While racing with broomsticks in between their legs, throwing volleyballs through hula hoops, and trying to grab the player dressed in gold, these students run around like chickens with their heads cut off. An onlooker might wonder what they are doing.
They are playing Quidditch, of course.
The fictional game that the Harry Potter series has brought to movie screens has motivated fans to create a real-life version. The Macaulay Marauders, founded by team captain Jenna Jankowski (CSI ’14) for all Macaulay campuses, currently has 22 members.
“Kristin Lamonte and I went to the Quidditch World Cup last year,” said Jankowski. “Since we are both huge Harry Potter fans, we decided to form a team.”
The team is planning to compete with others in the area and to take part in next year’s Quidditch World Cup with teams from across the world. Jankowski have been holding practices monthly so that every team member can get a feel for each of the four positions before the seven starters can be chosen – which is a prerequisite for any competitions.
There are three Chasers who act as the offensive players and try to get the Quaffle (a volleyball) into one of the three hula-hoops, which serve as the goals – a feat which must be done while holding a broom between their legs. This position is particularly important because the Chasers score their team’s points.
There are also two Beaters who act as the defense. They try to knock the opposing team’s Chasers onto the floor, preventing them from scoring. These players need to be strong so that they can effectively slow down the Chasers.
There is one Keeper who guards the goals so that the other team cannot score, functioning quite like a goalie.
Finally, there is one Seeker who must run and catch the Golden Snitch, which is an impartial player who runs from both teams. The mediators of the game choose the Snitch so that the Seeker on each team can run and find him or her. The Snitch is given time to run and hide anywhere – including off the field – and the Seekers’ goal is to find it. Once the Snitch is found, the game is complete, and whichever team has the most points at that time is the winner.
Jankowski is looking forward to picking the starters so that they can finally play. Non-starting team members will be mid-game alternates for when a starter must switch out. Motivation must be really high to play this sport as well, because it involves physical contact and injuries are not uncommon.
In the past, people have had breathing problems and pulled hamstrings. CSI junior Kristin Lamonte even got a scar from a Beater during the last practice because she was thrown to the floor. However, none of that is enough to slow her down.
“I want to play Quidditch because Harry Potter is a major part of my life,” said Lamonte. “To be able to be part of something that brings the fantasy to life is magical.”
Despite the enthusiasm of these die-hard Harry Potter fans, the team’s endeavor has been met by criticism by some who believe Muggle Quidditch looks “silly” or “stupid”.
The Macaulay Marauders will be playing in a tournament at Stonybrook University on March 31st. To learn more about the team, “like” them on Facebook.