Canadian Teams Separated from the United States for Upcoming MLQ Season
As previously announced in the plans for the 2021 Major League Quidditch (MLQ) season, one version of Phase 2 was developed in which Canadian teams wouldn’t be playing with teams from the United States. On February 2, MLQ announced that this separation between the two countries would occur and moved to Phase 2.
The separation has occurred because the border between Canada and the United States remains closed, and the vaccination rate in Canada has been lower than in the US. The change in scheduling also gives Canada an opportunity to develop alternative plans.
MLQ has announced that it will take a two-phase approach that will focus on the development and stabilization of MLQ franchises and Quidditch Canada. Currently, there are only two MLQ teams in Canada: the Ottawa Black Bears and the Toronto Raiders.
For the two Canadian teams, MLQ has announced that Phase 1 will be fully virtual. There will be watch parties, film analyses with MLQ coaches, fitness classes, challenges for fitness and individual quidditch skills, and game and trivia nights. Along with these activities, MLQ will monitor the situation to ensure that the Canadian teams can move to another phase as soon as possible.
Phase 2 will happen in person. The Ottawa Black Bears and Toronto Raiders will play against each other, but the number of games hasn’t been decided yet. Both teams – like all MLQ teams – will have to follow the MLQ Return to Play Guidelines.
For the two Canadian teams, tryout footage isn’t required. Muggle quidditch players only have to fill out the MLQ Athlete Tryout Registration Form by April 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Each roster will have 21 athletes, but changes will be allowed between games.
Meanwhile, MLQ has had to make some changes between teams in the United States because of the separation from the Canadian teams. A new team, the Charlotte Aviators, has been invited to the East Division as an MLQ Trial Expansion Team. The team is there only temporarily for a trial season but will be treated as an MLQ franchise with some exceptions, including not being permitted to use the MLQ logo on kits. After the trial season, MLQ will decide if the Aviators will join the league permanently. The founder of the Aviators, Ryan Davis, hopes that they will be successful.
We’re elated that MLQ has given us this opportunity to show what we have to offer. It is unfortunate that it comes at the expense of Ottawa and Toronto, but I hope this opportunity can serve as an entry point for a long-standing relationship between our two organizations.