Most people hear the word quidditch and immediately think about the fictional sport invented for J.K. Rowling’s series of books “Harry Potter.” The sport is anything but fictional for the Sam Houston State University Quidditch team. The sport is a rewarding and challenging one that demands a lot of the human body and requires copious amounts of training.
Quidditch has gained a lot of serious traction in real life with many colleges and high schools forming their own respective teams. There is even a pro-league consisting of 15 teams that make up Major League Quidditch.
The pitch is a grass field that is 60 yards long and 36 yards wide. The equipment used are broomsticks and five balls. The balls consist of The Quaffle (a volleyball), three Bludgers (dodgeballs) and the Snitch (a tennis ball). The Quaffle is the ball used to score, the Bludgers are used to knock out opposing players and the Snitch is the ball that ends the match if it is caught.
For the SHSU Quidditch team, like most organizations on campus, there have been changes to the way the team operates in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are currently planning to have practice Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, but are still seeking approval of our COVID-19 Back to Play plan so we can’t say much at the moment,” SHSU Quidditch team Vice President Joan-Leah Alexander said. “Our practices will definitely be very different with zero contact and new drills.”
Prior to stopping practice and competitions, members of the quidditch team took part in various amounts of training to hone their skills and ready their bodies in preparation for games.
Most of the SHSU Quidditch team’s training regimen is centered on endurance with a mixture of skills and strength training.
“We do lots of running drills to practice not only running with a broom between your legs but also to work on passing between teammates and field awareness,” Alexander said.
The team would regularly take part in four distinct drill concepts to help improve their skills. The first would be drills focused on passing and scoring, called Chaser Drills. The second are Contact Drills, drills focused on maneuvering the pitch while the opposition tries to tackle the player. The third are Beater Drills that focus on agility in tight spaces. Finally, there are actual scrimmages used to test everything they have already worked on.
Although each position can benefit from having certain attributes, according to Alexander, anyone can play quidditch.
The SHSU Quidditch team is not alone in their hopes to return to play, but for now the team awaits the approval of their Back to Play plan, even if it means restrictions on how they navigate on the pitch.