Though they cannot fly, though they do not know magic, the goal is all the same: catch the golden snitch.
Quidditch is a sport inspired by the Harry Potter books and films. While the sport is based on fiction, the tournaments are real and the next match is coming to Sam Houston State University.
The fourth annual “Breakfast Taco Chicken and Waffles and Beignets Quidditch Tournament” will be held Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Intramural Fields.
It may be the fourth annual tournament, but most people outside the quidditch community have never heard of this event, let alone the sport. This is the first year the “Breakfast Taco Tournament” will be held at SHSU.
Brandi Cannon, a Sam Houston State alumni and former president of Quidditch at Sam Houston, has consistently been involved with the tournament’s planning. She said the tournament is a pre-season game for any team that wishes to come and see how they match up against the other members of the southwest region.
“The whole idea of it is to have an unofficial tournament that isn’t so much of a stressor, and to allow new teams with new players to get the feel of a tournament,” she said. “There is a lot of camaraderie between the southwest. Teams like UT, A&M, LSU, and Baylor are big parts of the region.”
The Texas A&M University Quidditch team helped the original SHSU team get started 5 years ago.
The activity has grown throughout the last few years into a highly competitive sport that is regulated by a group known as the International Quidditch Association.
Quidditch teams are composed of four types of players – chasers, keepers, beaters and seekers. The team itself is a close nit group that is always looking for new members and maintaining connections with alumni.
The activity is a co-ed full contact sport where players are prohibited from using pads and helmets.
PVC pipes are used in place of magic brooms and players are required to have the “broom” between their legs at all times. Volleyballs and dodge balls are used in place of bludgers and quaffles, the three balls used in the fictional sport from the books and movies.
The all-important snitch, a winged golden ball as portrayed in the fictional series, is represented by a player dressed in yellow or gold with a tennis ball in a sock attached to the back of their shorts.
The seekers chase the snitch, and whoever removes the ball first wins 30 points for their team and ends the game.
Quidditch at Sam Houston holds recruitment and fundraising booths in front of the LSC from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also hold practices Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Lower Pritchett Field from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and welcome those interested in trying out the sport.
For more information, visit the SHSU Quidditch Facebook page.