by Katie Stack | May 11th, 2012
This past month IQA’s first official Asian member team from Hangzhou Foreign Language School in Zhejiang, China, hosted a tournament in order to spread awareness of their new favorite sport and gain a greater familiarity of the IQA rulebook. Six teams participated in the tournament, drawn out over a period of several days, for a total of more than 100 players from the school. Each match boasted at least thirty spectators.
This tournament is not the first that the Hangzhou team has hosted; in March the team held a match with roughly 200 spectators. The sport was well received by the community, with an impressive amount of press coverage and eager audience members voicing their questions.
Team Captian Jenny Wang said that the team is very excited to be the first team from the Asian continent. “However,” she continued “[we feel] a bit alone because there isn’t a team nearby to play with us. We really hope there will be in the future.”
The team hopes to host at least one large tournament each semester in order to keep the sport popular and keep the team running, and the club founders, who are graduating this year, hope to start teams at the Chinese universities they will attend. “We hope that the IQA membership will assist with free access for videos, training materials and so on. Maybe someone from the official IQA would even give a talk or attend our meetings to give suggestions,” Wang said.
IQA staff members have reported that they are currently working on uploading quidditch footage to a server that can be accessed in China; the popular American video site YouTube.com is blocked by the Chinese government.
While they wait for this next step, the Hangzhou quidditch players have kept themselves busy. The founders have translated the IQA Rulebook into their native Chinese and filmed their own training video in order to make the sport more accessible to their peers.
The team has also begun to work on future events. They plan to host a tournament over the summer, using a popular Chinese event website, douban.com, to spread the word. The Hangzhou players are discussing the details with the event website and hope to confirm soon.
For a new team on the other side of the world, the Hangzhou Foreign Language School Quidditch Team has traveled a long way and are already making strides for the future.