by Edmund Smethwyck
When people here at HOL see the initials RQT, there are several reactions that can take place: those who play quidditch will perhaps tremble in fear, and those who don’t might also tremble in fear. However, as a newbie this year, I had no prior knowledge of the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team. When I joined up in August, I signed up for my classes, and joined RQT after learning about mIRC and quidditch.
After joining up with RQT in August, life has been just a ton of fun. I kept up my botting, and learned a lot of questions. After a short while, I got asked to join up in the practices, which was super intimidating because most of the members of the team at practice had been botting and practicing for ages. But even practices with the team were a lot of fun. It was, and still is, quite common to see people break into song for no reason and other teammates poke fun at themselves and others in the kindest of ways.
Over time, practicing became a thing of pleasure and was a consistent part of my life. I kept up the botting, and gradually built up speed and one day at practice, I was put on Keeper. Keeper, the position every player seems to dread. But for me, I really felt like Keeping was what I was meant to do, and playing that position really inspired me to work even harder, because any question you don’t get really matters.
Thankfully, I think that both Kyrie and Tara, RQT co-captains extraordinaire realized that we all needed a little kick in the pants to get even better, and created the botting challenges. These were the best things ever, seriously. Each month, everyone on the team would compete to see who could get the highest number of points on the bots by the end of the time period. The rewards ranged from pretty graphics to beans, with which I am obsessed to this day. These rewards were too good to pass up for me, and I knew I had to be the winner of the challenge. I won the first botting challenge and was so excited, and still proudly display my botting challenge signature on the Roost! The second challenge was even more intense than the first, but I scored another co-win with Maya Winters, who is the fastest and most impressive botter I’ve ever seen – tripling streaks of 500, anyone?
While these botting challenges were going on, there were also games against other Houses’ quidditch teams, and I must say, they were so fun! The first game I played in was December 11th against Slytherin, and I was definitely feeling the pressure to succeed at my debut game. I was especially nervous because I would be keeping against Xavier Dalen, who is a very speedy chaser for SQT. I’ve discovered the secret for me to keep well is that the first block is the most important, and after my first block, I did alright, and I blocked 11/14 goals!
I played in 2 more games during the year, and both of them were really fun, and I got 34 blocks during the year. I hope that next year I get to play in more games and get more blocks. I can’t recommend quidditch more highly for any newbie joining HOL. No matter the house, no matter how much you practice, you will have fun, guaranteed; I know I did!
by Kirra Rohan
When I first got sorted into Ravenclaw, I took a lot of time just going through all the forum posts in the Roost, from perusing what was then a much smaller RP section to reading about all of the awards that were available. However, what caught my attention that most was the post about joining the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team. I didn't really have any idea just what online quidditch would entail, but I quickly got into the RQT team room to find out...and proceeded to run away quite quickly when I realized I had no idea what I was doing there. Luckily for me, I was cornered in #ravenclaw by the amazing Kyrie Adderholt, and brought back to the quidditch channel, where I eventually ended up doing some botting. I continued to do this almost every day, botting a few questions as I prepared to try out for the team. I was terrified of trying out though- I had seen how many freaky robots were on this team, and though I was a pretty fast typist, when it came to knowledge I had realized just how little I really knew about the Harry Potter books. I finally got up the courage to try out, however, and quickly found myself a spot on RQT. What I didn't know when I was joining was just what an experience I was going to have on this team, the friends I was going to make and the songs that I was going to sing (type?) loudly in the team room. I didn't know about the fun RQT Skype time that I would eventually be a part of, or about the prevalence of Tswizzle hatred. I didn't know just how much fun I was going to have... or how much my life was going to be sucked in (in the best way possible!)
After joining the team, it was time for me to officially become involved with practices. I was astounded when I saw how many times RQT practiced, but then I remembered that HOL was worldwide, and I quickly grew to hate time zones. Practices, far from being boring, were extremely amusing. Though I started off rather slow and generally quite awful, the amount of encouragement I got from the existing members of the team was amazing, and really helped me get the confidence to bot more and try harder when answering the questions, even if I wasn't 100% sure about the answer. I found myself growing in both my skills at trivia and speed, but also growing in my friendships with people on the team. We laughed together over typoese (ofoeloer poet still being one of my absolute favorites), and became a strong team. That being said, sometimes practices weren't quite as fun ;) This occurred when the nice, normal quaffle game turned into “Kirra v. Everyone”...or even the more despised “1v1.” I thought I would grow to enjoy these hideous tortures, but no. If I ever get assigned to CBK again, I'm running very far the opposite way. But all of that aside, practices have been insanely fun.
Just practicing would never get you very far though. You had to bot. And bot. And bot some more. And those times when you're supposed to be getting a nice 5 hours of sleep before school? No, you're botting. What's that you say? You have an entire research paper to write and it's 10 pm and it's due the next day? ...nope, you're botting. Not only is botting good for your soul and mental health, it also teaches you insane amounts of Harry Potter trivia - the very questions that you're going to need quick answers too when you're in the middle of a quidditch match. Starting off botting, I was terrified. I was never going to learn any of these questions! I could barely bot one bot at a time, and I would watch other members of the team double or even triple the bots! Then came along this thing called botting wars - where all the team members would have a friendly competition to see who could get the most botting points in a certain time period. I wanted to take this challenge as a chance to prove myself and grow in my strengths as a quidditch player, so I began to bot more seriously. It was daunting, but before I knew it I started to get better. I wasn't needing the hints as much to answer the questions, and soon I attempted doubling. It was hard at first, and I flailed around a lot trying to get the timing down, but soon enough I got the rhythm. And things just kept improving from there. Quidditch is just like everything else in life- you aren't perfect at it when you first start, and you aren't perfect at it a year from when you start, but every step you take is an improvement, and it's only with a lot of practice that you'll get better. The nice thing about botting is that you can actually see and notice your improvement. Plus, it's fun, especially if you listen to some Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift while doing it! (Warning, you may find yourself typing out lyrics instead of answering the questions!)
Once you have some sort of an idea about quidditch and you've been botting for a while, you might find yourself on a lineup to play in a game. Unfortunately, my schedule was horrendous this year, so I only got to witness two RQT games - one was back a few months after I joined the team, so I was on the side cheering on my team, and then I played in my first game back in March. Games are exciting no matter if you're on the field or in the team room. The first time I witnessed a game, I was caught up in a rush of excitement - pregame nicks, an insane amount of team spirit in the channel, and just generally an awesome time. I don't remember very much about that first game I witnessed, but I must have loved it - I stuck around, didn't I? Then, in March, I was finally able to play in my first game. I was playing chaser, and it was so much fun. Though it's scary at times when you're versus the keeper, there's so much team spirit cheering you on, even when you mess up you know people don't hate you for messing up or not scoring. You still get cheers, you still get to celebrate with the team afterward, and it's just an amazing feeling to have come out of my first game actually having scored eight times against an established quidditch player. I can't wait to come back next year and hopefully be able to play in more games. Quaffle practices are fun, Bronze v Blue is hilarious, but the real games are where everything comes down to the wire- you have an audience from all the houses and the Quidditch Cup is on the line.
All in all, quidditch is such a joy. There are ups and downs, as there are in everything that life offers, but I can honestly say that the good moments I've had this year on the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team outweigh any of the bad ones. From the wonderful Skype conversations, to the losing of pants (and the subsequent finding of them!), to ofoeloer poets, to hardcore drugs and graceful ladies, to bonding moments, to everything that makes RQT the amazing team that it is. From the moment I joined this team I felt welcomed, and it's become a home to me on HOL - a little niche that I can call my own. The people on RQT are friendly and have not only helped me become a better quidditch player, but to become a better HOLer in general. RQT is family, and quidditch is a gift.