Quidditch flies onto Mercer’s campus

Though players may not actually be flying, Harry Potter enthusiasts can still play the game they love.

Image: Bears on Brooms

Though players may not actually be flying, Harry Potter enthusiasts can still play the game they love.

Sterling Neill, Staff Writer

Flying brooms might soon be a common sight on Mercer’s campus.

“There are plans in the making for a Quidditch Club and Quidditch Team here at Mercer,” said Amy Tureen, current librarian and future administrative coach of the planned Quidditch group.

“For 2015-2016, we will play with friends and ourselves for the Mercer Cup, and for the years 2016-2017, we will play for the Regional Championship and the Americus Cup in the United States Quidditch League or USQ,” Tureen said.

Quidditch is a complex wizarding sport played on flying broomsticks from the renowned Harry Potter book and movie series by J.K. Rowling.

In the Harry Potter version of Quidditch, there are seven players, consisting of three chasers, two beaters, a keeper and a seeker.

The chasers focus on the Quaffle, a leather ball, and try to score by putting it through the hoops.

Beaters use bats to defend their teammates from the Bludgers, a pair of magical iron balls that try to knock players off their brooms.

The keeper blocks the score attempts of the opposite team, and a seeker catches the golden snitch, which flies quickly away from grasp.

The type of Quidditch that students can be involved with on campus will be Muggle Quidditch, a non-Wizard variety of the game.

Muggle Quidditch consists of all the same players and positions, but there will be a few variations.

For instance, the game will be played on the ground with broomsticks between the legs of players. The Quaffle and Bludgers will be replaced by balls from other sports. And the snitch will be a tennis ball inside a sock attached to a fast player on the team.

The person running as the snitch will be a part of a snitch guild.

“Being a snitch means you can basically do anything you want in the allowed space,” Tureen said.

The student who is chosen to become the snitch will be a part of the team but will have more freedom on the field.

Each player has a specific headband that will distinguish their position.

“If you are a chaser, you will have white headband. If you are a beater, you will have black. If you are a keeper ,the headband will be green, and if there is a snitch, that person will be dressed in all yellow,” Tureen said.

The first meeting for the club was held on Wednesday, Sept. 16, where the plans of the club were discussed.

The Quidditch Club will cater to all Mercer students interested in the game and finessing their Quidditch skills.

“The idea is that it is fun,” said Tureen, when asked how the experience of the Quidditch club would progress.

Mercer’s Quidditch team will require a tryout. There will be seven players on a field at a time, but there are 21 possible spots open to Mercer students.

Before tryouts are held, there will be training and preparation, so student-athletes will have a chance to gain their Quidditch skills.

If a student is not interested in the club or playing on the field, there are other options for them to participate.

“We still need referees and cheerleaders,” Tureen said