To the mere muggle, terms like “quaffle” and “snitch” might draw a blank, but for BU’s official Quidditch team, it’s all part of the game.
Bringing the famed Harry Potter series to life, BU Quidditch faces off against other Northeast region teams in Hogwart’s most die-hard sport.
Joe Barkus, club president and team “Chaser” (one of three players who pass around the quaffle—a volleyball—and try to score by throwing it through the opposing team’s hoops), says that, as a lifelong Harry Potter fan, he was intrigued by the team’s booth at Splash during his freshman year.
Playing Quidditch wasn’t quite like reading about it, however: “I was surprised at how physical and athletic of a game it was, so I decided to stick with it and now I love it,” says Barkus.
The key to a successful match, he says, is teamwork.
“Everyone on the field really has to be working together or else things can fall apart. You need to be focused and everyone needs to be working cohesively to be successful.”
But wait…aren’t there supposed to be magic broomsticks involved? And a golden winged ball? Barkus gives the low-down on how the game translates from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to BU’s Nickerson Field.
Besides the three chasers, there is the “Keeper” who guards the team’s hoops. There are also two “Beaters” who aim “bludgers”—dodge balls—at the opposing team. If hit by a bludger, the player must return to his or her team’s hoops before coming back into play. Meanwhile, the team “Seeker” tries to hunt down the elusive “snitch”, represented by a player dressed in all gold with a tennis ball in a sock attached to their back. If one of the Seekers catches the snitch, it’s game over.
BU boasts a good team this season; the team made it to the second day of the World Cup tournament, and won a tournament a few weeks ago. Up next is the Northeast Regionals in which the team will face teams like Middlebury, Emerson and Tufts.
BU is setting their sights high. “The ultimate goal,” says Barkus, “is to beat Middlebury because they’ve never lost.” The tournament has been scheduled for May 1st.
Barkus emphasizes that the team is always looking for new players. He says anyone is welcome to join Quidditch practice, held Sundays at 2 p.m. on the BU Beach, or to check out their Facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=23075083608 .
*Photos courtesy of Joe Barkus