Quidditch Club: Potter Fanatics Take On Gravity

“It combines the nerviness of UCSD students with competitive sports and brings all [the] Harry Potter fans together for a chance to live out our magical fantasies,” Eleanor Roosevelt College sophomore Nick Johnsen said. Johnsen is the team captain of the Hurdling Hufflepuffs.
The club was started recently by four friends, attracting over 100 regular members who held their first game on Jan. 10. Every Monday and Thursday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., two teams of roughly 20 people each play two games, with 14 people on the field at any given time, not including the referee. Team names are a mix of wizard-world jargon and clever tongue-in-cheek: Badassilisks, Rumbleroar’s Army, and BAMF (Bad Ass Muggle Fliers) are among the most memorable.
The founders include Muir College sophomores Hannah Green and Matt Levin, Muir College junior Joanne Ho and Eleanor Roosevelt College sophomore Megan Alcalay. They describe the sport as a cross between soccer and water polo, in which players move around the field and try to score goals (as in soccer) using one hand like a water polo player, while the other hand holds a broom between the player’s legs.
“It’s basically exactly like it is in the books and movies,” Ho said. “Just instead of flying, you’re riding on a broom.”
The official rules of Quidditch are outlined in the handbook of the International Quidditch Association, of which the club is a registered chapter. Players score points by throwing quaffles through the goal post past a keeper (or goalie), while opponents try to knock them off their brooms using bludgers. The game ends only when the snitch has been caught, meaning that the Seeker has grabbed the snitch from the snitch-runner, who can run anywhere in Muir College, including trees and rooftops.
The club makes creative use of everyday objects for lack of enchanted equipment: red soccer balls take the place of quaffles, dodge balls are used for bludgers and a tennis ball in a sock hanging from the back of the snitch-runner’s shorts replaces the snitch. For goal posts, Levin and teammate David Renteria, another Muir College sophomore, warped PVC pipes and hula hoops, sticking them together with duct tape.

Finding good brooms has proven difficult. Since the group has no other source of funding, they were forced to buy brooms at the dollar store. Johnsen said his favorite moment on the pitch was when he received a gash in his arm from a broomstick while playing keeper.

“It’s exciting because it was our first game and everyone was having so much fun and getting so aggressive [that] we got lost in the excitement,” he said.
The club hopes to receive funding from A.S. Council soon to put toward purchasing new brooms, though they’re precariously  duct taping the ends of the old brooms in the meantime. The group currently requests a one-time $10 fee from each new member, which funds the purchase of Quidditch team shirts.
Although whimsical by definition, Quidditch is not without a rough side, and the IQA recommends that all players wear shin guards, mouth guards and cleats while playing. But Ho insists that it is a sport for everyone.
“If you love tackling people, you should be a chaser,” Ho said. “I love dodgeball so I’m a beater for sure. Some people love being a keeper, like a goalie and if you just love having people chase after you and wrestling them, you should be a snitch.”

Alcalay added that they try to keep the games as friendly as possible.
“Luckily, the people who have been coming out are friendly, good people. You’d have to be if you’re coming to run around with a broomstick between your legs.”

The club plans on holding fundraisers in the near future to raise funds for Book Aid International, an organization that gives books to needy children.“We’re trying to spread the joy of Harry Potter, the joy of books and reading in general,” Ho said.
Students looking to join the club should search the UCSD Quidditch Facebook group for updates, and can visit their website  at http://www.ucsdquidditch.com when it launches in a few weeks. Showing up at Muir Field during game time is also encouraged.
“We don’t turn anyone away,” Alcalay said. “We know it’s kind of like a magical fantasy sport, but it’s all about having fun and taking a break from school.”

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$0
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$0
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal