Students rode broomsticks and wore Hogwarts house colors while playing muggle, or non-magical, Quidditch, based on the wizarding sport played by the characters in J.K. Rowling’s young adult book series “Harry Potter.”
Starting at Middlebury College in Vermont in 2007, muggle Quidditch is a sport of increasing popularity which is played on college campuses across the U.S.
Created in 2009, the Texas Quidditch team holds scrimmages on Fridays between the Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin houses — the non-competing members of the team — and the varsity Gryffindor team, the more experienced Quidditch players who compete against other college teams.
Texas Quidditch is a member of The International Quidditch Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Quidditch. The IQA puts on the Quidditch World Cup tournament, which more than 100 universities from around the world compete in each year in New York City. For the first time, the Texas varsity team will be competing in the World Cup in November.
Before the varsity team heads to the World Cup, there will be two more scrimmages between the houses, and the Texas Quidditch House Cup will be held in December.
With more than 40 members, this intramural sport brings people together from different backgrounds.
“From premiere athletes who haven’t read a single ‘Harry Potter’ book, to life-long members of Dumbledore’s Army, Quidditch has them all and everyone in between,” said Nathaniel Brayton, rhetoric and writing senior and Slytherin co-captain.
Brayton is the match coordinator in the Texas Quidditch panel of team officers, or the “Ministry of Magic.”
The game is played rather similarly to the game in the books — minus the flying. Witches and wizards fly on broomsticks while attempting to throw a quaffle, a leather-covered ball, into one of three hoops of the opposing team’s to score points while simultaneously trying to dodge opponents.
“For fans of the books and the movies, it’s entertaining in that aspect,” said radio-television-film senior Melissa DeVarney and Texas Quidditch spokeswoman. “Quidditch is one of the best parts in the movies so it’s cool to have that in some form.”
In wizarding Quidditch, the game ends when the seeker, famously known as Harry Potter’s position, captures a golden flying ball called the “snitch,” a rare magical item, that when caught, awards the respective team 150 points and gives them a crucial advantage.
In muggle Quidditch, this is replicated with a runner dressed in yellow with a sock tucked into their shorts, similar to the format of flag football.
“This would be my physical reality of the fake world of ‘Harry Potter,’” said Spencer Miller, senior history major and varsity co-captain. “We’ve had constant growing pains in the past two and half years, so this sport is something that we can really take on because no precedents have been set.”
Printed on Monday, October 17, 2011 as: Varsity Quidditch to compete in World Cup