By Kate Hibbard
October 4th, 2012
The Harry Potter series brought much to the ‘90s generation: magic, family, a string of tattoo ideas – and even Quidditch.
Middlebury college students Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe decided in 2005 to recreate Rowling’s magical Quidditch in muggle (non-magical) form, according to an ESPN article. Their efforts were applauded and, in 2007, the official handbook was completed. At the beginning of the guide, Benepe left a message:
“If you have opened this book, chances are you are least partly interested in playing Quidditch. And anyone who is at least partly interested can all too easily become as passionate about it as I am.”
Kosinski decided last January to create an LHU quidditch team and got in contact with Benepe – now the International Quidditch Association’s commissioner. After receiving his copy of the handbook, Kosinski was hooked. He thought he would be passionate about it from the start, and love for the game is what makes this semester’s team so close, he said.
“A friend told me at staff bonding that joining Quidditch is the best thing that’s ever happened to her,” Kosinski – president, coach and captain of LHU quidditch, said. “As a coach – and as a friend – you can’t ask for much more, you really can’t. That’s the greatest feeling.”
He said he had about eight people on average attend practices last semester and, because everything was still in the works, the club did not have any matches. This semester, however, Quidditch appears to be flourishing.
“Now there are 38 people on the roster, about 33 people consistently attending team bonding and practices, and over 90 students signed up for our mailing list,” Kosinski said.
Kosinski believes quidditch is growing so popular because of the diversity of the sport. For one, Quidditch is co-ed. There are seven people per team on the field at one time – at least two of those players must be female with five males, or vice versa.
For another, players are allowed to take whichever position – chaser, beater, keeper, seeker or snitch – they feel like playing during practice.
“You can play whatever you want,” Kosinski said. “You can experience every position on the field, or just one.”
Several team members enjoy the freedom they have on the quidditch practice field. Many feel that the gameplay’s flexibility proves beneficial to the players.
“I personally like Chaser and Seeker. With being Chaser you and the other Chasers kind of take control of the field and, with cooperation you can get a lot done,” Alexis Keeler, a freshman, said. “It takes teamwork and focus However with Seeker it’s just you going after the Snitch; you have to be crafty and watch the opposing team’s Seeker. It’s kind of like a big mind game.”
Kosinski and his teammates have high hopes for the quidditch season, which started in mid-September and runs until the Regionals in November. If a team makes it through Regionals, their season continues until the World Cup in April. LHU’s Quidditch team will compete in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Tournament in Roanoke, Va. November 3 and 4.
“I think that we could go rather far in Regionals because of how dedicated and enthusiastic everyone on the team is,” Keeler said. “However, to most of the team it isn’t about placing in Regionals – even though that would be great. It’s about having fun and, as Jon always says, “sharing our love of Harry Potter,” she added.
Lock Haven Quidditch will compete in an away tournament in Kutztown on October 20.
Muggle Quidditch: A Quick Guide
Information courtesy of Hubpages.com
Brooms – Must be mounted at all times while on the field; the Snitch is the only player who does not “ride” a broom.
Quaffle – The Quaffle is a slightly deflated (to make it easier to pick up one-handed) volleyball. Chasers try to throw the Quaffle through the opposing team’s Goal Hoops to score.
Bludger – Bludgers are rubber dodgeballs. They are used by the Beaters to hit opposing players, forcing them to drop any balls they are carrying and leave gameplay for a certain amount of time.
Snitch – The snitch is a tennis ball in a large sock tucked into the Snitch Runner’s shorts like a tail.
Two Beaters – The goal is to hit opposing players with the Bludgers. Beaters can hit opposing players of any type.
Three Chasers – The goal of the Chasers is to throw the Quaffle through the opposing team’s hoop goals in order to score 10 points.
One Keeper – This job is to defend his team’s hoops and prevent the other team’s Chasers from throwing the Quaffle through them.
One Seeker – The goal is to Snatch the Snitch from the Snitch Runner. Seekers cannot touch any other game ball.
Snitch Runner – The Snitch Runner carries the Snitch in a long sock tucked into his or her shorts like a tail, and uses every legal method possible to evade the Seekers. The capture of the Snitch ends the game.