By Caleb Vierkant
Quidditch is not only the sport played by Harry Potter and other wizards in the fictional world created by author J.K. Rowling. The sport has caught on with the non-magical community and while the brooms cannot actually fly, Quidditch is still a fun combination of rugby, dodge ball, and tag.
Quidditch is a co-ed sport; there is a gender rule to the game. According to Title 9¾ on the official U.S. Quidditch website, “A Quidditch game allows each team to have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender in active play on the field at the same time. This number increases to five once the seekers enter the game.”
The sport made the jump from fiction to reality in 2005 when the first game was played at Middlebury College in Vermont. From those humble beginnings, the game has exploded in popularity.
Texas A&M Quidditch was formed in 2008. The game became so popular amongst the student body that in 2010 a second team was created. “Texas A&M Quidditch,” the primary team that shares the same name as the club, and “The Silver Phoenix” are Texas A&M University’s intercollegiate teams.
Texas A&M competes in the Southwest Region, which according to U.S. Quidditch encompasses Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. College teams compete in tournaments across the nation. Texas A&M Quidditch is a very good club and has dominated in the past. Out of 163 listed teams on U.S. Quidditch’s official website, the Aggie team finished the 2015-16 season 18th in the standings. During that same season, they won the Alamo Cup and finished in the “Sweet 16” spot of the National Tournament.
This year, the club will be at the MSC Open House on September 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with tryouts the week after. Depending on how these tryouts go, they may form a third team, according to Aron Gebremicael, president of Texas A&M’s Quidditch Club.
The teams at Texas State University, the University of Texas, and Sam Houston University are officially recognized as college club sports, and Texas A&M Quidditch is in the application process for club status with the goal of additional funding as well as more attention for the sport. An exhibition match will be played on August 23 and 25 during Gig ‘em Week. Five tournaments are lined up for the teams with Texas A&M hosting on October 15. Texas State, UT, some local community teams, and possibly Baylor University will be competing.
“Our odds are looking very good for next season,” says Gebremicael. “Since our team is more of a younger one, we have a considerable amount of returning players, which will give us a shot at both the regional and national title!”
Find Texas A&M Quidditch match times and places, or information on purchasing merchandise at maroonlink.tamu.edu/organization/tamuquidditch. Find them at “Texas A&M Quidditch” on Facebook or @TAMUQuidditch on Twitter and Instagram.
When Muggles Play Quidditch
3 chasers, 2 beaters, 1 keeper, and 1 seeker.
Colored headbands differentiate each position.
Use the quaffle (a volleyball) to score 10 points by throwing it through the hoops on the opposing end of the pitch.
The keeper’s job is similar to the chasers’, but he/she also defends the goals.
Control the bludgers (dodge balls) and use them to knock other beaters and chasers “out,” meaning they have to run back to their starting position before they can rejoin the game.
After the game is played for 18 minutes, the seekers are released onto the field. Their job is to catch the snitch, a yellow ball hanging from the back of a neutral runner’s shorts. Whoever catches the snitch earns 30 points and the game ends. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Rules courtesy Aron Gebremicael, president of Texas A&M’s Quidditch Club.