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Stephan Kim

Quidditch flying high at University of Calgary

By Stephan Kim, March 22 2016 —

The University of Calgary houses plenty of successful athletic programs. And while they may not be your first thought, count local quidditch clubs as part of that group.

Quidditch is an emerging competitive sport among Calgarians — one that requires both speed and endurance, while also appealing to those not taken with traditional sports.

But don’t think quidditch’s non-traditional status means it’s easy. The game is complex, with four balls on the field at any given time and three different games played simultaneously.

In Quidditch, two opposing beaters play dodgeball with red rubber balls dubbed ‘bludgers.’ At the same time, three chasers play handball with the ‘quaffle,’ a white volleyball, while a keeper attempts to block the three hoops set up on each side of the field at different heights. Each goal is worth 10 points, regardless of the hoop height.

Midway  through the match, the snitch — represented by a player wearing a yellow shirt and golden shorts — is released, along with a seeker from each team. These players then play a capture-the-flag type of game, where the seekers compete to be the first to catch the snitch, which ends the game and awards an additional 30 points to the capturing team.

However, catching the snitch doesn’t automatically win the game, as matches remain point-based. Players must also keep one hand on their broomstick at all times.

Quidditch continues to find success at the U of C. Active Living offers a quidditch season each semester — outdoor in summer and fall, and indoor in winter — with the Quidditch Club. Participation costs students $60 per semester.

Students can also join two higher level Calgarian teams — the Calgary Kelpies and the Calgary Mudbloods. The quidditch seasons runs all year and both teams feature players that are current U of C students or alumni.

Earlier this year, members of the Calgary Mudbloods took part in four tournaments held across Western Canada, including the Quidditch Canada Western Regional Championship in Abbotsford, British Columbia from Feb 27–28. The Mudbloods’ schedule now turns to the Quidditch Canada Nationals, which will be held on April 2–3 in Kingston, Ontario.

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