Forget what you’ve heard. Quidditch is no longer just for wizards and Potterheads, but muggles too.
Although originally J.K. Rowling’s fictional creation was available only to witches and wizards, Quidditch has developed into a real-life sport played by both fans and those unacquainted with the world of Hogwarts.
Junior political science major Kym Couch, manager of the Boise State Quidditch team, explained that her love of Harry Potter isn’t the reason why she plays the sport.
“I like Harry Potter and it’s great, but it’s not why I play Quidditch,” Couch said.
Quidditch allows players to meld two of their passions: entertainment and physical activity. Couch said she decided to help form the team because she had always been passionate about sports.
“There’s the people who want it to be really connected to the books and then there’s the people who want it to be separate,” Couch said. “It’s moving more towards a sport that is separated from that whole fandom situation.”
Many of the players are upset that the sport is so closely associated with Harry Potter, despite its literary origins.
“I don’t want to talk about Harry Potter,” sophomore history secondary education major Stew Driflot said. “I like to exclude the sport from Harry Potter itself.”
For sophomore teammates business major Meghann Neveau and English major with a linguistic emphasis Chance Fuerstinger, the sport is closely connected to the Harry Potter franchise.
Neveau and Fuerstinger, who are roommates, both grew up with Harry Potter and have collectables in their apartment.
“In our apartment when you walk in, there about 17 wands up on the wall. We have all the replicas of the wands, Harry Potter flags and Slytherin stuff,” Neveau said.
The one thing many of the Quidditch team want people to know is it is not a Harry Potter club.
“Don’t go into it expecting it to be a joke, because it’s hardcore and you’re going to get hurt,” Fuerstinger said.
Despite the fact that the game is physically grueling, many spectators continue to see it as Harry Potter fanatics running around on “broomsticks.” Driflot explained this perception prevents them from being seen as a sport rather than a club.
“No matter how serious we get, no matter how good our team is, we’re still running around on broomsticks throwing balls and catching a snitch. There’s always going to be that challenge,” Driflot said.
The Quidditch team is always open to new members, and those interested in joining can stop by their practices on Sundays from 12-2 p.m. on the field in front of the SUB.
Those interested in watching a match can catch them on April 26 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Smurf Turf for a tournament against other teams.
The rules of Quidditch
Three chasers score goals worth 10 points with a volleyball called a quaffle
Each team has a keeper to protect their hoops
Two beaters with dodgeballs, called the bludgers, help keep flow of the game by getting players out by hitting them with the balls
Each team has a seeker to catch the snitch
The snitch is a ball attached to the snitch player, who wears a yellow uniform and tries to avoid capture
The snitch is worth 30 points and its capture ends game
A Quidditch game requires each team to have at least two players on the field who identify with a different gender than at least two other players. The gender that a player identifies with is considered to be that player’s gender, which may or may not be the same as that person’s sex