Living in the the Quads affords for a certain amount of abnormality, but most people would question a winged cyclist being chased by a couple of guys on broomsticks. Unless, of course, you’re familiar with Quidditch.
If you’re unacquainted with the game, Quidditch is a central part of the lore of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
All members of the team are required to play atop a broomstick. Seeing as Union lacks the magical properties that traditionally suspend players in the air, the broomstick can prove a challenge—but one the players are willing to take on.
Mounted on their brooms, players compete to earn points by tossing balls through the hoops. There are four positions: chaser, beater, keeper and seeker. Each position has its own rules on how they are allowed to interact with the balls in play and with the other members of the team.
Two teams play to win. Friday’s teams, The Hungarian Horntails and the Vatican Voldemorts, were made up of students from Hal Poe’s Harry Potter and the Gospel course. It is customary for students of this class to participate in a game of Quidditch, and this semester’s students were eager.
The game itself is a bit odd, seeing as the version has been adapted from that of the wizarding world. Things that should float and fly are earthbound, making for interesting gameplay. Quidditch has quite a few intricacies, but each spectator has a true passion for the sport.
While the game was exciting, it would have been far less interesting without the crowd of fans who came to watch. Christen Barber, freshman digital media communications major, was thrilled to be a part of the event, even as just a spectator.
“I hadn’t been to any athletic events at Union, but this is my first one,” she said. “And now that I’ve been here, I don’t know if any other athletic event can live up to the hype of this one.”
Barber was among the group of students that crowded the balcony of the Bowld Commons for the best vantage point. Students lining the balcony donned all manner of wizarding attire: Hufflepuff socks, wands of many assortments and even a Weasley sweater. Fans clearly had no qualms about their Hogwarts pride.
Among the crowd was Maddie McLean, freshman nursing major and newcomer to the Potter fanbase.
“It’s always great seeing a different side of the Union community,” she said. “I wasn’t a huge fan of Harry Potter until recently, and now I sort of understand the way the Quidditch game bonds the community.”
With a blow of the horn, Poe started the match. Soon, both teams swarmed the field. Fans cheered for their teams between sips of Butterbeer and discussed strategy between plays. The teams scored a few points, but all eyes were on the snitch, a player whose capture would be rewarded with a large number of points.
When the snitch was finally let loose, the seekers gave chase. The fans cheered as the seekers got closer, and the snitch, sensing the danger, had to get creative. The Vatican Voldemorts caught her during the first round, but by the second round, she changed her tactic, speeding out of the gate on bicycle.
Meanwhile, the other members of the teams were busy at their own tasks, blocking and throwing to consistently build their teams’ points.
After several minutes of evasion, the snitch was caught again, but this time by the Hungarian Horntails who also caught her on the third round, ultimately earning their team the win.
University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver presented the Hungarian Horntails with the victor’s trophy, bringing the game to a close.