By Ryan Smythe
Well, the good news for Boise is that none of its players will have an MLQ suspension on their records.
The Boise Grays are officially out of the MLQ West division after disbanding the franchise for the remainder of the 2018 season on Tuesday, July 3. MLQ launched an investigation into the reports of referee and player misconduct in their second game against the Salt Lake City Hive on June 16. The misconduct in question started after an assistant referee shoved Matthew McCracken off a downed player.
The referee in question was never supposed to be on the field during that series, but was instead pulled on at the last minute. According to the teams, Hive manager Sam Huston refereed game one because no other refs were available. Following the 100*-80 win for the visiting squad, Gray Manager Mercedes Natali requested a replacement for her opponent’s manager, and the replacement who ended up initiating the on-field conflict was brought on to the ref crew. While he was reportedly the most qualified option available, he had not reffed an official quidditch match since at least the 2016-2017 season.
We have to wait and see if the Grays make a return in 2019 to fight for a spot at Championship weekend again.
“Because the Boise Grays will no longer participate in the rest of this season, no suspensions will be given to any players on the team,” MLQ wrote in its official statement. “However, MLQ would like to reiterate our vehement opposition toward participation in a brawl of any sort and that actions of such nature would result in a suspension in any other situation.”
The only official punishment handed down by MLQ is the replacement ref’s suspension from participating in any future league events, the league’s first-ever lifetime ban. In fact, this may be the first lifetime ban in the history of our sport. However, if the Grays continued on with their season, their punishment would have been severe.
“In the event Boise continued on with their season, suspensions would have been issued to two players: one suspension in relation to the ‘brawl’ and one in relation to reports of language directed at other players that violated our code of conduct,” MLQ said in a statement to FBI.
For the rest of the division, this means that everyone is guaranteed a spot in the Championships later this summer. This also means that the Super Series, tentatively renamed the Adequate Series, will now just be a one-day affair between the San Francisco Argonauts and the Los Angeles Guardians, and that everyone can stay at home to watch the FIFA World Cup finals.
The USA already won their World Cup trophy. If only that meant we got the Men’s team’s budget for the next World Cup too… Photo credit: Miguel Esparza.
It’s unclear whether or not the Grays will make a return for the 2019 season. There are a few potential replacement candidates for the fourth spot in the West, including Seattle, San Diego, or a rebirth of the Phoenix Sol, but any team looking to fill that role may need to worry about the fourth MLQ West spot being cursed… The remaining three teams still need to get through this season before we get to find out, and we still haven’t even seen this new Guardians squad in action yet. While there are a few returning standouts like beater Max Portillo, keeper Michael Richardson, and 2016 chaser Liz Allendorf, the majority of this roster is filled with new MLQ faces. We’ll have a breakdown of the Argonauts/Guardians matchup sometime next week, and make sure to tune into the live stream, which will hopefully be better than a vertical iPhone video.