Quidditch team hopes for club sport status

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Members of the Milwaukee Warrior Quidditch team practice for upcoming matches. Photo by: Kristen Steinfeld/ kristen.steinfeld@marquette.edu

Sad that the Harry Potter movie franchise ended this summer? Don’t worry, you can now relive the magic here at Marquette by joining the Milwaukee Warrior Quidditch team.

The sport itself — a combination of rugby, soccer, basketball and dodgeball — adheres as closely to the sport from the novels and movie as is Muggle-ly possible. There’s a lineup of seven players on each team at a time, all of whom “fly” on broomsticks around the field while improv comedians serve as announcers to keep the whimsical spirit alive.

Teams are comprised of one keeper, three chasers, two beaters and one seeker, the latter of whom chases the “snitch” — a third party who tucks a sock in their pocket and runs around until they’re caught. In the meantime, chasers attempt to score  points by throwing the quaffle –a deflated volleyball –through hoops guarded by keepers, while the beaters throw dodgeballs to knock players off their brooms.

The Milwaukee Warrior Quidditch team is not technically Marquette-affiliated as of yet, but team founder Curtis Taylor, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said this is the ultimate goal of the organization. Taylor said the group initially applied for club sport status, but was turned down due to a lack of practice space.

However, Taylor said the Office of Student Development has decided to reconsider their ruling, and will be meeting with the group at the end of September. Until then, the team is currently a Milwaukee organization based at Marquette, but Taylor plans to change the name of the group to Milwaukee Warrior Quidditch at Marquette once it is approved.

Taylor said he started the team both for the enjoyment of Marquette’s Harry Potter fans, and to play a serious athletic game simultaneously.

“A lot of teams are just Harry Potter fans, but the top teams are very athletic,” he said. “We want to be one of the top teams.”

Taylor said some teams don more traditional quidditch robes, but the more competitive teams wear soccer style uniforms and cleats.

A full Quidditch team consists of 16 players, but the Milwaukee team currently has only 14 spots filled. According to “Platform 9 3/4″ the International Quidditch Association’s rule book, teams must be co-ed, and there must be at least two players of each gender on the field at one time.

The team’s players are looking forward to beginning competition.

Craig Ogurek, a senior in the College of Nursing said the game is very enjoyable. He acts as the team’s keeper but is still able to join in offensive play.

“You are always moving, and it is a lot more physical than you would expect,” Ogurek said.

Kristen Steinfeld, a sophomore in the College of Business and beater for the team, said she wanted to join after her friends at other universities played on their quidditch teams.

The team will travel to Hamilton County, Ind. on Oct. 8 to compete in the regional tournament, the Midwest Cup.

If the team wins, they advance to the World Cup. The tournament will take place on Randall’s Island in New York City on Nov. 12.

“We want to make a splash,” Taylor said. “We plan on winning regionals.”

University quidditch teams around the world are nothing new.

Taylor said the sport “really hit college campuses by storm.”

The International Quidditch Association was founded at Middlebury College in Vermont five years ago, and there are currently more than 400 college teams across the United States and over 30 international teams.

According to the association’s rankings, Middlebury College is number one, followed by Arizona State University and Louisiana State University. The Milwaukee Warrior Quidditch team is currently unranked.

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