CCU club brings mythical ‘Quidditch’ game to life on campus

CCU club brings mythical 'Quidditch' game to life on campus (Image 1)

It's a fictional game played by J.K. Rowling's fictional character Harry Potter.

But for a group of Coastal Carolina University students, Quidditch is anything but make believe.

“Obviously we're not magical and we can't make our brooms fly, but we can do the best we can,” CCU Senior Nicholas Powell joked.

Powell is the president of the school's Quidditch Club.

It's a real life adaptation of the fictional game – a co-ed contact sport that players describe as a mix between rugby, dodgeball and tag.

Teams of seven work to score goals and capture the “snitch,” all while holding onto their broomsticks.

“The brooms are a part of play, it's actually a rule,” Powell said.  “You can't be on the field unless you have a broomstick in between your legs, or something similar.”

A group of college kids in Vermont started playing the game in 2005, and it's continued to grow ever since.

More than 300 high schools and universities across the country now have teams, including CCU's club team.

In fact, that was the reason sophomore Ashley Michels decided to enroll.

“When I was in high school I saw it on YouTube, and that night at family dinner I told my dad, ‘I'm going to college and I'm going to play Quidditch,' and my dad and mom laughed at me,” Michels said.

But it's not a joke.

The group calls themselves the Chantigriffs, and they compete against twelve other teams across the state.

Some players do it because they love the sport, others because they love the storyline.

“I have a really big imagination, and it just let me go deeper into my imagination,” Sophomore Ray Taylor said.

But if you've never read a Harry Potter book or seen the movies, it's not a problem.  Just grab your broom and give it a try.

“Actually I haven't even read all the books,”  Powell said.  “I mean you'll get people who've not even touched the books, maybe not even heard of Harry Potter, but they just love they community and they love the athleticism of it, because it actually is a very taxing game.”

The International Quidditch Association announced it will hold its 2014 World Cup in North Myrtle Beach April 4 and 5.
The Chantigriffs plan to compete.

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