Guest Column: Southwest Beater Analysis


The Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship was projected to be boring. Every self-proclaimed analyst spouted the same story leading up to the main event: The Pot One teams would sweep their pools and University of Maryland would clean up the tournament with nary a challenge. Today showed that is not the case.

In their first two games of the day, Maryland allowed far closer scores than anyone predicted, including a snitch-range game against community team Capital Madness. Fingers can be pointed at a multitude of causations for such events unfolding, but what it ultimately comes down to is Maryland wins and loses in their own heads. Despite returning to their usual form in their third game—a match-up against newcomer West Virginia University—the day was enough to show Maryland is not infallible and would not just assume the title of regional champion.

While Maryland turned heads, Pool A demanded onlookers pay mind. University of Richmond was projected by many to sweep their pool. However, an early morning upset raised some eyebrows. Johns Hopkins University put up a 120*-90 win against the Spiders, denying them their 4-0 record. A poor showing at Keystone Cup followed by this loss and Richmond’s overall performance on the day makes one question if Richmond’s win over QC Boston: the Massacre at Oktoberfest was just a fluke. Still, Richmond will move forward with one of the top four seeds thanks to the results of their fellow poolmates’ matches. Richmond, like Maryland, has more to prove going into day two to show they deserve not just their laughably-easy-to-obtain bid to World Cup but any sort of recognition as a regional contender.

The rest of the pools went as expected without any huge upsets. Villanova University handled their pool, taking on of the top seeds. University of North Carolina will go into day two as the top seed by merit of point differential, meaning a Turtle Cup-final rematch between the Tar Heels and Terrapins cannot occur until the final.

While a UNC/Maryland final remains the safest bet, it is difficult to predict who will meet these two teams in the semifinals. Several teams have shown they can challenge those thought to be a rung above. If a team wants to beat Maryland, they will not only need to put up the quaffle points, but also step up their snitch game, as the defending champ is four for four in SWIM situations and 15 for 16 on catches.

Having addressed today’s gameplay, it is difficult not to bring up a couple policies that could spell trouble and that the USQ will likely look to reign in for forthcoming regional championships. The first is the forfeiture policy.

There were two forfeits day one of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. QC Pittsburgh forfeited their matchup against UNC due to a serious injury caused by a legal tackle, and the Horn Tailed Horcruxes forfeited their game against Maryland due to an inability to field seven players—the majority of the team was enjoying an extended lunch break. Yes, the opposing teams were awarded 150*-0 wins, but Pittsburgh and the Horcruxes proceeded to play one game each after their forfeitures. A team may know they will lose, but to deny the other team the opportunity to play the sport they love is unfair if the forfeiting team is capable of playing later matches.

The second policy is the lack of on-site appeals. USQ does not permit on-site appeals because when too many teams challenge calls, it takes a toll on an already overworked and stressed tournament staff. The problem with this is mistakes happen that can change the course of a game. As much effort as USQ has put forth to improve officiating, mistakes still exist and will continue to exist. However, one mistake can alter a team’s chances to go to the big show. Without appeals, the only thing the tournament staff can do to prevent further reffing mistakes is to replace the referee a complaint is brought against. This seems extreme when there may only be one rule in question, but if a player receives a red card from said mistake, it could breed disaster for his or her team henceforth in the tournament. I trust that a solution will be found if only they take the time to look.

All that being said, aside from taking up my Halloween and a little bit of rain, this has been a fantastically run tournament and much more exciting than expected. I look forward to seeing the bracket games tomorrow. As a final note from your author, the best upset of the day can be found below.







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