ives Pond Invitational. The team is coming off a second-place finish in Division II at Quidditch World Cup V, held last November at Randall’s Island in New York City. RIT’s uniforms are nearly exactly to Ives Pond’s, so try not to get confused if they end up playing each other.
SUNY Geneseo is the other returning team from last year. The team has definitely taken strides since its inception, with a great performance at last year’s Ives Pond Invitational and success at its first Quidditch World Cup experience this past November, reaching the elimination round before losing to a very tough Vassar team.
The University of Rochester team was founded by Ives Pond founder Dan Panzarella, who is currently the International Quidditch Association’s technical director and member of the League’s Management Council and will be the head referee of the Ives Pond Invitational. Today the team is led by Katie Pieper, and its players are some of the nicest Quidditch players this side of Lake Erie.
Canada will be well-represented, with both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University making the trip down to the Queen City for the tournament. Both teams were participants at this year’s World Cup and we look forward to hearing about the conversations with the border guards in which the teams try and explain why they’re bringing so many brooms to the United States.
The Edinboro University “Flying Scots” will be making an appearance as well. The team is relatively new, but is looking to impress with its first major tournament appearance. In addition, the WEQL Griffins, the tournament’s only high-school team, will be playing in its first IQA-sanctioned matches. The team hails from nearby Allegheny, NY and is sure to bring a lot of fans with them in its trek on up to Buffalo.
There is a whole lot going on this weekend besides Quidditch. FLURRIOUS! also features ice skating, pond hockey, snow tennis, cross country skiing, sleigh rides, sled pull races, snow golf, snow softball, igloo building, blacksmith demonstrations, a science workshop presented by Buffalo State College students, and more activities. Admission is FREE and there will be live music all day and great food and beer from local restaurants and breweries.
The action kicks off at 9:45 AM on Saturday, January 21st. See you there!
Learn more by visiting the Ives Pond Invitational Facebook Event