Calling All SMUggles

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Texas A&M; Quiddtich Team and various SMU students at a competition in League City, Texas, on June 28. (Courtesy of Lizzie Wilson)

Quaffles, bludgers, broomsticks and the golden snitch. These are no longer vocabulary words used exclusively by inhabitants of the wizarding world. SMU is starting its own Quidditch team, so these terms might be slipping into on-campus conversations soon.

The team had its first meeting in The Varsity at 7 p.m. Wednesday, led by senior Lizzie Wilson with the help of Tyler Jewell, a member of Texas Tech University’s Quidditch team. After a brief explanation of the game’s rules, the 13 students present scheduled practices for Sunday and Wednesday afternoons.

“What happens if you get hit with a bludger when you’re holding the quaffle?”

“You can’t cuss. That’s a rule.”

“What about British curse words?”

“A beater can’t hold two bludgers at a time.”

These and more peculiar questions circled the room during the meeting, but all were settled and the group seemed enthusiastic for its first practice, which is tentatively scheduled for Labor Day, Sept. 1.

They plan to partner with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) to form a larger team. The interest meeting for UTA will be held Friday at 7 p.m. in the University Center.

Wilson, an environmental engineering and French double major, discovered her love for the game this summer, after offering to drive a friend’s brother to his Quidditch practices in Arlington. She later joined the Arlington community team and found familiarity in it.

“I used to play volleyball and soccer and team sports,” said Wilson, “so it reminded me of all that and I felt at home.”

Wilson competed in tournaments like the Bluebonnet Cup and the Southwest Fantasy Tournament. She enjoys the strong sense of community at Quidditch competitions, and was surprised to see about 300 players attending each.

“My team ended up winning the whole [Southwest] tournament,” said Wilson. “It was so intense and so fun. That really solidified my love for Quidditch.”

Quidditch is a competitive contact sport featured in the Harry Potter novels and films. The game used to be a figment of fans’ imaginations, but Muggle (non-magical people) Quidditch was made a reality in 2005, four years after the release of the first Harry Potter movie and eight years after the release of the first novel.

Senior Belem Perez-Delafuente has been a long-time fan of the Harry Potter series and says she’s read all seven novels three or four times each. So she was excited to learn about the creation of an SMU team.

“I grew up being a Harry Potter fan,” said Perez-Delafuente. “I heard that other schools had teams and I didn’t know SMU was forming one, so that was pretty cool.”

Wilson encourages skeptics to watch some videos of Muggle Quidditch, and swears it’s a real contact sport.

For more information, visit SMU Quidditch’s Facebook page, or email them at dfwquidditch@gmail.com.

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