Eleanor Kalman ’20 made the decision to hop aboard the Hogwarts Express in her first year at Brandeis and participate in the nationwide frenzy of college Quidditch.
Brandeis Quidditch was founded in April of 2010, and since then, the team has grown exponentially, culminating in 30 current members who finished 13th at the 2014 Northeast Regional Championship and earning an alternate bid to World Cup 8, according to its Facebook page. One may think that Quidditch is simply a fun pastime, but it is a competitive and engaging hobby for many people across campus.
“We do drills and then play practice games against each other train for the competitions. It’s a legit sport, but it’s not like being in Harry Potter. We use PVC pipes instead of brooms. It’s also a full-contact sport, and we have to wear mouthguards,” Kalman said.
Quidditch is fairly simple, consisting of the chasers, who run around with the quaffle and score in one of the hoops. The beaters throw dodgeballs, and whoever they hit must drop everything and run over to touch their own hoops. The keepers are the goalies. About 20 minutes into the game, the snitch comes out, which is essentially a tennis ball attached to someone’s back that a player must grab in order to gain their team 30 points and end the game.
“The people on it are super fun. That was my appeal,” Kalman said. “The bonding was amazing; we played games and cards and chatted and played multiple rounds of mafia. I’m very glad I joined the team, it makes me feel like a true Hogwarts student.”