The Eighth Man

Four Unpopular Opinions About World Cup VI

Baylor made an incredible run to the Southwest title, but the wrong beater matchup could spell trouble. Credit: Lauren Carter

Baylor made an incredible run to the Southwest title, but the wrong beater matchup could spell trouble. Credit: Lauren Carter

If Baylor runs into an elite beater early in bracket play, they could very well be knocked out

Baylor has exploded on the scene this year, either forcing us all to expand our view of the Southwest to the “Big Four” or replace LSU with them as a member of the “Big Three.” This impressive run culminated in a shocking win at the Southwest regionals, as they pulled two snitches to defeat Texas A&M in overtime being another snitch pull beat Texas. However, having watched video of some of their best wins, I feel that Baylor’s offense could be vulnerable to being shut down by a team with truly elite beaters. A lot of their success in their semifinal match against A&M stemmed from A&M falling into their trap of essentially playing a chaser game against them while conceding bludger control to Baylor’s super conservative beaters. They played the game Baylor wanted to play, rather than the game that would give A&M the advantage. This also gave Baylor an advantage as the snitch returned to the pitch, as bludger control has a large correlation with successful snitch pulls. I feel that a team that is able to resist the temptation to get into a chaser-only game with Baylor, and instead successfully play for bludger control, will have a chance to knock off the kings of the Southwest.

Kevin Oelze

Billy Greco has long been one of the game's best seekers. But has the game passed him by? Credit: Deanna Edmunds

Billy Greco has long been one of the game’s best seekers. But has the game passed him by? Credit: Deanna Edmunds

Tyler Macy and Billy Greco are not world class seekers

Don’t get me wrong – they’re both very good and they’ve both carried their teams through close games – but I do not believe their style will do well at World Cup. World Cup will have some of the best snitches in the world, and the quality of snitching has improved a lot over the years. I have snitched a fair bit myself, and while I’m not one of the best snitches, I am good enough to hold my own. Two of my longest games this season have come against Macy and Greco. At the Dumbledore Memorial tournament, I snitched the finals of Marquette against Ball State, and while Marquette was guarding the snitch for a small portion of that game, I was fighting off Macy for the entirety of my time on the pitch, and found him to be predictable and easily handled. He always seemed to come at me head-on, and with the same two-handed approach. I faced Greco in a tough game at Mid-Atlantic Regionals in the semifinals. I was –stupidly – snitching on a sprained ankle, and didn’t have my normal mobility, but was still able to hold off Greco as well as the Penn State seekers for a while. I was able to do this because Greco is very physical, and will charge straight at you and push through you. He attempts to use brute force to plow through a snitch. At World Cup, amongst a lineup of elite snitches, they will inevitably face a snitch who can’t be powered through. I think that snitch will be Villanova’s downfall.

-Luke Changet

After a rocky spring semester, does Maryland still have what it takes to make the quarterfinals? Credit: Deanna Edmunds

After a rocky spring semester, does Maryland still have what it takes to make the quarterfinals? Credit: Deanna Edmunds

No Mid-Atlantic teams will reach the Elite Eight

Recent results from this semester have shown that the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are very much on par. Hofstra and Tufts both kept Maryland in snitch range, while Hofstra forced Penn State into a suicide snitch. Many people are predicting no Northeast teams make the final eight, so why not the Mid-Atlantic? Let’s look at Villanova and Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic’s two powers, more closely. Villanova will be competing for first place in its pool with Boston University. I like BU in that game, because their defense is better against a passing style than it is against more physical play. As good as Tony Greco is as a keeper, it may take him some time to adjust to the Terriers’ fast break style offense. If they finish second in that pool, they would have to play an elite top seed in the Round of 16, very possibly one of the Southwest’s best. I don’t see them matching up well against those sides, and can see their opponent getting out of snitch range and rendering Billy Greco’s seeking talents useless. As for Maryland, they should get through their pool unscathed, but could stumble against the Lost Boys, a team that has all of the tools you need – talented keeper, athletic beaters, top-class seeker – to beat the Terrapins. McGill, Tufts, Hofstra, and the Dallas Yadas have all kept Maryland in snitch range in recent weeks, and there’s no reason the Lost Boys couldn’t as well. Even if Maryland escapes their pool, they still have to get through two rounds of top 32 competition to make the Elite Eight. With the exception of Pittsburgh, a team that just can’t seem to figure out Maryland, and an Alex Leitch-less Hofstra, no team at that level has been blown out by Maryland this semester. And while Harry Greenhouse is an incredible seeker, his aggression often forces the snitch’s attention in a way that leaves the grab open to the opposition if he doesn’t get a quick snatch. This is how both McGill and the Yadas scored wins against this team. Is it likely that both of these teams fail to put together a good run of form? Maybe not, but it is very possible.

-Ethan Sturm


World Cup VI will require the assistance of over ten ambulances

I thought about making some vague, trolling opinion about a particular region or bracket play, but that’s not fun. So instead, we have the injury issue. Listen, I love everything that Quidditch stands for – even as a person that generally dreads the word “gym” – but the game is just not safe. Too often, referees let games get out of hand, chippy to the point of no return, and the result is a pile of bad injuries. Last year alone, five of our players either went to the hospital or needed medical attention in ambulances.
The fact of the matter is this: teams don’t wear nearly enough mouth guards. How many other full contact sports allow mouth protection to be optional? Name one. Teams sacrifice safety for the ease of communication. There will be plenty of concussions to go around at WC6, bank on it. Furthermore, in conjunction with suspect refereeing and lack of protection, many, many teams have no idea how to tackle safely. How many know the correct mechanics of a tackle that not only keeps the other opposing player safe, but themselves as well? How many tournaments have you been to in which nobody has gotten seriously hurt? For me, not a single one. I know the IQA is taking steps with the new membership plan to protect players better, but right now, we’re all screwed. Get ready to hear those familiar sirens in a week, because they’re coming, and will continue to do so until we take steps to address these terrible, blatant issues.

-Ben Nadeau


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