For my adaptation I’m planning on doing a video highlighting the gender diversity in quidditch, how gender diversity makes quidditch different from other sports, and why it needs to be cherished and protected. I want to use clips of men and women playing together as well as interviews talking about it.

Paper Draft 2

Many of the edits I made on this paper were syntax related. I’m still worried about the syntax and structure a little bit. Does it flow? Does it make orderly sense? I’m also having a lot of trouble trying to figure out what kind of scholarly information I can add to my paper and where it would best fit. My exigence is that the Quidditch community is divided on a matter of opinion. My rhetorical purpose is to better unite and inform the community by convincing them that the IQA is right. My rhetorical audience is quidditch players and teams throughout the world.

 

Allie Nelson

ENGL 1102

Julie Wright

28 February 2013

The International Quidditch Association (IQA)’s decision to eliminate the single sex institution exemption clause to the gender rule in Handbook 6 should be respected and upheld and the community should be making every effort to preserve quidditch’s coed nature and increase gendered diversity in the sport.

It goes without saying that quidditch is one of the most unique sports in existence today. Originally invented in 1997 by author J. K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series, Quidditch was once simply the mythical fantasy sport played with flying brooms and magical balls.  It was first adapted for “muggle” (non-magical) play in 2005 and has since grown into the rough and tumble full contact sport played by university, high school, and community teams in over 28 states over 13 differend countries.

Although the quidditch community at large has since done some evolving away from it’s mythical Harry Potter roots and towards the realm of athleticism and sportsmanship, (such as the depopularization and near complete cessation of cape usage) almost all of the significant aspects of the fictional original game remain in practice today. All players mount brooms while in play, the  balls used on the pitch are still known as quaffles and bludgers, and the game is ended when the tricky, often maniacal “snitch” is caught by a seeker.

Despite the vast importance that is finding the perfect balance of athleticism and whimsy, one could argue that one of the most important homages to J.K. Rowling’s quidditch is it’s emphasis on gender equality and diversity. J.K. Rowling’s sport was completely gender blind. The sport was participated in by both witches and wizards, both of equal value and neither more emphasized than the other. In this way Muggle Quidditch is not and should be no different. ((how can I elaborate on this?))

One of quidditch’s most important defining factors that make it unique is it’s status as one of very few sports in the world that is coed at even it’s highest level. ((how can I find out what others are? Are there any? There must be)) There are no womens leagues and mens leagues in quidditch, there’s only one coed leage, this being the IQA. The IQA’s official ruling on gender diversity states that

“Each team must have at least two players in play that are of a different gender identity than at least two other players; that is, excluding the seeker, a team may not have 5 or 6 players of the same gender in play. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player’s gender. We as a community are accepting and understanding of those who don’t identify with the binary gender system, acknowledge that this does not imply that our players all identify as “male” or “female,” and would like to welcome people of all identities and genders into our league. Because the seeker may spend the majority of the game off the pitch, seekers do not count toward the number of required gender-specific players. In the event that a team cannot field a full team in terms of gender minimum due to injury or players being sent off, the team may continue to play with fewer players, with the missing player still counting in terms of gender minimum.”

This ruling not only allows females (who-let’s face it, often find themselves at a physical disadvantage to males, especially in the world of sports) ample oppurtunity to prove themselves on the pitch, but offers a diverse athletic environment not commonly found in mainstream sports by forcing integrated play. A lot of good has come of it. Rather than dismissed or ignored in the game in favor of their brawnier male counterparts, females are integrated into every aspect of the game. They learn what their own strengths are and how to utilize them for the benefit of the team. They’re allowed the oppurtunities to be trained as equals, hold themselves to the same standards, and grow as athletes alongside the males rather than beneath them. Rather than acting as “checks” on their mail counterparts to weigh down the team, they act as teammates. Many of the best beaters, chasers, keepers, and seekers in the IQA are female. The gender rule allowed them to play with as few logistic and social limitations as possible.“Quidditch has a chance to redefine the standard. We can break the mold and facilitate change. (…)  it is providing for an interesting dynamic to the game that forces every player to grow as an athlete in ways they never imagined before.” (The Eighth Man)

If the IQA were to allow exemptions to the gender rule in the case of single sex institutions, the very coed nature of quidditch that is so precious to and charactaristic of quidditch would start to crumble. “The IQA is strongly concerned that failing to enforce this rule across all teams would lead to a distillation of teams into bodies consisting almost entirely of one gender identity or another— due to either social intricacies, scheduling or geographical practicalities, or competitive concerns.” (iqastaff.tumblr.com) Quidditch is currently the world’s fastest growing sport. Although there are presently no known all male quidditch teams in existence, there is no reason to believe that all male teams would never exist in the future. There is no feasible way that the IQA could justify making an exception to the gender rule for all female institutions without extending the same oppurtunity to all male institutions. Although many of these all female teams have appealed that their teams should be given exception on the basis that all female teams  could not pose a legitimate threat to other teams or the quidditch community, to deem female teams unproblematic or “less of a threat” oversimplifies the differences between a coed team and a single sex team as well as completely disregards the significance of gender diversity ingrained in quidditch’s very foundations. While it’s unfortunate that the unique circumstances surrounding Smith quidditch and the other  all female teams in existence, it’s imperative that the needs of the quidditch community as a whole cannot yield to the needs of a small group of individuals.

Playing Quidditch and being IQA an official team are not synonymous, and being an unnoficial quidditch team is hardly the end of the world. Quidditch’s rapid expansion in recent years has resulted in a very large influx of new teams starting up virtualy everywhere. Many of these new teams choose to develop and grow as a team before mustering up and forking over the $150 per year it takes to be IQA official and  making the commitment to attend major and regional tournaments for a chace to win a bid for the IQA World Cup. Many teams such as UNC Chapel Hill quidditch team never choose to become a part of the IQA, focusing their attention as teams mainly to the local front rather than international for reasons social, economic, and unique to each team.

The state of North Carolina is  an excellent example of how quidditch has localized in recent years. Out of it’s 24 active quidditch teams, only 2 are IQA official-University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a well established team that  functions as the heart of North Carolina Quidditch, and QC Carolinas, a newly formed potpourri team based in Winston Salem and composed of players from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and recently Utah formed exclusively for the purpose of competing for a World Cup bid. Not only is QC Carolinas the only quidditch team representing North Carolina at the IQA World Cup VI this April, but is the first quidditch team in IQA history to represent the state at the international level. The other teams in the state are hardly missing out. The Carolina Quidditch Conference is an active organization that organizes matches, calculates rankings, holds an annual conference championship tournament (the Greensboro Gauntlet), and even puts on an annual Yule Ball for it’s members and teams every winter. There is virtually no reason why quidditch teams from single sex institutions cannot play quidditch at the local or state level or participate in unofficial matches with teams that are IQA certified.

At it’s very core, quidditch is and should be a sport played by men and women side by side. Quidditch is one sport played by one community, and any attempts to expand by allowing single sex teams would only be detrimental to the very infrastructure of the community as a whole. ((how can I expand this conclusion?))

Reading Response 5

http://womeninquidditch.tumblr.com/

This is my friend Deanna’s blog. It’s a fantastic testament to the women who play quidditch and it uses imagery and articles to outline the amazing impact that so many ladies have on our game. “It’s about recognizing their contributions to the sport as athletes, officers, captains, tournament directors, IQA staff members, photographers, etc.”

I think it pertains a lot to my paper in that it illustrates just how much both genders matter in this game.

COP Interview

I had the following discussion a few weeks ago while researching my paper topic with Harry Greenhouse, a good friend of mine, seeker/chaser for University of Maryland, and one of the most prominent players in the game currently. I chose to talk with Harry about this topic because Harry is a player that I have a great deal of respect for and someone that I consider to be very well informed on the state of things in the IQA as very eloquent and opinionated. He was very direct and knew exactly what he wanted to say on the matter, so rather than ask him a specific set of questions, I sort of just let him go and directed the conversation off of what he had for me.

Harry Greenhouse
hey allie

1:08am
Allie Nelson
sup

1:08am
Harry Greenhouse
do you need opinions on the smith college situation

1:08am
Allie Nelson
yes please!

1:08am
Harry Greenhouse
sweet!
i gotta good one
It is unfortunate for the girls of Smith College to not be able to compete in the IQA as an all-girls team. However, it is impossible for them to be allowed to play without abiding to the gender rule
as the gender rule states, a team must have 2 of the minority gender on the field at all times
this keeps the sport co-ed which is one of the main values of the sport
As much sympathy as i give Smith, The IQA is making the correct choice and not letting them compete
letting Smith compete with an all girls team is unfair because it is clearly against one of the main rules in quidditch which is the gender rule. this rule is neccessary to keep the sport co-ed and if Smith cannot meet it then they shouldnt be able to play
The IQA cannot budge on this one just because it is an allgirls team
under the notion that an all girls team cannot compete
that is sexist in itself, and the IQA works to make sure it stands for equality
as well if an all girls team was allowed to play then the sport would allow also all male teams due to the fact that the IQA would need to keep the situation fair for male teams
This would lead to the downfall of quidditch as a coed sport
all male teams would obviously effect how the game was played and the the outcome of some games, causing other teams to go down that path as well
whether a team is all male or all female they cannot play no matter how good or bad they are because it breaks the gender rule which is in place for the sole purpose as to make sure the sport is co-ed
which is one of the best parts of quidditch
It is unfortunate for Smith but the IQA must stand by their decision or the sport will lose its coed nature
and as well Smith is being sexist and falsely accusing the IQA of being sexist
so overall, the IQA must remain with their decision and the gender rule
DONE

1:16am
Allie Nelson
thanks!

1:16am
Harry Greenhouse
no prob
i hope that help-ps

1:16am
Allie Nelson
that was thorough
no yeah it definitely does

1:17am
Harry Greenhouse
its supposed to be thorough and i was trying to make a strong argument

1:17am
Allie Nelson
you definitely did
I appreciate it

1:17am
Harry Greenhouse
no problem
where do you stand on this?

1:20am
Allie Nelson
honestly, I haven’t decided yet. I think both sides offer some really good argument. on one hand, the whole point of the gender rule is to better include females, and this new rule is telling a lot of females that they can’t play. but on the other hand, I also really agree about how eventhough all male teams don’t exist it does leave that possibility and I agree that the co ed nature of the sport is important

1:20am
Allie Nelson
I might just flip a coin for this paper

1:21am
Harry Greenhouse
well honestly, im telling you for this paper and for th IQA
the only ruling is to keep it coed
if they allow this team
coed will die
the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

1:22am
Allie Nelson
this is true
like yesterday I was totally pro smith
but I’ve done a lot of reading in the past 24 hours
and listening to opinions
and I’m a lot closer to pro iqa presently

1:23am
Harry Greenhouse
its easy to side with them in the beginning because its easy and it sounds like the iqa is just being assholes to them
but Smith’s petition and the way theyre acting is bad
and theyre lying and being decietful

1:23am
Allie Nelson
are they? damn

1:23am
Harry Greenhouse
i read their petition
its full of lies about the IQA and its very sexist
like just saying an all girls team is no threat to any team
is sexist
it makes girls seem worse and less improtant and usefull
and as good as players as guys
but id argue girls are some of the most vital parts
and i know some girls who are better than most guys
example erin mallory

1:25am
Allie Nelson
erin mallory is a bamf

1:25am
Harry Greenhouse
exactly

1:25am
Allie Nelson
swoolsey is a bamf

1:25am
Harry Greenhouse
erin is one of our top goal scorers
also a bamdf

1:25am
Allie Nelson
i bet

1:26am
Harry Greenhouse
but thats my point
what theyre saying as a point is sexist
so even though its unfortuante for them
the IQA cant do anything for them
they must keep gender rule for all teams to keep the integrity of the league and to remain coed

1:27am
Allie Nelson
dang you should write speeches

1:27am
Harry Greenhouse
haha thanks
i think i can be very eloquent when i want to
ive done sports speeches before
plus im a teacher so i know how to address a crowd

1:28am
Harry Greenhouse
especially when it comes down to things im passionate

1:28am
Harry Greenhouse
about

1:28am
Harry Greenhouse
and im passionate about quidditych

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I think it went really well. I was originally on one side of the argument, but Harry completely changed that initial bias. My paper was definitely reformed by this interview that my entire viewpoint shifted to the other side of the argument because of my discussion with Harry. He was very persuasive in his arguments and he introduced me to some sides of the argument that I was not aware of or had not considered. Harry did a great job of affirming that even though the IQA doesn’t always make the best call, yes, the IQA really had made the right call in this specific situation. As he said, “the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many”. After hearing Harry’s argument, I really do believe that allowing a gender rule exception to single sex institution opens up far too much leeway for a divide between men and women in the game. I learned a lot about how Harry values the balance between the male and female genders in the sport that we both play, love, and are passionate about. He brought up examples of some spectacular female players on his own team and their influence on how the game is played. As a feminist, it’s really nice to hear someone speak so highly of their female teammates. I think the quidditch community has some really talented female players and I can’t imagine removing that coed dynamic. Quidditch is such a unique sport in which the women aren’t removed or separated from the men, and are therefore offered the same oppurtunities to develop their skills and shine. And that’s something that Harry and I both is pretty incredible. It was a relatively brief discussion, but I feel that Harry did a really good job of clearly outlining everything he could possibly say on the matter. He was a big help.

I think it went really well. I was originally on one side of the argument, but Harry completely changed that initial bias. My paper was definitely reformed by this interview that my entire viewpoint shifted to the other side of the argument because of my discussion with Harry. He was very persuasive in his arguments and he introduced me to some sides of the argument that I was not aware of or had not considered. Harry did a great job of affirming that even though the IQA doesn’t always make the best call, yes, the IQA really had made the right call in this specific situation. As he said, “the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many”. After hearing Harry’s argument, I really do believe that allowing a gender rule exception to single sex institution opens up far too much leeway for a divide between men and women in the game. I learned a lot about how Harry values the balance between the male and female genders in the sport that we both play, love, and are passionate about. He brought up examples of some spectacular female players on his own team and their influence on how the game is played. As a feminist, it’s really nice to hear someone speak so highly of their female teammates. I think the quidditch community has some really talented female players and I can’t imagine removing that coed dynamic. Quidditch is such a unique sport in which the women aren’t removed or separated from the men, and are therefore offered the same oppurtunities to develop their skills and shine. And that’s something that Harry and I both is pretty incredible. It was a relatively brief discussion, but I feel that Harry did a really good job of clearly outlining everything he could possibly say on the matter. He was a big help.

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Argumentative Paper draft 1

Allie Nelson

ENGL 1102

Julie Wright

28 February 2013

The International Quidditch Association (IQA)’s decision to eliminate the single sex institution exemption clause to the gender rule in Handbook 6 should be upheld and the community should be making every effort to preserve quidditch’s coed nature and increase gendered diversity in the sport.

It goes without saying that quidditch is one of the most unique sports in existence today. Originally invented in 1997 by author J. K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series, Quidditch was once simply the mythical fantasy sport played with flying brooms and magical balls.  It was first adapted for “muggle” (non-magical) play in 2005 and has since grown into the rough and tumble full contact sport played by university, high school, and community teams in over 28 states over 13 differend countries that speaks for itself.

Although the quidditch community at large has since done some evolving away from it’s mythical Harry Potter roots and towards the realm of athleticism and sportsmanship, (such as the depopularization and near complete cessation of cape usage) almost all of the significant aspects of the fictional original game remain in practice today. All players mount brooms while in play, the  balls used on the pitch are still known as quaffles and bludgers, and the game is ended when the tricky, often maniacal “snitch” is caught by a seeker.

Despite the vast importance that is finding the perfect balance of athleticism and whimsy, one could argue that one of the most important homages to J.K. Rowling’s quidditch is it’s emphasis on gender equality and diversity. J.K. Rowling’s sport was completely gender blind. The sport was participated in by both witches and wizards, both of equal value and neither more emphasized than the other. In this way Muggle Quidditch is not and should be no different.

Oneof quidditch’s most important defining factors that make it unique is it’s status as one of very few sports in the world that is coed at even it’s highest level. There are no womens and mens leagues in quidditch, there’s only one coed leage, the IQA. The IQA’s official ruling on gender diversity states that

“Each team must have at least two players in play that are of a different gender identity than at least two other players; that is, excluding the seeker, a team may not have 5 or 6 players of the same gender in play. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player’s gender. We as a community are accepting and understanding of those who don’t identify with the binary gender system, acknowledge that this does not imply that our players all identify as “male” or “female,” and would like to welcome people of all identities and genders into our league. Because the seeker may spend the majority of the game off the pitch, seekers do not count toward the number of required gender-specific players. In the event that a team cannot field a full team in terms of gender minimum due to injury or players being sent off, the team may continue to play with fewer players, with the missing player still counting in terms of gender minimum.”

This ruling not only allows females (who-let’s face it, often find themselves at a physical disadvantage to males, especially in the world of sports) ample oppurtunity to prove themselves on the pitch, but offers a diverse athletic environment not commonly found in mainstream sports by forcing integrated play-and a lot of good has come of it. Rather than dismissed or ignored in the game in favor of their brawnier male counterparts, females are integrated into every aspect of the game. They learn what their own strengths are and how to utilize them for the benefit of the team. They’re allowed the oppurtunities to be trained as equals, hold themselves to the same standards, and grow as athletes alongside the males rather than beneath them. Rather than acting as “checks” on their mail counterparts to weigh down the team, they act as teammates. Many of the best beaters, chasers, keepers, and seekers in the IQA have been and are female. The gender rule allowed them to play with as few logistic and social limitations as possible.“Quidditch has a chance to redefine the standard. We can break the mold and facilitate change. (…)  it is providing for an interesting dynamic to the game that forces every player to grow as an athlete in ways they never imagined before.” (The Eighth Man)

If the IQA were to allow exemptions to the gender rule in the case of single sex institutions, the very coed nature of quidditch that is so precious to and charactaristic of quidditch would start to crumble. Quidditch is currently the world’s fastest growing sport. Although the only single sex teams presently in existence are all female ,there is no reason to believe that all male teams would never exist in the future, quite possibly even the near future. There is no feasible way that the IQA could justify making an exception to the gender rule for all female institutions without extending the same oppurtunity to all male teams. Many of these all female teams have appealed that their teams should be given exception on the basis that all female teams are less of a threat and could not pose a legitimate threat to other teams or the quidditch community. However, to deem female teams unproblematic or “less of a threat” oversimplifies the differences between a coed team and a single sex team as well as completely disregards the significance of gender diversity to the very foundation of quidditch’s history, values, and execution. While it’s unfortunate that the unique circumstances surrounding Smith quidditch and the other  all female teams in existence, it’s imperative that the needs of the quidditch community as a whole cannot yield to the needs of a small group of individuals.

Playing Quidditch and being IQA official are not synonymous, and being an unnoficial quidditch team is hardly the end of the world. Quidditch’s rapid expansion in recent years has resulted in a very large influx of new teams starting up virtualy everywhere. Many of these new teams choose to develop and grow as a team before forking over the $150 per year it takes to be IQA official and  making the commitment to attend major and regional tournaments for a chace to win a bid for the IQA World Cup. Many teams never choose to become a part of the IQA, focusing their attention as teams mainly to the local front rather than international for reasons social, economic, and unique to each team.

The state of North Carolina is  an excellent example of how quidditch has localized in recent years. Out of it’s 24 active quidditch teams, only 2 are IQA official-University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a well established team that  functions as the heart of North Carolina Quidditch, and QC Carolinas, a newly formed mixed team based in Winston Salem and composed of players from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia formed exclusively for the purpose of competing for a World Cup bid. Not only is QC Carolinas the only quidditch team representing North Carolina at the IQA World Cup VI this April, but is the first quidditch team in IQA history to represent the state at the international level. The other teams in the state are hardly missing out. The Carolina Quidditch Conference is an active organization that organizes matches, calculates rankings, holds an annual conference championship tournament (the Greensboro Gauntlet), and even puts on an annual Yule Ball for it’s members every winter. There is virtually no reason why quidditch teams from single sex institutions cannot play quidditch at the local or state level or participate in unofficial matches with teams that are IQA certified.

At it’s very core, quidditch is and should be a sport played by men and women side by side. Quidditch is one sport played by one community, and any attempts to expand by allowing single sex teams would only be detrimental to the very infrastructure of the community as a whole.

Reading Response 3

I think my writing style is very hit or miss. In some ways, I identify similarly with the author of the shitty rough drafts reading because I find myself stuck at a loss for words when I have to just start writing without a clear goal. It’s like getting in a car without a map or a destination. You just start driving, and you keep driving until either someone tells you to stop or you run yourself off a cliff. But on occasion I find that I am able to come up with a good thesis on the spot, and that’s when my writing is usually at it’s best. I think I’m pretty good at writing a solid thesis. Sometimes it just comes to me. Sometimes I have to think really long and hard about it and it’s super frustrating. But as soon as I know where I’m going, I find that I can get there rather quickly and rather naturally. It’s like one of my favorite feelings in the world when I’ve been stressing over a thesis forever and haven’t been able to come up with one that satisfies me or my goals and all of a sudden I finally have one. I write and speak in pretty much the same way. Sometimes I’m super articulate and passionate and sometimes I just babble on for stretches of time without any sign of purpose, slowing down, or stopping. But I think the babbling can be a really productive, creative process when I allow it to be.

Reading notes

Inquiry Blog 4

For my inquiry on the Quidditch Community’s Community of Practice, I have elected to write about the debate regarding the usage and legality of capes in the International Quidditch Association’s official handbook and utilization in gameplay for the entire world of quidditch. When I read through the handbook for the first time at the very beginning of my experiences with quidditch, I thought it was really cool that you could wear capes, but once I actually found myself becoming more familiar with the game and the community, I found that there is much of a heated debate regarding their practicality and safety, and I found myself on the anti-cape side of the argument. I know that usage of capes was much more widespread back in the earlier days of quidditch. (2005-2009ish) Since some of the oldest teams originated in the northeastern united states, I feel that there may be some correlation with this debate and the different IQA regions. I’m not sure about it, but it’s something that I would like to find out. I intend to focus mainly on how the cape argument has varied over time and how it varies by region. So far, I have acquainted myself mostly with the mid atlantic region (obviously because the mid atlantic region is the region that I play in) but I do have contacts in the midwest region, northeast region, european region, and south american region. I’d like to study what the players think and what the IQA officials think. Are they similar? Are they different? Does the IQA staff argue amongst themseles regarding capes, or are they at a general consensus? What is that consensus? I feel that this issue is very important because the utilization and legality of capes affects both the safety of our players as well as the image of ourselves that we promote as a community to the outside world. Is it a good idea to tie a cape around your neck in a sport that is heavy on physical agression and tackling? Can people really take us seriously if we dress like wizards? What does it mean to be “taken seriously”? How much does being “taken seriously” matter? I feel that there’s a lot to be explored on this front and I really look forward do doing some exploring.

Inquiry Blog 3

I think the main source of discussion among this COP is the official facebook groups

The IQA (All the regions) group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/239868546116354/

network used by about 1,000 people

There are also region specific groups, this is the mid atlantic’s (mine):

https://www.facebook.com/groups/228169693932620/

People use these pages to discuss tactics, recommend things like gloves, and discuss what’s going on in the quidditch world at large

People use this “quidditch scores” facebook group to keep tabs on other teams in other regions. People regularly report the scores of IQA official games.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/350463958376995/

I’ve noticed some tension between australian players and american players and this is something I might look back on