Running around on brooms and chasing a human snitch, university students brought the wizarding game of Quidditch to life this weekend with the first tournament held at UT.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book series, Quidditch is played similarly to its depiction in the books, except with no flying on broomsticks, Allyson Burton, Texas Quidditch vice president and English junior, said. Players attempt to score by throwing the “quaffle,” similar to a dodgeball, through one of the opposing team’s hoops. The game concludes when one team’s seeker captures the “snitch,” which is a neutral player dressed in yellow with a sock with a tennis ball in it tucked into their waistband. The snitch tries to evade capture from seekers of both teams for as long as possible.
“Aside from causing any real harm, the snitch can do anything they want to avoid getting caught,” Burton said. “The snitch adds a fun quality to the game that no other sport really has.”
Burton said she was more than happy with the outcome of the tournament, which took six weeks to plan.
“As event organizer, there is a lot that goes into planning the Cup,” Burton said. “Through inviting teams to participate, working with EMT and coordinating referees for each match, there was a lot of work put into making sure this event was successful.”
This year’s Lone Star Cup went to UT’s varsity Quidditch team, which defeated Texas A&M in the final match.
“Many people were impressed with how smoothly the whole tournament turned out,” Burton said. “The championship match between UT and A&M’s varsity team was incredibly intense and one of the best matches of the tournament.”
Computer science sophomore Adrian Rillon said it was his first time playing as the snitch and it was the most fun he had playing Quidditch.
“I was on a tight schedule between snitching and reffing different matches, but playing the snitch was incredibly intense and so much fun,” Rillon said.
Rillon said the Lone Star Cup was centered more on fun than competition in comparison to the previous tournaments he participated in at other universities.
“I was always a huge Harry Potter fan and really competitive,” Rillon said. “Playing Quidditch was my way of combining the two.”
Alexandra Young, Texas Quidditch president and humanities senior, said real life Quidditch was something she learned about in high school and was excited to start it as a campus organization once she realized UT didn’t have it yet.
“Many people don’t understand what all goes into playing this sport,” Young said. “People need to watch it live before they judge it.”
Young said her father had never seen a match prior to the Lone Star Cup, and while he was a skeptic at first, he saw the high intensity level that goes into each match.
“We take Quidditch seriously and treat it as we would any other sport,” Young said. “People should come check it out to understand what all goes into playing it.”
Printed on Monday, April 16, 2012 as: UT Quidditch team hosts Lone Star Cup