The Texas Quidditch team became national champions for the fourth time at the US Quidditch Cup 12 tournament in Round Rock earlier this month. However, as Quidditch becomes a more established sport, NPR reported last week that the potential for injury in the sport is becoming more apparent.
Quidditch is a co-ed contact sport involving a combination of lacrosse, rugby and dodgeball. A 2017 study from the University of Edinburgh looked at Quidditch players in the United Kingdom and found concussions accounted for 20% of injuries in the sport. The study also concluded that women experience concussions in the sport at twice the rate as men.
Simon Arends, a coach for Texas Quidditch, said he goes through training every season to learn about concussion protocol because it is required by UT and US Quidditch. He said the coaches will sit players out of practice even for minor injuries, such as cramps.
“From my experience, if anything, we take a few more steps beyond injury prevention than I’ve seen other sports teams do,” Arends said.
Carly Jordan, a journalism and radio-television-film senior and member of Texas Quidditch, said she got a concussion while playing during her sophomore year. She said concussions account for some of the injuries.
“I would say concussions … ankle and knee injuries are definitely high up there, but I don’t really think there’s that much of a differentiation between men and women getting hurt in the sport,” Jordan said.
In fact, Jordan said more men were injured on the team this year. She said one player injured his ACL and another tore the meniscus in his knee.
Arends also said he noticed some injuries occur at the beginning of the game during “brooms up,” when the teams on either side of the field run to the middle of the field to collect balls, similar to dodgeball. Arends said he broke his jaw because of “brooms up,” and he saw another player get a concussion from running full speed into his opponent.
“(Breaking my jaw) was rough,” Arends said. “That part of the sport is just not necessary.”
Sarah Woolsey, the executive director of US Quidditch, said the organization takes measures to improve safety.
“We evaluate everything every single season specifically with a focus toward athlete safety, and we look a lot to the best practices in other sports,” Woolsey said.