Everyone who grew up reading Harry Potter wished at some point in time that they could hop on a broom stick and play quidditch. A group of University of Calgary students have decided to make this dream a reality by forming a muggle quidditch club giving students the chance to live out the beloved sport of the Harry Potter books in a slightly more down to earth way.
"I was sitting in Ben's class reading Time Magazine and I came across the New York team that was playing and also hosting the Quidditch World Cup which happens in a week," said Paul Hamnett, head master of the U of C muggle quidditch club. "That is where all universities from all across the U.S. get together, all the major ones, and they play muggle quidditch against each other. I want our university to be represented in the muggle quidditch cup next year so I put together this club."
The club received official SU sanctioning on Nov. 5. Muggle quidditch is based off the magical sport of quidditch as played in the Harry Potter books and movies, but adapted for the ground. The positions are the same (minus the flying broomsticks) with each team having a seeker, a keeper, beaters and chasers.
"Every player needs to have a broom in their hands at all times," said Hamnett. "There's also a snitch, which is a tennis ball inside of a long sock and that is put inside that person's pants and they then run around."
The goal of the game is to catch the snitch and receive 150 points. The beaters are responsible for throwing dodgeballs at the opposing team. The chasers try to get a deflated volleyball through one of the three hoops on the opposing team's end of the pitch for 10 points a piece. The keeper is responsible for trying to stop the chasers from scoring.
"No bats unfortunately, we lack the ability to be accurate enough with bats so we just use our hands," said Hamnett. "We lack flying and we lack bats in this game, that's why it's muggle quidditch and not real quidditch unfortunately."
The teams are called houses, like in Harry Potter. The club currently has four houses but may add more depending on membership. Members get to decide on their house name, mascot and uniform consisting of capes, robes or jerseys said Hamnett.
"Those aren't strictly going to be by the books," said Hamnett. "Of course some people think it should be by the books and then there's some people who think it should be a creative endeavour. This is the University of Calgary, not Hogwarts, a lot of people say."
"There's definitely a lot of room for interpretation like if someone wanted to get together make a house, make a team, a Gryffindor or a Hufflepuff directly from the books that'd be alright," said Ben Cannon, vice-president communication. "But for instance myself, as a head of house, my house is called the Winhavers."
The club plans to train once a week during the winter semester with updates posted on their Facebook group, the University of Calgary Muggle Quidditch Club. Training will increase to twice a week during the spring and summer semester. Memberships cost $9.75, or nine and three quarters after the platform of the same name. For now, teams will only be playing against other U of C houses. Spectators are welcome said Hamnett.
"I think the biggest thing to take away from all this is, regardless of whether or not you love the books or love the movies, hate the movies, everyone just loves to come out and play and have a great time," said game coordinator Ryland Brennan. "It's a tremendous workout too, especially if you're the snitch because you have to be constantly running."