On October 9, 2005 Alex Benepe, the CEO, Commissioner and President of the International Quidditch Association (IQA) and Xander Manshel, world cup announcer, organizer, and IQA board member, played the first Quidditch game at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. A primarily university movement, the IQA helps connect the hundreds of university Quidditch teams, organize tournaments, posts standings and lay out rules.
Many of us know the wizard game of Quidditch from reading the Harry Potter series. And now the game has come to the UVic campus led by team captain Anna Jessop, a 3rd year Environmental Studies student. If you have ever studied in the library on a Saturday or Sunday you may have seen the team, an official UVSS club, practicing on the Quad. The team is quite large with a network of 200 members, 40 of who play the game on a regular basis.
How do you play Muggle Quidditch (an adaptation of the sport for non-wizards)?
Every player, except for the snitch, has a broom between their legs that they have to run with. This adds a difficulty to the game because they have one hand on the broom always, which means if they are throwing and catching with one hand they are tackling with one arm. If they do ever want to have both arms to throw a catch then they have a broom between their legs, it just gets very complicated.
Is one specific person the snitch (the person dressed in yellow running around campus)?
We’ve got a couple people that are really interested in playing the snitch. We’ve got three people that are constant snitches, some people prefer to only play snitch.
What would you say is the biggest challenge of playing Quidditch?
I’d say trying to maintain the balance of being a serious sport and realizing that you are playing a wizard sport and you really can’t take yourself too seriously.
How often does the team practice?
We practice every Saturday and Sunday for two hours. There’s a group that always goes to the gym twice a week as well. We’ve got an extra practice on the weeks leading up to games.
Do you always play on campus?
So that we can always have a time limit to our games and practices, and be able to call the snitch back, we’ve been keeping our practices and games to within ring road. But if we ever had a tournament or a larger scale game then we would expand it out further. I would like to have the opportunity to have the snitches catch the bus or something.
How often do you have organized games?
Last semester we didn’t have any official games, except for 12 people from our team traveling to New York to go to the world cup. We did hear that UBC is planning on becoming an official team under the IQA. So we had one game against them last month, we are having one game against them this month and then I am going to be talking to them about organizing a final game at the start of April here in Victoria.
How does someone go about becoming a UVic Quidditch player?
There’s lots of ways that people would go about joining us. Some people email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on our Facebook group or page. Our Facebook group is mostly conversations between everyone on the team, that’s where all our main events come out. We also post events on our Facebook page and that’s more for people around the world knowing about us. Or people just show up on Saturdays and talk to us.
Quidditch Comes to UVic
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