We’ve all seen the signs advertising “B.Y.O.B Bring Your Own Broomstick” around campus, as Juniata launches a new and exciting club sport from the Harry Potter fiction we all know and love: Quidditch. If you haven’t attended a practice, or know what it’s all about then this is the article for you. Co-captain and one of the founders of the club freshman, Anshu Chawla, answers some questions about the sport that’s sweeping campuses’ across the country.
Why did you decide to start a Quidditch Club on Campus?
The beginnings were in high school when I heard a lot about it through a group of people. I checked IQA (International Quidditch Association) online and I checked to see if Juniata had one. When they didn’t advertise it online and I didn’t see a booth at Lobsterfest, I decided to start one. I think that there are now over 300 colleges who have a Quidditch club.
What are some of the most important rules? I have heard they are 700.
Yes there are 700. There are 14 people on the field, 7 for each team, and 1 snitch (we’ve been playing with a human snitch who runs around with a flag attached to them). The objective of the seekers is to catch the flag. Everyone has to run with a broom (except for the snitch) and we use hula hoops with extensions as the goals for the 3 chasers whose job is to throw the quaffle volleyball) into the goal. There is also a keeper for each team who defends the goal and 2 beaters on each team who throw bludgers (dodgeballs) at the opposing teams. The snitch and seekers are allowed to leave the field —they can go anywhere on campus and if the snitch is caught, then that team automatically wins.
What are the qualifications to play?
The only thing you need is an open mind. Almost anyone can play because it’s basically a combination of sports—Rugby, tag and handball.
Have you seen a lot of student interest?
Yeah, there’s definitely a lot. We are still trying to find a good time that everyone who is interested can attend practice. Right now we haven’t joined the association because we don’t have enough players, but once we do we hope to be competitive. Once it’s more advanced we’ll choose positions for people but right now it’s still pretty informal. There are tournaments at different schools and a world cup. There is also 3 divisions I, II, and III and you start at III and work your way up.
What’s the most fun part about playing?
I think catching the snitch is the most fun, because then you win the game. Quaffle is basically handball with people running around trying to score points by throwing the ball through the hoops.
-Joyce Eveleth, ’11, Juniata online Journalist