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The Northerner

Statute of Secrecy exposed! Muggles playing Quidditch!

Brandon Barb

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In the world of witchcraft and wizardry, there is a fast paced, pulse pounding game known as Quidditch. How to play: To score, a player must throw a quaffle through one of the three upright hoops. Players must watch out for bludgers while keeping an eye out for the golden snitch. See, simple. Even 11-year-old boy with glasses could do it.

J.K. Rowling crafted Quidditch for her hugely popular fantasy series “Harry Potter.” The game remained unexplored, lingering on book pages and on film screens until 2005 when two students from Middlebury College in Vermont decided to bring Quidditch to life — minus the flying brooms. Alex Benepe and Xander Manshel started Muggle Quidditch, an adaptation of Rowling’s game; and for those who have always wished to fling a quaffle through a hoop now have that opportunity.

Muggle Quidditch doesn’t stray that far from Rowling’s sport, but there are a couple differences in gameplay. Because there is no real magic involved, the game conforms to realistic restrictions.

For one thing, there are no flying brooms; instead, players put a broom between their legs and run, and are required to keep one hand on their brooms at all times.

Additionally, the snitch doesn’t fly like it does in the books — it runs. In contrast to Rowling’s flying golden ball, a player takes on the role. Similar to flag football, the goal is to capture a tennis ball from the snitch. Points are still awarded by throwing the quaffle, a deflated volleyball, into a hoop and the game ends when the snitch is caught. The hard-hitting bludgers are replaced by dodgeballs.

Even though Muggle Quidditch is played on the ground, players may experience the sport’s essence. The game still combines elements of rugby, tag and dodgeball thanks to the bludgers. Players are allowed to tackle one another and use other means to prevent their rivals from scoring points.

What started as a few teams in a small state has grown to nearly 400 teams and international recognition in the form of an International Quidditch Association. Teams from universities like Harvard and Yale go head to head against international teams from Finland, Canada, New Zealand and Argentina to compete for the Quidditch World Cup.

Six years after Muggle Quidditch originated, the game has made its way to Northern Kentucky University.

Sophomore anthropology major Andrea West started a Quidditch team at Marietta College and is responsible for forming a team at NKU.“I started it there; and when I came here, I knew I wanted to get a team going,” West said. “We’ve had plans all summer for this.”

West’s goal is to gather enough players in order to to enter the team into the Quidditch World Cup.

She will then split people into four house teams, and then create a traveling team to compete against other schools.

In addition to a traveling team, there are four teams that share the same names as the houses in the books. And just like at Hogwarts, players will be “sorted” into each house.

Muggle Quidditch isn’t just for the sporty, muscle-bound athletes — Quidditch is for everyone. “I’m a terrible athlete. I’ve seen people that have never played a sport in their life play [Quidditch],” West said.

An informational meeting on Sept. 22 was held on the Science Center lawn for those who were interested in joining NKU’s Quidditch team. The game was introduced, and there was a short gameplay demonstration.

hope it takes off as much as everyone here seems to think it’s going to take off,” West said. “It’s a nice way to get people from different walks of life, athletes and non-athletes together. It helps people that aren’t usually involved in things involved because it’s something that is different and everybody likes.”

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Statute of Secrecy exposed! Muggles playing Quidditch!