As an obnoxious Harry Potter fan, I planned on joining BU’s quidditch team since the moment I committed to BU. I had hoped to meet a group of fellow Harry Potter enthusiasts and bond about our common passion. Instead, I was met with a high-energy and fast-paced sport with which I couldn’t keep up.
At Splash, I ran into a quidditch member handing out flyers, so I seized the opportunity to ask her a couple screening questions before I committed to the club, like “How athletic do I have to be?” and “How often do we practice?”
I was pleased to hear that I didn’t have to be too athletic or practice too often. I was truly expecting a relaxed recreational activity that brings the Potterheads of our campus together.
After my first practice, I learned I was sorely mistaken.
Allow me to explain the rules of quidditch before I continue, because everyone I introduce quidditch to seems befuddled at how a flying sport can be played on the ground.
Essentially, everyone must have a broom (baseball bat) between their legs at all times. There are three goal hoops which the quaffle (soccer ball) must be thrown into in order to score points. There’s also a bludger (dodgeball) that the beater throws at people to temporarily take them out of the game. For those of you who have seen the movies, the only difference between Harry Potter quidditch and real life quidditch is that the golden snitch is an actual person. The seeker chases the snitch and must wrestle them for the snitch tail (a flag) attached to the snitch’s back.
My position of choice is a beater, meaning I’m the one to “beat” people on the opposite team with the bludger. Thrown onto the playing field at Magazine Beach, I was barely able to keep the broom bat between my legs and the bludger tucked under my right arm. At my first practice, I must have ran at least half the field without ever throwing the bludger only to finally get someone out on my own team just when they were about to score a goal. With each practice, I try to redeem myself but my efforts are for naught.
As my team captains shout plays at me, I get too overwhelmed with directions, so I just try to beat whoever is within reach. My team captains have realized that I serve as a great human shield when needed. Often, I’m told to charge at another team’s beater so they can get me out instead of the player behind me. I’m happy to be of some value to the team, but I hope to someday be encouraged by the rush of the game rather than scared away.
Quidditch turned out to be more than the club I expected it to be. It’s a full-on contact sport, one I was not fully prepared to join. However, I’m not even on the competitive team, which practices 2-3 times a week and has a tournament almost every weekend. I’m on House League, meaning I only come on Sundays for an hour. That one hour serves as an excellent reminder that I am not an athletic person, but I am nevertheless determined to improve.
I joined quidditch to geek out about the wizarding world, but being a part of a sports team for the first time in my life turned out to be just as interesting. I may not be the MVP, but I try my best to be an encouraging teammate. I’m lucky to have met the people on the quidditch team, and maybe someday, I’ll be good enough to actually compete alongside them.