Monday, November 15, 2010

Well, I'm no Harry Potter...

Our poorly photoshopped avatar
...but I do love to play quidditch. Yeah, that's right. I'm one of those nerds who gets a kick out of playing imaginary sports. This marks my fourth (well, technically third, but that's a story for another time) year playing, and I must admit that it's a most enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then Go read Harry Potter!!

A snitch, a Ravenclaw, and a Slytherin are all discussing

When I tell people about my favorite sport (though it always seems more like a confession than bragging), I usually get one of two questions: "Do you play with broomsticks or "How can you play without magic?" The answers are a) No, and b) easily. The rules are fairly straightforward. The field is set up with 3 hoops connected to one giant PVC pipe stand on each end of the field. There is a square roped off on the ground that surrounds the hoops that no players can go inside. There are 7 people on the field: 5 chasers and 2 beaters. There are no keepers due to the crease, which provides more potential to defend / score actually on the field. The quaffle is represented by a frisbee, and gameplay is actually very similar to Ultimate Frisbee in regards to chasing. The only difference being that instead of scoring "touchdowns", you have to score the quaffle through one of the three hoops. The beaters are around to complicate things, however. They have 2 bludgers (imagine smaller dodgeballs) that they have to dribble around and try and hit people with them. If you get hit, then you have to spin around 5 times (or in my case, stand still and count to five on your hand. I have vertigo, so spinning around on top of the world already spinning a lot is never a good thing.). The next question I hear is "So what about the snitch? Surely you don't have some little ball with wings flying around?" About this time, one of two responses will come out of my mouth. If I'm annoyed by you being a smartass who's only asking questions to make fun of me later, then I'll go on and on about magic and snitches and unicorns and Cheez-*ts. If you're genuinely interested, then I'll tell you that the snitch is actually attached to a person wearing a special yellow shirt . It's fastened and velcroed to their back, and their job is to run and hide anywhere around the block that we play (The actual quidditch field probably only makes up about 20% of this area, so he / she has a lot of places to hide). The snitch is released during halftime, which is 30 minutes after the game starts (it used to be released at the beginning, but the Gryffindors kept cheating and finding it after about 2 minutes of gameplay). Its value has also decreased from 150 to 55 points, so it's not so much of a deciding factor, but it can make the game interesting, especially if your team isn't playing so well that day.

Their battle cry is something about Thundercats.
Ours are "Burn, pillage, eat the babies" and "Blood
makes the grass grow, KILL KILL KILL!"
So you might be asking yourself, "Well, if she isn't playing for Gryffindor, then which team does she belong to?", which is a very valid question. There are currently 6 quidditch teams: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Death Eaters and the Quafflepunchers. When the game was founded in 2007, there were only the four houses represented. I knew immediately which house I wanted to be sorted into, and if there was a real Sorting Hat, the scene would have been similar to Draco Malfoy's sorting. When I signed up, I immediately requested Slytherin, and played on the team for two years. In 2008, quidditch was becoming so popular that they added a 5th team in: Dumbledore's Army. 2009 was a mystery year for me, because I wasn't at this particular school. So I arrive back here in 2010, and I see an opportunity to progress in my dark ways. Most of my teammates made the switch while I was away. I joined the forces of She-who-must-not-be-named (my captain's a girl), and took the Dark Mark. This year we have done fairly well for ourselves, and this past Sunday we defeated the Hufflepuffs 65 to 30 (don't let the name fool you. Those Hugglepoofs are stacked), and the mid-year tournament is coming up in the next month or so.

So, I mentioned that we do not use broomsticks. However, you will probably do a google image search and find an image similar to this:

The "other" Quidditch.
This is because there are two versions of quidditch out there. I must admit to not knowing much about the other version, only that they follow the Harry Potter world rules a lot closer than we do. Our quidditch looks more like: 
A random game in 2008
Wow! Somebody's actually throwing the frisbee to me! (2008)

Warm-up before a game (2007)

Beater with his bludger.
That's about all you need to know about UGA quidditch. If you want to read a little more about it, go here.

EDIT: CNN actually did a story on us!! You can watch it here

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