Skidmore Quidditch is cool
Skidmore Quidditch is cool
Sept. 17, 2013
Rafie Karen ’14, about to score. (Photo by
It’s hard to know what’s scarier: facing Emerson College in your very first intercollegiate quidditch contest or getting Student Government Association approval (and funding) to form Skidmore Quidditch. The good news is that both challenges strengthened the team’s resolve.
Getting thrashed by one of the Northeast’s best squad’s was a “shocking experience,” says club president Sara Belasco ’14, an art history major who also sings with the Treblemakers, a coed a capella group. “We felt so crushed, and realized how far we had to go. But it brought us together and gave us purpose. It was the start of a real quidditch team. Real strategy, teamwork, and communication. Real commitment.”
The game made famous by the fictional Harry Potter, now played at more than 300 colleges and high schools in the U.S. and 12 other countries, is for real. Quidditch combines elements of dodgeball, handball, and rugby, with positions called chasers and beaters, as well as a keeper, a seeker, and a snitch. Although these players can’t fly, they must always carry a broomstick between their legs unless they’re hit by a bludger. Scoring takes place when a player throws the quaffle—a slightly deflated volleyball—through one of the three goal hoops.
“People think quidditch is a bunch of nerds running around with brooms between their legs looking like fools,” says player-coach Rafie Karen ’14, a history major planning on a film career. “But it’s a full-contact sport. We've had concussions, torn ACLs, and more. That's not meant to scare people; quite the opposite. I guarantee that anyone who has the guts to put their pride aside and look silly for a while will come away loving what they just did, and be back for more.”
Beyond the competition—Skidmore won its third-ever tournament in Spring 2013 at Vassar—the best part of quidditch is the relationships. Says Sam Harris ’14, the 2013–14 student body president, “I’ve made an incredible number of strong and lasting friendships with my fellow players, and I can't love them enough.”
Skidmore Quidditch practices on the library green Mondays and Fridays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The team, which boasts 18 returnees from last year, is planning to attend a tournament at Syracuse University on Sept. 28 and the Northeast Regional Tournament in Rochester on November 16 and 17. The team will also host a tournament during Skidmore’s Celebration Weekend, on October 20.
Interested students can contact anyone on the club’s executive board or join the Facebook group. Here's a video history of Skidmore's Quidditch team.