Grab a PVC Firebolt and learn to fly like Harry

“Imagine if rugby and soccer had a kid together,” said junior Zachary Wolfe. “And in order to play, you had to ride a PVC pipe.”

In the “Harry Potter” franchise, Quidditch is a fictional sport played by wizards. Players on one team try to score against the other using four different balls while flying on broomsticks.

Fans of the series have brought the game literally down-to-earth. With the exception of flying, the real-life version is a close copy of the original sport. This new pastime has reached many colleges worldwide, including Guilford.

“There are four positions in Quidditch,” said Wolfe. “There are three chasers, who score into one of three hoops using a deflated volleyball. You have two beaters, who try to hit the chasers with a dodgeball. Then you have the keepers, whose job is to prevent the ball from going into the hoop and to prevent people from getting near it. Finally, there is the seeker, who tries to get the snitch from the (snitch runner).”

One of the most interesting characters is the snitch runner. Abiding by almost no rules and having no affiliation to a team, the person’s only task is not to get caught. The game ends when a team captures the snitch — a tennis ball attached to the snitch runner’s shorts.

“As long as the snitch runner is back on the field within 15 minutes, I don’t know of any restrictions on what he can do,” said junior Jared Willis. “In official games, (the runner) would sometimes sit on the side of the field and talk to the spectators. Sometimes he would run around the campus. Some snitch runners like climbing trees to get away.”

Willis, with his friends Wolfe and junior Christina Gutterson, came up with the idea for a Quidditch club once they discovered it was an actual sport. The club was finalized this September after a rough start the year before.

“We had really bad luck last year,” said Willis. “Every time we scheduled an event, it rained. We didn’t start actually trying to become a club until this year.”

You do not have to be an athlete or Harry Potter fan to enjoy the sport. People from all types of backgrounds can join in and have a lot of fun.

“I like that it is not meant for one type of person,” said senior Lucy Rice in an email interview. “Quidditch is not meant for the super-strong or super-fast, just people who can get over how ridiculous running around with a PVC pipe between their legs looks.”

The group is planning to host multiple events in the future, including a Harry Potter-themed prom, matches at Kid Fest and games against other college Quidditch teams.

“I’ve been talking to some of the people from UNCG,” said Jared. “Hopefully, at some point before the next semester, we will be able to have a scrimmage.”

Quidditch has a large following. According to the International Quidditch Association, there are over 300 teams in 20 countries spanning six continents.

“There are teams all over the United States, and depending how well we do regionally, we are able to compete at the Nationals,” said junior Molly Stoltzfus in an email interview.

If you are interested in trying out this magical sport, come to practice on Wednesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m or Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m at Haworth Field or contact Zack Wolfe, Jared Willis or Molly Stoltzfus.

“The only way you can really play Quidditch is to be able to laugh at yourself,” said Stoltzfus. “I mean, we are running around with poles between our legs.”