How To Start a Community Quidditch Team
This page is based on the talk that Co-Captains Sam and Kathleen gave at Quidcon on July 13, 2012.
NOTE: This is a rough draft and will be updated soon. - Sam, July 13, 2012.
If you have any questions or comments, please sent them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Four easy steps to starting a quidditch team.
- Get equipment (see tips below)
- Make a facebook group for your team.
This will allow you to easily invite everyone to your events. So make sure everyone joins it. This also allows you to communicate with your team.
- Invite, in person, everyone you know to play.
Everyone, literally. I've gotten 2 of my then-bosses to play. :)
- Play and enjoy.
- Quidditch has a lot of equipment. You donít need all of it to start; just start as soon as possible and fill in the equipment as time goes on.
- You can get lobby brooms from janitor supply sites for about $4.50 each. (links forthcoming)
- Cheap headbands (they're tight, but they stretch out): http://www.tansclub.com/blpltecohedo.html
- Let us know where you get your equipment: email us at email@example.com and I'll compile a list
- Recruit players. Very few people just happen to show up.
- Try to recruit everyone; you never know who will come.
We've had people in their 40s join. We've had friends with children join us. We've had middle-schoolers and high-schoolers walking by join in. Everyone loves it, and the more people you have playing, the more successful it will be. As time goes on and the play becomes rougher, eventually, youíll have to restrict how much the middle-school age and younger can play, but starting out, we allowed everyone, all the time, without incident.
- Constantly encourage them to come.
Most of my fellow players did not come the first time I came about it; it took a lot of badgering. Regardless of how much effort it took to convince them, once people came, they almost all loved it and returned. (N.B. That said, donít overdo the persistence. If someone doesnít like it, donít bother them again.)
- Recruit people in person.
It's easy to click "No" for a Facebook event. It's hard to say "no" in person. They'll come up with excuses. Be enthusiastic and tell them why quidditch is awesome.
- Meetup.com works in attracting new players.
Meetup costs money, but it was the only website that was successful at getting people to show up, and the members it attracted were vital to the team.
- Play in popular parks, if possible.
We've had a lot of people join in, many of which became regulars. Walk-ons were especially crucial for getting enough players in our early days.
- Get to know local teams.
Local students can play with your team during breaks. Also, they are future recruits once they graduate.
- If people are unfamiliar with the game, only explain the minimum required rules.
Quidditch has more fundamental rules than any other sport, and thereís no need to confuse players any more than necessary. In pick-up games, we never play with boundaries or the gender rule. For a while, we didnít play with any rules on kicking or any bludger immunity rules. The objective should be to get people playing; you can refine the rules after most people are familiar with the game.
- In the beginning, bend the rules to attract and keep players.
When only a few players are coming, one can change the rules to suit the players. Depending on their intensity, we sometimes played with and sometimes without tackling. Depending on how apprehensive they were, we sometimes had the first few games without brooms. After a while, we had enough players who knew the game that we did not need to bend the rules.
- Everyone loves playing against another team.
The competition adds excitement. Inter-team play increases attendance.
- The In-N-Out Effect: Those who socialize will stick around.
After every practice, we go to the burger joint In-N-Out to eat and hang out. The players that come to In-N-Out are much more likely to return. Those who view teammates as their friends and who hang out with other teammates, have a much, much greater chance of sticking around long-term.
Rates vary, but some teams charge $100/hour to run Quidditch Birthday Parties.
- Restaurant fundraisers
Many restaurants will let teams have an event where a certain percentage of earnings from people coming to eat there in support of the team, will go to the team. Ask around to see which restaurants do these and what the specific details are.
- Sell your team shirts.