USF Quidditch Team Takes Third at Swamp Cup
USF students competed against other Florida teams in a “muggle-fied” version of the popular Harry Potter sport.
Before the Swamp Cup in Gainesville, Fla. March 18-20, members of the University of South Florida Quidditch team announced their preparation on Twitter. When they weren’t in the middle of chasing the snitch or beating off bludgers, they were live-tweeting the results.
“Man that was such an awesome first day. Bulls are proving they aren't as novice as previously thought.
“I had people come up to me and tell me how well the team played and when I told them we were a young team and had only been around two months, it blew their mind,” said USF student Zachary Cornett. “We looked amazing out on the field. Immaculate.”
Out of five other teams in Florida, the USF Quidditch team placed third, not bad for a two-month-old team playing their first tournament, said Minister of Magic (Erm, President) Scott Thomas.
Although they lost their match against the University of Florida, their high scores against other teams led them to outrank them in the end, putting UF in fourth place.
“That was our only goal,” Thomas said. “We wanted to beat UF in the tournament. I feel like a proud parent. These people have never played a sport like this before but beat some of the best teams in Florida.”
Quidditch is a magical sports game made up by J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series. Most current college students grew up with the wizard, making him a household name.
“It’s something that our whole generation grew up on,” said Cornett. “You can’t find someone that hasn’t heard of Harry Potter.” Cornett is the co-captain of the team and the snitch runner.
For those of you who don’t know, the snitch is the flying, gold ball that Quidditch players in Harry Potter must catch to end the game. In the muggle (non-magic) world, the snitch is a player who wears a tennis ball in a sock, like the flag in flag-football, who runs amuck during the game until the sock is pulled form his pocket.
“It’s as close to the book as it can be without using magic,” Cornett. “The International Quidditch Association did a really good job of converting [the game] all over.”
Fox Sports came out to film the game, and while the video poked fun at the sport, it was a helpful illustration of what goes on during a Quidditch match.
The team did have one complaint. The video treated the risk of injury lightly. Cornett contends that Quidditch is a fierce sport and not for the faint of heart.
“You can only take so seriously a game where people run around with broom sticks between their legs but the video was campy and we want people to understand how physical the game gets,” Cornett said.
Cornett had long scrapes up his legs and ribs and another player, Paul Kraff, had his glasses broken.
“You just need a reparo spell,” Cornett told him.
If only real life worked that way.
The team is currently raising money to fund their trip to New York City in November for the World Cup Tournament, but it will take about $15,000 to pay for the team’s travel expenses, lodging, food and IQA fees.
Interested in joining the team? Come out to practice! The team meets Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. at the Marshall Student Center amphitheater.
Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.