Despite the low turn-out, students cheered as opposing
House teams raced across the football-turned-Quidditch field. EAB gave out free T-shirts to students at the end of the game, and free
butterbeer and popcorn was offered throughout the event. At the end of the match, Gryffindor beat Slytherin 70-40.
Saturday evening, Emory & Henry students gathered at the Fred Selfe Stadium field to attend the Emory Activities Board Quidditch Tournament.
Quidditch is a game invented by J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter book series. Players on flying brooms toss balls through hoops and chase after an elusive enchanted sphere called “the golden snitch” in order to win points.
Following the books’ popularity, a less fantastical version of Quidditch sprang up in the United States. According to the website for U.S. Quidditch—an organization which regulates the sport—the game is now “played by over 300 teams around the world.” This “coed, contact sport” is played on foot, with players holding brooms between their legs, and a cross-country runner stands in for the golden snitch.
EAB hosts a tournament every semester. Saturday night’s tournament pitted three teams of volunteers against one another, with each team sporting T-shirts from the different houses of Harry Potter’s fictional school, Hogwarts. The Gryffindor team bested Slytherin in the first match, and Hufflepuff lost to both other teams before Gryffindor triumphed in the final match against Slytherin, 70-40.
This semester, Slytherin and Dean of Students Kyle Cutshaw acted as referee. Cutshaw is a long-time fan of the Harry Potter books.
“I like getting away with a little bit of magic and a little bit of mystery,” said Cutshaw. He knows the sport well. “I enjoy seeing people take something they’re passionate about…and then putting it into something that’s really creative.”
Due to low attendance on Saturday’s game, the all-volunteer teams were pared down to three groups of six, rather than the usual seven-person teams from each of the four Hogwarts houses.
EAB President and Hufflepuff Jordan Christie said turnout was low because it was the spring semester.
“So much happens in the spring and there’s never one weekend where nothing else is going on,” said Christie. “We got great attendance in the fall but I think more and more people are just getting less interested in it.”
While attendance was down, students that were present expressed enthusiasm for the game. Slytherin and first-year student Rachel Campbell grew up reading Harry Potter.
“Quidditch is probably the best sport other than soccer,” she said, “because it’s fun, and it’s brutal, but it’s entertaining. I love it….[T]he first time I found out it was an actual thing that happened on college campuses, I was thrilled.”
– Hannah Long