Up, up, and away A muggle's intro to Quidditch

Courtesy UW Quidditch

The majority of you have probably heard of the famous Harry Potter series and dreamt of getting a letter from Hogwarts sometime in your life.

With that in mind, the innovative students of Waterloo have brought parts of the book series to life.

Nathan Boutilier and Jacquelyn Mayo established the Quidditch team in their final year at Waterloo in 2013.

“Quidditch played a huge role in the books. The game brought laughter and light into Harry’s life. At the same time it is very competitive,” said a UW Harry Potter fan passionately.

Jonathan Keates, the captain of the UW Quidditch team, joined in 2013 when it was first established.

“I was a huge fan of the Harry Potter series,” stated Keates. “No one really knew what was going on; 23 people signed up, and there [were] no try outs.”

“Quidditch is a mixture of handball and rugby,” explained Keates.

Exactly like the book, there is one seeker, three chasers, two beaters, and a keeper.

The three chasers’ job is to score by throwing the quaffle through either side of the hoop, where each score counts as ten points.

The three bludgers used in the game revolve around the idea of dodgeball. The two beaters throw the dodgeball (defensive balls) at other players to get them out of  play.

Players hit have to run home and touch their hoops in order to get back in  play. The keeper, just like soccer, guards the hoops from the opposing chasers. Side note: players have to hold a broom between their legs at all times.

A slight change from the book is that the snitch, which Harry (the seeker) excitingly caught in the series, is an impartial person that is released 18 minutes into the game.

The snitch has a ball, which seekers take away to earn 30 points, attached to their back.

“The game does not end until the snitch is caught. Therefore games can last 20 minutes or longer,” said Keates.

The Quidditch captain explained that Quidditch is a gender-inclusive sport, where each gender stays balanced on the field.

“At the beginning of the season it was just Harry Potter fans; but as we made it in the competitive teams, I realized that Quidditch is not just for [them]. People recognize it as an actual sport. I stuck with it because I [saw] what it could become.”

“Quidditch is implemented worldwide. Fun fact: this year is the tenth anniversary of Quidditch in Canada,” said Keates.

“There is an international circuit for Canada. The world cup took place in Germany, with countries like China, South Korea, France, Germany, and Uganda participating in it. Canada placed fourth, with Australia coming first, beating the U.S.”

The UW Quidditch team made it to fourth place in the Nationals, with 25 to 26 teams in the league.

Keates informed that regionals and nationals are coming up, in Auswahl and Hamilton respectively.

“The governing organization for Quidditch in Canada rented the CFL stadium for the nationals this year! It’s very exciting,” said Keates.

For more information, visit the team’s Facebook page at facebook.com/uWaterlooQuidditchClub.


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