A magical club sport thrives with muggles at Winthrop
J.K. Rowling has brought happiness and joy to millions of people around the world with
her creation of Hogwarts and its students through the Harry Potter series. The book series creates a fantasy world that many could only ever dream of entering. Well, there is one unique part of this story that has been brought to life at universities around the globe, including Winthrop.
Quidditch is a sport full of diversity, mystery and fantasy where students can leave the troubles of the real world and enter an alternate, magical universe with friends from all around the world. It takes a bit of imagination to turn a sport that is typically played hundreds of feet in the air on flying broomsticks to a ground sport that even muggles — non-wizarding people — can play.
The game is fairly complex, yet it is a unique sport, drawing its rules and regulations from the books and Rowling’s mind. There are four main positions on the team: the seeker, three chasers, two beaters and the keeper.
The seeker’s job is to catch the snitch, who is a person with no association to either team. The snitch runs around the field with a “tail” hanging from their pants. The team whose seeker catches the snitch racks up 30 points for their team and officially ends the game.
While the seeker is off to catch the snitch, the chasers use a quaffle, or a volleyball, to score points. They must get the ball through one of three hoops that stand on a pole — the ball can enter through the front or back of the goals. One goal is equivalent to 10 points. This may sound easy, but there are quite a few obstacles to overcome before reaching the goals.
The beaters are in charge of protecting the keeper and cause the chasers to become disoriented. The beaters are given three bludgers, or in this case dodge balls, that they are allowed to hit chasers from the other team with. Once someone gets hit by a bludger, they must declare “off-broom”, then they are required to run back to their home goal before proceeding in the game.
The keeper is the goalkeeper, or the guardian of the hoops, and their only job is to protect the goal ensuring that the other team does not score enough points to win the match.
Everyone on the team must obey the rules and use a “broomstick” at all times. It is mandatory that every player keeps a broom, that looks like a hockey stick, between their legs at all times. This makes for a show when the players are running around with a stick between their legs and throwing balls at each other, but it is actually quite difficult.
Club sports are a popular way for people with similar interests and hobbies to connect and have fun.
“Being a part of a club sport is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, improve your teamwork skills and have a good time,” said Annslee Smith, a freshman biology major on the team. Quidditch is a club sport that allows people who love both the Harry Potter series and playing team sports to come together to practice, exercise and compete in tournaments.
Joining a club sport such as Quidditch is just one of the many ways to get involved on campus and meet new friends.
“Being in Quidditch means that I’m able to stay physically active and active within the community as well,” said Olivia Hartman, a freshman psychology major on the team. Although, Quidditch comes from a magical world, it is a sport for anyone, no matter how much knowledge one has of J.K. Rowling’s magical world.