To the average Muggle here at Rollins, students running around with broomsticks held between their legs may seem a bit peculiar, but not to Harry Potter lovers and wizarding sport fans alike.
This year, Rollins joined more than 200 other colleges (including Harvard, Vassa and Villanova) in introducing a new sport to its roster, Muggle Quidditch. It is adapted from the wizarding sport in which players fly on brooms. The seven-member team includes three chasers, two beaters, one keeper and the seeker.
Players score 10 points for their team by passing the Quaffle (think of a semi-deflated volleyball) through the opponent’s goal hoop. The game is won when the seeker catches the Golden Snitch, worth 150 points.
For the most part, Muggle Quidditch is played the same way it is in the books and movies, with one trivial exception — we muggles cannot fly. To overcome this slight disadvantage, all players must hold a broomstick between their legs throughout the entire game. The other main difference is that instead of a magical golden ball, we have an earthbound snitch runner who dresses in all gold and carries a tennis ball stuffed in a sock. The snitch is a neutral player and is permitted to run anywhere around the campus without boundary restriction.
Christian Kebbel ‘12 brought Muggle Quidditch to Rollins this fall, and already the club has 80 members. Rollins College Quidditch is a registered member of the International Quidditch Association (IQA), and is registered to play in the 2011 World Cup on Nov. 12 and 13 on Randall’s Island in New York City.
Kebbel describes the World Cup as the biggest event of the IQA with 15,000 – 20,000 spectators, over 100 teams from five countries, and 2,000 players all battling for the honor and prestige of being recognized as the world’s greatest Muggle Quidditch team.
Rollins College Quidditch will continue to host many events in the coming weeks in order to raise funds for the team’s trip to the World Cup. The team will screen a documentary called Brooms Up! — a retelling of last year’s World Cup — at 10 p.m. in Bush 120 on Nov. 1 and again Nov. 8.
The Rollins team practices twice a week: Fridays at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. The team also invites any interested muggles to come out and practice on The Green. No experience required, but BYOB — Bring Your Own Broom!