Texas State’s Quidditch team is on the rise after being the top ranked sport club at the school for four consecutive years from 2014, and the top Quidditch college team in the U.S. in 2017.
Bobcat alumnus Jordan Parisher created the Quidditch organization at Texas State in the fall 2010 and by spring semester of the same year, Parisher had managed to create two quidditch teams: Texas State Bobcats as the varsity squad and Bobcat Quidditch as the junior varsity group. If a student is not interested in joining either the varsity or the junior varsity team, they can still join the Texas State Quidditch organization, based more on the sport made famous by the “Harry Potter” series.
The sport is usually defined as the mixed-gender contact sport with elements of multiple sports involved, such as rugby, dodgeball and tag. Just as the sport is displayed in the film franchise, teams are usually made up of seven players with a broom between their legs at all times. Each player on the team must also wear different colored headbands to distinguish their position. Texas State Quidditch president Bailee Fields economics senior, is an advocate of how the uniqueness of the sport sets it apart from other ones.
“What makes the game so interesting is learning how to do basic functions while still keeping the broom between your legs,” Fields said. “If you drop it, you have to drop all of your balls and come back into play. I don’t want to say it’s what makes it fun, but it definitely makes it interesting and harder to master.”
There are seven positions, and each involved play a key role in winning a game. There are usually three chasers, two beaters, one seeker and one keeper. One volleyball is used to score goals, and three ‘bludgers,’ slightly deflated dodgeballs, are used to set back opponents teams.
The Texas State team placed third overall last season among 16-18 collegiate teams throughout the U.S. While the quidditch team represents Texas State proudly during the season, individual members among the team participate in summer leagues during the off-season. Some of those players even went on to win championships nationally and internationally.
“It was pretty amazing. We got to go to Florence, Italy, to play in the world cup,” Fields said. “It was me, alumnus, Jackson Johnson, another alumna named, Jenna Bollweg, was the videographer for team U.S.A and then Tim Nguyen who is part of the Texas State Quidditch organization currently, got to play for team Vietnam.”
While competition among members of the two teams and the organization remains fierce, members of the organization like marketing senior, Ryan Nawrockie said the game is for everyone regardless of skill level.
“I think a really big misconception that a lot of people have is that the sport is really difficult to grasp,” said Nawrockie. “The thing we tell everyone is everybody starts at the same level, it’s basically how fast you learn, but it is a lot of fun.”
The Texas State quidditch team can be followed on Twitter at @txstquidditch and on Facebook at Texas State Quidditch. The team is expected to kick-off their season this upcoming October at the Bobcat Village fields.