Sticks and balls


by James Tillison

A bludger goes flying by on the left, another to the right and knocks a beater off his broom. A chaser comes up from behind with the quaffle and throws for the center hoop, but it was blocked by the keeper. What’s this? Both the seekers have spotted the golden snitch simultaneously. They’re both going for it at full speed. This is going to be a close match for the championship round of the World Cup. They’re fighting for the snitch now. The team called the Smurfs has got the Snitch! Smurfs win the Quidditch World Cup!

No, this isn’t a wild imagination at work, this is the last minute of the championship game for the Quidditch World Cup Oct. 7 on the Quidditch Pitch, also known as the soccer field in front of Greek Row. Quidditch, for muggles whom are unaware, is a sport of seven to ten people with two females on each team. There is a quaffle, a ball similar to volleyball, used for scoring points. There are three chasers on each team who are responsible for obtaining the quaffle and throwing through one of three hoops on the opponent’s side of the Quidditch Pitch.

There are two or three bludgers, similar to a muggles dodge ball, which are used to hit a player off their broom. Anyone on the field can be hit by the bludgers, but only the two beaters are allowed to use them.

Then there is the Golden Snitch. This is the hardest part of the game and the most defining. When the Golden Snitch is caught, the game is over and whichever teams’ seeker captures it receives 30 points for their team. The Golden Snitch, in the more muggle version, is a volunteer runner wearing a yellow shirt and has a sock attached to their shorts.

The Second Year Council (SYC) is responsible for not only running Quidditch, but also bringing to this campus for the first time three years ago. “’Muggle Quidditch’ was brought here by the SYC adviser of the time Melisa Griffith,” Assistant Director of Residence Life Fred Seel said. “It was started at an Ivy League school, such as Harvard, and it swept through the nation.”

The game, although exciting and fun to watch, was pushed to be more spectator friendly than past years.

“We have a cotton candy machine out here, which we didn’t have last year, as well as popcorn and hot dogs,” Seel said. “The fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon helped a lot with that and also provided music for the event.”

The music helped set the wizarding tone. Seel said throughout the proceedings of the day he counted over 100 spectators for the single elimination tournament of eight teams.

There was one rather unexpected moment during the tournament, which added a unique and humorous spin on the games.

“A bunch of people came out dressed as Death Eaters and essentially assassinated both teams at the end of the championship match. There was a little Avada Kedavra action going on,” Seel said.

The winning team, The Smurfs, won a free Quidditch t-shirt for being the champions. SYC will be holding a second Quidditch tournament during the spring semester.