February 25, 2014
Jack Butler, Director of Intramural Sports, Northeastern University
Ryan Garcia Townzen, Intramural Coordinator, University of Minnesota
In the pages of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Quidditch is a sport played by wizards and witches whizzing about on magical flying brooms. “Muggles” quidditch is a version of the game played without the aforementioned and impossible magical equipment. Since its invention, the sport has grown in popularity across the globe. The sport’s governing body, the International Quidditch Association (IQA), boasts that the sport is now played at “over 300 universities and high schools throughout North America, Australia, and Europe” (IQA, 2013). However, the majority of these schools only offer it as a club sport. This article examines the rule and policy changes that need to be made in order to offer a safe, yet fun version of intramural quidditch.
What makes club quidditch potentially too unsafe to offer as an intramural sport? To begin with the rules allow for players to tackle one another as a means of playing defense. There can also be full speed collisions between “chasers” and “keepers.” Another problem is that the “snitch” and the “seekers” area of play is technically unlimited and can be well out of the officials range of vision. But just as the traditional rules of football, hockey and soccer can be modified to create a safer playing environment, so can “club” quidditch be tamed enough to make it an intramural sport.