Merlin's beard, did you hear about the magnificent Harry Potter Sur5al Tournament that our friends over at Fierce Valley Roller Girls hosted recently? It was a MAGICAL day!
For those who reckon they know the rules of roller derby but are not familiar with this particular format, a Sur5al tournament differs from our standard game in a few significant ways:
- Each team is made up of five players instead of the usual fourteen. This means every skater is on track for every jam!
- Each team plays every other team taking part in the tournament once for a single jam. There were ten teams taking part in this tournament so it meant we all played nine jams.
- Lead Jammer status can be awarded to the first jammer legally out the pack but they may not call off the jam early, it must run for the full two minutes.
- Teams gain five points for a win, two for a draw, and zero for a loss. It was also possible to gain one additional point for earning Lead Jammer status.
- If any skaters foul out of the tournament their team continues with as few as four or three skaters, but any less than that and they will be forced to forfeit their remaining games.
- The team with the most points at the end of the tournament WINS!
FVRG pulled out all the stops and got the Ministry of Magic involved in their events team to ensure the day went off without a hitch. The witches and wizards of the NSO team were dressed in their Hogwarts House finery with jam timers announcing "Five seconds!" with a swish of their wands. Butterbeer and Polyjuice potion were available at the cake stall and even the vendors got involved with magical artefacts from Notebook as well as FVRG's own Maxx Attack and FunGhoul's (witch)crafty goods. "Sweet quaffle!" I hear you cry. But that wasn't all! There was also some bewitching ROLLER DERBY to thrill and entertain throughout the afternoon.
Just like a normal quidditch match this was a co-ed tournament and so most teams featured more than one gender - in fact team Why So Sirius? from GRD were the only all female team taking part. Skaters from as many as twelve Scottish teams skated and most gave themselves Potter-tastic names, including Neville Wears Prada, Snitches and Bitches, the Nameless Ones and Snapes on a Plane. Many skaters renamed themselves for the occasion too - personal favourites were Luna Shovegood, J K Fouling, Ron Weavesley, Hustlepuff, and HARMione Grinder!
But don't let the fun names befuddle you, when the teams got on track the action was as fast as a Firebolt and as hard-hitting as a Hippogriff. Neville Wears Prada took an early lead and remained undefeated throughout the tournament - no Felix Felicis was allowed on the premises, they did this all through pure skill! - and so with the Galleon podium taken care of the hotly contested spots were second and third as the Slytherwins and Golden Snatches battled it out for the Sickle and Knut, each winning seven of their nine jams.
Team Why So Sirius came ninth out of ten and had a glorious time playing such fantastic competitors. For three of us this was our first co-ed experience and all had a really great time skating against friends and neighbours from local leagues. No matter what the scores on the board every single team came off track amid masses of high fives and hugs. Not a single Unforgivable Curse was uttered because the level of sportspersonship was so high!
Individual awards were as follows:
Tournament Best Blocker: Gibb (Bairn City Rollers)
Tournament Best Jammer: Momo (Granite City Brawlers)
Tournament MVP: Kami-Tazzy (Granite City Roller Derby)
We would like to thank FVRG for hosting such a Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tournament and would award them the top grade of O for Outstanding! The organisation on the lead up and the care taken on the day far Exceeded Expectations. We'd also like to thank all the Officials, Ministry of Magic staff, announcers, photographers, and everyone else involved for making it such an enjoyable experience.