Flights of Fantasy

Voice Fall 2008 Turns out you don’t need magic to pull together a game of Quidditch, the sport immortalized by wizards and witches in the popular Harry Potter series. But you will need duct tape and a little imagination.

Carleton students and Harry Potter enthusiasts met behind the Rec Center in May for the College’s first Quidditch tournament. Hula hoops duct-taped to PVC pipes served as goals, broomball sticks substituted for broomsticks, and several yellow-garbed Carls with sock-covered tennis balls hanging off the back of their shorts took turns acting the part of the Golden Snitch—the enchanted golden ball that hovers and darts around the field, trying to avoid capture by players who zoom about on broomsticks. (In Carleton’s game, players win by snatching the tennis ball from the Snitch.)

Carleton is among more than 65 colleges that make up the national Intercollegiate Quidditch Association, which began at Middlebury in 2005. Students there have published a standardized set of rules for the game, adapted for play on the ground instead of in the air: For example, players must have their broomsticks (or broomball sticks) tucked between their legs at all times. According to Brianne Wooldridge ’10 (Hill City, S.D.), however, the differences between earthbound Quidditch and wizard Quidditch are few: “We can’t fly, we don’t use bats, and the Snitch is a person.”

Other than that—game on.

Web Extra: View a CBS news report on college quidditch.

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