The Hungarian Horntails and the Team That Must Not Be Named went head to head playing the wizarding world’s favorite magical sport—Quidditch yesterday.
This game has been adapted for non-magical people, or “muggles,” from the popular Harry Potter series for hundreds of colleges and leagues around the country. Tracy Balzer’s two Harry Potter Gateway classes joined in the popular sporting phenomenon as they competed against each other on Wednesday evening at 7:00pm. Although each Gateway course section has 19 to 20 students, only seven players from each team played on the field at once.
The guidelines of the sport are similar to those in Harry Potter; however, a few adaptations have been made to compensate for the fact that the students cannot, in fact, fly.
Three of the players called “chasers” attempt to score goals by putting a ball known as a “quaffle” through one of their opponents’ three marked hoops at each end of the field. Meanwhile, two of the players known as “beaters” throw dodge balls, or “bludgers,” at their opponents in an effort to keep them from scoring goals. One player from each team called the keeper is charged with guarding the goal posts, and lastly, the seventh member of each team is known as the seeker. For the entirety of the game, the seeker has one objective: to find and tag “the golden snitch” in an effort to earn his team 150 points. In the Harry Potter novels, the seekers must catch the magical golden snitch as it evasively flies around the arena. In the muggle world, however, the snitch is actually a person dressed entirely in gold and yellow. This person must be a neutral third party, and may chose to enter or exit the field at anytime. The seeker must tag the golden snitch to earn their team 150 points.
In addition, the students are also required to play the entire game with a broom between their legs.
“Quidditch is such a fun sport!” said freshman Lana Bromling, one of the many Gateway students who was enthusiastic about the event. The students, however, also expressed their interest and enthusiasm for the class as well.
“I really love the class,” Bromling continued.
Tracy Balzer, director of Christian formation and professor of the Harry Potter Gateway is currently requiring her class to read through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This course requires students to evaluate redemptive qualities and themes throughout this novel.
“I just love Harry Potter as a tool to help us think about using the lens of faith, even looking at a secular story, and seeing how those themes are actually universal themes,” said Balzer. “We take two chapters at a time, and I am just amazed every time at how many great examples of redemption there are [in Harry Potter], whether it’s loyalty in friendship, or the love of a mother for her child, or the concept of adoption…There are so many great ways that we can look at redemption and make very clear Biblical parallels.”
The students had the unique opportunity to not only evaluate the novel in the class, but to also put the story into action during the Quidditch event on Wednesday evening. Students, professors and spectators alike joined in the fun as the Hungarian Horntails and the Team Who Must Not Be Named competed in the magical sporting event of the season.