Returning for its sixth year in a row, Chestnut Hill College will once again play host to the Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament, doing so this year as the defending champions.
The Cup, which began in 2010 as a way to incorporate growing interest among the college population in a sport called "muggle quidditch," has become an annual tradition at the College, which has drawn similarities to Hogwarts, ever since J.K. Rowling's award-winning series was first published.
This year, the College will host seven outside quidditch teams from across the Mid-Atlantic in a round robin style tournament. Muggle quidditch, the collegiate and club version of the sport from the Harry Potter books, is a fast-paced, action-packed game that is a cross between dodgeball, basketball and rugby. It features players riding on broomsticks, students, often impartial members from other teams at the tournament, dressed from head to toe in yellow and carrying around tennis balls wrapped in socks representing the golden snitches, and bludgers and quaffles aka dodgeballs and volleyballs respectively. It is governed by the International Quidditch Association (IQA) and was first played at Middlebury College back in 2005.
Quidditch: One of the Fastest Growing College Sports
Since its inception, quidditch has grown in popularity and has even been featured in a segment on ESPN News, interviewing students, including some from CHC, on what could one day, be the next NCAA sanctioned sport. While this has been something the IQA has investigated, at the heart of the game, is just students all coming together for their love of the sport and the Harry Potter series.
"The best thing about quidditch is the sense of community that comes with it," says Cristina Diaz '15, former three year captain of the CHC team. "I’ve met Quidditch players from all over the world, and no matter where they’re from I’ve noticed that people are playing the game because they truly love the Harry Potter series. Our generation grew up with the tales of Harry, Ron and Hermione, and getting to make a little piece of that story come to life is where the magic is."
Among its many differences from traditional college sports, quidditch is unique in that it is mixed gender, meaning both women and men are on the same team. Going even beyond that however, is the rule that ensures that of the six players on the field at all times is at least either two women or two men, depending on the gender that makes up the majority of the team. According to Diaz, this is one of the best parts of the game.
"It's a community builder having both men and women playing on the same field," she says. "The gender rule is a great way to make sure everyone is included and it definitely makes the game more competitive."
As the College has done in the past, there will be a shuttle that runs to and from campus, to the Harry Potter weekend events taking place simultaneously in the town of Chestnut Hill, allowing spectators a chance to experience all there is to offer. Due to limited parking, those attending are encouraged to use the shuttle to transport between events. Seating for the tournament is also limited, so bringing blankets or chairs to watch the matches is encouraged.
Wizard Rock Concert Returns to Campus
Following the quidditch tournament, Harry Potter fans will also have the opportunity to attend the College's second annual wizard rock concert. Run by the campus organization, the Harry Potter Alliance, the concert will feature performances from bands such as Harry and the Potters and the Nargeleptics. The concert will take place in the Griffin's Den in the basement of the College, begins at 7:30 p.m. and costs $15 to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the concert's event brite page.
For more information on the many events throughout town and at Chestnut Hill College, visit the College's official HP weekend web page.