It’s 9:30 am on Sunday, October 16th. I should be in the East Bay playing in my first tournament as a Skrewt; instead, I find myself writing another dumb retirement announcement. The tournament was canceled, but there are still games going on at Cal.
Games involving teams that I’ve worked hard for, whether or not I’ve ever been affiliated with them. Games I didn’t hear about until 6 pm the night before—too late to get my team together to go and get some much-needed experience playing as a team.
I love quidditch. But I have never hated it as much as I do right now.
So I quit.
I vacate all my roles and responsibilities as of right fucking now.
- West RC? Regionals are months away and team sign ups are done. Get your damn ref requirements in.
- Sunset Invitational? Only one team from outside the West was even interested. And why should they be? Traveling sucks for us on the west coast but there’s not much of a choice, so why would other teams volunteer for that hardship?
- NCQC? Chris and Ra know what they’re doing. I trust them.
- QP? They deserve a CEO who isn’t having a meltdown every other weekend.
- Skrewts? They deserve better than an ancient bench warmer who hates practicing.
Why did I take on so much? A few seasons ago, my team got so caught up in doing well at any cost that we became pretty terrible people. Playing illegal rosters (by our school’s rules, not USQ’s), playing to hurt other teams, lying and infighting and imploding right before regionals. I took a break from leadership before coming back, not to lead my own team, but to make things better for the teams around me. I promised myself that my biggest priority would be to make quidditch better for everyone, not just myself. I promised myself that I would be a good example.
I think I have been. It just hasn’t been enough to change the underlying problems of this sport. The workload isn’t the problem; I think I’m well suited to those roles. What I can’t do, however, is change attitudes.
I am done with trying to make the big picture happen, because it would make the sport better, with people who only care about themselves and their petty rivalries.
I am done being asked for help with no benefit to me because it would make the sport better. Yes, that means you, for asking me to help ref at scrimmages my team asn’t invited to because of a stupid petty bullshit rivalry with the Skrewts.
I am done with working with teams that make my life harder because it would make the sport better. I included teams in my conference that I wasn’t particularly thrilled with because I cared more about improving local quidditch than my personal feelings.
I am done being the only person who tolerates people I can’t stand because it would make the sport better. That list is long and distinguished but I don’t even want to bother with naming names and giving anyone any more attention than they deserve.
I am done with hearing about rivalries and drama that predate me and have nothing to do with me, like all the Skrewts-adjacent community team clusterfucks and the mountain of bullshit I had to deal with from my friends when I had the crazy idea of making QP better because it would make the sport better.
I am done with knowing that nearly every tournament I run, no matter how detailed my plans and contingency plans are and no matter how much information I put out in advance, will usually end with me doing last minute magic that adds to my white hair count because someone else doesn’t have their shit together and expects me to cater to them.
I am done with being the face of choices that no one (including me, so so so very much) likes and getting shot for being the messenger.
This isn’t all Cal’s fault. They didn’t think. Neither did the other teams attending. It happens. It’s just the last time I care to deal with people thinking only of themselves while depending on me to think about the big picture.
It will keep happening until there are consequences. I’m not really your or anyone else’s mom. Maybe that approach was wrong. Maybe I’m too old for this and quidditch needs to grow up. Maybe my leaving will shake things up and change things for the better, but I doubt it. Staying certainly won’t, though.
But like any other dumb retirement announcement, let’s see if this sticks.
This is not how I wanted to go out. I wanted one more season. A shot at playing at nationals one last time. Making sure that I had built a conference that could run itself without me. Quidditch has given me so much, so many friends and opportunities I never would have had otherwise; it’s just that I’ve reached the point where it’s taken more out of me than I get back.