NSFM (NOT SAFE FOR MUGGLES)
By Micah Mills '16 | Vol. I Issue 2
It’s the magic every kid drooled over as they read the words of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter—her protagonist zooming through the sky on his broomstick as readers awaited the moment when Harry Potter would catch the golden snitch. Kids across the world wished that the magical world she created in her books could come alive. Here at Texas A&M and several other colleges around the nation, a little bit of that magic became reality when quidditch became a competitive sport.
The Texas A&M Quidditch Team is a force to be reckoned with, ranked number one nationally two years in a row going into their final tournament, the World Cup. This year at the World Cup the team made it to the semifinals, highlighting their successful season.
How to play
The sport is played similarly to how it is outlined in Rowling’s seven-book series—with less flying, of course. There are seven players on the field for each team: three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and one seeker.
The chasers are like basketball players trying to score the "quaffles"—a deflated volleyball they use—into three hoops on each side of the field. Every ball through a hoop is 10 points.
The beaters use a tactic similar to dodgeball to try to knock chasers off their course, throwing balls called "bludgers" at opposing team members. The keeper is like a soccer goalie trying to keep the quaffles out of the hoops. The seeker is playing a game of capture the flag with the "golden snitch"—which is actually a person running around the field with a tennis ball attached to him/her.
Whosever team catches the ball, or snitch, ends the game and tacks on 30 points for their team. The team with the most points after the snitch is caught is considered the winner. Here is the catch: everyone is on a broomstick the entire game, giving it that Harry Potter-esque touch.
What really makes the sport so unique are the people that play on the 21-member team. They come from all different backgrounds and areas of campus, and each member loves the sport for different reasons.
Rebecca DuPont '14, a bioenvironmental sciences major, has played quidditch all four years of college and loves the sport for how different it is compared to most student organizations.
"I love that it is a full-contact, co-ed sport because I grew up loving football, which not a lot of girls play," DuPont said. "I really like that it is a strategic and physical game."
Clay Enderlin '17, a freshman Texas A&M Blinn TEAM* student, has found his teammates to be more than just peers. They are people he calls on in times of need but are also just people he loves to hang out with.
"I’ve met some amazing people and some amazing friends," Enderlin said. "They are more like a family to me now."
Enderlin originally used quidditch as a way to get connected on campus, as many of his teammates did. As a Texas A&M Blinn TEAM student, he breaks the misconception that TEAM students cannot participate in Texas A&M organizations and activities.
"TEAM students are Aggies, so you can join clubs and organizations as you please," Enderlin said. "Some people who are strictly Blinn students play on the community team they have."
DuPont found that playing quidditch has introduced her to friends all over the country she would have never met otherwise. She said it has given her the opportunity to travel and see and experience new things.
She advises college-bound students to get involved in something you wouldn’t ordinarily consider, because you never know what is going to end up being something you love, just like quidditch is for her.
For Enderlin, quidditch is a leisurely way to relax but also a way to stay competitive. When he first started playing on the team he remembers getting hyped up before the game.
"We are rocking back and forth yelling at the top of our lungs 'beat the hell outta [insert opposing team name here]," Enderlin said.** "Nothing gets me more pumped up than that. It’s an adrenaline rush."
Every club and organization offers something different at Texas A&M. Each individual can give you a different, rich and valuable insight into his or her experience. Whether it be meeting new people, finding your passion or even just getting involved in something you enjoy, Texas A&M has an organization for you—one you will work hard in but also have fun doing.
To find out more and keep up with the team, visit facebook.com/texasamquidditch or @TAMUQuidditch.
*Texas A&M Blinn TEAM is a co-enrollment program between Texas A&M and Blinn College in Bryan.
**Beat the hell outta [insert opposing team name here] is a popular Texas A&M yell.