iC Dingbat

Hogwarts on the Hill

Story by: Jennifer Stephens '12  |  Photos By: Kyle Wehner '14

Members of Colby’s Quidditch team, which has quadrupled in size since its inception in 2010, practice on the quad.
Members of Colby’s Quidditch team, which has quadrupled in size since its inception in 2010, practice on the quad.
The snitch dashes by, followed by a seeker whose white knuckles clutch the broom handle while dodging bludgers left and right. An opposing chaser gets hold of the quaffle, zooms past the keeper, shoots, and scores! Gryffindor takes the lead.

No, you haven’t been reading too much J.K. Rowling lately or apparated [teleported] to Hogwarts. You’ve probably just stumbled across Colby’s make-shift Quidditch pitch in the outfield of Coombs baseball field, where the Colby Quidditch Club can be found on any given Sunday afternoon.

Muggle Quidditch, as the game is officially called by the International Quidditch Association (IQA), hit Mayflower Hill last spring when five freshmen wanted to bring a little magic to campus extracurriculars. “Quidditch has a very bizarre set of rules for muggles,” says Avram Reisman ’13, one of the club’s founders. Despite the game’s complexity for those of us held back by gravity, the beauty of Muggle Quidditch, Reisman claims, is that “anyone can pick it up.” Harry Potter aficionado or no, all you need is imagination, a good sense of humor, and a plastic broomstick, and you’re ready for takeoff.

Which is precisely what the Colby Quidditch Club has done. After constructing eight blue-and-white-striped goalposts with PVC pipe, purchasing plenty of brooms to go around, and closely researching the official Muggle Quidditch rules, the club has grown from its original five student members to more than 20 in just two semesters. Why the success? They’re competitive but keep things lighthearted. “We’re all kind of goofy,” admitted Reisman. “It’s all about getting to know people.”

Although Colby beat Bates and Bowdoin to the Quidditch bandwagon, Middlebury gets credit for starting Muggle Quidditch in 2007, and the IQA has since grown to include 226 schools including Vassar, Harvard, Yale, MIT, and UVM. While Colby’s team is working to “develop more skill” before taking on other schools, Reisman said the team hopes to compete in next year’s World Cup, an intercollegiate tournament in which Middlebury has taken the gold four years running.

Colby Quidditch may still be perfecting members’ broom work, but the startup club has already mastered one thing: how to have a good time, wizarding style.    

Jennifer Stephens '12
Orr's Island, Maine
Major: English

Kyle Wehner '14
Slingerlands, New York
Major: English, creative writing concentration