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Senior Max Keeter was the seeker. He ran across the field, dodging other players while holding a broom between his legs. Then he saw it; the snitch popped up on the field. Keeter’s one goal in the Coalition quidditch tournament was to grab the snitch and bring the AP team to its glory. He kept running, trying to keep himself from tripping while running with the broom. Then finally, inches away, he dove for the snitch. He got it.
The AP team’s victory in the Coalition quidditch tournament resulted in more than just a golden broom for a trophy; Keeter and fellow senior Mike Thibodeau were also given the idea to start their own club to play quidditch.
“[The tournament] was really fun,” Keeter said. “It just showed that quidditch is a little bit interesting. It’s more than meets the eye, really, and that was when we decided after that this would be really fun to replicate. Or at least try to.”
The game of quidditch comes from author J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular book series “Harry Potter.” According to the books, two teams will play against each other while flying on brooms, each trying to score the most points possible. One of the balls in the game, the snitch, comes out near the end of the game. If caught, the snitch usually determines which team wins the game.
Because quidditch is a fictional sport heavily reliant upon magic, when it is translated into real life, several modifications have to be made. Many colleges have started quidditch teams, setting a basis for how quidditch can be played without magic or flying. Rather than hovering on broomsticks, players have to run on a field while holding brooms between their legs, and instead of supporting itself with wings, the snitch is tied to a person running around the field. This is the kind of quidditch that Keeter and Thibodeau are playing.
To prepare for the matches, it was up to Keeter and Thibodeau to procure the various different supplies they would need. Thibodeau bought seven brooms and is planning to borrow the rest from the library. Each are bringing soccer balls and dodgeballs in place of the fictitious bludgers and quaffles. They both made the goals, they glued together and spray-painted PVC pipes and hula hoops.
Keeter and Thibodeau chose librarian Kathi Knop as their sponsor, and they had their first meeting in the library a few weeks ago. Typically, at meetings, members will go over rules and strategies to get an idea of what the upcoming match will be like. The meetings are short so as to allow more time to actually play the game afterwards, when they’ll move to a park.
The club’s first real meeting is this Friday, after which they’ll hold their first official match.
“Getting the people to play it is going to be a bit more difficult,” Keeter said. “Everyone’s ego might be a little too big. [Because you’re running] around a field with brooms between your legs and throwing dodgeballs at each other. But we’re hoping that a few people might join in, and find that it’s actually pretty fun.”
When Keeter and Thibodeau had first thought of starting a quidditch club, it was in the middle of winter. Figuring that no one would be interested in running around outside while it was below 10 degrees outside, the two decided to wait until spring to start scheduling matches.
Both have high hopes for the first match on Friday, and are considering extending quidditch club into the summer if enough people are interested.
“I’m trying to keep myself without many [expectations],” Keeter said. “[But] I’m excited to see how it works.”