While some may say there is something magical about Northwestern, a new club on campus is taking this cliché to a new level by bringing Quidditch to campus. The game originated in the Harry Potter book series, was brought to life through cinema and has now been adapted for those who are not able to purchase an enchanted broom.
With the encouragement of friends, freshman Nate Johnston is in the process of organizing the NW Quidditch Club. He used the internet to get connected with the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association (IQA) and is one of 300 teams awaiting approval of acceptance into the IQA.
According to UWire.com, the game follows the rules given in the books, but certain alterations are necessary to make up for the lack of enchantments. As Johnston said, “If you took out all the magic, it would be pretty similar.”
All players must run on a broom in lieu of flying while the ultimate goal of the game is to capture the golden snitch, an elusive, bug-like item in Harry Potter, the college version of the golden snitch is represented by a person dressed in yellow, who is able to roam around campus in order to evade the seekers. The game ends when a seeker catches the snitch.
While two seekers, one from each team, run after the snitch, the other six members of the team attempt to either score points by throwing a quaffle through a hoop or stopping the other team from scoring.
According to UWire.com, each team has three chasers who try to throw a quaffle, or a slightly deflated soccer ball, through goals made out of hula hoops raised three, four and five feet off the ground. The keeper acts as a goalie and stops the chasers’ attacks.
There are also two beaters on each team that use tennis rackets to hit players with one of three bludgers, or dodgeballs. When a player is hit with a bludger, the player must run a lap around the field before reentering the game.
This year, NW Quidditch will be an intramural option, but Johnston hopes to enter intercollegiate competition next year. The NW league will consist of four teams that will play six regular season games with a championship game at the end of the season. The inaugural NW Quidditch match is slated to be held on Oct. 31.
Currently Johnston is looking for two more captains to express interest before he organizes a draft for participants. Please contact him by e-mail if you would like more information. He said, “We are looking for a girl captain to have a more diverse field.”
Although this is a new club, NW is already showing some budding talent. When asked who was emerging as the NW Harry Potter, Johnston said, “James Wilhelm. He just strikes me as a really quick seeker and would pick up the game really well. The team would just love him.”