Shippensburg Warlocks bring Quidditch to life

Many Harry Potter fans grew up fantasizing what life would be like to attend the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Or they dreamed of playing the famous sport of quidditch.

At Shippensburg University, the dream to play a quidditch game can become a reality, minus the flying.

Founded in the fall of 2010 by Christopher Kostick, the quidditch club gives students a chance to build friendships, leadership skills and bond over the well-known book series, said club president Ali Laughman.

“I wanted to meet people as a freshman in college. Also, it’s the only fun way I could think of to get some exercise and take a break from school,” said Caitlin Silva, the club’s secretary.

Because of the absence of flying, SU’s quidditch team is more similar to rugby, dodgeball and tag. However, the club strives to stick with the same principles as the sport from Harry Potter to provide a similar atmosphere, Laughman said.

Players are equipped with a PVC pipe covered in electrical tape and bandanas for coordinating player’s positions. Positions are keepers, seekers, chasers and beaters. Players will also have jerseys to signify the team on which they are playing.

Chasers must make their way from one end of the quidditch pitch to the other with the quaffle (primary ball), avoiding players from the opposing team, known as beaters. Beaters are equipped with dodgeballs to throw at their opposition, aiming to force them to drop the quaffle. Keepers are similar to goalies, in which their main goal is to make sure the opposing team cannot score. Meanwhile, seekers are in search of the coveted golden snitch, worth 50 points, often a third-party dressed in primarily yellow. After the snitch is caught, the game ends and the scores are tallied.

The quidditch teams play in tournaments against other participating teams such as, Dickinson College, Juniata College and occasionally Kutztown University. During scrimmages players will unite with teams from other colleges.

“We provide a place for people who may not have the best athletic ability,” Laughman said. “It’s also a gender-friendly sport with a gender rule which ensures that teams are balanced so men and women can work together.”

Anyone interested in joining the quidditch club can contact Laughman at New members will be eligible to play once completing waivers and are added to the roster.

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