MU Quidditch hosts Yule Ball and Spring Breakout tournament

Nine teams competed in Saturday's tournament

The MU Quidditch team hosted a Yule Ball on Friday night to raise funds and welcome other teams to MU before the Spring Breakout Quidditch Tournament on Saturday.

The Yule Ball, modeled after a formal dance described in the Harry Potter series, featured refreshments and four hours of dancing.

"It's been a very popular fundraiser for a lot of other teams so we thought we'd try it out," MU Quidditch President Daniel Shapiro said. "It is pretty much tied to the tournament (Saturday) because we have people from the teams coming in that attended."

Nine teams competed in Saturday's tournament, including the Illinois State Firebirds; the Iowa State University Quidditch Team; a team from Ohio, the Crimson Warhawks; the University of Minnesota; the Northern Illinois University Nargels; Webster University; the University of Kansas; and MU. KU won the tournament after beating MU 80-20 in the first round, beating Ohio 50-30 in the second round and then beating Minnesota 90-40 in the finals.

Despite the loss to KU, the tournament went well, sophomore and MU Quidditch treasurer Riley Simpson said.

"I enjoyed playing, especially playing Kansas twice," Simpson said. "We lost both, but they were good, hard-fought games."

Muddy fields made playing more challenging but added to the fun, Simpson said.

"The muddy fields were fun to play in," Simpson said. "After they were eliminated, the Northern Illinois Nargles rolled around and slid in the mud."

The recent snowfall in Columbia made it difficult for the team to practice in the weeks preceding the tournament, Simpson said.

"The biggest challenge is playing in a tournament after not a lot of practice because of the snow," Simpson said. "There was a fear that we could be rusty."

Despite setbacks, the team has had a good season, Shapiro said.

"Well we lost a lot of veteran members that we didn't plan on losing," Shapiro said. "We almost finished at a .500 record, which considering the fact that we have very few experienced members, I will take — especially because there are teams with plenty of experienced member that we demolished. We were almost close to equal wins and losses."

The whole weekend was a success, Simpson said.

"It was organized and fun," Simpson said. "Our club also made a lot of money between the Yule Ball and the tournament ... It was a fun way to get a bunch of teams together and have a good tournament."

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