Obscure Sports Weekly: Quidditch

Whether they briefly saw it on a movie preview or recall the exact value of the Golden Snitch, many are familiar with the Harry Potter-based sport of Quidditch. While mounted on a broomstick, witches and wizards in the magical world compete in the sport that incorporates dodgeball, rugby and friendly rivalry. However, Quidditch isn’t just for the wizarding world. The sport has flown into schools and communities all around the country.

The muggles (non-magical folk) have created adaptations of Quidditch so it is available to the ground-bound. A volleyball is volunteered in place of the quaffle, with two chasers earning 10 points per hoop as they kick and throw it down the field. A dodgeball in place of a bludger is used to remind you of P.E. nightmares as two beaters hit it at opposing players. The keeper follows the Harry Potter books, with a student guarding three hoops from the opposing team. The seekers no longer chase an independently zooming Golden Snitch but are now hunting a small golden ball attached to the waist of a yellow-uniformed student strategically running away. The game ends when the Golden Snitch is caught, earning the captor’s team 30 points and the victory going to the team with the most points.

The rules of the game are parallel to those given by writer J.K. Rowling. The balls are assigned to specific players. Chasers can only use the quaffle. Beaters can only hit the bludger. The Snitch can only be caught by a Seeker. The most important rule of the game is that there must be a broomstick between players legs at all times. One hand must be gripping the broomstick. Players not properly riding their broomsticks will not be considered as participating in the game. Therefore, all play by said player will not count.

Over 100 colleges, universities and communities offer Quidditch teams that are registered in the US Quidditch (USQ) D1 league. Among these teams are the Badassilisks of New York, Kansas Quidditch Club from University of Kansas and the Horntails from Harvard, sometimes referred to as the William Jewell College of the east coast.

Rochester University is currently number one in the USQ. Missouri is represented at the top by Mizzou in third place.

So what are the chances of a Quidditch league being started at William Jewell College? There came and went a Quidditch organization years ago. However, it has not been introduced as an intramural sport. Student Life currently offers four intramural sports: sand volleyball, flag football, soccer and softball.

“In regards to intramural, the intramural directors each year determine what is on the schedule,” said Sara Bailey, Director of Student Activities. “I would suggest working in conjunction with the directors in the process [of reintroducing Quidditch].”

At the end of each semester, Bailey sends out a student activities survey inviting students to give their feedback about what events should be included for future semesters. Some Jewell students are already expressing interest in the prospect of a Quidditch league.

“I definitely think Quidditch should be offered as a spring intramural sport here at Jewell. It would increase my participation in intramurals, and I don’t know who in their right mind wouldn’t want to play Quidditch,” said Shea Marcinski, sophomore and Harry Potter enthusiast. “J.K. Rowling is not a sports fan. When she had the idea of creating a wizarding sport she wanted to create one she would enjoy watching and actually enjoy playing. I feel like that’s what Quidditch could be here at Jewell too.”

Perhaps one day Quidditch will be common on campus as students practice throwing quaffles around the quad or ignore “No Flying on the Bricks” signs.

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