Here's the Snitch: WSU student restarts Quidditch Club

Originally published on The South End.

Quidditch, the popular sport in the "Harry Potter" novels, is no longer limited to just witches and wizards. Now, Wayne State warriors can toss around Quaffles too.
WSU Quidditch Club Logo. Photo from Facebook.

WSU’s Quidditch Club was started by freshman public health major Saurav Singh in September.

“I’ve been a 'Harry Potter' fan since I was a kid like most people. Being a bit of a nerd, I love all things sci-fi and fantasy,” Singh said. “When I first started to go on campus tours, I remember hearing a college tour guide tell us about there being a Quidditch team at their school. I looked up more about Muggle Quidditch and it seemed like a really fun activity for anyone. Since Wayne didn’t have a team, I thought I should start one.”

However, this is not the first time WSU has had a Quidditch Club. The first club was founded in 2011, but eventually disbanded.

“If I had to guess why it ended, I would have to say lack of interest,” WSU graduate and former Quidditch Club member Tyler Keith said. “We always kept the same people over a period of years, but no one new really wanted to join. Plus, we didn’t have very many people, so playing in matches was tough. We usually joined other, smaller teams in tournaments to play as a combined, larger team.”

Even with interest being an issue, Singh’s hopes are high for this revival, saying he’s happy with the level of turnout he’s been seen at informational meetings. Freshman computer science major KM Rahman is one of the new members that found himself drawn to Quidditch at WSU.

“I like the fact that I got to meet new people that were Harry Potter fans just like me,” he said. “Bonds were instantly created because of everyone’s passion about Harry Potter.”

The first game of collegiate Quidditch was played in 2005, at Middlebury College in Vermont. As popularity grew and spread to other colleges around the state, the U.S. Quidditch organization was founded in 2012. The organization is responsible for registering teams, organizing tournaments and training players. Each team is allowed seven players on the field at once, all with brooms between their legs.

The rules of collegiate Muggle Quidditch are as follows:

During games, there are three hoops at each end of the field. The team’s hoops are guarded by a Keeper. Each team has three Chasers, who try to score points by throwing the Quaffle - a volleyball - through the hoops. Each successful goal is worth ten points.

Chasers can be distracted by the two Beaters, who are responsible for throwing Bludgers - dodgeballs. If hit with a Bludger, the player must drop the ball, return to the sideline and touch a goalpost before returning to play.

“At the first meeting, Saurav, the president of the club, showed us pictures and the leagues that play and how things work. At that moment, I wanted in as soon as possible,” senior anthropology major Aladdin Salman said. “If I had to choose a Quidditch position it would probably be a Beater. From the movies alone, the Beaters have a pretty tough job dealing with those balls of fun, a.k.a. Bludgers. It is very dangerous, but I think it takes a certain amount of skill to it and gets pretty intense.”

To win the game, a Seeker must catch the Snitch - a neutral player dressed in all yellow with a Velcro tail. The game ends when the tail is pulled off, and the team is awarded thirty points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

“If I could play any position, I would definitely want to play as the snitch,” Rahman said. “It just seems so much fun running around and having people trying to catch you.”

Since WSU’s team is just getting started, they’ve yet to participate in a tournament or play any matches.

“Right now we are building the foundations of the team so we haven’t joined the league,” Singh said. “We are thinking of using the green area between Atchison and Ghafari, Keast Commons, or, if possible, the football field [for matches].”

The club is open for all students wishing to participate.

“We would love to have people join,” Singh said. “Attend the meetings as well, they are a hoot and a half."

Any students wishing to be involved with the club should join the Facebook group: WSU Quidditch. Meetings are regularly held on Thursdays in the Student Center, but the exact times and locations of the meetings will be announced through the group.

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