“Our goal was first and foremost to win the World Cup,” said Christopher Morris, finance senior and Texas Quidditch co-captain. “And to prove that we are a great team.”
That’s exactly what they did at the 2013 Quidditch World Cup VI in Kissimmee, Fla. The tournament featured 80 teams, some from Canada, Mexico and France, but most from the United States.
The Longhorns have two travelling teams that competed. Texas Quidditch is considered a division I, or “varsity,” team, while Austin Quidditch is division II, a “B” team.
Austin Quidditch did not advance to bracket play, but the team’s passion for the sport continues to grow.
“We wanted to go out and prove to everyone that Austin Quidditch isn’t just a ‘B’ team,” Austin Quidditch Captain Nathan Vest said. “We wanted to show that we’re a force to be reckoned with and that we can compete with the top teams from all over the world.”
Although the game of Quidditch may be foreign to many, it is extremely competitive to those involved. The sport resembles its namesake, the Quidditch played at Hogwarts, from the magical world of Harry Potter. Of course, there are no flying brooms and animated balls, but the two are very similar.
The main objective is the same: Score points by throwing quaffles into hoops at each end of the field, knock opponents off their brooms by throwing bludgers at them and most importantly try to catch the snitch to end the game. In a world with no magic, there is no enchanted equipment.
Instead the players use a broom in between their swift legs as a means of traveling, kickballs to throw at opponents, volleyballs to throw into hoops and a human snitch that has a tennis ball in a sock to protect.
The players have the same responsibilities as in the magical game. There are keepers who defend the hoops and chasers who attempt at scoring. There is a snitch runner who tries to keep game in play by guarding the beloved snitch and seekers who try to catch the snitch.
At first glance, the sport may seem a little silly.
“I actually got into Quidditch kind of accidentally,” chaser and seeker Darian Fazeli said. “I saw two of my friends walking by on campus carrying very unusual objects. When they told me it was for Quidditch, I kind of rolled my eyes and said something snarky. Eventually, they convinced me to come out and give it a shot. After the first day I was hooked, and I knew right then that I had found a life-long love.”
Quidditch has become a passion for many students, both as players and fans, and Texas Quidditch showcased that at the World Cup.
“It is extremely hard to stand out amongst the other student organizations since there are so many,” Publicity Chair Caitlin Amthor said. “We have been very lucky to receive a lot of support from our fellow Longhorns, but our biggest strength is definitely the passion that our players have. When Texas Quidditch decides that they want to win the World Cup, they don’t stop working hard until they get what they have been dreaming of.”
After Texas Quidditch advanced to the World Cup bracket play, it defeated Texas A&M and Bowling Green State University and later went on to beat UCLA to claim the championship, prompting the UT Tower to be lit burnt orange.
In its first year as a club sport on campus, Texas Quidditch has proven to be a passionate organization with dedicated players.
“Winning the World Cup has been the goal of the Texas Quidditch team since it’s inception,” Morris said. “Taking the title as World Champion is something that very few people get to claim in their life and that crowning moment of victory is something that I will treasure and look back on for the rest of my life.”