Quidditch team hopes to make it to World Cup

Many of the fans of the epic Harry Potter film series, based on the bestselling book franchise, have been lost since the final movie.

The last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” finished the series in 2007 and the film saga came to an end last year. With so many fans still needing Harry Potter in their lives, they can now join Eastern Michigan University’s own Quidditch team, the Flying Squirrels, and bring the experience to life.

Quidditch is the fictional sport portrayed in the books, where teams fly through the air on brooms. The game is a mix of scoring like basketball, has the physicality of rugby and the field dimensions and endurance of soccer.

The sport was incredibly popular throughout the book series and even had a World Cup that the characters attended. It spread in popularity enough for Quidditch teams to spring up at college campuses around the country since 2005.

EMU sophomore Chris Crile, a chaser on the team who also works public relations for the Squirrels, explained how the game works.

“It is almost exactly like the books and the movies except we can’t actually fly,” Crile said. “It is full contact and a lot like a mix between rugby and basketball, where we score through three hoops at the end of the field. There are offensive chasers who score goals, defensive beaters and a seeker who chases the snitch, who is a player from a third-party team who you must catch just like the book.”

Teams are awarded 10 points for each goal scored with a volleyball called the quaffle, while defenders use dodgeballs, called bludgers, to defend. The game ends when a team is able to catch the snitch, which results in the team getting 30 points. It can be the
momentum swing for a team.

The game is a great way for students looking for a workout, as the games are an endurance sport that involves a lot of skill and speed. Games can go as short as 20 minutes or as long as 40 minutes to an hour.

The squirrels are a club team that travels all around, playing schools in the area such as University of Michigan, Michigan State, Bowling Green University, the University of Toledo and other schools from the Mid-American Conference during the regular season.

Crile is hoping the team has the talent to make it to Florida this
year for the World Cup.

“Last year we managed to make it to the World Cup, which was in New York, where we played Texas, UMass, Texas A&M and Marquette,” Crile said. “We have to qualify at the Mid-West Cup this year, but that national championship is in Florida this year and I’m very excited.

We are ranked good this year and I think we can make it again.”
The team practices Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. at Frog Island Park in Ypsilanti. To join the team visit their Facebook page to get more information.

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