The Eighth Man

A Guide to Quidditch Rivalries

Boston University and Emerson College have had one of the most historically fiery rivalries, and didn’t disappoint in their match for the Northeast Regional title. Credit: Becca Smith

Rivalries have been a major part of the competitive quidditch world, dating all the way back to the original one between Middlebury College and Vassar College. Some are full of friendly competition and good spirits, but others feature teams with little love lost when they meet up on the quidditch pitch. Below, we take you through some of the sports most prominent rivalries.

 

 

No. 2 USC vs. No. 9 UCLA

The Western Region has been deemed one of the most fun-loving and inclusive. But the relationship between USC and UCLA on the pitch doesn’t quite fit the stereotype. The rivalry between the two stretches across all sports, and extends to their quidditch teams, which are considered the best in the west. Their matchups, especially their game in the late rounds of World Cup V, are very physical, and injury stoppages are common.

 

That being said, the pair have also been known for their loving pregame and postgame shenanigans, including a West Side Story snap off in Western Cup III and a cinnamon roll hug before the aforementioned World Cup battle.

 

UCLA has the advantage in the overall series, but USC has two straight wins over the Bruins, in  last year’s Western Cup and this year’s Hollywood Bowl. These two are favored to continue their rivalry in the finals of Western Regionals, and a match on that stage would be a must watch.

 

Official Scores this Season:

USC 100* -UCLA 80

 

 

No. 7 Boston vs. No. 10 Emerson

Emerson and BU have one of the oldest and most vicious, violent rivalries in quidditch history. In the early going, Emerson was consistently getting the better of their cross-city foes, but it served only to increase the fervor between the two. Emerson saw BU as a dirty team, while BU was determined to knock Emerson off of their high horse.

 

Things haven’t calmed down in more recent years. In the lead up to  World Cup V, the pair met for a scrimmage that quickly turned into something not far short of a brawl, leading the teams to call the whole day off in the middle of the first game. That trend would repeat itself in a Massachusetts Quidditch Conference (MQC) match later that year, with the teams only making it halfway through their second game out of three before calling things off again.

 

This season, they matched up at the first MQC tournament in the semifinals, with Emerson taking the win on a snitch grab in a game that was physical but never got out of control. They chose not to play in the second tournament to avoid feeding the fire, but were back at it in a thrilling Northeast Regional final that included a double yellow for BU co-captain Joe Barkus. BU pulled the snitch this time, taking the title.

 

Official Scores this Season:

Boston University 60-Emerson 80*

Boston University 150*-Emerson 80

 

 

No. 3 Villanova vs. No. 4 Maryland

The youngest rivalry in a group with long histories, some say that No. 3 Villanova and No. 4 Maryland are front-runners for the World Cup title this year. Their leadership styles and strategies vary, but they both have highly talented starting lineups and plenty of depth. These teams dominate the Mid-Atlantic Region at different tournaments, rarely ending up at the same one due to their lack of proximity. But, in some ways, this builds the lore associated with this rivalry, as the pair talk up each matchup during the months leading up to it. But in the trash talk, there is a massive underlying respect for each other, showing the deep underlying roots of friendship between the two teams.

 

These high-powered offenses really know how to take it to each other, and their matchups are usually the only times in region that these programs are battling it out in close scoring games. The first time they met was at the Stony Brook University tournament last March, and Maryland won 40-20 on a snitch grab. They met a second time in the finals of the regional championship, where Nova took the game and the title on a snitch grab.

 

Official Scores this Season:

Maryland 50-Villanova 60*

 

 

No. 1 Texas A&M vs. No. 6 University of Texas-Austin vs. No. 11 LSU

The storm at the top of the Southwest has been brewing since 2009, when Texas A&M first visited LSU for a series of games.  If LSU is the oldest child – formerly in sole possession of the spotlight but lately losing it to its younger siblings – A&M is the quiet middle child, finally hitting its stride in a big way.  Texas comes in as the youngest, making their debut at the 2010 Texas A&M Classic and leaving their mark in an 80-minute finals lost to LSU – They originally struggled to keep up, but then earns everyone’s attention, occasionally faltering, yet successfully striking out on their own.

 

To the outside, the Southwest has always been skilled at presenting a united front.  However, in a big regional game, which usually come around between the three in the semifinals and final of every tournament, it seems as though every game is more intense than the last. There is such a refusal to lose between the three – no loss is harder, and no win is greater.

 

A&M and LSU have had a fierce rivalry from the beginning, with must of their disdain for each other the result of a World Cup III pool play victory for the Texas squad. But LSU took back control of the rivalry from there until the Texas A&M Classic this past spring, a changing of the guard and massive celebration for A&M that led to a certain degree of mutual respect.

 

But, with at that time, the focus of the rivalry seemed to shift to Texas. LSU has hated Texas since then, while Texas resents A&M for sending them out of World Cup V in bracket play. All we know is that the strong emotions surrounding this three-way rivalry will continue to deliver top-notch quidditch far into the future.

 

Official Scores this Season:

Texas A&M 120*-LSU 40

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