The Boggarts Quidditch team is preparing for regionals in Tulsa, Okla. According to Mandy Tracy, one of the co-captains of the team, there are 300 quidditch teams worldwide registered with the International Quidditch Association.
Although the players’ feet remain on the ground most of the time, Tracy said the sport can get extremely physical and even dangerous.
“When you’re on a broom, it’s such a high injury risk,” said Tracy, a junior creative writing major.
Each end of the field has three goal posts of different heights each with a hula hoop attached to the top. Just like in the Harry Potter movies, points are scored by the three chasers who pass the ball, in this case a volleyball, through one of the hoops.
Each team also has two beaters who chuck “bludgers” at players to try and stop them from scoring. When hit by a bludger, a player must drop the ball where they are and run back and touch their team’s goalposts before returning to the game.
The game ends only when the seekers catch the snitch. Instead of a small magical flying ball, the snitch is a person from another team who wears a sock with a tennis ball and runs away from the seekers.
According to Jordan Vlieger, a sophomore who plays the chaser, most games typically last 30 to 45 minutes although they have the potential to last much longer.
The snitch is allowed to do all sorts of things, such as climbing fences, in a wide range of space to avoid the seekers.
According to Sophia Johnson, a junior biology major and chaser for the team, a snitch at one game hid clothes in the stands so he could change and then sit in the bleachers and pretend to be a spectator.
Tracy said the team is excited for regionals. “We beat CU, which was a really big deal,” she said. “I think the team, in the history of it being founded, has only won two games.”
At practice, the players run drills and practice avoiding bludgers, all with laughter and big smiles.
“We all talk about the same things,” Johnson said. “We’re all competitive, too.”
During several drills at their practice, the players roll on top of each other fighting for the ball. Each time, they come up laughing and joking.
“I love the people,” said Jordan Vlieger, a sophomore who plays chaser. “It’s just really fun to be able to have this group of people that you can totally nerd out with and be yourself with and no one judges because everyone is just as weird.”
After practice, the players hang around talking and joking about their day.
“Everyone here is really nice, they’re really accepting,” Tracy said. “I kind of like hitting people in the face with a bludger, too.”
Collegian Entertainment Assistant Editor Amber Johnson can be reached at email@example.com.