by Eric Andres | June 11th, 2012
Written by Michele Clabassi.
Quidditch got very real in Italy on the 2nd of June, when the first national tournament took place in
Novegro, near Milan.
For those of you who are not familiar with the current state of quidditch in Italy, there was almost
nothing to talk about until the beginning of this year (at that time the only exception was a group
of young people aged 14-15 from Mestre, a city near Venice, who had been playing quidditch for
about a year).
I soon found that I wasn’t the only Italian excited about the match. When I made a Facebook page, I was contacted by a growing number of interested parties and the upcoming match earned publicity from Harry Potter related pages and websites.
Quickly, the wheels began to turn and the tournament started showing signs of organization. After originally scheduling the tournament in February, it was postponed to allow for word to spread and gain a better following. Having previous experience with planning summer activities for children, the organizers were able to capitalize on the enthusiasm that had grown over a relatively short period of time.
For the first time ever, a regulation quidditch pitch could be seen on Italian soil. The inaugural tournament would see three teams compete for the trophy: Gli Ignoranza; S.P.Q.R., who would come all the way from Rome; and the Lambro Strikers, which would consist entirely of over 18 year old players.
Play was conducted in single round-robin format, with each team playing two games.
The first match saw S.P.Q.R. facing Gli Ignoranza, with the Roman chasers playing a physical
game that demonstrated their rugby experience, and the opponents relying on their speed and agility. The
score was 30-20 when the captain and seeker for S.P.Q.R. emerged from the exhibition area near to
the field with the snitch in his hand, thus making it 60-20 at the death.
After some rest, Gli Ignoranza got back on the field against Lambro Strikers, in another balanced
match. They went up 20-0 at first, but Lambro would fight back leveling it at 30 apiece. Agonizingly for Ignoranza, they would lose by a snitch grab to Lambro. The final score was Gli Ignoranza 30-60 Lambro Strikers.
Thus, the final match between S.P.Q.R. and the Lambro Strikers would declare the winner. Both teams were
determined to get the trophy, but the Strikers had a better game plan and got off to an early lead of
60-0. S.P.Q.R. found their way to the hoops at last, but Lambro quickly retorted to keep their lead at 60. At that point the snitch was back around the field, soon followed by Rome’s seeker. S.P.Q.R. would get the suicide snitch catch and ended the match at Lambro 70-40 S.Q.P.R..
After the handcrafted trophies were given to their new owners, a scrimmage was held for players and fans to join in. Local entertainment provided fun for the crowds and the administrators of a well known Italian Harry Potter Facebook page were present as well.
I can’t really explain how this day was for me. I have been lurking on the IQA forum and website,
memorized the whole rulebook while translating it, watched countless videos and so on, so I had
some specific images set in my mind. This last Saturday surely was no World Cup V, no expert
player, referee or snitch was there, but it was a great quidditch day. I’m proud to say brooms are
definitely up in Italy!