Most people who have read the Harry Potter series have dreamed of sitting in the stands of the Hogwarts quidditch pitch with their housemates cheering for their team. Some dream of flying around on their own broom, playing the game themselves. Now, this dream can be a reality for Hillsdale students. Almost.
This year, for the first time in the college’s history, Hillsdale will have a quidditch club. The club will have an informational meeting in the next few weeks, and plans to hold regular practices and games at Hayden Park in the spring.
Sophomore Cheyenne Trimels, the club’s president, arrived at Hillsdale knowing that she would play quidditch one way or another. Her love of Harry Potter led her to plan a club even before arriving on campus her freshman year. Along with her friend and vice president of the club, sophomore Alexander Reuss, she spent a year struggling to form the club. Hillsdale’s quidditch team made its first showing this year at the Source, the college’s club fair.
Although quidditch is not an option for “muggles,” according to the J.K. Rowling series, colleges across the country have created a way to play the game without flying brooms and winged balls. Trimels described the game as “a combination of lacrosse, volleyball, dodgeball, and tag.”
There are four basic positions in quidditch, each roughly corresponding to one of the listed sports. Chasers run back and forth on the pitch, trying to score points by tossing volleyballs into the hoops on either side of the field. Keepers, who serve as goalies, block scoring attempts from the opposing team. Beaters are responsible for roaming the field wielding dodgeballs to knock the balls from other players’ hands. Meanwhile, the seeker tries to catch the snitch — a nonaffiliated individual who runs around with a ball tied to their waist. Throughout the game, all tasks are played one-handed, as each player must hold a broom between their legs.
The club has enjoyed a positive response from both students and faculty alike. At the Source, the club was met with an impressive amount of interest, with more than 150 people who signed up to join. Both Reuss and Trimels were thrilled about the reception.
“It’s always pretty great seeing that something fairly important to you is actually successful,” Reuss said. “That something you’re interested in, other people are also interested in.”
Trimels said that every teacher she talked to has shown enthusiasm and even planned to watch games to show their support.
Freshman Ilsa Epling recalled jumping up and down when she heard about the new club. Moments after signing up, Epling turned around to recruit other students.
“I’m excited to be a part of a team sport for the first time in my previously homeschooled life,” she said. She confessed that she was nervous for the same reason.
The club hopes to be a haven for jocks and nerds alike, however.
“You don’t have to be a super nerd to do it, but you also don’t have to be super athletic,” Reuss said.
If playing the sport does not appeal to students, there are other ways to get involved.
Eventually the club will host Harry Potter nights where group members can watch movies, talk about the books, and “nerd out over Harry Potter.”
Both Reuss and Trimels emphasized that, as excited as they are about the sport itself, they also hope the club will create friendships with people they might not have otherwise met.