Students participate in Quidditch World Cup

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Students participate in Quidditch World Cup

Photo credit/ Kenny Doyle

Photo credit/ Kenny Doyle

Photo credit/ Kenny Doyle

Brooke Williams, Staff Writer

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A real-life version of the Quidditch World Cup from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series brought the magic of the wizarding world to life Saturday at noon in the Art Field.

The Student Activities Crew (SAC) and Marywood Intramurals sponsored the tournament. “Harry Potter” fans and athletes joined together in teams to play Quidditch, a sport popularized by the series in which players must score points by throwing balls through ring-shaped goals, all while flying, or in this case, running around on broomsticks.

Instrumental music from the “Harry Potter” films played throughout the afternoon, and the tournament welcomed participants with free pulled pork, watermelon and (non-alcoholic) Butterbeer, which is a staple in the “Harry Potter” world.

The winning team earned a $500 cash prize, and there were various smaller prizes that went around as well. The Filthy Muggles, Riperoni, Team Name and UTEP Miners were the four teams that participated in the tournament bracket. The UTEP Miners won the Quidditch World Cup.

The idea for the Quidditch World Cup came from Julia Mariotti, who interns in the Student Activities Office, and her shadow, Nadine Burton. Even though Quidditch has been played at Marywood before, they brought it back for the first time since the current senior class were freshmen.

“Both of us are pretty big fans of ‘Harry Potter,’ and we wanted to bring out some of our athletic population, as well as some of our more ‘book-y,’ ‘bookish,’ population to just get together for a good-natured competition,” said Mariotti, a junior speech pathology major.

Due to the popularity of “Harry Potter,” Quidditch is now internationally recognized as a legitimate sport. Many colleges and universities have their own teams, and follow the guidelines set by the International Quidditch Association.

“It’s awesome. I love Quidditch. I love ‘Harry Potter’ in general, so I think it’s really cool that we have it,” said Burton, a junior nursing major. “I’ve seen other schools do official tournaments, and so I knew we weren’t going to have that, but I wanted a little part of ‘Harry Potter,’ and it’s almost Halloween, so it’s perfect.”

The Marywood Quidditch World Cup was more simplified than tournaments at other universities, but Mariotti knew “people were going to have a great time.”

Each team had five members: two offensive players called Chasers, one defensive player called a Beater, one Keeper to defend the goal post, and one Seeker, who was in charge of catching the Golden Snitch once it was released into the match.

Teams earned 10 points each time their ball made it through one of the opposing team’s three goals, and 30 points if their seeker caught the Golden Snitch. The referee gave penalizations to players who did not maintain a flying position with their broomsticks.

Tyler Shotto, a senior exercise science major and member of the Track and Field team, played the role of the Golden Snitch for the afternoon. He dressed in all yellow and ran onto the field toward the end of each match. To earn the 30 points, each team’s Seeker had to chase him down and grab a hold of the yellow flag on his belt.

Dana Boeher, a junior nutrition major who participated on a team, said she was thrilled to be a part of the event.

“I’m a big fan of ‘Harry Potter,’ always have been. My parents would read me the books when I was little, so I’ve been a big fan since I was five years old,” she said. “Quidditch is a really fun sport, and it’s really cool that they were able to bring it out from the book and into real life.”

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