Stranger Than Fiction
BU Quidditch team faces toughest opponent — gravity| From Commonwealth | By Vicky Waltz, Video By Alan Wong
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Click on the video above to see scenes from the Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup and hear members of BU's team describe the sport.
Katie Stack has been enchanted with Harry Potter and his magical escapades since the fourth grade. She’s in college now, but Stack (CAS’11) continues to live out her childhood fantasies by playing Quidditch, the international sport of the wizarding world.
In the fictional version of the game, created by J. K. Rowling along with the rest of Harry Potter’s universe, players zoom through the air on broomsticks, using balls to score points and knock one another off course. The real-world variation, called Muggle Quidditch (after Rowling’s word for nonmagical people) is bound by the laws of gravity, and so is slightly more prosaic. Players run (on the ground) holding a broom between their legs. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and just as awkward, says Stack.
BU’s young Quidditch team played valiantly but came up short. They’ll be back, they vow. Video Image by Alan Wong
The sport originated in 2005, when a student at Middlebury College adapted it for play. Its popularity quickly spread, and today more than 150 colleges throughout the United States have Quidditch teams. Twelve of them met in October to compete in the second annual Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup, held on Middlebury’s campus in Vermont.
Although BU’s young team, playing in its first major games, lost both rounds of the tournament, valiant play — and the spectacle of it all — left everyone in high spirits. “It was so much fun — we were tackling everyone!” says Abdullah Al-Mutairi (SAR’11), breathlessly. “We were fierce!”
“We’ll come back stronger than ever,” says Raven Villegas (CAS’12). “Just give us another year.”