For many teens who grew up reading the Harry Potter series, written by acclaimed writer J.K. Rowling, the characters and plots become almost real. This week, Broadneck High School used that inspiration and the National Honor Society held their second annual Quidditch tournament for charity.
Quidditch is a fictional game from the Harry Potter series that involves a set of matches played between two teams of seven players riding flying broomsticks, using four balls and six ring-shaped goals.
Headed up by mathematics teacher Linda Link and Broadneck’s National Honor Society, this year’s Quidditch match was created to give some of the less athletic kids a fun sport to gravitate around and to raise relief money for the devastation seen across the Pacific and in Japan after the recent deadly earthquake and tsunami.
Each team in the tournament was given a name from each of the four “Houses” found in the school of Hogwarts, where Harry Potter is a student. Each team, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin, was pitted against each other to compete for the House Cup.
The beauty of a game like Quidditch is that it’s a sport played on flying brooms by people with magic powers who play to win a large, golden trophy. In reality, the sport at Broadneck was a group of average teenagers, running all over the football field with plastic brooms, playing for a trophy made of a styrofoam cup.
But the magic of the story seemed to be the point; that it’s all make-believe. “I love seeing real people play a fictional sport,” said Maggie Foust, Quidditch spectator and Broadneck sophomore.
In order to compensate for some discontinuities between the real world and the “wizarding” world, special rules were added to the Broadneck game. Instead of “Bludgers,” the “Beater” would throw dodge balls at various players. Instead of a flying “Snitch,” one person was dressed in yellow and told to run as fast as he could around the field. Instead of tall wooden hoops, there were short plastic ones. And instead of the game running on four hours, each game was limited to roughly 15 minutes.
“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Matt Nicholson, who served as the House of Gryffindor Chaser. “I had a blast [and] it was just plain fun.”
In the end, the tournament went off almost entirely without a hitch, and after a hard fought series of games, Slytherin emerged as victor against Ravenclaw, with Hufflepuff in third and Gryffindor In last.
“My favorite part was when Slytherin caught the Snitch,” said Foust after the game. “Everyone started screaming and jumping. It was great.”