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Northern Colorado quidditch team is formed from a diverse group

Golden Griffins are currently ranked 47th in the nation

By Nick Evans
On February 11, 2013

Thanks to the popularity of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books, quidditch has become an intense competition in the muggle world.

The Golden Griffins represent the official University of Northern Colorado quidditch team. Just as in the famous books and films, players run around on brooms and compete in a full-contact sport.

"I joined the quidditch team because Harry Potter is my favorite series," said Paula Pineda, a sophomore. "Why not mix my favorite books with something athletic?"

The Griffins are in the Southwest Division and compete against schools such as UCLA. They have played 20 games so far and are fundraising to attend a tournament later this year. In total, 27 schools make up the division.

"The quidditch community is very diverse," said Becca Mulligan, a junior who plays the position of chaser. "We have everything from members of Greek Life to nursing majors."

Because of the high fantasy element of Harry Potter, real quidditch players have had to make some adjustments to the game.

There are four positions in quidditch. Three chasers per team fight over a volleyball called a quaffle and attempt to throw it in one of their opponent's goals. The sport shares some resemblance to rugby or football.

Keepers are quidditch's version of goalies. There is only one per team. If outside the goal area, a keeper can also act as a chaser. Beaters use bats to hit small dodgeballs (bludgers) toward other players.

Seekers chase after the game-winning golden snitch. In the Harry Potter series, the snitch was a golden ball with wings that moves sporadically as the game is played.

In this case, the snitch is replaced with a tennis ball inside a sock. One player wears the sock tucked into his or her waistband and seekers try to catch him or her.

The seeker cannot use physical force to catch the snitch. This rule of the game is quite similar to that of flag football.

A quidditch player is not limited to one position. Freshman Winston Steidly plays every position except for keeper. Because quidditch is full-contact, injuries are not uncommon. On average, three to four minor injuries occur per tournament.

Like any competitive sport, quidditch has risks but they are generally not born from malcontent.

"Everybody in quidditch is friends with each other, and we are all connected with love for the game," Steidly said.

If a person is interested in joining the team, UNC Quidditch has an official Facebook page and is listed on the UNC Clubs and Organizations site.



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