Quidditch Scores Big on College Campuses

Inability to fly on broomsticks doesn't stop undergrads
By Jen Paton,  Newser User
Posted Nov 9, 2009 1:00 PM CST
Students, who cannot fly, participate in a game of quidditch, which in the Harry Potter series is normally played with flying broom sticks, at North Georgia College.   (AP Photo/John Amis)
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(Newser) – Heads up, NCAA: Quidditch has cast its spell on America's campuses. Technically known as Muggle Quidditch—due to the lack of actual flying brooms—the game looks like "a mixture between ultimate Frisbee and dodgeball," one player tells the Chicago Sun-Times. And if it sounds like a fringe sport, think again: Two hundred colleges (eight of them Big Ten) have a team, 21 schools competed in the Quidditch World Cup last year, and the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association manages the sport at a national level.

Clutching a broom between their legs, players seek to throw a smooshed volleyball, or quaffle, into one of three goals, all while avoiding being hit by rubber kickballs, or bludgers. While today's undergraduates grew up with the Potter series, not every Quidditch player is a hardcore fan—but they do tend to have one thing in common. As the captain of Michigan State University's Rampaging Pygmy Puffs puts it, ''I think anyone that's on this team isn't afraid to make a fool out of themself.''