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Quidditch Club takes flight at UWGB

Mitchell Henkelman, Life Writer
November 14, 2012
Filed under Life

The “Harry Potter” franchise has conjured up images of wizards, dragons, dementors, goblins and hippogriffs for fans.

Now the sport from the series has made its way to UW-Green Bay in the form of the first-ever UW-Green Bay Quidditch Club.

“Quidditch may look like a pretty ridiculous game, but it’s actually a lot of fun and requires a lot of stamina,” said Morgan Pups, sophomore animal biology major and team co-captain. “There are so many things going on at once, so you really have to be able to pay attention to all of the other players in order to keep up with the game.”

Started this year, the Quidditch Club is an opportunity for students to come together and play the game from the books and movies.

Sophomore communication major and club president Katelyn Staaben started the club. Staaben’s desire to have Quidditch available on campus was inspired by the series itself.

“I’m a big fan, and so are a bunch of my friends,” Staaben said. “It was something we were really interested in, and something we thought could be a lot of fun. We knew there were a lot of other ‘Harry Potter’ fans on campus, so we figured it would be relatively popular.”

The rules for a Quidditch match are like a combination of dodgeball, basketball and tag, as Staaben describes it, and very similar to how they are in the “Harry Potter” series. There are two teams with seven players on each team, four positions to be played and each player has their own broom to ride. There are no assigned positions so each week members get to try out each one and play with different people.

According to Staaben, on each team there are three Chasers who try to score the goals. There are two Beaters, who carry dodgeballs and try to tag the other players. There is one Keeper who defends the hoops, and the Seeker who tries to catch the Snitch to end the game.

The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible by having the Chasers throw the main ball, known as a “Quaffle” in the series, through one of three different- sized hoops. The Beaters try to throw the balls at the people who are scoring goals. If a player gets tagged by a Beater, he or she has to immediately leave the field for a limited time.

During the last 10 minutes, a non-player, known as the Snitch, runs on the field and the Seekers have to grab a tennis ball tied around the Snitch’s waist. Whoever gets the tennis ball earns an extra 30 points for their team, finishing the game.

While the sport of Quidditch has gained popularity across colleges in the past few years, the UWGB team will be keeping their brooms grounded on campus. Since the club is newly formed, and there is a lack of other Quidditch teams in the area, trying to arrange matches is difficult.

“There is a national group that does this — a big group from a bunch of different colleges — and they play against each other,” Staaben said. “At UWGB, because we’re not a part of that right now, we have different rules that are simpler and a little bit safer because the real game is kind of violent.”

Non-fans of the series are also able to find enjoyment in Quidditch. Being a fan of the “Harry Potter” series is not a prerequisite to join in the activities.

“I personally find it more enjoyable being a fan of ‘Harry Potter’ previously,” said Devon Platfoot, sophomore human biology major, “but I feel as though anyone could play the game and have fun doing it. I’d recommend it to more people and suggest they play at least once, even if they may have never heard of it.”

Right now the club is focused on getting more people involved, and their current roster is up to about 50 members. For long-time “Harry Potter” fans, or students looking for something a little different in a student organization, the Quidditch Club might be worth looking at.

“It’s not as weird as people think it is,” Staaben said. “I feel like a lot of people see it and automatically judge it as something kind of out there, weird and kind of strange. But it is a lot of fun, and it’s just a cool way to meet people.” To get involved, find the Quidditch Club information on uwgborgs.orgsync.com.

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