Searching for the elusive snitch and avoiding bludger-slinging beaters, students at TCU and across the country are zooming around on broomsticks, and having a lot of fun doing it.
Quidditch, inspired by the Harry Potter series of books and movies by J.K. Rowling, combines basketball, soccer and dodgeball.
Lindsey Carnes, sophomore psychology major, founded the Quidditch club last Fall.
Carnes said she wasn’t sure what to expect when she started the club, but has been pleasantly surprised.
“Our first tournament we had 10 teams sign up,” Carnes said.
“And more keep coming to see what it’s all about.”
It can seem a little confusing at first.
The Quidditch field is called the pitch. On each end of the pitch are three hoops. In the movies, players are mounted on broomsticks and play the game hundreds of feet in the air.
The game is played by two teams, each with seven players: three chasers, two beaters, a keeper and a seeker.
The chasers objective is to put the biggest ball in play, the quaffle, through one of three hoops. Goals are 10 points.
The keeper, or goalie, must keep the quaffle from entering the hoops. The two beaters distract the other team by hitting them with small balls called bludgers.
The seeker’s only goal is to catch the snitch, which on the big screen is a tiny golden ball that flies around at devilish speeds and is almost impossible to see.
Being that players at TCU are unfortunately unable to fly on broomsticks or bewitch balls, the snitch is a person who runs around with a tennis ball in a sock that is tucked into his or her waistband. The seeker must grab the tennis ball from the snitch in order to score.
The seeker who catches the snitch earns 150 points, and the game is over.
Carnes said she worked for a year to get Quidditch approved as a club sport.
She said she had to get a faculty advisor, create a constitution and mission statement and submit an application.
The club will participate in the Quidditch Hog’s Head Quidditch Invitational in Arkansas in April and said the world cup, that has yet to be announced.
Texas Tech and Texas A&M have both hosted national tournaments.
Freshmen Danika Scevers and Emily Denton said its a fun way to spend an afternoon on campus.
Denton, a self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, plays beater. She said she thinks it is a less athletic position. Scevers, who has served as referee, said anyone can play.
“It’s fun because you get to see the nerdy side of people who might not get to play sports and the athletes,” she said.
Carnes said she hopes the club will continue after she is gone but as long as she is here, she plans to continue bringing students together8212;so she can kick their butt at Quidditch.
No really, she said, it’s about unity.
“I just want to bridge that gap and see something that is fun and kind of nerdy and goofy but is okay,” she said.
“I think that kind of proves what the Horned Frog spirit is and I think this club is a manifestation of that.”