By Taylor Burton
Previously exclusive to flying wizards, a new intramural sport has made its way into the lives of Loyola Univeristy Chicago college students. So grab your Nimbus 2000 broomsticks and get ready– Loyola’s Quidditch teams want you!
The battle between the Thrashing Thestrals and Badassilisks on March 19 marks the kickoff of Loyola’s first quidditch season, as they join the ranks of 200 or so other colleges and universities that have competing quidditch teams.
Based on the popular Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling, “muggle quidditch” has many of the same rules and positions as wizard quidditch, but adapted for play on the ground, adopts creative replacements for fictional devices and magical concepts.
Some describe the game as a combination of soccer, football, and dodgeball, all while running with a broomstick, or swiffer for that matter, between your legs.
Many players say they were interested in the sport because the novels played a major role in their lives growing up.
“Quidditch offers a fun, imaginative alternative to regular college sports. We all wanted to play when we were younger and read the books, and now everyone has a chance to hop on a broom and live the dream,” said Janice Vogt, 20, an elementary education major and captain of one Loyola team.
Marianne Zolnowski, 21, co-founder of LUC quidditch, expressed similar sentiments, speculating that age may have something to do with the growing phenomenon.
“Harry Potter is a generational thing. We grew up with him, so our age group has been particularly receptive to the idea of quidditch as a real sport,” she said.
All students, Harry Potter enthusiasts or not, are encouraged to participate. Practices are held weekly on the turf fields by Mertz.