Baylor quidditch combines fandom, competition

The Baylor quidditch team competed in the U.S. Quidditch Cup last weekend in Round Rock. Photo courtesy of Facebook

By Emily Casey | Contributor

J.K Rowling’s best-selling novel series Harry Potter is where the magical sport of quidditch was born. Wizards riding flying broomsticks and chasing after a golden snitch seems impossible to recreate in real life, but today, quidditch is a nationally recognized sport.

Middlebury College founded quidditch in 2005, and in 2011, the Baylor Quidditch Organization was founded.

Baylor University’s own quidditch team made it to the round of 32 in the U.S. Quidditch Cup in Round Rock this past weekend. While the game comes from Harry Potter, the quidditch that is played by many today, including Baylor, loosely follows the game description in the books.

Despite being a nationally recognized sport, many people are still unaware they can play quidditch in real life. When new members join the quidditch team, the unfamiliar sport makes everyone beginners again. Many members with prior experiences in other sports join quidditch as a way to stay active or to fulfill their Harry Potter fantasies. Whatever the motive players have for joining, the game is loved across regions. Baylor quidditch members want more people to experience the fantasy game’s reality and to recognize the excitement of their beloved sport.

Seabrook sophomore Isabelle Perello is a quidditch team member and wants people to explore the sport at Baylor.

“I just want people to know that quidditch is a real sport,” Perello said. “It’s nationally recognized and a lot of fun to participate in.”

The U.S. Quidditch Cup, hosted yearly by the nonprofit U.S. Quidditch Organization, consists of the top 16 teams from four different regions. To prepare for their games, Baylor quidditch practices two to three times a week, giving them ample time not only to perfect their skills, but to create bonds of friendship with their team members. San Antonio junior Savannah Senger said quidditch is a good way to build community.

“Quidditch isn’t just about the sport,” Senger said. “It’s also about making friends that are just as nerdy as you.”

Senger, the risk management officer of the Baylor quidditch team, has been a member of the team for the past three years. During this particular season, she has seen the team push through the struggles of dwindling member numbers and harsh injuries. Senger said the team has prevailed to nationals through the use of hard work and building their skills as a team.

“This season, the team has done well at adapting to different obstacles,” Senger said. “Teamwork has been better this year than any other.”

Just like most sports, quidditch requires the use of calculated strategy. As a full contact sport, teams must navigate through new game plans with every injury blow.

“Since I’ve joined this team, I’ve gained countless bruises, seen my team members injured pretty badly and have gone through periods of pure exhaustion during tournaments,” Perello said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”