MUGGLE QUIDDITCH: Talk about sweeping the competition (with video)

SURREY — It takes exceptional athleticism to excel at any sport, but what about one where you’re playing one-handed with a broomstick between your legs at all times?

That’s one of the cardinal rules of quidditch, the magical sport from author J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series.

What started as the fictional game of Hogwarts school has since been adopted at real-world universities across the globe, including Simon Fraser University (SFU).

Renamed muggle quidditch – with the word “muggle” also derived from the series, meaning a person who lacks magical ability – the sport has been on university fields for a decade, with more than 30 teams in Canada and 300 in the U.S.

Rhyss Gardiva and Talor Mykle-Winkler each joined the SFU Marauders in the fall of 2014, the second season for the SFU team. While they’ve only been there one season, they’re considered veterans as some of the founding members have already graduated.

“I thought it was just going to be a regular Harry Potter fan club when I saw the quidditch sign,” said Gardiva, a health science major with a minor in molecular biology and chemistry.

“I was very wrong.”

Mykle-Winkler, who just finished her first year studying biomedical physiology and kinesiology, wasn’t caught off guard, and she felt her background in rugby would translate well to the field.

“It looked like fun – I’d read the books, I was a big fan of the books, so it was sort of, why not play quidditch?” she said.

The goal of quidditch is to score more points than the opposing team. There are two teams of seven with four main positions: Chaser, beater, keeper and seeker.

(Scroll to bottom of page for rules and video of Marauders in action)

It’s a competitive sport – and not without its share of casualties.

“I actually got this chipped tooth from my first tournament,” said Gardiva, “but I did give the guy a concussion.”

“It’s full contact co-ed,” added Mykle-Winkler. “There are some girls on our team who are five-foot-four, maybe 100 pounds, and they’re on the same field as this six foot tall ex-football player.”

Contrary to misconceptions, quidditch isn’t just “a bunch of nerds running around.”

The Marauders have a mix of Harry Potter bookworms and typical jocks working together on the field.

“There are some people who’ve never even read or seen any Harry Potter and they just joined because it looked like a fun sport to play,” said Mykle-Winkler.

Their teamwork paid off in March, as the SFU Marauders placed fourth in the Canadian Quidditch Nationals, which featured such teams as the UVic Valkyries, the Winnipeg Whomping Willows and the Toronto Avengers.

SFU secured fourth with a hard-fought victory over the Alberta Clippers, who had beaten them three times previously.

“It was quite awesome that we got to play with them and actually beat them,” said Gardiva, noting some of the Clippers are members of Canada’s national quidditch team.

Now that the season is over, the Marauders won’t hit the field until the fall, but fantasy tournaments for individuals are set to take place over the summer, with one tentatively scheduled at SFU’s Burnaby campus on June 13.

And as the team heads into its third season, they’re always looking to recruit more players – whether you’re a musclebound jock who’s never read the books or a pint-sized Potterhead who quotes the passages constantly.

“If you ever want to try quidditch, don’t judge it because you’re running around with a broom,” said Mykle-Winkler. “It’s a physically demanding game with a bunch of the coolest people you’ll ever meet.”

jacobzinn@gmail.com

 

THE RULES OF QUIDDITCH

The goal of quidditch is to score more points than the opposing team. There are two teams of seven with four main positions: Chaser, beater, keeper and seeker.

Each team has three chasers, who try to score points with the Quaffle, an underinflated volleyball, by throwing it through any of the three hoops on the opposing team’s side of the pitch.

Two beaters play defense, throwing Bludgers (dodgeballs) at opposing members to force them out of play. If you’re hit by a Bludger, you must dismount your broom, drop the Quaffle or any Bludgers in your possession and run to your team’s hoops before returning to your broom to return to the game.

While there are four beaters on the field at any time, there are only three Bludgers, meaning the team holding two Bludgers can more easily control the game.

The keeper usually performs as a goalie, but can also serve as a fourth chaser.

Lastly, the seeker — Harry Potter’s position — comes into play toward the end of the game when the snitch runner (a non-partisan player) runs onto the field. The snitch runner possesses the Golden Snitch, a tennis ball in a sock Velcroed to the back of their shorts, and their sole purpose is to prevent either team’s seeker from grabbing the Golden Snitch.

Catching the Golden Snitch earns 30 points for the seeker’s team and ends the game, but if there’s a strategy to it: If you’re behind by more than 30 points, then your team is forced to defend the snitch runner while attempting to mount enough offense to score more points and close the gap.

 

Just Posted

Surrey stabbing leaves man with ‘potentially life altering injuries’

Police believe an altercation between two people led to the incident, in the 13700-block of 97A Ave.

Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Kids Boost Immunity honours Surrey school for vaccine donations

Elementary students donate more than 3,000 vaccinations to UNICEF

Teen charged with possession of a loaded firearm after incident at Whalley park

Surrey RCMP say 17-year-old boy allegedly found in possession of loaded handgun

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Many teens don’t know they’revaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

5 to start your day

Death in Surrey being probed by homicide investigators, FOI offers top dog names in White Rock and more

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants fall in overtime

Team still leads WHL series against Spokane

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Most Read