Bulldogs board their broomsticks

Butler University is entering the magical world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter by establishing its first ever quidditch team this year.

Quidditch is a fictional sport played by wizards on broomsticks in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.  The game consists of seven players: three chasers, two beaters, a seeker and a keeper.

The objective of the game is to throw the quaffle, which is the main ball, through the three hoops guarded by the opposing team.

The team with the most points wins the game unless the seeker catches the snitch,  a small golden ball with wings.  The team that captures the snitch earns 30 points and ends the game.

The Butler quidditch team entered the realm of reality late last year under the leadership of its co-presidents, sophomores Brock Brothers and Emily Mago.

Both Brothers and Mago said their love of Harry Potter and the action-packed game of quidditch caused them to bring the fictional game to life at Butler.

Brothers said he first heard about collegiate quidditch a couple of years ago and thought it would be something exciting and new to integrate into Butler’s campus.

“Emily and I got together one night and just decided to get it started,” Brothers said. “It has really taken off from there.”

Mago said she first started an interest group on Facebook to see if students liked the idea.  In less than 24 hours, the page received over 80 likes, and Brothers and Mago decided to officially form the team.

At Block Party, swarms of Butler students flocked to the quidditch team’s table to get more information.

Brothers said 275 students signed up, and the line branching off the table was comparable to that of the popular  Dawg Pound.

Brothers said he hopes to have the members out on the fields and on their broomsticks to play the altered version of J.K. Rowling’s game in about a month.

“It’s the same sport essentially,” Brothers said, “but it is adapted for the ground. Basically, players run around with a broom between their legs, so it looks pretty ridiculous.”

Mago said substitutions were made for the enchanted quaffle, bludgers and snitch.

A volleyball will serve as the quaffle. Dodgeballs will take the place of the flying bludgers, balls that fly around the pitch to distract and deter players.

A player dressed in yellow will play as the snitch.  The snitch will have a tennis ball attached to his or her waist, and the seeker must capture the snitch and grab the ball to end  the game.

The snitch is not affiliated with any team.

The sets of three hoops located on opposite sides of the playing field are fashioned out of hula hoops and PVC pipes.

Brothers said he and Mago have already made the first set of hoops.

Brothers said he expects the game to be action-packed and just plain silly.

“I hope it will draw a crowd,” Brothers said. “The more people that join and the more the campus gets involved, the faster it will grow.”

Brothers said he expects the games will take place either on the lawn outside Schwitzer or on the intramural fields.  The mall was briefly considered as a quidditch destination, but Brothers and Mago decided against it because it could wreak havoc on innocent passersby and tarnish the Harry Potter nerd reputation.

“Having it on the mall might be dangerous if a rogue bludger flies out of control and hits someone in the face,” Brothers said. “They might not like the Harry Potter nerds anymore.”

Brothers said individually-formed teams will determine who plays a certain position and what sort of uniform they will wear.  Team names are also up to the general consensus of the seven-person teams.

“We wanted people to be free to make their own decisions,” Brothers said. “Hopefully, we’re going to have a bunch of unique names and colors and outfits.”

The team doesn’t have money to purchase shiny new Nimbus 2000s as of right now, Brothers said, but brooms may be provided in the future.

“Right now, the concept is BYOB,” Brothers said. “Bring your own broom.”

Brothers said the first call out meeting will take place in the next week or two.

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