The Columbia club scene is a mixed bag—and no, we don’t mean Campo Cloud 9 Saturdays. We mean, like, student clubs. Bwog’s Clubbin‘ feature is here to introduce you to some of the most eclectic of the group. In this edition, Bwog’s Designated
Driver Wannabe Wizard Zach Kagan mounted his Firebolt and caught up with Columbia’s Quidditch team. Copious Harry Potter references and questionable puns ensue.
You may have noticed the South Lawn is periodically occupied by broomsticks, hoops, Quaffles and Bludgers. Sadly, Harry Potter isn’t real, but Columbia’s club scene presents you with the next best thing: an all-muggle Quidditch team!
Despite the lack of flying brooms and gripping charms, muggle Quidditch is a serious sport. The International Qudditch Association (yeah… it’s a thing) lists 387 competitive teams in the United States alone. It’s taking off at Big Ten schools too, appealing to hardcore athletes and Harry Potter nerds alike. Columbia’s newly formed team, the Columbia Roarcruxes, are trying to bring the growing sport to magical Morningside Heights.
But how does one play Quidditch without proper flying broomsticks and enchanted balls? Thankfully Roarcrux team captains Allyson Gronowitz and Aviva Hamavid took some time to give Bwog the low-down. For authenticity’s sake Quidditch players are required to run with their brooms between their legs at all times, which makes running at the pace which the game demands quite tiring. Just like in the books, Chasers battle for control of balls called Quaffles and use them to try and score in one of their opponent’s three hoops, which act as goals defended by a Keeper. Beaters take on a more offensive role in muggle Quidditch: instead of beating away hostile bowling balls called Bludgers, Beaters attack the opposing team with dodge balls. If you get tagged with the Bludger then it’s a somber broomstick-less walk back to your team’s hoops before you can rejoin the action.
True to “real” Quidditch, the star of the show is without a doubt the Golden Snitch. Instead of being an actual ball, the Snitch is a person running around in a yellow suit, with a tennis ball in a sock hanging behind of his or her shorts (don’t conjure a mental image—just don’t). If a Seeker catches the Snitch, it’s game over and the successful Seeker’s team gets an extra 30 points, curtailed from 150 in the books.
The Snitch can go anywhere. There are no rules. The Snitch can get on the subway, or steal a bike, or climb a tree, it’s all fair game. Adding the fact that the Snitch isn’t hampered by a broom between the legs, catching him or her becomes quite the challenge. Seekers have to be not only quick, but crafty too.
Quidditch is an intense game. It often feels like there are three games going on all at the same time and “play doesn’t stop for anything.” There’s so much going on that ranked matches have five referees watching the field. It is a real contact sport, and there’s no Madam Pomfrey to mend downed players. But Gronowitz and Hamavid know that Columbia is up to the challenge. They have their sights set on the Quidditch World Cup, where 100 teams from around the world will compete on Randall’s Island for fame, glory, and broomsticks.
If you’re interested in joining in on the magic and going for the Gold-en Snitch contact the Columbia Roarcrux team captains at quidditch.columbia@gmail.