Quadball is a game which started in 2005 at Middlebury College in United States of America (USA) and it has grown to over 600 teams in close to 40 countries.
The game is a mixed gender contact sport with. unique mix of elements from Rugby , dodgeball and tag. A quadball team is made up of seven athletes who play with brooms between their legs at all times.
It had been introduced in Uganda when it was called quidditch , unfortunately it was not taken seriously and collapsed thus forcing some concerned stakeholders to revive it.
Quadball in Uganda
Dumba Lawrence , one of the Directors of Directors of Education for life and Social Action ( ELSA) Africa , one of the brain behind the revival of this game in Uganda narrates shares the Ups and Downs sorrounding this unique game in the country.
“In 2018 we went to Masaka in a Village known as Katwadde Girl where we had gone for an activity reffered to as Girl Parliament, its where we were introduced to Quadball by Mr. John Ssentamu. Later on covid broke out to 2020 , everything was affected and we didn’t continue with any activity.” Dumba revealed.
Dumba says that upon lifting of Lock down in 2021 , they decided to revive quadball being a gender balanced sport to help girls who had been affected by covid19 to have an activity which keeps them active and busy. “We received overwhelming support from parents, religious leaders.”
Formation of Clubs
Dumba says that they started with a few young people but as time passes there are others who join.
“We started at Kamanya Church of Uganda Primary School in Bunamwaya , Wakiso district. Currently we have two teams as ELSA , one for the juniors and the other for the youths.”
That its these two teams that are used for demonstration wherever they want to introduce this game in a new place.
“Country wide , there are ten teams in three districts of Uganda under ELSA, i.e Kampala , Wakiso , Jinja team for teen mothers who got pregnant during covid 19 lock down whom we want to show that there is hope to brighten their future again.”
The game on top of promoting physical fitness among the players , it promotes team work and discipline among the team mates.
“In this sporting activities both boys and girls work together as brothers and sisters thereby getting used to each other and thus reducing on the possibility of engaging in pre mature love relationships.”
Being a new sport with less competition , there are more chances of good players being exposed to international market compared to football.
Special projects like Farming , Tailoring and skilling lessons have been put in place for players especially during their free time.
Dumba says that they had prepared to participate in this year’s World Cup Tournament which was held in Virginia USA this month but it wasn’t possible due to a number of challenges.
That second tournament is scheduled to take place on December 2nd 2023 in Uganda and the best team will automatically qualify to represent the country in European games come August 2024 if IQA allows.
The players who will reach this stage will have more chances of meeting scouts who may take them to other international teams.
Currently the Directors of ELSA are using their personal funding with hope that very soon they received funding from other stakeholders.
These are in plans to officially petitioning the International quadball Association financial and equipment support.
Due to limited funding they decided to improvise on a number of equipments used by replacing them with alternatives (look alikes).
According to the Director ELSA Africa, these have already written to National Council of Sports to recognize this game and the process is still underway.
“They tasked us to present anumber of requirements and we have already fulfiled some as we look forward to finalize the whole process.”
He added that once this is done , it will gain momentum country wide.
James Mulumba , another Director of ELSA at the same time the coach of Quadball, reveals that he was introduced to this game by his colleague Dumba theoretically in 2019.
” My first question was how will we gain experience in this new game which we have never seen being played. The question was solved by acquiring a book from International Quadball Association (IQA) with more explannation and details about the game.” Mulumba noted
Its from this book that Mulumba acquired skills which he later practiced with others before becoming a senior coach.
That many people didn’t have hope to play the game , but with hope as well as encouragement he puts into them , many end up enjoying the game.
“It’s the only game empowering the girl child coz its a must that wherever you’re assembling a team , 3 or 4 girls . As we who believe in empowering women it will greatly help us in fulfilling this dream.”
There is lmited accessibility to standard equipments for this game in the country for the reason being that its new.
There is still lack of knowledgable people about the game like Referees which affects the game.
The game is facing a problem of limited funding whereby ELSA currently can’t afford to buy equipment for all teams involved.
Very few people give this game the attention it requires because its very new to them and they need more time to understand it very well.
Uganda still lacks Standard play grounds (pitches) qualifying to host the game/ currently the game is being played on football pitches.