Why doesn’t Marist have Quidditch?

It is pretty well established that Marist College is Hogwarts on the Hudson. Prospective students point it out when first touring the campus; current students have written articles about it.

Comparisons can even be found across social media:

However, there is one key aspect of the Wizarding World that Marist lacks: Quidditch.

The sport, officially called Muggle Quidditch, became an intramural sensation in 2005 after a group of students at Middlebury College in Vt. adapted J.K. Rowling’s beloved game for their own use.

There are now over 200 colleges involved with U.S. Quidditch, the sport’s national governing body.

The overarching body for the sport is the International Quidditch Association, which has branches in 10 different countries.

The sport’s popularity has grown so much that a documentary about it entitled “Mudbloods” was released in 2014. It follows the UCLA Quidditch team as make their way to the Fifth Annual Quidditch World Cup in New York City. The film can currently be seen on Netflix.

The rules of the game are meant to be as true to the one’s that Harry and the gang abide by (aside from the flying, that is).

Teams consist of seven players, all of which must hold a broomstick between their legs throughout the entire match.

There are three chasers who must try to throw a soccer ball (the Quaffle) into one of three hoops located at opposite ends of the field. Each team has a keeper to guard the hoops.

There are two beaters per team. Their objective is to deter opponents by throwing semi-deflated dodge balls (Bludgers) at them. If a player is hit by a Bludger, they must run a lap around their goalpost before they can continue playing.

Then there is the all-important seeker, who must catch the golden snitch.

Sadly, no college has found a way to enchant a snitch (yet), so a cross-country runner is used instead. Donning their golden garb, a human snitch can sprint anywhere across campus to avoid being found by the seeker.

Rules vary as to when a snitch is officially caught. In some cases, a seeker simply has to touch the snitch for it to count. Other schools tape a yellow ribbon or bandanna to the snitch’s leg, which must be removed by a seeker for the game to end.

In 2010, it looked as if Quidditch might take off as an intramural sport at Marist after the Student Government Association hosted a Quidditch tournament on the Gartland Field.

Quidditch Logo

The International Quidditch Association Logo

“We had a pretty large turnout, as students were excited to play,” said James Napoli, the president for the class of 2012 and the student who spearheaded the event.

Christina O’Sullivan was one of over 30 students to participate in the tournament. In an article for the Circle, she wrote: “Hanging out with other fun and nerdy people who grew up dreaming about Hogwarts might make a Marist Quidditch team a lot of fun.”

Napoli said that Marist students contacted the Vassar Quidditch team for assistance in establishing their own team.

Vassar has one of the oldest Quidditch teams in the country. Back in 2007, they competed against Middlebury in the first ever Quidditch World Cup.

With all of their Wizarding experience, Vassar students passed along tips, as well as their support, hoping they would be able to compete against Marist for years to come.

If the partnership between Marist and Vassar went well, then students also foresaw creating an all-Hudson Valley league by competing against other schools in the area like Bard College and Dutchess Community College.

So with all of this momentum, why did the plan for a Marist Quidditch team fizzle out faster than an Incendio spell cast by Seamus Finnigan?

Well, it seems to have been partially due to lethargy and partially due to the rigorous intramural protocol.

“There were talks about making [Quidditch] an intramural sport, but I think the process to get it recognized was a bit daunting, so it faded away,” Napoli said.

Perhaps future Marist students will attempt to carry on the Goblet—er, gauntlet—that Napoli started five years ago.

 

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