Musings on Melbourne MudBash 2014

Photo courtesy of SLDixon Photography

Photo courtesy of SLDixon Photography

It was a frighteningly cold morning as ten Quidditch teams trudged down to Alma Park for the second annual Melbourne MudBash, a tournament brought into fruition by the ever hard-working Emma. Rain fell sporadically over the weekend, but that didn’t stop us. After all, it isn’t called MudBash for nothing.

For many, it was their first time playing Quidditch on Victorian soil. For many others, it was their first time facing the unknown forces of New South Wales and A.C.T. But for all, it was a weekend that brought as much fun as it did aches, and one we hope will bring everyone back to play Quidditch with us next year. Here are some of their stories.

N. Gertler, Monash Muggles
Taking out the title of MudBash Champions for 2014 after entering the tournament not expecting to even grab sight of a medal was an incredibly proud moment to be a Muggle. The support of the Victorian teams cheering us on highlighted that firstly, everyone was desperate to keep the crown of MELBOURNE MudBash in Melbourne, and secondly, the friendships among the teams that hold the VQA together. The ‘undefeated until the grand final’ team of Stephen and Friends complete with 3 Global Games players, 1 member of the QUAFL 2013 champion team the Perth Phoenixes, 2 members of the QUAFL 2013 runners up Macquarie Marauders, and powerhouse players from UNSW and UWS looked to be a terrifying opponent whom had dominated Pool B and defeated the Basilisks 90*-0. However, the teamwork and discipline of the Muggles saw them win the grand final with the snitch catch to Muggles newbie N. Kemister to put the final score at Muggles 70* – 60 Stephen and Friends.

B. Smart, Welsh Greens
MudBash was my favourite tournament last year, so I decided to make it the only tournament to attend this year. It was just as amazing as last year, if not more, because of how many teams attended. I loved playing as a mercenary because it gave me to chance to play with, rather than against some of my quid-friends, and also gave me the opportunity to play with some people I’d never met before. My favourite moment was probably when us and the Direwolves were battling for the wooden spoon and both teams got carded for two-arm tackling because we had a group hug. It was up to the two Keepers to then fight for a minute or two until goal score. It was absolutely hilarious. I also enjoyed watching the Nargles stuff around in their game against the Wrackspurts with Armstrong jumping through the hoop into his teammates’ arms. And when they pulled Manoeuvre B, which is a thing my mercenary team, Poison Ivy, did at Quidcamp in 2013 where we yell it out and the team falls to the ground clutching their legs and crying out in pain.

L. Derrick, University of Sydney Unspeakables
Melbourne MudBash was an awesome blast for me and my team. Travelling down to Melbourne, we were coming to have some fun and that’s exactly what we had as we were welcomed with open arms by all the Victorian teams. Our games against the Wrackspurts, Unicorns, Direwolves, and Basilisks were competitive and enjoyable. It was awesome finally playing against these teams I had only heard about, and I was not let down with their great competitive play, fun banter on pitch, and interesting conversations off pitch.
The competitive nature mixed with friendly of all players on pitch was great to see. Snitching in the game with the Blackburn Basilisks vs Melbourne Manticores was one of the highlights of the tournament for me. I talked lots as I competed against the Seekers, making it as difficult for them to catch me as possible while chatting to them as friends. Another great moment for me was talking to the Basilisks captain halfway through the second day and him telling me his favourite game that weekend had been the one against us. That really made my day and showed that we had represented ourselves well. I will definitely be back next year for one of the best tournament experiences I have ever had.

M. Mannering, Melbourne UniCorns
After playing only two games in the Victoria Cup and having such a long wait since the grand final, I was Quidditch deprived and keen-as-mud for MudBash. I was looking forward to seeing how the Unicorns had progressed, if the Direwolves managed to grab any new players, catching a glimpse of the new rookies in action, and seeing what kind of moves the interstate teams could pull out. As a newbie to the world of Quidditch, I was yet to see some of the Victorian teams play, let alone the fact that interstate teams existed. Well, they do exist, and with some weird quirks, like their brooms, which don’t really look like brooms at all but more like lethal weapons with sponges on the end to cover up their deadly intent.
Being knocked out early on Saturday morning meant that I don’t really remember anything from that first day, so all momentous occasions come from Sunday. The first was Tim catching the snitch in our game against the Welsh Greens and winning us our first match of the tournament. At first this was called a no-catch due to both Seekers grabbing the snitch at the same time. Tim persevered and eventually claimed the gold ball for himself. Some snitches were up to no good, and two snitches changed jumpers, confusing both players and spectators alike. Snitches always seem to have the best fun. ┬áIt was one of the best weekends ever. Massive shout-out to the people who ran the Twitter feed; it was fantastic for picking out awesome plays and was perfect for those following it during the grand final.
I ended the weekend on a massive high, lots of bruises, and severe Quidditch Withdrawal Symptoms. I had a fantastic tournament and I can’t wait to take on the Victorian teams in the Easton Shield and the Australian teams at QUAFL.

Thank you to everyone for coming, and we hope to see even more teams join us for Melbourne MudBash 2015!

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