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Quidditch, it’ll sweep you away.

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Quidditch, it’ll sweep you away.

Myself with members from the ECU quidditch team

Myself with members from the ECU quidditch team

Steven Jones

Myself with members from the ECU quidditch team

Steven Jones

Steven Jones

Myself with members from the ECU quidditch team

Steven Jones, Reporter

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“A mix between dodgeball and rugby” is how ECU Centaurs’ Treasurer Michael Walsh described quidditch.

Based on the sport first referenced in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, quidditch is a team sport that relies on hand-eye coordination and teamwork. It’s a full-contact sport, but don’t let that stop you; it’s a tackle and be tackled world where only those who tackle others get tackled themselves. This isn’t an official rule, but it speaks to the inclusivity of the quidditch community and helps makes sure everyone feels welcome.

A fast-paced and fun game, I can confirm that quidditch isn’t just for Harry Potter fans: it’s for athletes.

Quidditch is played by teams of seven, with four different positions in each team:

Chasers –the main attacking players: it’s their job to score goals and try to slow down opposition chasers.

Beaters – defensive players: their role is to dismount the opposition players using the bludger (dodgeball).

Keepers – like a soccer goalkeeper, this player’s aim is to stop the quaffle (scoring/regular ball) from going through the goals.

Seekers – the players responsible for catching the golden snitch (a tag rugby style Velcro tag attached to a neutral player).

The aim of the game is to score more points than the opposition team at the end of play. Points are scored by throwing the quaffle (volleyball) through a hoop, held up by a stand. There are three hoops at each end, all varying in height, and every goal is allocated 10 points. 30 points is also allocated to the Seeker who successfully catches the golden snitch, and catching the golden snitch also ends the game.

As you have probably already figured out, the rules of quidditch means the sport has no specific end time: it goes for as long as the snitch is in play. This means games can last as long as an hour, with no halftime or major break. As I said above, quidditch isn’t just for Harry Potter fans: it’s for athletes.

I was fortunate enough to be invited down to play a bit of quidditch with the ECU team and can say I loved every second of it. Although scores are kept, it doesn’t seem to bother anyone. I was a complete burden to my team, but no one got angry or frustrated with me, they just laughed and showed me how to get better.

I hope I don’t offend anyone at the club when I say playing quidditch feels more like a social gathering with the health benefits of exercise, rather than a cut-throat, competitive sport. It was a real breath of fresh air. The sport is super exciting, and no one takes themselves too seriously. The Centaurs are a very inclusive and easy-going community and I say this as a full muggle (I haven’t even read the Harry Potter books).

One of the newer members of the Centaurs, Charlotte, told me she found quidditch was a great way to break up university life, as well as to meet new friends. She went on to say that the community of people is why she plays and just like every good sporting club, the Centaurs are regulars at the local tavern after an exhausting game or training session.

Quidditch participation numbers are low, possibly because people simply just don’t know it is around or how to get involved. Being a mixed sport (both males and females in the same team), it could be a good way to relax with a bunch of mates to try something different and have a laugh. It’s super easy to get involved: ECU Centaurs have a Facebook page and you can join the team simply by messaging that page.

I’m grateful to have had the chance to discover and experience this new sport and if it sounds like fun you should do the same. I dare say they might sweep you of your feet (how’s the broom reference?).

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About the Contributor
Steven Jones, Reporter

When you think of enthusiasm you should think of Steven. A driven young journalist and broadcaster, Steven loves all things sport and has used that passion...

Quality journalism by ECU students
Quidditch, it’ll sweep you away.